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Stan Lee, an exceptional individual who helped to create remarkable characters like Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, and the X-Men, passed away last week at the age of 95. He was a comic book writer and more importantly, revolutionized the comic book industry. In his stories, the superheroes are more relatable. They go through hardships that normal people experiences, that the readers experiences. For example, he created a new superteam, The Fantastic Four, that broke the tradition of flawless, impeccable superheroes. He targeted his audiences well, and as a result, helped Marvel in becoming an important pillar in Hollywood.

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Flipping on the television, powering up a gaming device, and relaxing on the couch has become a routine for millions of people around the globe—in fact, it’s estimated that more than 1.8 billion people are playing video games worldwide on a range of devices from smartphones, to game consoles and computers.  In the US alone, there are 2,858 video game companies and 65,678 workers within those companies based on Forbes estimates.  According to Newzoo, these people along with the billions of players will help the market value grow 7.8 percent to $108.9 billion in 2017.  The major leader in the market is the mobile games sector, which accounts for 42 percent of revenue—$46.1 billion—and the profound interest from the Asia-Pacific market.  With the current growth expected to continue, the video game market is expected to reach $128.5 billion by the year 2020.

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In 2015, Netflix streamed 42.5 billion hours of programming an incredible rise from the "mere" 29 billion hours in 2014 with the numbers predicted to continue growing. This averages out to about 568 hours a person in 2015 or watching the 288 episode series of Criminal Minds two and a half times through. Currently, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are the three companies who hold the most stock in streaming however by 2019 Apple and Disney are predicted to get into the running as well. Since streaming has become a daily occurrence for many people, multiple companies are investing more money into the service. Recently, many of the streaming platforms have begun to produce their own shows in hopes of raising their income. Netflix predicts they will spend about $8 billion on filming and producing original content in 2018 and Apple estimating about $1 billion to be spent on their own shows. Additionally, there are fewer restrictions on the content they can display which is a large draw for many since the censorship guidelines, for live television, have been ridiculed as being “too strict” in the past.

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The economics of the music industry have completely changed in recent years as sales of physical copies and online downloads have changed to online viewing websites and streaming subscriptions through companies such as Spotify and Pandora. The music industry is clearly rising, as in the first half of 2017, music industry revenues have reached four billion dollars, compared to the midway point in 2015 with revenue of three billion dollars.  Subscriptions to online streaming websites are accounting for an increasing percentage of total music industry proceeds. Returns from subscriptions to companies such as Spotify or Apple Music have increased by sixty-one percent from 2016, and American subscribers to streaming music sites now equal thirty million people.  

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Part three of our transport manufacturing blog series examines recent trends in the global film industry. 

In recent years, the global film industry has undergone major changes due to increased globalization and the overall growth of the middle class. In the past, two-thirds of box office revenue was generated by the United States alone, but this is no longer the case. Today, 70% of this revenue is generated outside of the U.S., and this is leading to major changes in the way that films are produced and distributed around the world.

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Throughout the past ten years, the music industry has increasingly embraced digital media formats for music distribution. The adaptability of business models to the digital format, however, has been volatile at best. When methods of distribution for music were primarily physical—vinyls, tapes, and CDs—record labels had more control over their product and how it would be consumed by the masses. As the music industry becomes more decentralized and more streaming services are popping up, a power struggle is occurring between record and indie labels, recording artists, and consumers over the value of music in this day and age.

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When looking at the composition of the world over the past years, it is not hard to see that the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. If you look at a basic product, it is more than likely that the product you are looking at is made from components in various parts of the world. This increasing economic integration called globalization is having profound effects on many countries. Advances in transportation and telecommunications, including the rise of the Internet, are major factors contributing to globalization that have generated further economic interdependence and universal cultural activities. However, these are certainly not the only factors contributing to globalization. Today, I will show you how the entertainment industry has been a major driver of globalization.

