COMM 345 - TAMU - Rold - Exam 2

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How did the newspaper model change in the U.S. from around 1800 to 1830?
- for elite people (political people) • More mass-produced/broader audience • Cheaper • Written for lower literacy levels • Fewer “serious” stories (political material) • More human interest stories (crime, love)
Single media good
Individual goods, marketed based on *merit of each good* EX: A movie, a album, a single, a book Make money: individual transactions
Continuous media good
steady flow of regularly new/refreshed content EX: radio show, TV station, newspaper, magazine Make money: subscription
4 costs associated with single media goods | Developmental
- Buy a script/book rights - Buy a game prototype - Buy rights to make a book a movie - Rent a studio - Paying Actors in Advance - Pilot episode
4 costs associated with single media goods | Production
- Salaries - Sets - insurance
4 costs associated with single media goods | Marketing/Distribution
- printed items, DVDs, Games, etc shipped to stores - promoting media (TV ads, magazine ads, etc.)
4 costs associated with single media goods | Overhead
costs to keep the business running (rent, salaries, furniture, lots, etc.)
Describe how costs are funded in the following media industries | Independent films
- They pitch the idea to in investor and the investor chooses how much to fund (most or all) - Investor usually make his money back + 20%
Kevin Smith?
Describe how costs are funded in the following media industries | Video games
1. Developer pitches game by bringing in prototype 2. Gaming company says yes and pays $ 3. Developer makes game 4. Gaming company get % of each game sold (usually about 30%) 5.Developer splits rest with stores that sell (if not a digital download)
Describe how costs are funded in the following media industries | Continuous media (TV shows)
Deficit Financing 1. Producer pitches idea 2. Station says yes & pays producer 3. Producer writes and pitches script 4. Station says yes 5. Producer make pilot epidsode 6. Station says yes and funds 60% - 70% of production costs 7. Station gets to run show forever 8. Producer owns show and can sell it wherever (netflix, hulu, etc) 9. Producer makes $$$
How are video game consoles examples of both closed-hardware and proprietary systems?
Because: 1. you can only play with other gamers that have the same console 2. you can only play x games with x console 3. not all games are available for all consoles (closed system, developer must obtain licensing)
Why are gaming consoles, relatively speaking, fairly affordable?
To get as many consoles in homes as possible, game sales will follow
Where do console creators like Sony and Microsoft make their money in the gaming industry?
Getting the 30% share on each video game sold (digitally or physically) & subscriptions
How does product placement work in video games?
- The characters use items or wear branded clothing - The characters can be mascots from companies (kool-aid man, dominoes weird guy, etc)
Know how much the average video game costs to develop?
$20 million
What is a tentpole game?
1. games that developers believe will be sure-fire hits even before release 2. can cost hundreds of millions
Why do these tentpole games cost so much more to develop?
Usually costs more because of licensing fees for people or brands (Madden)
Be able to describe how a television pitch works?
1. Producer pitches idea 2. Station says yes & pays producer 3. Producer writes and pitches script 4. Station Says yes 5. Producer makes pilot episode 6. Station says yes and funds !!!!******Success Rate: 20%******!!!!!
How does “deficit financing” work in the TV industry?
1. The Network agrees to put 70% of the money forth because they like the script and pilot episode 2. After the original studio waits for the licensing agreement to go out, they make the money back in downstream revenue (1 mega-hit can cover 5 - 6 bombs)
How do “secondary markets” help a studio make up for the money they lose in the production of a TV show?
Studios sell the license to the TV show Secondary markets (international TV, amazon, netflix, hulu, merchandise, etc.) ****(syndication or reruns) ****
Real Audience
The actual people who show up to a move, subscribe to a newspaper, or buy the new album or song
Constructed Audience
is the audience--its characteristics, likes, and dislikes- imagined by creators and those throughout the industry while making media. *helps them make decisions about how to make the show, what to include/disclude
What is a dual-revenue stream?
TV Streamer sells you a subscription and then sells ads to an advertiser
How does Wolff argue that the early internet was a “continuation” of mass media up to that point in the early 90s?
He claims most media was already free • “Mass” media was supposed to be cheap so more people could enjoy it.
