Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Web Design & Development

Entertainment on the Web

  • Print
  • + Share This
When it comes to entertainment, the Internet functions best as a resource for entertainment information and distribution, not as entertainment itself. Chaz Austin looks at the relationship of the Internet and Hollywood.
Like this article? We recommend

According to the 2001 UCLA Internet Report, arguably the definitive study on Internet usage and its effects on our culture, the five most popular online activities are these:

  1. Emailing and instant messaging (IM)

  2. Browsing

  3. Buying

  4. Finding entertainment information

  5. Reading news

So where is the category called "Entertainment on the Web"? What happened to Hollywood's promise of the Web as the new entertainment medium, supplanting movies and TV? As a 10-year-veteran of the "industry" (that would be the interactive multimedia, multimedia, digital media, interactive, or Internet industry, depending on what we're calling it this week), I've been hearing that promise and the hype surrounding it (I'm talking about Hollywood, after all) for almost that long. Yet it still hasn't materialized.

While there are still sites dedicated to providing online entertainment— and, to name two—and eye candy (, some of the more memorable failures have included P.O.P. (Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, et al), Icebox, Warner's Entertaindom, Digital Entertainment Network, and AOL's Entertainment Asylum.

In most cases, they failed for these reasons:

  • "The market wasn't ready."

  • There wasn't a "sustainable business model." (Translation: They couldn't find enough advertisers to stem the dollars they were burning through every month.)

  • "Not enough homes had broadband."

Broadband has long been touted as the Internet's "killer app" by the entertainment community. The belief (more accurately, hope) has been that sufficient broadband penetration in the marketplace would mean that rich media content (movies, TV shows, concerts, and so on) could be streamed and downloaded to millions of homes on a subscription or fee basis, bypassing movie theatres, TV and cable networks, and video stores. According to the model, this would usher in a new age of entertainment and entertainment distribution, in which consumers would be able to deal directly with the sources. No more middlemen. "You want entertainment? Click here, and get what you want, when you want it. Commercial-free, right on your PC. And then all you have to do is sit back and relax."

But wait—who sits back and relaxes on his or her PC? Item number 4 on the UCLA Internet Report is "finding entertainment information," not "entertainment."

We do not sit in front of our PCs to be entertained; we sit there to communicate, learn, and buy. Those activities require us to do something. One of the joys of television and movies is that they require us to do nothing.

The Internet wasn't designed as an entertainment medium, nor does it work very well as one. It's really more like an "entertainment pit stop": You visit an AM/PM at your local ARCO station to buy gas, pick up a newspaper to learn the show times for a movie you want to see, and buy snacks to enjoy at the movie—but you don't stay there to have fun. You buy groceries at the supermarket, but you don't cook them there. You obtain information about the clothes you want to buy at, but you have to go to the store to feel the fabric and try them on. The Internet functions very well as the place you go to learn where to find entertainment, but it's not where you stay to enjoy it.

Hollywood needs to realize that the Internet will function best not as a passive entertainment medium such as movies or TV, but in one of the following ways:

  • A place to research information about entertainment

  • The platform for interactive entertainment (users are actively participating)

  • An entertainment marketing medium

  • A distribution medium (the place where viewers collect content rather than watch it)

Researching Entertainment

For people who work in entertainment, the Web has become the preferred place to research information about the entertainment business. I know studio executives and theatrical agents who increasingly rely on the Internet. When they're checking the credits of someone involved in the "industry," (if you work in Hollywood, there is only one "industry"), the Internet Movie Database is their definitive source.

Among others, there are also available on a subscription basis; Box Office News; and

And the online subscription versions of the two "must-read" daily trade papers, and, deliver the latest news and gossip to my colleagues much faster than do the printed versions.

Other useful sites include these:

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020