The governments of China clearly believe that if they do not ban shows where the premise is based on the voting then it could lead their citizens to want the right to vote in the government on their own opinions. The influence that television has, in this case by indirectly helping Chinese citizens move in the direction of being slightly more "democratic," is seen as a threat- it is hard to believe that television could threaten the national security of a world super power.
The current influence that television has on individual's lives is only growing stronger as technology continues to develop. Recent developments have shown that television will now be in "three-dimensions," so that individuals who view TV can be full immersed in the movie or show they are watching ("Who Needs It"). But is that even necessary when nine out of ten homes have televisions in their homes that have a multi-channel TV? ("Here, There and Everywhere").
Though, as television is evolving, it now using the Internet to capture audiences and even transferring its video capabilities to online. It seems that shows like "Isa," the Hispanic version of "Hannah Montana" fostered a following on Facebook and MySpace pages ("Here, There and Everywhere"). Furthermore, it is reported that "newspapers are filled with tales of Facebook stalkers, Craigslist killers, cyber-bullying, sexting and screen addiction. E-mail, blogs and YouTube, not television, are held responsible for the degradation of politics…as the internet grabs attention, television has become more pitied than feared" ("An Interactive Feature"). Using this as macrocosm for the direction that television is headed, The Economist article goes onto explain that one "can hardly watch a TV show without being invited to visit a website" ("Here, There and Everywhere"). It seems as though the Internet and other media is gradually replacing the influence that television once had on society, and evidence to support this has come to the public in the form of YouTube and other video streaming sites.
There are individuals like Ray William Johnson, a comedian who posts all of his videos on YouTube and makes his living exclusively from the video hosting site. But how can this be if the video hosting is free? Business insider tried to best estimate how Ray William Johnson, the individual with the highest subscribers to his channel on YouTube, makes his money from the banners ads that are served near the content and that "2.59% of viewers click away before an ad loads" (Wei).
With people mirroring what a network channel does on TV, by using their videos and making their money off of the advertising that it is around them- it seems that video streaming is the new TV as it follows roughly the same business model, but seem to eliminate other costly variables at the same time. Is this the new way that video will be streamed? What is in store for the future of television if the trends continue this way?
Currently, "advertisers are experimenting with a wide array of solutions, many of which have been around since the advent of television broadcasting, to address their concerns over the dwindling commercial audience" (Kimmel). Advertisers, as one of the most important factors that are currently involved in television, have also caught on to the changing dynamic of television. In order for the advertisers to still have a stronghold on the commercial audience, is absolutely imperative that the strategy of product and companies also change with the times.
What about the future of television?
"New technologies are deeply transforming the broadcasting industry…what we have seen so far is only the beginning of a long story. Inevitable, industry regulations must adapt, which means that a wide-ranging rethink of current practices is required" (Motta, and Polo 293-334).The technologies that are rapidly developing in our modern day society are slowly becoming the new standard of living- broadcasting is changing and the industry need to become increasingly aware and adapt to the new technological environment. It is something that scholars have followed for a while, and is something that individuals are bearing witness too- but it begs us to ask the question: what is the future of television in this rapidly changing modern day?
With the rapid evolution of technology in the modern age, it seems as though like magazines and newspapers, television will take a back-seat to the Internet. Forbes reporter discussed with the CEO of the on-demand video service Zillion TV about the future of television and he asserted that, "there is a critical ecosystem and convergence…of content providers, advertisers, and ISPs that still needs to occur…sitting about those three at the top of the ladder are consumers" (Mitra). This convergence is happening to make consumers have more access to the things at the tips of their fingers- by combining several different components into one; it makes the product more desirable as ease of use for consumers.
Aside from Zillion TV, the mega-giant Google has also become involved in the television industry. By merging its mega-internet presence, the ease of use of their recently released Google phone, it seemed to make business sense for Google to become involved in the television industry. The major companies media streamers are "basically trying to imitate what they think you would do if you had a computer plugged into your TV: Stream video, view photos, rent/watch TV and movies and listen to music" (Chen). Google is bringing to the competition something that no one else has yet- asking the all important question, is this even further ahead of the YouTube's and iPhone's that our society is familiar with? "Google is going a step further and bringing the rest of the computer experience- a browser and apps- into the package…it's a glimpse into the near future, where there will be very little difference between what you can on a desktop and what you can do on that set-top box sitting in front of your TV" (Chen). Zillion TV's CEO and Google are clearly on the same page of where the future of television is heading- it is what consumers want, things that are easy to use and accessible.
Though, with Google TV there are has been some backlash including the fact that broadcasters like ABC, NBC, CBS among others have banned the Google TV devices from accessing their content online, because of the "$80 billion" that would have been lost in TV advertisements (Lawler). Though, Google has seemingly evolved with the changing market demands it seems that there is still money being lost by the broadcasters, leading to the block. The business model that television is built on is delicate in that it is completely reliant on advertisements- with the loss of that seemingly sole source of revenue, it leaves broadcasters in jeopardy of losing even more money by giving products like Google TV. The future of television may be in the Google TV but the future is being slightly delayed by the 'old school' broadcasters that will be losing money as technology changes rapidly.
Furthermore, to reinforce the ideas that the Zillion TV CEO has, CNN has also reported that "major studios, including Fox, NBC Universal and Warner Brothers are moving quickly to establish Websites for their premium video titles, in hopes of grabbing a growing audience of online video viewers" (Patterson). Major studios do need to stay afloat and with major studios employing this strategy means that there is a new medium to fight over amongst the big studios, but also indicates that the way the medium is movement is here to stay and will become a way of the future. It costs significant amounts of money for studios to invest in website streaming; an investment that these studios do believe is going to pay off.
Some are even saying that Google TV is behind the mark and that the new future of television will be in Facebook, a social networking site that has revolutionized the way that people around the world connect with each other. The critics of current television say that television can be a "social thing" after all, so why wouldn't the largest social networking company in the world become involved in this potential opportunity? (Gobry). The potential to always be moving forward with technology is omnipresent and it is important to realize that the materials and technologies that society views as progressive and "new" might already be an old things in some circles. This particular article does not concentrate on the next steps beyond Google and Zillion TV, which is absolutely relevant in a fast moving field. Facebook TV could potentially be the next thing that becomes our standard- instead of watching TV in our friend's living room, what is stopping us from watching online in our own homes while chatting with them online? The ease and the convenience of not having to drive to your friends home to watch TV with them might be appealing to some- will online…