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Research Paper

The Popular Press: Its Operation and how it is affected by the Development of Video on Demand Technology in Modern Media

Introduction

Background of the Topic

The popular press is one among the most common sources of information that the society uses to be ‘in-the-know’. Being able to access such programs presented on television and on other media portals is an essential part of being informed properly as to what specific issues are currently affecting the society. With the busy life that every individual lives with today, it is quite impossible to catch every new report there is given that everyone has his own agenda for the day. This is why it helps that such forms of popular press could be readily accessed when needed wherever the viewers may be. The convenience that this option provides gives the society a chance to know everything they need to know without necessarily sacrificing anything in the list of the schedules that they have to complete in a day. The VOD-technology provides great answer to such matter.

Rationale behind Topic Choice

The change in the field of technology, communications and modern media has created a strong impact on how the human society views whatever the industry offers them. From entertainment to education and marketing, the society is introduced to several choices that may attract their attention. However, given the kind of living that the society is under at present, it could be noticed how seemingly impossible it would be for some to just sit down in front of the television and wait for their favorite shows to air. It is for this reason that the creation of possible options that would make it easier for the public to access and view their favorite videos becomes a good source of inspiration for major developers in the industry. From recorded tapes to on-time TV-direct recording systems, the society wanted more and demanded for even more refined procedures of recording and storing several videos on demand.

As a response to this, the video on demand technology has been introduced. Relatively, this form of technology aims to work towards a better constructed system that is able to provide the public with what is needed and what is required by the viewing society. To know more about the operations by which video on demand technology and its impact on the society affect the condition of attention that the public has towards popular press, this research shall utilize the following questions as foundation for the research to be handled herein:

  1. What is popular press and how is its operation affected by the conditional applications of the VOD as a source of information for many viewers in the public today?
  2. What impact does VOD have on the social acceptance of the necessity with regards having specific access to popular press as presented on their own television screens?
  3. Does the platform used by popular press fit with the operations that VOD utilizes to reach out to its major users in the society?

Assumptions and Expectations

It is expected that in line with the questions for research listed above that this particular study would be able to clarify what popular press is, how it is operating and how that operation is primarily affected by VOD or the video on demand technology. Assessing what the television phenomena of the 1920s imposed on the creation of more sophisticated systems of video recording shall be better discussed within the context of this paper. Relatively, from such discussion, it is aimed that defining the modern ways of media in reaching the people shall be given particular attention to.

The Television Development and the Popular Press

Entertainment is often defined as the element of presentation that confides to the condition of getting the attention of the people through stimulating their senses and creating an idea of excitement which makes it possible for the said individuals to accept and appreciate such presentations. This is the reason why social elements that provide entertainment are often regarded as viable forms of recreation most often related to ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyment’ (Alvey, 1997). The released of the television in the early 1920s was a phenomenal step forward that the field of entertainment has ever recorded in history.  Notably, such a beginning of the entertainment industry that has become available for the general public surpassed the ‘fun’ and excitement that were provided by live performances. What made this particular option of entertainment popular among the people? The idea of being able to conveniently be entertained at  the comfort of one’s home was a primary attraction that the television was able to provide its users. There is no more need to go to a specific place, buy a specific ticket for a specific show to be viewed at a very specific time. The wide range of options that the nature of television programming provided specifically got the attention of the public. It noted of the possibility by which human individuals were given the chance to decide what they want to watch given that there was a scheduled program of such genre in the television.

Through the years, the television-viewing practice has evolved and has developed into a higher level of satisfaction-provision for most of its viewers[1]. The public, the primary market served by the industry of entertainment that is specifically dedicated to television programming, continue to change course when it comes to defining their demands from the said form of entertainment source. This media of programming has then incurred several changes from the time it was first introduced to the society towards the time when it already had the need to suffice the growing demands of people living in a modern society. At the entrant of the Worldwide Web into the system, the evolution of television programming and entertainment leaped forward for further progress.

