The scientific article has essentially become the only way science is systematically represented in the world. … If you control access to the scientific literature, it is, to all intents and purposes, like controlling science. (Buranyi, 2017)
Academic publishing across all fields dictates the progress of a discipline and the current state of the work in that discipline. Academics who hope to achieve tenure and build a reputation in their field must, to some extent at least, follow the practices of publishing as a necessary component of publicizing the work that they do and becoming known for it. The control that the industry of academic publishing has on the work being published comes out of a long history of academics sharing their research and how the process became commercialized. If you do or hope to publish your research, it is useful to know how the process works so you'll be best prepared when the time comes.
Informal survey of bibliometric data from 2016 (Scopus, owned by Elsevier): 1.9 million articles published internationally in 2016