Tuesday, July 25, 2006

blog this: Henry Jenkins on the future of TV

I think Henry Jenkins makes a good point about the evolution of TV (and why it's easy to mis-imagine the future)

Confessions of an Aca/Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins: Catching Up: The Future of Television: "We picked up the July 17 issue of Newsweek, belatedly, and read an interesting article discussing what current network media consumption. The opening paragraphs, though, really annoyed me:

A guy--let's call him Brad--longed for the company of his wife, so he took his iPod to bed. Confiding in an NBC researcher, Brad tells how he inserted his earplugs, nestled down beside his bride and got lost in an episode of 'The Office' or another of his favorite TV shows downloaded from the iTunes store. His wife, meanwhile, was riveted by her favorite show playing on the bedroom TV. Yet another intimacy-challenged couple dialed up the heat on their relationship during the college basketball playoffs, say researchers for Verizon, the cellular-service giant. No fan of hoops, the wife snuggled up to her basketball-craving husband on the living-room couch, unfolded her cell phone and watched video clips streaming from Verizon's VCast service while he tuned in the game on CBS. 'She thought it would be a good way to spend time together,' says Ryan Hughes, Verizon's chief media programmer.

There's a kind of outrage here that people might be sitting side by side in bed and consuming different media content. Now, substitute books or magazines for television content and see if you feel this same level of shock and awe. I think we'd think it a little odd if the couple always coordinated the books they took to bed with them. As my wife points out, in the old days, the wife would have been banished from the room while her husband watched the big game, so, yes, there is some element of togetherness, snuggling down physically together, even if you are in different mental spaces. In any case, other research on television suggests that while homes may have multiple televisions, only one set is on during prime time in most households because we still prefer to watch television content socially rather than individually and the shows that do best are those that give us content we can talk about with others."

1 comment:

  1. How does he manage to find all the time to write, and why aren't more people commenting?? dana boyd gets way more love.



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