Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thomas Rakowitz: TV - Adapting For Tomorrow

Today I will be discussing how television is adapting to cope with the new media that we have today, adapting with what we have and see how it integrates with the film industry and the Internet. In 1956, two thirds of the United States population had purchased televisions. As of 2008, it is estimated that there are 327 million television sets. That is quite the jump, but not all of those televisions are being used how they used to. Where televisions in the old days were more of family gathering places, television has seemingly been replaced with computers, video games, and other forms of new media. The fact that television shows can now be watched on the Internet doesn’t help either.

But the industry is adapting to this. Putting a lot of priority on user-generated shows that involve voting has brought in huge audiences, such as America’s Got Talent. There are even shows that are using the audience to create the show. Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, is working on a show for Current TV, called “The Creation Project”. It could lead to a surge in how shows play out, and what it means to really write shows.

Along with new shows, the television industry is adapting with technology. Netflix and TV’s with Internet capabilities are flooding the market, changing the way we use them. Netflix allows us to watch movies that can be downloaded directly to the TV, if we so choose and are capable of doing so. TV’s that can access the Internet have apps to keep consumers updated without having to reach for their mobile phone or laptop.

As television adapts, the consumers change their demands. The television industry will adapt, but it is looking as if they are keeping up a good pace.


The class seemed to understand what I was talking about with the user-generated content business. I wish I could have been more helpful on the technology front when asked about the price of Google TV. I'm also glad to learn that there is a productive user-generated content channel within Current TV.

For this project, I learned about how old forms of media inform new media. It seems to me that old protocols and decisions about content are reflected in how we observe new media. The idea to keep certain regulations, borrow others from different industries, and the sharing of audiences come from our old forms of media. The user-generated content came from the audience's need to have their input matter and the industry's need to make cheaper shows.

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