Console-ing Passions abstract

Hey world:

I’ve been biting it hard trying to write my abstract for Console-ing passions… have finally come up with something. This has NOT been well worked or thought through, but due to some personal circumstances, I completely ran out of time. As always, any thoughts gratefully appreciated.

______

How Technology Is Changing Television

The rise of television viewing and reception technologies in the past fifteen years has been well documented. Most studies that have discussed televisual technology in recent time have focussed on how audiences have adopted and adapted these technologies. This paper is interested in how televisual content might have changed in order to make use of, or to counter the effects of newly available technologies.

While they are not new forms, the past fifteen years has seen an increase in cult and quality television programming, as well as the development and success of reality television. Series such as Lost or Supernatural reward chronological viewing of every episode, allowing a form of forensic fandom on one level, and allowing more casual viewers to catch up if they choose to. DVRs, DVDs, peer-to-peer filesharing and online on-demand viewing all offer varying levels of time-shifting to give the viewer a greater level of control, but also allowing producers greater room for world-building.

Reality television has worked in an inverse manner, providing opportunities for television networks to maintain live-viewing audiences, retaining ratings in a fragmented mediascape. The loss of advertising revenue from the new technologies can be somewhat recouped through product integration and audience retention for live or as-live programming.

While the success of these programming styles might be seen as coincidental with the rise of these technologies, I posit that there is a direct causal relationship between them, and highlight how network executives and producers have made full use of these new viewing practices with shifting content models.

 

-edit-

So I did a little more work on it, and submitted. I’m not sure if I hold particularly high hopes of success – as @fymaxwell pointed out very correctly on Twitter, this does not really fit into the Console-ing Passions model (although I have made a half-hearted attempt to make it relevant to the Asia Pacific region, and would do more work in that area should it go to a full length paper). Plus, I’m just not very happy with it. But, for posterity, or whatever – my final submission:

 

How Television Content Is Changing With Technology

 

The rise of television viewing and reception technologies in the past fifteen years has been well documented. Most studies that have discussed televisual technology in recent time have focussed on how audiences have adopted and adapted these technologies. This paper is interested in how television executives and producers have modified televisual content in order to make use of, or to counter the effects of newly available technologies. Some of these new technologies have also opened up new distribution models, allowing content from smaller markets such as New Zealand to enjoy international sales in excess of what was previously likely.

While they are not new forms, the past fifteen years has seen an increase in cult and quality television programming, as well as the development and success of reality television. Series such as Lost or Supernatural reward chronological viewing of every episode, allowing a form of forensic fandom on one level, but also allowing more casual viewers to catch up if they choose to. DVRs, DVDs, peer-to-peer filesharing and online on-demand viewing all offer varying levels of time-shifting to give the viewer a greater level of control, but also allowing producers greater room for world-building.

Reality television has worked in an inverse manner, providing opportunities for television networks to maintain live-viewing audiences, retaining ratings in a fragmented mediascape. The loss of advertising revenue from the new technologies can be somewhat recouped through product integration and audience retention for live or as-live programming.

While the success of these programming styles might be seen as coincidental with the rise of these technologies, I posit that there is a direct causal relationship between them, and I highlight how network executives and producers have made full use of these new viewing practices with shifting content models.

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