White noise: TV accessibility

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If you’re anything like myself, you stopped watching television once you moved away from home. Budgets are tight (thanks school) and most of your hard earned cash goes to tuition, books and rent. For some, there simply isn’t enough income for cable service on top of all of school’s unavoidable costs.
This doesn’t mean that we stopped watching television shows altogether of course, we have just moved to different methods of watching it. With the accessibility of the Internet, watching television, legally (or less legally), has become incredibly easy. Finding high quality streaming websites that don’t explode with advertisements when you open them may pose a challenge but, all things considered, exploring a new show or catching up on a missed episode has never been easier.

Apart from the Internet, it’s pretty inexpensive to buy box sets of seasons from various stores and there are always sales happening. The downside to the rise of the Internet is the dropping numbers of viewers actually watching shows on various networks.

A prime example can be found with a look at the demographic for the show Community. Community aims to appeal to an older teenage audience or, for people perusing a post-secondary education.

Consequently, ratings plummet, causing Community to nearly be cancelled. But this doesn’t mean Community isn’t popular. It has received several nominations and awards in addition to accumulating a devoted and enthusiastic fan base. The effect of the Internet on how people our age watch television resulted in ratings NBC wasn’t satisfied with.

The typical format for the 22-minute episode, full of two or three sets of commercials, is quickly becoming an outdated concept. Marketers and studio executives at big branded companies like NBC need to compete with Netflix, the iTunes store and illegal streaming websites to boost ratings for the cable-watching audience. The problem is that using the Internet mostly eliminates annoying commercials and scheduling restraints that cable programming imposes on the viewer. The SOPA and PIPA acts set out to “stop” piracy, if anything, have only angered the majority, with companies showing active stances against each, such as Wikipedia blacking out their website for a day to show disdain for SOPA.

There are better methods to make money from the link of creator to customer: subscription services, such as Netflix, are fantastic ways to consume media how you want to. You pay them a monthly fee for unlimited access to movies and shows with some limitations being availability to select media. However, piracy will not go away because companies have to make their product and method easier than the ways people currently access it through illegal avenues. They have to compete with free and convenient; otherwise, the methods we currently use will continue to exist.

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