I decided to go with a Media-System Dependency Theory examination of television. The first thing I noticed when trying to pick which theory to talk about is the overlap between them. This jumped out at me particularly when thinking of a single viewers dependency on television and finding myself listing off many terms that would probably fall under the catigory of Uses and Gratifications, so with a topic with this many variables I expect some cross over in theory discussion.
On to the topic at hand, I decided to focus my discussion a little bit. The many different interactions involving TV are pretty broad, so I’m focusing on the main ways TV functions as a buisness as I think these dependencies will have the most impact on the future of TV. I’m going to predict the future based on a few dependencies of viewers, and content providers.
First off viewers, viewers are looking for a variety of things when watching TV. First is solitary play. They depend on the TV to be there and entertain them when they are bored. Viewers depend on the TV for social understanding. I understand that this is a broad term, and also covers aspects like understanding how people interact, what people think, ext. I’m just going to focus on aspects like news, from national elections down to things like local weather. These are two of the biggest dependencies we have on TV.
One big dependency that Content providers have is on viewers watching. That is the buisness that they are in. Viewers watch, and through subscriptions or advertising they make money. Here comes the part where I pridict the future. The problem that TV faces is that there are other media forms that would fill the dependency viewers have on TV. Luckily for them, TV in the past created a huge dependency on viewers, and it’s not something that is easily broken. However, the younger demographics are not instilled with these dependencies like thier parents were, and are more open to competition.
So how does TV compete? I think their best option is quality content. I personnally don’t watch alot of TV anymore. I feel that the internet meets my needs of solitary play better than TV. I do however have a different dependency on TV. I depend on TV as a “Breaking Bad” delievery system. I can’t (legally and reliably) watch specific content like Breaking Bad, Anthony Bordain’s “Parts Unknown”, ext, without TV (DVR). I can get the weather on my phone, I can’t get it from Al Roker from my phone.
The basic idea that I’m getting at is TV needs to focus on this kind of change in dependency. They aren’t the only game in town anymore, and while some people may prefer TV for solitary play, or the news; Viewers don’t have to depend on it for these things. I think TV could learn from competitions in industries like Video games, and Opperating systems in this regard. Gamers don’t have to rely on Nintendo for video games, because there is Microsoft, and Sony but they have to rely on them for Mario. Computer users don’t rely on IOS for running thier computer and phone, because there is Microsoft and Android, but they rely on them for Programs like Final Cut, and cross platform programs like Itunes. I think they need to make that their focus pretty soon, because with the internet creating more viable “shows”, services like Netflix getting exclusives like “House of Cards”; it seems, TV may be losing that dependency too.