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Killing TV

"Strategists must today work amid fragmentation, divergence, and opposition in the market: to optimize across nascent and long-standing business models; across new and traditional release windows; with old and new content programmers; and with both IP and traditional supply chains. This is the beginning of the end of television as we know it and the future will only favor those who prepare today."

[Excerpt from study on the future of television, published by IBM March 27, 2006; reprinted in Media Work 2007]

Interestingly, the opposite tendencies are also evident in the way that people are using networked and social technologies... audiences are coalescing around the virtual water cooler daily.

Personally, I watch all TV on the internet, and as many episodes back to back as are available. Example: I watched the entire first season of True Blood over three days in June. A year late, but I didn't have to wait week to week. And now, during the lull between seasons 2 and 3, I am not anxiously anticipating the next installment, I am absorbing other media and will eventually forget about that show.

[On the topic of True Blood... though the initial advertising was genius, the rest of the related materials sucks...because it breaks the 4th wall. Stop doing that! Shit, we KNOW it plays on HBO. Get over yourselves.]

The future is: continuous programming, timeless scheduling, varied duration, rich narrative universes populated by characters, institutions and users...all in the same world.

The future is not:
a comic book version to go with everything (collectors will collect anything, but story-crazed audience members want MORE, not repetition),

a website to register, watch clips, and take surveys (you can already find out anything you want to know about me that advertisers are interested in, why make me register?)

prize-motivated participation (prizes are nice, but what keeps me engaged in a story is CONSTANT INTERACTION, not (again) something I'll register for and forget about before I find out someone else has won that trip to Vegas)

in-world merch brought to you by HBO/NBC/whatever (note to authors: that KILLS the experience)

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