Smartphones are so integrated into modern life that it’s easy to not give them much thought. However, their very presence and function have had a huge impact on various lifestyles and industries, including entertainment. The entertainment industry itself doesn’t seem to have changed so much, with music seemingly being produced as it ever was and movies still making billions of dollars at the box office, but the effect these devices have had is very real.
Examining the exact nature of this effect might change how you use your smartphone in relation to these industries – opening up new ways to experience the content you enjoy.
Indirect Use and Modern TV Shows
While you might already be thinking of how music is streamed through phones or what mobile gaming means for the industry, one of the biggest ways phones can impact is indirectly. For example, with a certain expectation that many viewers will be occupied by their phones, many modern TV shows have to be designed with this in-mind. Requiring too much attention or leaving those behind who haven’t been engaged can lead to people dropping them in favor of something more digestible. This shortening of attention spans has been widely noticed, and the effect that it has on a lot of content is to make it much more immediate and attention-grabbing.
The ability for these shows to also be seen on smartphones is also noteworthy, as this same level of speed and immediacy plays into how they want to retain audience attention when any other activity offered by the smartphone is looking to do the same.
In the case of gaming, the addition of suitably powerful smartphones simply means that an entire branch of gaming has emerged. In the same way that Nintendo consoles are seen to do their own unique thing apart from Sony and Microsoft consoles, mobile gaming looks to offer something entirely unique. There is still crossover, of course, and as the hardware has improved, more and more modern games have appeared on whichever app store you tend to use the most.
Many mobile games, however, are free-to-play games that work in similarly attention-grabbing bursts, as mentioned previously, making the most of microtransactions in order to make revenue. Alternatively, you can play slots at online casinos, which, while a digitized version of a previously physical activity, have made their way over to the gaming scene through their ease of accessibility on mobile platforms.
Music and Streaming
In many ways, the way that phones interact with music might feel the least surprising. This is simply a continuation of devices like MP3 players and iPods, the only difference is that now there are platforms like Spotify that can allow you to stream music more conveniently. This ease of access arguably benefits both consumers and creators by discouraging piracy, and additional features such as informing people of when live music they might be interested in is playing can help bring them closer to the content they enjoy. While this doesn’t always work out exactly as intended, it does mean that smaller artists and music producers have access to the same platforms, and can use them to potentially boost themselves and have greater levels of visibility with their listeners and find new fans along the way.
Cinema and Content Creation
Filmmaking was once something that was restricted to those who have the proper equipment and the right know-how. With the internet being able to make this knowledge more widespread, all that is left for aspiring filmmakers are the right tools. Through most modern smartphones, an incredibly powerful and capable camera is also available, putting the capability of filmmaking in everyone’s hands. That doesn’t mean that this skill is any less special or impressive than it once was, but it does mean that amateur filmmaking can be given a much higher level of quality, and movies can therefore be produced more easily.
This is far from something that’s just restricted to amateur films that never see the light of day. Some films that have been shot on film have gone onto be major award winners, leading some to question the kind of role that this method of production could play in the future. As always, though, there is a debate around the ‘validity’ of this method. In the same way that some filmmakers will always opt for film over digital, some might think that this excludes some element that is core to the process – but others will argue that the results speak for themselves.