Goodnight, Hollywood Boulevard

He may have left the public eye, but Ryan Adams wrote some prescient songs, like the one referenced in the headline.  It’s times like these that I find myself diving back into music to make sense of what’s going on around me.

It’s seriously mind-boggling just how deep this practice of isolation and social distancing goes, and the impact it has on the world around us — including the entertainment world. 

For example, this weekend Fox hosted a series of mini concerts from artists’ homes. This was indicative of other events during the last three weeks, online and on TV. This called to attention that Hollywood and other entertainment industries are basically on hold right now.  Your favorite shows, along with your favorite movie productions and concert tours, are paused, and youur favorite artists and celebrities are stuck at home.  

The upfronts and the newfronts depend on the predictable ebb and flow of audiences that will line up with advertiser dollars and create a frothy market for high quality programming at various times of the year.  That won’t be the case this year. 



The pause of the last three weeks in California has led to almost (if not all) major productions being put on hold.  Shows that were being filmed are waiting until lockdowns are lifted.  The current guidelines are in place at least through April 30, which will bring the delay to around seven or eight weeks minimum.  

That means production will pick up at least two months behind, and hit shows will be delayed for two or three months. That brings us to summer, when — if things get back to normal — numerous outlets will be competing for any spare time  people have. Consumers will have to pick and choose how they decide to spend their time and some things are going to fall by the wayside!  With smaller, more fragmented audiences, ad dollars won’t be as dependable and the impact on the entertainment business will be meaningful!

Of course, in times of trouble, innovations come to me (or us).  The direct-to-home theatrical release is a distinct possibility for more films than “Fast and Furious 17” or “Herbie The Love Bug Returns, Part 3.”  Disney owns a massive direct-to-home channel and other companies are exploring their options.  T

The COVID-19 crisis is also forcing the music business to rethink how it does what it does, and even these mini concerts are presenting an entirely new way for artists to deliver their music. 

If I were a betting man, I would not bet against these as being the new music model of the future.  Just ask the gang from Napster.

All in all, the times are a changin’ once again. Challenges beget innovation, and industry is always open to new ideas.   Here’s to seeing some creative thinking from the entertainment biz in the months to come!

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