They need a new business model. When people are downloading music and movies and software for free, what are they still paying for? Media companies could perhaps be paying their artists as content providers and asking the consumer to pay x per month for internet access and letting everything you find be free.
'course, they'd have to make the internet properly functional as a content delivery system, which it isn't at the moment. At the moment people can hunt up what they like and have some sense of ownership because they put in the effort to find, or crack, or steal it. And downloading, even with good internet deals, takes time. It feels like you worked for your theft so it's yours.
Then again, it's all moot until some version of server/client or maybe cloud tech is, if ever, an adequate replacement for saving your own copy to your own hard disk. Streaming is, and perhaps always will be (?), a pain in the posterior. City-wide wifi?
Can't remember the last time I paid for content. Years ago. But I pay for my phone every few months and for my internet once a year, like clockwork.
Apparently spending on these industries has actually stayed pretty consistent. Take music as an example - in that industry the trend is that people buy less and less music overall and download more for free. But this drop in spending has been taking place alongside an increase in spending on concerts and merchandise. It's just the content industry that is suffering, and no surprise really - it's consistently proven itself incapable of adapting to today's marketplace and should either reinvent itself, and quickly, or be allowed to die.
I stole this information from a Wired article that was a part of the blackout thing, I think it's this one http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/sopa-piracy-costs/