On the other end, besides entertainment, the television programming system also offers a great source of important information for the society to get knowledge from. Such form of media is noted as the popular press. The popular press is often characterized by the presentation of necessary information that the public needs to know[2]. Through utilizing different media portals effectively, it is assumed that modern popular press is not only able to give the people with updated news on what is happening at present. It also has evolved into providing a TV-magazine like approach that also tackles some of the featured issues that might not be as important but are altogether interesting for the public to appreciate.   With these featured presentations from the popular press, media advertising also becomes embedded within the system, whereas short commercials are less given attention to, but informative marketing is given a better choice of presentation. Take note on what particular elements that current platform of popular press is dependent upon:

popular press

Based on the diagram above, it could be observed how through popular press, the society gets news, travel updates, notes on business developments, fashion and other industries that are further explored through the said platforms of information sharing[3]. Overall, instead of being just a source of news and information, the popular press is now considered as a collective form of media that provides both information and entertainment to the public. Putting the control on the hands of the viewer, the information presented through this particular platform could be paused and played as desired due to the fact that VOD technology has introduced a whole new way of viewing for the public to enjoy.

Understanding Modern Media

Modern media, as mentioned earlier, is characterized by two particular elements that are dedicated towards the desire of responding to the demands of the public. Such elements include satisfaction and convenience. Basing from these two specific foundations of media presentation and developments, it is indeed deemed important to see both the technical and the human side of the development. When it comes to the modern developments incurred by the current systems of operation and presentations in media, it could be analyzed that social demand becomes a central concern for organizations enjoined in the said system. The basic demands of the public could be subdivided into four particular categories, which are as follows:

  • Wide array of choices

Given that people are separately unique from each other, each person is expected to want a program compared to what others might want or demand for. Television programming provides this option but with a limited course of decision left under the care of the viewers or the users of the said media.

  • Liberated form of operation

Freedom is what constitutes the will of one to chose. Even though television programming may have provided a wide-array of choices, the liberation dedicated to their desire to choose for themselves the programs they want to watch at a time they could watch them was not an element that drives user satisfaction in the case of established TV programming systems (McCutcheon, et al, 2009). Modern media tries to confer with this desire through creating portals that would allow individual users to get what they want when they want to (Hilmes, 1990). The internet has long been able to perform such condition of responding to social demand, which later on evolved to more specific and more complex forms of providing public access to particular forms of entertainment.

  • Adheres to user convenience

The condition of watching or listening [which simply imposes on the capacity one has to obtain different mediums of entertainment] where one wants, when he wants and how he wants it defines the condition of responding to user demands relating to an established convenience. With the many things people have to accomplish in a day, entertainment becomes a secondary if not a tertiary priority. This is the reason why when it comes to the ideal function of convenience, the matter is often defined through the assumption of one’s recognition of time and how it is supposed to be used. Responding to this particular perception on the part of the developments incurred by modern media is an essential factor that characterizes its capacity to fashion its systems according to how the society wants their options of recreation be handled.

Bringing about the changes through the aid of technology has done so much in establishing a new wave of conditional use of media on the part of the people who are appreciating the existence of the said form of entertainment. IN relation to this, the society has responded effectively on the matter.

  • Adapts to the satisfaction needs of the public

The demands of the public needs to be satisfied; gaining feedbacks from them and the manner by which they see how certain elements in the society respond to their needs create a viable source of information regarding the need to know what they want and what they demand from industries operating around them. Being that entertainment is an industry, it could be assumed that the assumption of response that they get from the society is a great source of information as to how they should fashion the way they offer their ‘products’ to the market. The programs they create and the presentations they make are of course for the sake of the viewers. Reaching the target viewers is another concern for the industry’s operators to give attention to. Through the aid of the internet, such type of problem has been properly responded to.

Defining VOD

In the year 2005, the creation of cable TV programming products have been introduced to the market. This allowed viewers to find more options on what particular channels and programs they would like to watch. Later on, TV-program recording options have also been opened so as to allow viewers who cannot catch a particular program within a certain scheduled time of airing would still be able to watch the said programs during their free time. The quality of watching the said programs however depends on the quality of the recording that has been applied (Hilmes, 1990). In the process of creating all these options for television users, the formulation of VOD systems has been given way.  In September 1994, the Cambridge Digital Interactive Television Trial has undergone a study that involved 250 homes and several other schools that had an established cable connection with Cambridge (Lotz, 2007). Through an ATM network, the video that was pre-recorded was then streamed on the different connections at different times. This pretested the assumption of the creation of video provisions that are designed for public access anytime of the day.

Basing from this study, the Kingston Communications, a network company in UK (Lotz, 2007), decided to release the first commercial Video on Demand Service in 1998. This spearheaded the utilization of the internet to store particular videos for utilization by users at a later time as desired. Through this service, the said network was able to expand the scope of the market that it serves as it was able to give an option of cost effective advertising compared to what television networks offered for general airing packages[4].

