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Television Versus the Internet. Will TV Prosper or Perish as the World Moves Online?

  • ID: 2719983
  • Book
  • September 2010
  • Region: Global
  • Elsevier Science and Technology

This book will explore the questions raised by the technological developments that have encouraged the multiplication of TV channels. TV is moving through a period of rapid change. Governments around the world are switching from analogue to digital forms of transmission to further expand the amount of content that TV signals can carry. At the same time, competition for eyeballs has also grown from outside that traditional marketplace with the emergence of the Internet. The roll-out of broadband and increased bandwidth has had the greatest impact on television because online technology can readily convey the same content. All these changes have created a great deal more competition for viewers within the traditional TV marketplace. The Internet has proven to be especially popular with young people who have adopted its applications to a far greater extent than their elders, though even the latter have now begun to take up online activities in significant numbers. Are these audiences the same? Do people make a choice between these two media or do they use them both at different times and for different reasons? Can television utilise the Internet in profitable ways to enhance its market position? Will television have to evolve from its current state to provide the kinds of content reception services to which people have become accustomed in the online world? If it does need to change to survive, will this nevertheless mean a radical new configuration of content and the disappearance of 'channels' with fixed, pre-determined programme schedules?

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About the author

Chapter 1: Audience evolution patterns

Growth of media supply and television viewing

Growth of the Internet

Implications of media expansion

The position of television in society

Changing patterns of consumption

Does one medium cannibalise another?

Models of displacement

Increase-decrease relationship

Competition or synergy?

Ensuring access, diversity and quality

Concluding remarks

Chapter 2: The importance of television and the Internet to media consumers

How important is television to people today?

The importance of digital

The importance of channels

Are we satisfied with television channels?

The importance of programme service values

The importance of programme genres

Behavioural evidence of what is important to media consumers

The importance of the Internet

Concluding remarks

Chapter 3: The functional overlaps of television and the Internet

The importance of media motives

The attraction of the Internet

Conditional displacement

Overlapping functional displacement of television by the Internet

Non-overlapping functional displacement of television by the Internet

Concluding remarks

Chapter 4: The future of television as an information source

The valued attributes of television news

Television versus the Internet

Importance of different information sources

Importance of different news sources: Internet users versus non-users

The future for television news

Time devoted to television news

Levels of use of online news

Receptivity of new news sources

News source displacement

Credibility of offline versus online news

Importance of news brands

Concluding remarks

Chapter 5: The future of television as an entertainment source

Perceived importance of different entertainment sources

The Internet as an entertainment source

Video viewing online

Continuous measurement of online video viewing

Online video viewing versus television

Video game playing

Concluding remarks

Chapter 6: Future audiences, future services

Television versus the Internet: continuing distinctions

The promise of digital

Future audiences

Final thoughts



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Barrie Gunter
Barrie Gunter is Professor of Mass Communication and Head of the Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester. He was formerly Professor of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield and previously worked in the broadcasting sector. He has published 47 books and over 250 book chapters, journal articles and other reports on a range of media, marketing and psychology topics. Among his current interests are the adoption and use of internet and digital TV applications.
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