Why did cable TV reach “critical mass” in the 1990s?
Cable TV was in more homes • if you wanted cable you pretty much had it in the 90s
Cable TV reach “critical mass” in the 1990s | What made it so much more popular than broadcast TV? Was it just the greater number of channels available to consumers?
It was a “better” broadcasting • Fewer fuzzy images • More “sophisticated” material (sexual situations, more complicated characters/plots) • Material you wouldn’t normally see on broadcast TV
According to Wolff, how did the TV/Internet model become flipped as it relates to how both practiced advertising?
1. TV and Internet (via phone cable - dial-up) used to be free & not a lot of ads 2. Changed to a subscription model 3. Internet became dual revenue stream 4. TV Not as reliant on advertising
How did cable companies and phone companies compete over Internet service in the 90s and early 2000s?
They advertised their service in particular ways: • Promised broadband was faster • Bundling became a thing (Internet, phone, cable at discounted price)
Technological utopianism
Technology will help bring about the ideal human society and existence on earth
Technological Dystopianism
Technology will create a society where machines and computers have dominion over humans
Cultural determinism
• Our “cultural uses” determine the influence technology has over us • Technology as an “inert force” shaped by other more powerful forces
Technological determinism
technology controls the people and societies that use them, not the other way around
5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production | Representation
The attributes and characteristics of a product a company focuses on when trying to sell it.
5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production | Identity
Attributes, characteristics, purposes associated with a product (google glass's were associated with being ugly)
5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production | Production
The cultural impact of a product can be influenced by... • Where it’s made • How it’s made (labor laws)
5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production | Consumption*
How do consumers use the technology? how we decide to consume it based on whats important with us
5 processes in the Circuit of Cultural Production | Regulations
Those enforced by the government and the self-regulations enforced by the company. (laws and standards)
What is “remediation”?
When newer media has an effect on the presentation of older media • TV on Newspapers • Video games on TV (sport video games had cool camera angles so they started filming football games that way)
What are practices?
Particular roles of individual workers in media industries and the day-to-day routines in which they participate
Creative Practices
*****above the line, pay them up front (actors, directors)
Non-Creative Practices
******(pay them by the job, construction, caterers)
What was the studio system?
studios controlled creative production by keeping all film production personnel--actors, directors, writers, and much other talent- under long-term (typically seven-year) contracts that controlled every aspect of working in film. (vertical)
Describe the star system that has since replaced the studio system?
few established actors and directors are seen as indispensable to creating a hit movie (studio contracts actors) - agents became larger****
Who are the “creators”?
Person who holds the guiding creative vision - Creators often negotiate their power with the networks, studios, or editors that enable them to distribute their message - Creators make myriad negotiations between their visions and the economics of their projects
What influences how much power a studio gives to a creator?
Track record, past earnings, etc.
What kinds of jobs/roles do industry executives do?
- development and programming _______________ (TV) - record ____________ (music industry) - Co-Chair/CEO - Managing Editors
What are the “standards and practices” people responsible for?
evaluate creative products and provide assessments before they are finalized I.E. - maintain network policies about content - make sure content being produced will not result in legal action - will let entertainer know what can and cannot be shown on the air*****
What is/was a Nielsen family?
those selected to be apart of nationwide sample of viewers from which the viewing of all audiences is extrapolated *****!!!!!!Problems: sample size was way too small and didn't account for when we started having multiple TVs in the homes*****
How has Nielsen collected ratings for television shows over the years?
- diaries viewers documented in what they watched - Instantaneous Audimenter (kept track of what channels you watched and when - People Meeter (same as before but now you had to choose which family member was watching with the click of the remote) - Local People meters (same as before but now accessable to local TV Stations
What is “market research”?
Any research conducted by a media industry before or during a product’s development
How has “crowdfunding” changed practices involving artists and industry executives in the digital age?
e.g. Kickstarter, allows artists to exclude industry execs and reach a more niche audience Digitization has also allowed for greater outsourcing of media jobs (overseas employment)
What is casualization?
working practices where workers are re-employed on a casual or short-term basis (hired only for a project) (crunch time)
Who was Netflix’s original competition when they first appeared in 1998?
