Friday, February 4, 2011

Disposable Media

Sorry for the long pause. I've been trying to write this post for a long time but it keeps getting away from me before I even get to the meat of what I want to talk about. But hopefully this time I'll pull it off.

In Radio and TV, the main draw for an audience that is counted on is novelty. That's why it's no longer the case that half the year you get a new shows and the other half you get repeats. Instead you get new shows most of the year except for those periods where the audience is expected to be minimal at best. The effect of this is that most media is created as disposable media.

There are a few problems with this. The first is that the plug gets pulled way to easily. We've seen this with shows like Family Guy and Futurama. The second is that when a show gets thrown away without repeats to drive sales, that last season may not see a DVD release. The third is that Gimmick shows abound, because they can string people along for a season, and get good enough ratings. Another is that shows that have managed to stick get kept around way to long, rather then being allowed to go out on a high note, and they get imitated past the point of saturation.

Media should be made to be high quality and original. As a kid I watched so much TV from before I was born, I doubt today's kids will, or will even get the chance. The powers that be will never see the value of some of the media out there, and they will never give it the chance to demonstrate that for itself. Was the return of Futurama and Family Guy a fluke?

I think ultimately it will be the ad agencies themselves, if anyone, who breaks us out from this cycle. They've already learned to go harvest from independents for their Ad music, they'll even give away (sometimes) the music they made as an exercise in building brand loyalty. How long before they do the same with TV type content.

In an ideal world we would have something like the BBC, who take chances see what people really like and go with it. Oh and if they show only produces 6 episodes a year, whatever. I'm not sure if the BBC is profitable, or if they are that that model would ever really fly as a model for the world. The one thing that is certain is that, in the age of new media, the TV and Radio stations are no longer the guardians of what people can find. independent media is out there. go find some, and if you find something you like, PLEASE, spread the word.

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