The sun sets on Hollywood

Peter Preston writes in the Observer:

. . . Professor Jeremy Tunstall has just written a successor to his magisterial 1977 study, The Media Are American. It is called The Media Were American.

Tunstall’s thesis is simple, but jolting. Of course America still floods the world with movies, music and TV shows. And, of course, their combined value climbs higher and higher. But if we’re talking something different – market share – then the US is in headlong decline, and has been for nearly 50 years. Discount around 100 annual hours of bigbudget movies and the residue is a pitiful, shrivelled thing.

India, China, Brazil and Japan (to name but four) have media exports of their own that equal or outstrip any imports. China, with 1.3 billion people, relies overwhelmingly on home production in local languages. So, with a bow to Bollywood, does India. Egypt looks after the Middle East.

The bigger Latin American countries make most of their own popular media now – and export lurid soaps to Spanish-speaking channels everywhere, including the US.

So at last we can stop being accused of ruining the world with our tawdry entertainment.

  • http://www.donatacom.com/blog.shtml Terry Heaton

    There needs to be more discussion of this, because this is our largest export. The impact on the overall economy, therefore, is what should really be of concern.

  • http://www.fredgraver.com fred graver

    You know how we’re all thinking that our podcasters / vloggers / etc are going to flood the internet with content? Maybe I’m the chump at the table here, but I’ve never thought that it’ll be foreign content (repurposed / translated / etc.) that’s going to flood our world… The internet will make the world flat for content as well..