Entertainment in the liquid times: today, access matters more than possession


Institutional Communication Service

29 April 2024

The current era is often referred to as the "liquid times" due to the increasing trend of buying and enjoying literary and audiovisual products in digital format. The dynamism provided by new online platforms, such as streaming, makes the comparison with a not-too-distant past merciless. A past strongly tied to physical objects such as books, CDs, DVDs and so on, which in the field of commerce are experiencing a major crisis.

Inevitably, the paradigm shift is affecting the economy, human culture, and society. Like in many other contexts, it is slowly evolving or rather transforming to keep up with the times. "The use of these products is undergoing very significant transformations, both technological and cultural," confirms Katharina Lobinger, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society at USI, in an interview published in the pages of the Corriere del Ticino (edition of Monday, 29 April). "The transition from physical media - think of DVDs and Blu-rays - to digital formats has radically changed the market", continues USI's Associate Professor, "Our habits have undergone a significant change, and this shift has affected not just the younger generation but also a large part of the population. Nowadays, most people prefers streaming or subscription-based content instead of physical formats. Today, we have the luxury of choosing the device on which we wish to enjoy a particular product, and we can even use multiple devices complementarily. This allows us to seamlessly switch between devices without any hassle.".

An evolution that, Lobinger notes, has a tangible consequence: "Today it is more important to have access, with more choices, rather than a physical object. The social distinction that once came from collections of objects to a large extent, moves there. At most, it shines through in playlists, but no longer in the purchase of all those products that in this era remain valid for ever smaller groups".

The full interview with Katharina Lobinger, in Corriere del Ticino, can be viewed by downloading the attached PDF. (Italian only)