Comics Creators

Are we nearing "Peak Entertainment"?


In 2015, FX’s CEO John Landgraf said he thought we were approaching “peak TV”:

We are nearing a point where there will be over 500 scripted shows per year. That figure doesn’t include the unscripted/reality shows. In addition to broadcast and cable there are various streaming sites to watch old and new content on different platforms. These various platforms also let you watch movies and documentaries.

Streaming music sites and the purchase of digital music stands next to terrestrial and satellite radio and physical media like CDs and vinyl.

You can not only buy or borrow physical books but read digital ones on a variety of devices.

Social media has also become a form of entertainment.

I looked in the latest Previews and saw pages upon pages of solicitations for comic books and wondered how 99% of these publishers stay in business.

All of this can add up to a large investment in time and money.

Video game systems also act as multimedia devices to watch movies or listen to music. Then there’s real life activities and social engagements to factor into a person’s schedule.

Access to entertainment content has exploded in the last decade to a point where there is more than one person can conceivably intake.

With TV, Landgraf predicted that in the next few years you would begin to see declines in original programming as there wasn’t enough audience to watch many of the shows.

Will we begin to see declines in other entertainment forms, too? Will we see consolidations of companies through mergers and some brand names disappear as they’re absorbed into the larger provider? It’s predicted that another comic book boom will come in the next few years but will it be with fewer publishers?

Basically, supply is exceeding demand. Are we going to see an entertainment “crash” in the next few years? What would that look like?



Three counterarguements:

  1. We have more entertainment time than ever before as people have fewer kids later in life, live more sedentary lifestyles and work less than before.
  2. We have more entertainment dollars than ever as disposable income increases with each passing year.
  3. Globalization means markets are expanding rapidly. You see this with only 30% of a Marvel movies revenue coming from the Us, and things like tens of millions watching shows like Game of Thrones.

Comics, music, TV and movies all are undergoing the same dynamics- a huge increase of choices as the expanding markets allow entry to wholly new enterprises.

Comics are hurt by traditional distribution. When they embrace digital they’ll thrive.

Music has already gone digital allowing thousands of artists to prosper that wouldn’t have otherwise. Though the total revenue of music has halved so not so many people getting super rich just off music sales.

TV will see advertisers leave as streaming and downloading become the norm. Live TV and event TV will have to compensate. That said, a show can sell to 100 countries so you just need to make the types of shows that appeal to mass markets.

Movie revenues increase year after year despite everything. I suspect profits are going down though as costs increase and foreign revenues are much of the source of growth.

To me all this will lead to the same conclusion: consolidation of media companies until only a few survive, and then lots of independent movements will appear as it’ll be easy to compete with the big companies. What we’re seeing right now in the craft beer and restaurant spaces is what we’ll see in all media. This is a good thing.


Peak entertainment is when you just grab a quick bite and log into your VR entertainment machine when you get home in the evening until you go to bed. It’s still probably ten years away.


What Jim said is what happened with professional wrestling. Interest peaked in the 90’s and now there’s one big fish and a bunch of smaller ones that have hopefully realized at this point what’s never going to happen.


So it turns out the Number of the Beast is merely our URLs…


And video games - I forgot those. Used to be Sony, Sega and Nintendo, now there’s small video game developers everywhere.

It’ll be a while before we reach peak entertainment. Hell, the Internet is still in its infancy in this market.