Monday, March 3, 2014

Books, Music and Movies: A Comparison

When I compare books to music and movies, I often find interesting similarities and differences.

1. Media formats have changed for both. Gone are the days of record player or the eight track tape. I remember taping music off the radio with a cassette, and it wasn’t even considered pirating. It was built into the record player which also had a radio. Today music is downloaded and stored on Pods, Phones or purchased as a CD’s. The funny thing is nobody questions if we will go back to the days of vinyl albums, yet they question whether or not e-books will survive. If you look at music and even movies, you can see that electronic formats are not going away. The only thing that will evolve is the devices we will read them on (or listen.)

2. Marketing: Music is the one form of art where you will easily get a free song because it’s on the radio and can be recorded. However, once a person is hooked on a particular group many will buy the entire album or better yet go to the concert. The radio is the most common way people discover new music. If only there was something like that for books, where a story could be piped right into someone’s car or home stereo. Movies use commercials and trailers. They often try to build off sequels or old TV shows. Books do the same thing as far as sequels, yet sequels never sell as much as the original. In any case, we can see from music and movies that books also need to hook the customer with samples or freebies. Out of the three, books are the hardest to market because it involves reaching a customer who is willing to read. So many people don’t read these days.

3. Cost of production: Books by far have the advantage here while music and movies require money and a studio. Publishing costs are virtually free too, which is why we so many people are publishing books.

4. But what about genre? As everyone knows, Romance is the most popular genre. This compares to popular music as the majority of songs are about love and/or sex. Movies are a bit different. There are not many popular movies that are strictly romance; however, most movies, have some sort of love interest. The truth is most of us find stories more interesting with a romance element. It’s only natural since this is how the human race goes on, so our forms of art express where we come from.

Music is a form of art that evolves with various styles. Has anyone noticed the popularity of songs that mix a male rapper with a female singer? Then in general there is always a certain style that clicks with the majority of customers (young people.) It becomes the popular trend. What if a group produces an album in the style of classic rock? Well, these days it’s not going to get much notice, except by maybe the older generation who liked it back in the day. Classical, Jazz, Blues, etc…those will always have a smaller following and they still survive. Just like science fiction and fantasy survive.

Movies are different. Science fiction and Fantasy do well as movies. Perhaps it’s the visual format and special effects that can be brought to life on the big screen. When it comes to movies, people want to see action and be taken on a ride.

Then there is one form of art that appears to be dead…poetry. Personally, I only read or write poetry when it’s required for a class. However, poetry lives in the form of music.

All thoughts appreciated! 


Please take a moment to take my poll up there, if you haven't already.

6 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ironically, I think I follow about twenty poets here online, and Pat Hatt's rhyming books for kids sell very well.
It is a shame that there's not a way for people to easily sample books like listening to music on the radio.
And did you know there is still a demand for vinyl records?

Pat Dilloway said...

Some aficionados say vinyl records have better sound. The good thing about MP3s though is they never scratch.

I've heard it said that if you want to get better at writing you should learn to write poetry, but...poetry! Yuck. The closest I'd do to poetry are limericks.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Music has many outlets other than radio. Here in Salt Lake City, there are quite a few garage type bands pumping out music and giving out their own cds. I've picked up a few listening to compositions being played in coffee houses and other such venues. Live music is everywhere during the summer and under any shade tree. Some of it is good, and some of it isn't. On the radio, there is a mixing of R&B and Rap: Bruno Mars and Eminem are two that come to mind (but that doesn't fit the male to female ratio you spoke of).

Jay Noel said...

As technology evolves, so does the way we experience art (books, movies, or music).

It wasn't too long ago when the idea of a modern home theater seemed pretty "far out."

I can now stream a movie right here on my laptop. Music is the same way. My little nano I use when I exercise holds all my songs.

BUT, I still think there's enough nostalgia to keep the low-tech stuff in circulation. I know people with growing vinyl collections, for example. And all of my writer friends still love holding a real book.

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