8 classic entertainment trends that are now defunct thanks to streaming

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Streaming has transformed the way we consume media: movies, television shows, and music. That's meant some pretty significant changes to the entertainment industry, and to everyday life.

Here are just a few of the ways our love of streaming services has forever altered the entertainment landscape. 

The early pandemic crushed movie theaters, as consumers avoided gathering in large indoor crowds.

Globally, movie theaters took in $43.2 billion in box-office receipts in 2019, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which cites data from the Motion Picture Association. In 2010, they plunged to $11.8 billion. 

Box-office figures began to rebound in 2021, hitting $21.3 billion; and so far this year, movie theaters have seen a 365% jump in sales from 2021, according to CNBC.

But movie theaters' star was beginning to dim in the pre-pandemic years.

In a 2018 report, Deloitte found that in 2017, less than 20% of "major movies" were able to break even, while the theater-going public had seen a "negative compound annual growth rate" since 2009. Deloitte cited the rise of video-streaming services as one reason behind that decline. 

Over the years, competitors like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video ate into theaters' bottom line by producing blockbuster content for audiences to enjoy at home.

For a musical artist's most committed fans, album liner notes could sometimes be a treasure trove. These bits of prose, commonly found on the back covers or the inner sleeves of LPs, even earned their own Grammy category, starting in the 1960s. 

These notes offer additional information and context about recordings. But with so many people now listening to music via streaming services like Spotify, they've become less relevant today than they once were.

According to a 2020 blog post from The Balance Careers, liner notes "have declined in importance and use" ever since cassettes began beating out vinyl records as the predominant musical product. 

It's no secret that plenty of musical artists aren't the biggest fans of Spotify. Taylor Swift famously yanked her entire catalog from the music streamer.

"Many musicians like her, who seem to be well established, well known and very talented, will eventually have to find employment elsewhere or change what they do to make more money."

The reason? Well, in part it has to do with how the music industry is structured. Citigroup that only about 12% of the music industry's $43 billion windfall reached artists themselves in 2017.

Specifically, Spotify pays artists a fraction of a cent for every stream, depending on contractual obligations. That makes for a much less lucrative prospect for musical artists themselves, than traditional physical LP releases. 

In years past, actors could expect some passive income to follow their participation in a successful project. 

Even performers in minor roles — like Reece Thompson, who played the unnamed "Irish boy" in James Cameron's "Titanic" — could expect residuals from reruns of a film or television series. Residuals are paid out whenever a television show or a movie is aired in reruns.  

But those residuals are a thing of the past for many working actors today, even big-name players. Recently, "Euphoria" star Sydney Sweeney spoke out about how actors working on streaming series no longer earn residuals. Streaming services effectively cut the issue of reruns out of the equation, thus removing the need to sell a series or film to another network for reruns.

Back before streaming took hold, it wasn't surprising to meet somebody with a massive collection of DVDs in their home, or CDs carefully organized in their car. 

By 2020, the Recording Industry Association of America had found that CDs generated $614 million in sales, down from $13 billion in 1999.

DVDs haven't fared any better. In 2005, DVD sales totaled $16.3 billion. In 2018, that dropped to $2.2 billion. According to CNBC, that sharp drop was partly thanks to the rise of streaming.

Many viewers no longer see bonus content and commentary included on DVDs

Movie lovers watching DVDs have long enjoyed bonus materials included on the discs, such as commentary from directors and stars, deleted scenes, and blooper reels. 

So another byproduct of the downfall of DVDs is the sidelining of such extra features. The New York Times reported that "major studios have scaled back" producing these features, especially as DVD sales have slid.

Many students of cinema have decried the decline of these features, as they traditionally gave audiences a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of movie-making.

"One day, they, too, will go the way of the VHS and Laserdisc, and their loss will be an infinitely greater one," Alexander Larman wrote on The Critic.

Throughout much of film history, you needed to head to the movie theater to witness blockbuster-level spectacle or quality-made media. Traditional Hollywood movies were just where the money was. 

Streaming has altered audience perceptions of where quality entertainment resides. In 2020, two Netflix films — "Marriage Story" and "The Irishman" received Oscar nods. Meanwhile, HBO has poured $20 million per episode into "The House of the Dragon," the much-anticipated spinoff of mega-hit "Game of Thrones."

November 21, 1980, was a memorable day in television history. On that day, 350 million viewers switched on the primetime soap opera "Dallas" to discover what character shot fictional oil tycoon J.R. Ewing, who had been gunned down in a cliffhanger the previous season. 

The conclusion to the "Who shot J.R.?" arc was an example of what is now called "event television," or a television program pulling out all the stops with plot twists and must-watch developments in order to earn live views.

These days, with the advent of streaming, such moments are rarer and rarer. Audiences can now consume media at their own pace. So, when the fourth season of Netflix's blockbuster hit "Stranger Things" aired in 2022, the streaming service measured the premier by views occurring over its opening weekend, rather than the moment it dropped. 

As a result, the Hollywood Reporter found in 2019 that Nielsen numbers have dropped for years, as broadcast and cable television and a spate of new streaming services have cannibalized one another. 

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider's parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.