Post 2 for Television Cultures
Television scheduling was once something that was influenced by society, then became an influencer of society. But now, that whole ‘plan of procedure which contains reference to the time that is allocated for each event’ also known as the TV schedule is being influenced by the increase in popularity and abundance of on demand services.
Scholars Jiyoung Cha and Sylvia M. Chan-Olmsted have said that online streaming systems that ‘enable users to watch and distribute video content seem to have finally entered a rapid stage of growth in the United States’. And it is evident, through the advertisements for and introduction of more on demand services in Australia, that the popularity of online streaming and on demand services is growing here too.
I remember as a child, watching my Grandmother choosing the programs she wanted to watch for the week- with a highlighter in one hand, the TV guide in the other.
I used to try and do the same in my TV guide, then my highlighter turned into a remote that controlled my Foxtel IQ where I could record my programs and set reminders for programs I wanted to watch. But now, there is no remote or highlighter- there is something called an on demand service, proudly brought to us by the process of digitisation
The process of digitisation can be defined as converting existing material into an electronic format. Digitisation is altering the television and the broadcast experience; not only making it easier for us to weave our viewing practices into our busy, on-the-go lives but also allowing companies to increase their revenue by becoming multiplatform- creating digitised versions of their pre-existing services. Many companies have identified this trend in the want for programs on demand.
Foxtel was once a cable company who provided a satellite service to subscribers, allowing them to access hundreds of channels at the click of a remote. Shows that were once exclusive to America, such as Dance Moms, have become available to Australian viewers.
But the process of digitisation and the trend of online TV watching has lead to a rise in the popularity of other online on demand subscription services. Foxtel has introduced an online version of their service to their subscribers -Foxtel GO. The service allows for subscribers to view the programs they know and love from Foxtel online or via a mobile app for viewing when, where and however they like- allowing individuals to schedule their viewing practices around their pre-existing daily activities. I can now watch Dance Moms as a way to fill in time on my 5.30 train home via the Foxtel GO app on my iPad- winning! Digitisation has lead to a rise in the popularity of other online on demand subscription services. Stan was created to be an Australian version of Netflix, and now Netflix has become available to Australian viewers due to popular demand.
As the process of digitisation continues to occur who knows how on demand and online subscription services will transform- Television might even become a dominantly online concept- maybe when we drive hover cars but always. But whilst this process of digitisation continues, I shall open my Foxtel GO app and catch up on the programs I have been eager to watch during the time I’ve been blogging.
Cha, J., & Chan-Olmsted, S. M. (2012). Substitutability between online video platforms and television. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 89(2), 261-278.