Showbiz Sandbox 354: Why the Entertainment Industry Should Care About Net Neutrality

February 6, 2017

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President Donald Trump’s selection of Ajit Pai to chair the Federal Communications Commission has moved quickly to rollback consumer protection regulations long thought to be settled; specifically net neutrality. Rules put in place to ensure an open internet allowing every company to compete on equal footing could get thrown out for ones that favor four telecom giants. That could mean record labels, movie studios, streaming music and video providers wind up paying much more to reach audiences.

In addition, Pai threw out proposed rules that would have allowed cable subscribers to purchase their set top boxes. Consumers in the United States presently pay $200 or more per year to rent such equipment putting $20 billion annually into the pockets of video providers. Will legislative bodies in other countries take similar stances in the wake of such F.C.C. moves?

This all comes as streaming music revenue has helped slow or reverse years of declining income sales for record companies. Nielsen music reports that streaming platforms provided 38% of total audio consumption in 2016, up from 23% in 2014. In fact, these days a glut of streaming music providers are trying just about everything to differentiate themselves in what has become a crowded marketplace.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Disney’s $100 million anti-poaching settlement with animators, Oprah Winfrey joins “60 Minutes” and which media outlets have backed out of the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.

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Super Bowl’s TV ratings slip for the second straight year
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-super-bowl-ratings-20170206-story.html

comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of February 5, 2017
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/comscore-announces-official-worldwide-box-office-results-for-weekend-of-february-5-2017-300402307.html

Third-Party Investigation Finds No Animal Injuries, Cruelty on Set of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/third-party-investigation-finds-no-animal-injuries-cruelty-set-a-dogs-purpose-972081

DGA Awards: The Complete Winners List
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/dga-awards-2017-winners-list-full-966475/item/outstanding-directorial-achievement-documentary-960110

‘Lion’ Tops ASC Cinematographer Awards
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/lion-tops-asc-cinematographer-awards-966477

Annies: ‘Zootopia’ Wins Big With 6 Awards Including Best Animated Feature
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/annie-awards-winners-2017-list-full-966476

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Pulls Set-Top Proposal
https://variety.com/2017/biz/news/fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-scraps-set-top-proposal-1201974178/

FCC Rescinds Claim that AT&T and Verizon Violated Net Neutrality
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/fcc-rescinds-claim-that-att-and-verizon-violated-net-neutrality/

The FCC is Stopping 9 Companies From Providing Federally Subsidized Internet to the Poor
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/02/03/the-fcc-is-stopping-9-companies-from-providing-subsidized-broadband-to-the-poor/?utm_term=.50fabd8ef4de

Here’s Exactly How the Internet Is Now Under Threat
https://backchannel.com/obamas-fcc-head-is-worried-about-our-online-future-628b8f63efc5

FCC Contact Information
https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact

Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
http://bookfilter.com/2016/06/30/never-caught/

Orwell’s ‘1984’ Surges After Trump’s First Week
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/72667-orwell-s-1984-surges-after-trump-s-first-week.html

New Yorker, Vanity Fair Pull Out of White House Correspondents Weekend Events
https://variety.com/2017/biz/news/white-house-correspondents-dinner-new-yorker-vanity-fair-pull-out-1201977433/

Study Finds 80 Percent of Female Directors Made Only One Movie in 10 Years (Exclusive)
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/study-finds-80-percent-female-directors-made-one-movie-10-years-970896

CBS Sets Radio Division Merger With Entercom
https://variety.com/2017/biz/news/cbs-entercom-radio-division-merger-1201976392/

$100M Disney Settlement Signals End of Animators’ Anti-Poaching Fight
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/100m-disney-settlement-signals-end-animators-anti-poaching-fight-970887

IMDb is Shutting Down its Long-Running, Popular Message Boards After 16 Years
http://www.polygon.com/2017/2/3/14501650/imdb-message-boards-shutting-down

Oprah Winfrey to Become ’60 Minutes’ Contributor
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oprah-winfrey-become-60-minutes-contributor-970499

RWA Urges ‘NYT’ to Reconsider Bestseller List Decision
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/newsbrief/index.html

Fifth of US Broadband Households Cancel OTT Service in Last 12 Months
http://www.rapidtvnews.com/2017020346031/fifth-of-us-broadband-households-cancel-ott-service-in-last-12-months.html

‘Hamilton’ Lawsuit Turns Spotlight on Broadway Accessibility
http://variety.com/2017/legit/news/hamilton-lawsuit-broadway-accessbility-1201970837/

In the Digital Deluge, What Distinguishes One Music Streaming Service From the Other?
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-music-streaming-overview-20161021-snap-story.html

Sony Music Earned $1.2BN From Streaming Platforms in 2016
http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/sony-music-earned-1-2bn-from-streaming-in-2016/

After 15 Years of Decline, France’s Recorded Music Market Returns to Growth
http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/frances-recorded-music-market-returned-to-growth-in-2016-for-first-time-in-15-years/

Richard Portman, ‘Star Wars,’ ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Nashville’ Sound Man, Dies at 82
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/richard-portman-dead-star-wars-godfather-nashville-sound-man-was-82-970406

Comments

  • mgiltz

    Ok, I know I’m not typical — I own a Victrola and a cache of 78s for pete’s sake. But that makes me feel quirky and different. The fact that I resist getting a streaming subscription and insist on having physical copies or digital downloads of music on my laptop and phone — well that makes me feel like a 90 year old curmudgeon. I feel like I should cave but on the other hand after a solar flare or EMP weapon fries all our computers, you’re gonna beg to borrow my CDs and my 78s!