I love all you can eat buffets. I mean, sure, there’s always the issue of there not being enough turn over and things getting stale, but I still absolutely love them.
It’s not even as much about the all-you-can eat aspect, although the single price for a meal no matter how much you eat is definitely appealing to me. It’s more because of the wealth of items that are available for consumption, things, that in many cases, I might not order off a normal menu becaues I have no interest in having a full dinner of it.
In other words, I love trying new things. I just don’t always want to be stuck with them.
My feelings about food are pretty similar to how I feel about most things. Movies, television, books, music, video games…I’ve, in the past, been hesitant about purchasing new items in any of these categories because of being stuck with a bad egg…this isn’t necessary today.
We live in a pretty cool time, specifically with the internet at our fingertips. I mean, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, they all allow me to watch whatever it is I might want to watch at whatever time I want. No longer do I have to pay exorbitant amounts of money in order to have five billion channels, only to turn on the TV and have absolutely no idea what I might be interested in watching. Instead, I have a whole list of things I want to watch, and I simply have to pick whatever it might be at that given moment. My filmed entertainment is now available to be consumed on my schedule, and for a fraction of the price…
Music also has some pretty cool options in this arena as well…although if I were a musician, I would be afraid of how much music is devalued today…Seriously..why pay for any music when you can simply do a search for the song on youtube or spotify, or any other number of absolutely legal methods. Even outside of those options, though…you have Pandora (and other similar options like Songza and IHeartRadio) which changes the radio game for good. Just pick a style of music you want to listen to, and you’ll be hooked up for as long as you’ve got an internet connection. And then there are services like Amazon’s music service where you actually have a whole host of albums available for you as though you actually own them.
Video games….well…honestly, these are actually, in many ways, getting worse, when you look at all the micropayments that are getting introduced everywhere. But there are still pretty cool services like Gamefly that are available to allow you to rent all you want for a standardized price.
Heck, even my local movie store is trying to get in on the all-you-can-eat pricing structure action…although I haven’t actually subscribed to their service, it’s tempting even for the few times we hazard out there for movies not available for our subscription fees at home.
And books! Well, I mean, the library has always been there as something of a subscription service for books (which just so happened to be free…well, you know, ignoring that tax money that would go to support them). But now we’ve got things like Oyster, Scribd, and Kindle Unlimited that put hundreds of thousands of books at our fingertips for almost nothing a month. It’s incredible!
There’s a lot of talk going on out there about how such services are devaluing art. And I mentioned that I see some reason to fear that specifically with music (as I’ve bought approximately 5 albums in the last as many years). But I actually think that although this might happen in the growth period, in reality, it will just cause us to value quality art that much more. The more we have available to imbibe, the more difficult it will be to find what we want. The more picky we’ll become. The more insistent we’ll become on quality.
I’m actually quite excited about the future of entertainment. Right now, there’s a lot going on that could be seen as a way for all of us to be acting as patrons of the arts. But most important is that these all-you-can-eat services aren’t just spreading out the wealth equally among all of the people offered on their services. The money is going to the people whose stuff is being used. The people who are created the art that’s wanted. We’re becoming patrons of the arts in one very simple manner…when we pay our monthly fee for these services, more and more of that money is going to the creators, instead of the people who own the pipelines.
And that’s a pretty big deal.
Now if only there were some way I could pay a monthly fee for my whiskey… 😉
Have fun out there!