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Jun 09

Big Media Meets Online

  1. Each of the products mentioned in these articles are instances of media that is commonly distributed through one form being distributed through the Internet on a much different scale and in a way that the companies who formerly ran the system are highly against.  The first article is about a company called Aereo which allows users to watch live TV on their computers for a small subscription fee, without compensating the large media companies that run these channels, such as CBS and Comcast.  The next article is about iTunes and the MP3 file format that revolutionized the music industry.  Specifically, it addresses industry concerns with illegal distribution of music, but contradicts this by explaining Apple’s use of the same technology that record companies attempted and failed to, to become successful.  The second-to-last article describes a new marketing program by Amazon for the vinyl records sold on its website in which it includes the digital MP3s for every track on the record.  This mirrors the habit by consumers to rip CDs that they buy right away, without requiring them to purchase advanced hardware.  The final article speaks of how YouTube has reached its 8th anniversary.  At this point in time, 4 days worth of videos are posted every minute.  There are cool services that are being released, such as Telecast, which compile YouTube videos based on a taste survey, into a single newscast style video which it shows on a user’s mobile device.
  2. Vocabulary Words
    1. Broadcast: transmit radio signals: to transmit a program or information on television or radio
    2. Influence: special advantage: the power or authority that comes from wealth, social status, or position
    3. Ripping: Ripping is the process of copying audio or video content to a hard disk, typically from removable media such as compact disc (CD) or DVD, although the word refers to all forms of media.
    4. Discoverable: capable of being seen, got knowledge of, learned of, found, or found out; capable of providing gained sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown)
  3. Big media reinterpreting itself online means that mainstream media that is ubiquitous on certain platforms today is moving to an online platform to expand its user base and accessibility.  Aereo is making TV, a traditional medium of media, accessible online.  iTunes and Amazon have made music, a medium that is normally accessible through physical recordings (records, audio tapes, CDs) or radio, accessible through online stores, which, in the case of Amazon, accompany the physical recordings.  Finally, YouTube is making videos as a whole accessible to the general public in a way that was previously impossible due to the commercialization of media.  This is not all that comparable to any previous medium, but a spinoff of it, Telecast, is.  This puts together a custom compilation of videos that interest the user, which is a lot more personal and effective than newscasts aired by commercial media companies.
  4. Each of the products described here is forcing/encouraging/allowing media to be accessible online, beyond simply in a traditional way.  Aereo is allowing people to take live TV with them.  It is no longer something that is exclusively for the large TV in the living room.  This means that the stereotype that watching TV is characterized by laziness may be nullified.  iTunes has created a very highly protected segment of the music industry that is exclusive and highly controlled.  This means that the vital structure to future media sale services will be this sort of privatization, rather than the open source philosophy that early Internet users, companies and formats fostered.  Finally, YouTube has created a system using which it is significantly easier for people to access to the sharing of personal information through the video format.  Furthermore, it fosters increased narrow-mindedness among people, as it allows these people to gather just the information that they desire rather than ideas that they don’t specifically agree with.
  5. Changes in culture and behavior have been summarized above.  Another problem with this is that in the future, personal information about people will be all to accessible due to the increased capability of sharing provided by these services.  This may not always be a problem, but privacy is very important in many situations.