A few years ago, we released our Sky is Rising
report, looking at the state of the global entertainment industry, in which we found that, contrary to the story of gloom and doom that was being spread by some special interests, the real
story was quite exciting. What we found when we looked at the actual
numbers was that we are in a true renaissance
of creativity, with massively more content -- video, movies, books, music and video games -- being produced these days than ever before. Perhaps more importantly, we saw that the amount of money being spent on these things also continued to increase
-- though it didn't always flow through the same channels as in the past. This combination of factors -- more content producers, many new channels -- often led some people to insist that the industry was collapsing, rather than the truth, that it was growing rapidly, just in more distributed ways. That represented certain challenges for many people in
the creative industries -- but from a public policy standpoint, it certainly suggested that things were pretty good -- not deathly bad, as was often implied. Last year, we came out with a follow up report that focused on Europe
-- noting a similar pattern in various European countries, though with some countries facing unique and interesting challenges. However, one interesting aspect of that report was that we saw a stronger pattern of success in those areas where innovation was allowed to thrive and flourish, rather than be held back.
Today we're launching the third report in this series, The Sky is Rising, 2014 Edition
, focused on the United States in particular. And, once again, we see the same basic story. Lots of growth. Tons
more content being produced. Lots of stories of new business models and artists connecting with their fans in new and unique ways. We're seeing new markets develop, along with new tools to help those markets. But the key story is the same as always: there is more content being produced today than ever before, and it's helped along by innovative technology, as the two often go hand in hand. More content than ever before is being produced, and content creators have more new and powerful ways to create, to distribute, to build a fan base, to connect and to build a business model -- and that's quite exciting.
At the same time, there's a push underway to reform our copyright laws -- something that we agree needs reform. And, yet, strangely, much of the rhetoric around reform has been based on the idea that the content world is suffering, or that there's some sort of "Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley" battle going on. The actual evidence suggests no such thing at all. Rather, it suggests that when innovation is allowed to flourish nearly everyone benefits. More content creators are able to do much more and create much more content. More fans are able to experience and consume much more content while supporting content creators in new and unique ways. From a public policy standpoint, it seems like things have been trending in the right way for a long time. If there's to be any sort of public policy change it should be to try to speed up that process, rather than to slow it down.
You can read the full report below. Once again, as with the previous editions of this report, we'd like to thank CCIA for sponsoring and publishing the paper.