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The music industry incorporates many individuals, more than just those that write the music or perform it. It’s an intricate web of producers, record labels, retailers, managers, and a plethora of other careers that can come about just from music. The music industry has really transformed over the years. In the late 19th century, it was sheet music that brought in the most profits. However in the mid-20th century, records (vinyl, 8 track, cassette, cd, digital) overtook sheet music as the main source of income. In recent years, live music has really taken off. Earlier in the blog series we talked about piracy as potentially being detrimental to the entertainment industry. Nowhere does that ring truer than in music. Illegal downloading has really hurt profits, yet on the other hand it has opened up more avenues to find new artists and possibly buy music and merchandise that wouldn’t have been purchased before. While there are a lot of worries in this industry, some countries are seeing a continued growth. However partly because of the piracy issue, partly because of the digital age of the single, record sales just aren’t enough anymore to keep many in the music industry afloat. So what can be done for the industry?

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It is no secret that the entertainment industry is undergoing massive changes (just like any other industry) with the rise of the internet and new technology. In part 2 of our blog series, we talked about how the industry has had a huge increase in pirating. I think there’s no doubt that increase is largely due to the internet making pirating much easier. While that’s one way that increased technology has negatively harmed the industry, there are many positive ways that technology is helping the entertainment industry.

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The entertainment industry has many different facets, and each country seems to have their own spin on each of these. One thing that seems to be universally enjoyed by every culture is live music. There really is nothing quite like it. Mp3 players and stereos are great, but nothing can replace seeing your favorite band live in concert. The music industry thrives off of this desire. Artists from all different countries plan world tours and plan shows in some of the world’s most impressive venues. Concerts have become their very own version of business. With fans willing to spend such a premium to see their idols, concert venues have turned into extremely lucrative buildings. There are some venues that truly stand above the rest, and make concerts that much better. Here are just a few of the world’s most captivating concert venues:

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For just about as long as any living person can remember, Bollywood and Hollywood have both been producing movies and been dominating their respective countries and audiences.  As far as Bollywood goes, many people in the U.S. view this burgeoning industry as a distant neighbor (although Bollywood was created 11 years before Hollywood, in the 19th century no less) of our hallowed Hollywood. In some sad cases people think it is just a misspelling of Hollywood.  With both Hollywood and Bollywood having already survived over a century each and the massive trend towards globalization, most people would think the similarities between the two would be great.  In actuality, the difference is vast.

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While the global entertainment industry may appear to be thriving, there are serious threats to its long-term prosperity.  Many countries have been accused of failing to effectively protect intellectual property rights.  Some businesses may be forced to reduce global marketing and sales efforts if this trend continues.  An article in the globalEDGE Business Review estimated that worldwide counterfeiting has increased from $6 billion in the 1980s to over $600 billion today.  Even the most prosperous of businesses would struggle to cope with such overwhelming losses.

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A quick look around the globe can show you that the continued growth in emerging markets have led to rapid changes in many industries. One of the industries that many people seem to overlook is the entertainment industry. Global entertainment is actually in the crosswinds of many trends that have changed (and will continue to change) the face of entertainment.

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Senegal is one of the world's poorest countries (17th to be exact), where the average annual income is $980 according to the World Bank's latest figures. This is increasingly concerning as their major industry, fishing, is declining due to over-fishing and intense competition from Asia. But there is a booming industry which is primed for growth and provides investment opportunities in Senegal, and I would say most people wouldn't be able to guess what it is. That industry is wrestling, and it is starting to grow much more popular than football (soccer) in the country. It used to be a pastime of the farmers in the region, who could only work on farming during the rainy season. When they came to the cities to work, they found there was quite an audience ready to watch them wrestle, a traditional African sport which has transformed to take on elements of martial arts and boxing. Now, a winner of a big Lutte (as the Senegalese call it) match can make up to 100 million West African CFA francs ($205,000)! Some bigger names will even make a lot just by participating.

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Richard Gelfond, co-CEO of IMAX, talks about the company's decision to sign a contract with a company in China due to the potential the country holds.

This deal is expected to increase profits for IMAX and the film industry in general. Furthermore, it will be helpful to the Chinese economy as it introduces a new product to the market with the potential for success.

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Spain has the highest unemployment rate out of all developed European Countries. One region that is in desperate need for new investments and jobs is Aragon. Therefore, the parliament has decided to approve a law to allow the construction of a casino city in the countryside near Ontinena. The following video gives details about The Gran Scala project.