Decade in Review: Media Edition

Over the past decade, popular media, as well as our method of consuming it has changed drastically.

Television and Film

The 2010s were the decade of streaming. In 2010, Blockbuster went out of business and paved the way for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. Netflix, in particular, took over the streaming industry, with subscriber numbers increasing from 19 million in 2010 to 114 million in 2019. Recently, more media companies have created their own streaming services, an example being Disney plus. Netflix also began to create their own content in 2013, starting with “House of Cards”, “Arrested Development”, and “Orange is the New Black”. The 2010s were also the decade that television classics such as “Parks and Recreation”, “Breaking Bad”, and “Game of Thrones” rose to incredible popularity. 

The 2010s were filled with blockbusters, live-action films, and resurrections of franchises. The Star Wars franchise saw a resurrection with the release of “The Force Awakens”, “Rogue One”, “The Last Jedi”, and “The Rise of the Skywalker”, as well as the live action show “The Mandalorian”. “The Avengers” franchise also came back in a big way, with “Avengers: Endgame” smashing box office records. With the increase in streaming, however, came a corresponding decrease in ticket sales. Compared to 2005, ticket sales in 2019 have gone down by almost 500 million sales a year, and box office numbers (adjusted for inflation) are nearly three billion dollars lower than they were in 2010.



The growing popularity of streaming has not been limited to television. The music industry has also seen a massive shift over to streaming platforms. At the start of the decade, most people listened to music from their iTunes library, or Pandora. But now, services like Spotify and Apple Music have completely taken over, with Spotify subscriptions increasing from 18 million in 2015 to 113 million in 2019.

The early 2010s were dominated by boy bands–One Direction, Twenty-One Pilots, and Five Seconds of Summer just to name a few. In addition to these names, several former Disney Stars such as Selena Gomez, Miley Cirus, and Ariana Grande rose to pop superstardom. However, perhaps the largest shift of the 2010s was towards rap and hip hop music. Drake has become the biggest name in music, recording the largest streaming numbers of any artist, and artists like Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, and Travis Scott have become incredibly popular, breaking Billboard chart records themselves. In addition to this, the Soundcloud rap subculture became much more popular, spawning the careers of Lil Yachty, Lil Pump, and JuiceWRLD, just to name a few. These artists have also taken over the Billboard charts, with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” setting a record for most weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.