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“New” media’s effect on the traditional

June 11, 2010
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by Brian White

How is the emergence of “new” media effecting the ways media corporations are pushing their products? How is their content changing? How will media live in the future? We will use NBC as our platform for examining and dissecting this new media in seeing how it will live on as traditional media fades from the spotlight.

I have been reading a lot recently about the alternative options available to those looking to lower or even cut their expensive monthly cable bills. Although we discussed a rather effective manner already in class – calling and threatening Comcast that is- but I had heard that there were other options as well. Upon researching I came across what people are calling “cord-less” television. Verizon is leading the way with combo packages such as Fios Tv and Internet. So what exactly is this service and how does it replace your television?

Well, for most this means faster internet speeds, but more importantly less to no commercials. Jim Long, a devoted tech-head who has worked in the television business for the last 20 years has a blog dedicated to the emergence of new media and technologies. Long’s most recent post is on the emergence of this type of new media service. Long just purchased Fios, the internet and television service provided by Verizon Wireless. Long raves about the speed and ease of the service and wonders what effect it will have on the future of television.

Businesses are beginning to respond to this type of behavior as well. Although this platform of media sharing is far from tackling television, companies have recognized its potential and with the success of Hulu and Netflix Watch Instantly, television faces some serious threats. Companies such as Cross Tech Media, a technology innovaion company, have invested in their own online network. The Pulse Network isĀ  Cross Tech’s brain child and is one of a few online networks that are in their early stages on existence.

So what and how do these networks effect NBC? The Yankee Group just released a study that said within the next 12 months it predicts that 1 in 8 current cable customers will cut or reduce their existing service. I don’t know about you, but for me that seems like a big deal- then again I do not even have a television. However, it seems there are some doubters out there.

Mark Cuban claims, “the future of tv, is tv.” Cuban claims that if you follow the money you will see that there is no way alternatives such as Fios will dominate the cable market. He cites problems with streaming 3g and the increase in televisions per home as irrefutable evidence that cable is here to stay.

That brings us to NBC. What is NBC doing to respond? While Comcast pushes its “pay for tv” platform, what is NBC doing to respond to the demand for more online content? Well, for starters they have introduced a new website that will serve to inform consumers of its ongoing investments and advances in technology and online offerings. They have also held press conferences and news shows discussing their responses to social media. NBC has also responded with providing more online content for their existing shows.

In addition to providing a place for consumers to watch or, in theory, re-watch NBC content, the network has also started pushing additional material that exists only online. Webisodes, as they are called, are additional pieces of content that extend beyond the stories told in the actual sitcom itself. The award winning show The Office hosts its content here, and it includes additional stories and ongoing interactions between characters that were either briefly addressed on the show and the followed up with more in depth online, or were created entirely for online consumption.

Go here, for an example of a webisode.

Webisodes, however, are just one example of how NBC is trying to exist more online. NBC hosted the Winter Olympics using a brand new media player and with the merger with Comcast, it is likely that more will have to come.

So given all of this, how will NBC need to evolve and adapt to respond to these changing times? Have they done an adequate job or is the merger with Comcast evidence that they are determined to deter the advance of Fios-like technology?

All said, it should be interesting to see how this all unfolds. I say, watch to see how NBC and Comcast respond to this. See if they are going to make an investment in this technology. If they do not, however, I would not expect to see too much news coverage on the technology as it emerges. Enjoy!

Jim Long’s Blog

Mark Cuban’s Blog

Over the top video

NBC New Media

NBC and Olympics

NBC and Social Media


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Advertising Student at the University of Oregon interested in becoming a writer...