NBC To Broadcast The InternetNBC To Broadcast The Internet
April Fools'. (Though it's not a stretch to imagine a bunch of television execs sitting around the conference table, and one of them says, "Hey, I've got this great idea." Not.) All of which is a roundabout way of getting at the point that users of all media -- includes Web sites like this one -- want what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.
April 1, 2008
April Fools'. (Though it's not a stretch to imagine a bunch of television execs sitting around the conference table, and one of them says, "Hey, I've got this great idea." Not.) All of which is a roundabout way of getting at the point that users of all media -- includes Web sites like this one -- want what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.More important, these users couldn't care less what we -- the content producers -- think about how they should interact with our sites, TV programs, or music. This point was made most cogently by David Carr in The Times, in his column, You Want, You Click (No Wait).
Carr uses a trip to the Virgin Megastore as his stalking horse, contrasting the old folks picking through the CD bins with the young'uns checking out MP3s on the listening stations, so they can go home and download them later. Carr quotes Clay Shirky, a media professor at NYU, who puts his finger on it: "Music sellers, networks and movie studios are adjusting to a new paradigm where the customer is not only always right, but expects to be able to exercise that judgment with a flick of a finger." In my world, I've witnessed this behavior with my teenage daughter, who was sitting in front of her PC the other day watching every episode (seemed like it, anyway) of The Hills and Laguna Beach. (What, you don't know who Lauren Conrad is?) MTV has smartly posted all but the most recent shows, the better for consumers to watch what they want when they want. So what about One Tree Hill, I asked, since that's my daughter's big favorite? (Fortunately, high school as imagined by Hollywood is more of a bummer than it is in real life. I think.) Oh, those are streamed on the WB.com, she replied. What one takes away from all this is that TV as a standalone electronic fireplace in the living room, with predetermined viewing times, is dead. The networks apparently realize this, and, as best as I can tell, are doing a better job of trying to get in step with their audiences than either the music or the newspaper industries. True, no one's got all, or maybe any, of the answers. All we have are questions, but better we should all try out anything and everything as we grope towards this brave new media world, than be abandoned by potential customers who've been socialized to have the attention spans of gnats and the self-entitlement of British Royals. Because those customers are always right, and I love 'em for it. Like this blog? Subscribe to its RSS feed, here. For a mobile experience, follow my daily observations on Twitter. Check out my tech videos on this YouTube channel.
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