Saturday, December 13, 2008


Really interesting essay by Frank Maggio at MediaPost's TV Board where he asks, "What is TV -- really? And doesn't TV require an audience, in fact, a mass audience, to REALLY be TV?"

TV has always defined itself at the intersection of time and real estate. It's that cubby in the primary focal point of the house, in the armoire at the foot of the bed, or in the corner of the gym. But it's also a human allocation of attention to a one-way televisual communication -- one that historically generates internalized emotions, and on rare occasion, reaction.

But in each and every instance and location, the element most necessary to qualify as TV, is an audience. And as the mass audience continues to dwindle, so, too, does TV's very existence (and its definition) become less meaningful.

Despite Les Moonves' cheerleading that "the model ain't broken," TV is, at a minimum, a medium that has lost its identity by allowing itself to be too many things to too many people. What it has failed to do is to fully embrace and enable communication among its consumers, its entertainers, and its sponsors.

Then he goes on to talk about hardware and interactivity...

With the digital-analog transition countdown now reduced to double digits, the TV will, for most people, soon become merely another "dumb" device with speakers -- a monitor with multiple inputs, for all intents and purposes. And like every other monitor we own, its usefulness is linked to the enabling hardware attached to it.

Truth be told, it's always been about the hardware. While the cable or satellite TV set top box tends to grab input A, as these monitors leave room for other connections, the threat to TV will continue to come from devices that provide for the most important input of all: CONSUMER INPUT.

Go read all of what Mr. Maggio has to say HERE...he certainly offers some interesting meat to chew on.

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