We live in a world of seemingly infinite choices: Press the remote control and you can watch documentaries, cartoons, dramas and talent shows. Click the mouse and you can play video games, listen to music, watch movies or chat with friends. Technology has given us access to many different forms of expression, and entire communities have formed around them. Americans live in a culture of multiple cultures no longer broken down simply by ethnicity, religion or age.
So is there a name for this? Casey Rae-Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition says the academic word for it is disintermediation, “but since that’s a mouthful, ‘fractured culture’ works just fine.”
Today’s best-selling album is selling a lot less than its counterpart of 10 years ago. Rae-Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition says this fragmentation has opened up the world for creators and consumers alike. “The arrival of the Internet to some degree leveled the playing field, and that allowed a plethora of folks who otherwise would’ve had no shot of getting on commercial radio to be heard,” says Rae-Hunter.
iTunes, webcasts, Pandora: There are many more “pipes” delivering the goods than there used to be, Rae-Hunter says. “It’s an amazing time to be a fan.”