How did Netflix first begin streaming movies?
licensing agreement with STARZ network
Be able to explain Wolff’s argument that Netflix is bringing elements of TV to digital, not destroying TV.*
- it created another outlet for licensing of TV shows - gave TV data because it was digital (easier to track and more in-depth) - it relied on the traditional media channels (TV) to stay alive - it did not possess the same characteristics as media -- - passive program watching****
Wolff claims Netflix and TV are similar and that Netflix actually has many more differences with other digital media. What are some of these differences he discusses?*
- it's not user generated - it's not social - it's not free
4 elements of the structure of distribution and aggregation
producer, distributor, aggreator, consumer
4 elements of the structure of distribution and aggregation | distributor
They buy from the producer and distribute to the Aggregator - mostly invisible middle men/unsung hero - large companies will have their own distribution center
4 elements of the structure of distribution and aggregation | aggregator
Places & Digital Platforms where consumers go to purchase or rent media
Who are the distributors?
Lionsgate, etc
What are distributors main role?
distribute media - sell it to/make deals with aggregators
Who are the aggregators?*
Best Buy, Walmart, Netflix, Disney + (or online platform) apple, spotify
What are aggregators main role?*
to push and place the content they believe the consumers want to see and how the customers want to see it
What is “selection”?
organizing products in a way to make it easier for the consumer to find and consume - better experience, more time spent consuming because it's enjoyable
How is limiting a consumer’s options good for the aggregators?
So people can make a choice easier, and then stroll around pleased of their experience, more likely to buy other items - better experience, more time spent consuming because it's enjoyable
wholesale model of economics
1. Publisher sets a recommended retail price for a product 2. publisher sells at wholesale price (50%) 3. Retailer charges what they choose
online agency model*
1. Publisher determines a retail price for a product 2. Publisher makes deal with aggregator (apple) to sell product at retail price 3. Aggregator makes agreement with publisher to keep a certain percentage of each sale (30% in apple’s case)
What is the difference between a predictable and complex distribution market?*
Predictable: distributors have control over what the consumer can choose from (distributing with US networks) Complex: consumer has control over what they can choose (now adding in so many distributors (ie Netflix) and international distributors)
What is a surrogate consumer?
aggregators and distributors make deliberate selections on based on what the aggregator thinks the consumer wants
How do surrogate consumers push content?*
overstocking, differential promotion, windowing (the way they place things in the store)
How can online aggregators reach a more “niche” audience?*
niche aggregators (CNN & FOX) they choose a target audience and use links from websites that fit the target audience
Discuss some strategies the distributors and aggregators use to maximize profits | Overstocking
buy way more product than they need in case it is a mega hit
Discuss some strategies the distributors and aggregators use to maximize profits | Differential promotion
showering praise, attention, and money on only a small fraction of he products acquired
What was the “payola” scandal in radio?
music distribution co. gave money, drugs, and prostitutes to popular DJs to play their music
Platform release
distributor will release film to a small amount of theatres to see how it does (with little to no marketing $) and will only release and promote more if it does well
releasing new products on a staggered schedule (usually released in small theatres first)
Upstream Windows
distribution channels that occur eralier in time i.e. first run theatres (first time you can see it)
Downstream Windows
distribution channels that occur later in time i.e. when it airs on like FX channel 8 months later
What is disaggregation?
allowing consumers to access a media product on a platform at any time
How was “pirating” the “kick-start” to YouTube?
people would pirate parts of movies and TV shows and then upload them to youtube, and because it was free, and pausable, fast forwarding, etc. it was a hit
Why was video-sharing technology slower to evolve than audio-sharing technology?
because audio files are much smaller than video and back then gigabytes where a lot of storage
How did the DMCA of 1998 provide “safe-harbor” to those who might be sharing videos illegally?
because they could upload the video and if caught (by the studio), take it down in a timely manner with no consequences
According to Wolff, how did YouTube evolve into television through the failures of professionally-produced YouTube channels, and the successes of the advertising model and “home-grown” YouTube stars?
the professionally produced content was not doing as well as the self-made content This created the focus and monetization of youtube stars, everyday people. each person had their own channel and produced their own content