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Opinion

Writers’ Earnings: Is Netflix to Blame For Low Book Sales?

After a long day at work, we log onto a takeout app, then prepare to binge on the most recent Netflix shows. Technology has given us an online world of enticing content, which takes our attention away from books. Not only has this contributed to declining writers earnings, but it’s also limiting creative thinking. Is Netflix to blame for low book sales, or is it one part of a much bigger problem?

The New Age of Netflix

Netflix was founded in 1998 as an alternative to Blockbuster. People could rent DVD’s online and enjoy the higher quality they offered instead of videos. While it began as a small company, their willingness to adapt to changing technology, meant they could evolve into a successful business.

The biggest break for Netflix was the demise of Blockbuster Video. It cleared the way for Netflix to become the main movie entertainment provider and the company offered streaming services. However, 2013 was the year Netflix became a household name and achieved global success.

Two shows changed the fate of Netflix and secured its legacy; Orange is The New Black and House of Cards. The two shows highlighted critical political issues, such as corrupt governments and the prison system. Millions of viewers subscribe to the service, and it’s enabled the company to create their range of movies and shows.

Statistics show that America has the most Netflix viewers in the world. The United States ranks fourth, behind Mexico, Peru and Canada. Many people turn away from regular TV in favor of watching movies and shows on the streaming service.

Netflix is compatible with PlayStation, X-Box, mobile devices and new television sets. While people used to rent from Blockbuster, all they have to do is browse Netflix. So is the streaming service responsible for low book sales?

How Has Netflix Changed Book Sales?

People don’t read as much as they used to that’s a fact. An article in the Washington Post shows how the amount of literature people read each year has declined. Individuals with college degrees are more likely to read literature, but many factors contribute to lower book sales. It’s saddening because studies show that reading increases our empathy. Unfortunately, many individuals find binge-watching something on Netflix more appealing than reading a book.

Consumers often turn to the internet to get information and content creators must fulfill the changing needs and wants of busy readers. This impacts how many people are writing books because they know that readers want useful and relevant content.

We can’t blame Netflix for the overall decline in writers earnings, because the internet has distracted individuals from literature. Printed books and Ebooks are in a constant battle for supremacy, and the sales figures regularly change.

If people are turning to streaming entertainment rather than reading then tips from content creators can help writers adapt to changing trends and provide the information people want to read.

Can Writers Survive?

When new writers dream about their first novel, they imagine the success of Stephen King, J. K. Rowling and the 50 Shades of Gray series. Unfortunately, the sales of these books don’t reflect the overall market. The NPD Group published statistics showing a 1.9% growth in book sales for 2017. While this seems positive, it’s lower than the average rate of 3% between 2013 and 2016.

While many writers are struggling to survive, content creators can make a living by providing what consumers want. If the average book sells 3000 copies in its entire lifetime, writers must follow tips from content creators to survive in their chosen career.

Top writers tips include tailoring content to fit target audiences, providing useful digestible writing instead of streams of information and to keep everything current. It’s hard for writers, because following these tips is vital for success, but ruins the opportunity for imaginative writing.

Many writers use streaming services such as Netflix as inspiration for their own work. The company has created some groundbreaking TV shows such as Stranger Things. The sci-fi drama gained a huge worldwide following and statistics published in the New York Times show that millions of people tune in to view the series.

If writers use statistics from Netflix to see what viewers are watching, then they can use their creativity to change how many people are reading. Technology continues to grow, and Netflix, Amazon Video and other streaming services are here to stay. Writers have to adapt with the times to survive.

 

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