What New Media has to do with the way we watch TV now? What’s different from 20, 30, 40 years ago? In the 50’s shows like “I Love Lucy” and “The Honeymooners” began captivating an early audience and people got information about their favorite shows through TV Guide, which in turn the magazine became the most popular vehicle to advertise TV shows, selling billions of copies (TV Guide, 2011).
The 70’s and 80’s saw a brig progress with the invention of cable, VCR’s and video game consoles. People were able to view more shows along with the ability of recording them and reviewing in them at any time (Monaghan, 2012). TV itself became the new media to spread information and advertise, along with printed material.
The Internet in the mid 90’s brought the breaking point in technology and what it emerged as new media. A new technological change emerged and with the spread of the personal computer, people soon saw information at their fingertips (Monaghan, 2012). Later, DVD players, LCD TVs, and digital technology such as TiVo, forever changed how we see TV. Nowadays we are able to video record, pause, rewind and fast forward live TV, we are able to download movies from the Internet to our TV’s and we can even watch a movie from mobile devices.
TV shows also became interactive where the audience is able to determine the plot’s outcome by ‘voting’ through text messages with their cell phones. No longer we rely on a single source to get information about our favorite show. We can record it, download it, buy the music tracks through iTunes, and make our own version of it in YouTube. TV shows producers also have the opportunity to connect with their fans immediately through social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, allowing them to form communities that evolve about their love for the actors and the show.
Take for example Glee, a musical comedy series from the Fox network that aired in 2009, becoming a huge success in a short period of time. The show that features the daily life of a group of friends at a high school, all determined to practice a musical show for a big competition, benefits from new media to promote and sell music and merchandise about the show. After the show airs on Tuesdays, people can see the full episode again via TV On Demand or online on their Website. However to see the newest episode online, the episode automatically ‘unlocks’ after eight days that aired on TV. Further, people can get the soundtracks in iTunes in advance and mobile devices right after the show airs.
The Glee Official Website (http://www.fox.com/glee/) besides of providing links to past episodes, users can shop for iPhone apps, Glee for Wii, assorted merchandise such as DVD’s, CD’s, books, and T-Shirts, among other items. Fans can also join the Glee Facebook page and follow them on Twitter among where people can also follow members of the cast individually (see image below). New media certainly has changed the way we watch TV by providing us instant access to our favorite shows, artists, and merchandise like never before. Not only we have access to it but we have the opportunity to interact through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest, and other social media tools with the main characters that once we thought, as many stars, unreachable for the regular person.
TV Guide [Photograph]. (2011). Retrieved April 15, 2012, from: http://www.historybyzim.com/2011/08/tv-guide/
Monaghan, E. (2012). Television through the decades and the ways it changed our world. Retrieved April 15, 2012, from Top ten reviews – Tech media network: http://www.techmedianetwork.com/our-brands/TopTenREVIEWS.html