By the year 2020, the entertainment and media market in the United States is expected to be worth over 720.38 billion U.S. dollars. On a global scale, the entertainment and media market was worth 1.72 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015 and is set to rise to 2.14 trillion by 2020. But that’s just an exaggerated statistic, right? There is no way an industry could make that much money, right? There is no way that an industry could have that much of an influence on us, right?
People love entertainment. Entertainment is an escape from the real world; an escape from work, an escape from school, an escape from the daily stresses of life – it carries and influences society and culture every day.
Entertainment brings light to our lives and makes us happy. Entertainment often inspires people to believe that they can do and be more. It influences the way we think, live, eat, dress, and even the purchases we make. People keep up with the star of a show, film, book, album, or even YouTube channel – and want to be like them and own things that they own, so that they can feel that they share commonalities with their celebrity “hero."
The industry has a tremendous effect on our lives in America.
Regarding the film and television industry, countless features have imitated real-life situations and experiences; however, they are often glorified and made glamourous, of course. Some examples would include the movie V for Vendetta which highlights dystopian society and inspires the hacktivist group “Anonymous." The movie showed how the “group is collective, and that we are all part of it in some sense so long as we stick together and fight; Anonymous uses the mask as a symbol of anonymity for anyone fighting any kind of injustice anywhere,” according to Natasha Englehardt. Another popular film that has inspired popular culture is Jaws. After this film was released, it caused beach tourism to decline for months because of the potential fear of a (in real life, rare) shark attack.
On a semi-smaller scale, one clear example of this would be from the social media world – more specifically Instagram and YouTube. There are thousands of celebrities and influencers who post images/videos of themselves wearing, using and promoting certain products/brands on their platform. Younger viewers are much more vulnerable to fall into this cycle of influencer marketing. They feel as if they will be “cooler” if they are wearing a Jake Paul shirt or drinking the same smoothie as Kylie Jenner. But those who are older understand that these influencers do not actually use the products they are promoting, they are only gaining a profit from exposure of the product by posting it onto their account – the beautiful marketing scheme.
Another example of this would be the music industry branch of entertainment. The way the artists present their message through lyric and music has an extreme effect on the listener. More often than not, society affects the way music is written and composed depending on what is going on in the current culture. But then, artists write music about certain events that may occur to them or others and share it through song, opening our eyes and influencing the way that we live our lives.
All in all, we are very impressionable beings.
Depending on one’s personal view and perspective of the influence of the industry, it can be either positive or negative… or both, for that matter. Either way – it influences all of us in one form or another.