The Norman Lear Center at the Annenberg School for Communication at USC. The Future of Television? Marissa Gluck and Meritxell Roca Sales. Sept 2008. <http://188.8.131.52/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=cache:DW7Vx0zemikJ:www.learcenter.org/pdf/FutureofTV.pdf+hulu+%2B+television>
Sales and Gluck’s research shows how users are consuming content online and how their viewing habits on television are changing. The report cites Nielson, writing that television is still the medium with which consumers spend the most time engaged. Despite this, television ratings are dropping. Sales and Gluck examine why this has occurred. They assert that due to all of the new platforms for watching television—the Internet, mobile phones, DVRS—audiences are becoming more fragmented. Media companies need to take a better look at how this affects their ad dollars and if there are better metrics that need to be used to measure audience members. Sales and Gluck argue that media companies and advertisers are recognizing the new opportunities to be had online. Networks are even becoming more flexible in terms of business plan, the researchers argue, by NBC Universal and News Corporation putting aside their differences and aggregating all of their material and creating Hulu, a bigger site that is a real contender in the online video world. This venture is just one example of the new media used to exploit the television-Internet connection. Though the future of TV is uncertain, this proves that television executives are making a push to stay current. Sales and Gluck cite four strategies that channels are using to ensure viewers: event programming (so that viewers watch live TV), variable length programming (becoming flexible with formats for every kind of screen), narrative sophistication (making audience members invested in the show) and brand integration (in order to battle ad-skipping technologies).
This study is important to my paper because it describes the predicament that television networks are in and presents solutions to their problems as well as strategies to keep their business afloat. Not only do Sales and Gluck give their opinion, but they also comment on current strategies that are working, such as Hulu, which is an important aspect of my paper. Talking about audience fragmentation, due to time and space shifting is integral because their comments will add to the strength of my thesis and the depth of my argument. They study many viewing patterns and include many charts and exact data, which I will have to examine in order to ensure that my argument has validity
Einav, Gali & John Carey. "Is TV Dead?." Televsion Quarterly Volume XXXVII - 2 (2007): 19-24.
In this journal article in Television Quarterly Gali Einav and John Carey argue that television is far from dead, in fact they believe this is the dawn of the “Golden Age of Media.” Einav and Carey assert that the coming of new technologies, most importantly the Internet, does not mark the demise of television, but opens a whole new door of opportunities for television networks, media providers and even consumers. At this turning point in television we have to re-evaluate what we think of as “television viewing” and what it means to “watch TV.” The burgeoning technology of the past decade has made television more accessible to the viewer, allowing them to watch their favorite shows when and where they want to. All of this new media is not replacing television, in fact, as Comscore noted, the amount of unique television streamers doubled in the past year, while traditional television viewers also increased. Einav and Carey argue that this is due to the rise in multitasking. A whole new realm of television viewing online has opened now that networks are offering full-length television shows. They also note a study done by nbc.com’s Rewind viewer player, that shows that most of television streaming online has been done at night, much like the habits of watching primetime television. These viewers are not forgoing primetime TV, but are instead, using it as a platform to catch up on their favorite shows or to watch in bed if their spouse is watching an alternate program on television. They note that professional content from networks is dominating the rise of streaming video online, benefiting those broadcasters. The television business is not dead, but the environment where people watch, and they time they watch it is shifting.
This article is important for my paper because it supports the idea that TV is still alive and well. Einav and Carey acknowledge that time and space shifting is going on, but they do not see this as a bad thing, something which I also argue. They also discuss how NBC is using new metrics to study the habits of streaming video online, which is important to my paper and the patterns of shifted television consumption. I argue that networks need to be aware of these new formats and find different ways to take advantage of these opportunities, which Einav and Carey also support, and elaborate on, giving many insightful thoughts about the television industry today.
NBC Universal and News Corporation (22 Mar 2007) NBC Universal and News Corp. Announce Deal with Internet Leaders AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo! to Create A Premium Onion Video Site with Unprecedented Reach. Press Release. Retrieved on 3 Apr 2009.<http://www.hulu.com/press/new_video_venture.html>
This press release announces NBC Universal and News Corporation’s joint venture, Hulu.com. The two corporations banded together in order to create the largest high-quality Internet video distribution website. The site contains hours of programming, including full-length television shows and movies from the NBC Universal and News Corporation libraries, clips, and other content from different media companies. The press release notes that the site wanted to have a broad reach so they partnered with AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo! in order to assure a large distribution field. All of the content on Hulu.com will be free, no matter where or how it is accessed. The content will have embedded commercials, but they will but much shorter than on traditional television. The executives stressed that they want to be able to give consumers high quality programming when they want, where they want it. The site will also contain a user-generated type of experience by allowing individuals to cut up videos, create playlists, discover online communities and make mash-ups. The networks developed this functions so that viewers can have an interactive experience with their favorite television shows and movies. This website is the networks acknowledgement that television on the Internet is a reality and they need to start changing with the times, while retaining copyright on their intellectual property.
This press release is important to my paper because it gives a look into what NBC Universal and News Corp. were attempting to do when they created Hulu.com. It is important because it shows a great step in the television industry, since the networks are recognizing that there is more that needs to be done and they should embrace time and space shifting instead of rejecting it. Hulu is a very important example of convergence in my paper and this press release gives a great overview of the site. This also supports my thesis because the release in no way cites the end of television, but only an extended part of its future.