Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

Internet killed the video star

In 1979 The Buggles released Video Killed the Radio Star, a song celebrating the golden days of radio, and the career of a radio star cut short by the advent of television. It was not long before TV (and MTV) did indeed kill most, although not quite all, radio stars.

The radio had its day before. The 1940s to 1960s were important ages when the radio became the primary mass medium, giving birth to a new wave of stars. A new generation of hope was born as Europe rebuilt after the disaster and horror that was World War 2. The radio was there to report from every corner of the globe, and images of families sat before their set became famous the world over.

Technology evolves, and with it the rise of one new star often affects an aging and established one. The notion of new killing old is not in itself new. Cinema killed the theatre star. Sound movies led to the demise and fall of the silent star. TV killed the radio star. Will 3D kill 2D and traditional movies? Will CGI kill the stuntman?….. This debate could and will go on. It may also be interesting to see if internet use and social networks are affecting TV viewing time. As traditional TV consumers use the internet, especially facebook, spending several hours each evening in time that would have previously been used to watch TV, what effect has this already had and what impact will it have on TV viewing?

There is now a new desire for people to watch not just what they want, but when they want. This is nothing new; the video recorder offered exactly this, and later, but to a lesser extent, the recordable DVD. The difference here is the need to not just record your favourite TV show, or the movie, but more the ability to request it when you want to, and not have to remember to record it.

It is natural to assume that some TV habits will be more difficult to change: sports viewing. People want to watch the final of the World Series, or the Super Bowl, the Olympics finals when they happen, not afterwards. But the convergence of internet and TV will no doubt impact TV shows, the news (more people now watch 24 hour news channels than wait for the early evening or late night news at a set time). What has caused this shift? It is a consumer lead demand? As people work longer hours, or more flexible hours, so they cannot always access the TV when the conventional channel providers make their shows available. Or is it a supplier lead demand? A natural move to converge the internet, the news websites, downloads (internet and over the top services), tablets etc.

Whatever the answers, will internet be sounding the death knell of the television?


May 15, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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