Branching out from presenting marketing ads to hosting television programs that have been recorded and stored for a later time viewing option, the creation of VOD technology has been marked as one of the revolutionary offerings that the internet has ever hosted (McGregor, 2010). Peering through the ideal desire of letting the public access videos on their own time as they desired made this project even more applicable to the modern times that humans thrive in today.

From this point of development, large television networks decided to jump into the bandwagon and create specific possibilities that could put them in command of the system. The VOD technology has been continuously developing under the precursor of television networks that want to embrace the culture of providing their target viewers the chance to watch programs that they offer even beyond the scheduled airing as decided by the network operators and administrators. Having a stored version of the programs allows them to reach out to the target viewers who are really interested in appreciating what they have prepared for the public. The collaborative utilization of VOD on the part of the  network operators and advertisers even boosted the impact that VOD technology has over the condition of living of the modern society.

To further widen out the operation of the system, several platforms of video presentation had been developed. Reaching out viewers wherever they are whatever time they want to has created a more convenient option for the public to subscribe to VOD services that are made available in the market. Not only does VOD provide the option for the viewers to watch programs at a later time, it also provides the users a chance to control the video. The pause and play option responds to the time convenience of the viewers, which often creates a realm of satisfaction for the market that the system serves.

The Social Culture, the Popular Press and the People

Fast paced as the system of living is in this modern society, people are accustomed to dealing with matters according to time set by their superiors. People who go to work, school and other necessary engagements are often confided with the need to respond to their duties according to the time allotted for them to complete such tasks. After completing such engagements, they often want to spend time with family and friends and just have ‘fun’. In this scenario, considering entertainment receives but a little attention. Busy individuals, which comprises of at least 45% of today’s modern society, often find it hard to allot time for entertainment options such as sitting back and watching television programs[5]. Hence, it is in this case that the utilization of VOD comes in handy.

Making connections through the internet anytime, anywhere allows one to be able to access stored videos that present their most valued programs. This allows the said individuals not to miss anything even when they are confronted with the need to attend to several responsibilities in reference to their daily lifestyle. VOD platforms are created to specifically respond to user needs based on the gadgets that are made available for use (McGregor, et al, 2010). Technology has indeed created a new culture of perceiving media on the part of human individuals. VOD programming options has improved the capacity of individuals to become more in control of the system which allows them to decide when and where to watch the said programs stored online.

Relatively, the culture of media perception that VOD options produced welcomed that of the assumption by which it stands in parallel with the situation that the society has to contend with at present. More likely, creating a well-fashioned program to fit the schedule of their busy clients in the market, the VOD operators are more consumed in the desire of responding to the demands and the needs of the people as they promote the option of convenience and entertainment all in one package. Families as a whole also benefit from this process as choosing the right program that would fit the whole family’s desire becomes an easy task to confer with (McCutcheon, et al, 2009). It is often defined that parents are having a hard time choosing the right channels for their children. Afraid that the young ones would be able to see inappropriate ads or programs, parents now have the option to use VOD programming to find child-friendly programs without worrying that the said presentations would have inaccurate ads and specifically obscene scenarios that might corrupt the children’s minds. True, the VOD technology has opened several opportunities of control to major users as they direct the programs based on what they like according to what they expect from the system. To note, here is how the production of a VOD technology actually works:

VOD technology

Take note how the recording of videos occur from the point of the actual broadcasting towards the encoding and the conversion of the platform that the videos are embedded alongside with. From the said points of transfer, the videos are stored in specific servers and are then distributed through the wireless network which in turn becomes available to VOD terminals at any particular time that the users want to access the said videos. The VOD terminals could then be television sets, computer desktops, mobile phones and other mobile gadgets that are able to stream videos at a particular rate of connection to the internet.

How do networks specifically get the benefits of this particular platform of saving and distributing videos? Observe two among the most successful online television programming networks in America namely Nitflix and Hulu. Both are able to provide real time and stored program streaming options for their users. A minimal subscription is required from users for an assured satisfactory utilization of the website’s features. Simply put, these websites are also supported by advertisers and marketers who aim to reach the right people for the promotion of their specific products. In consideration to this, chosen ads are posted alongside particular videos so as to catch the attention of the market bracket that the programs are able to entice. Relatively, this requires collaborative research on the part of the program producers and the advertisers. Knowing who and from what age bracket the viewers come from shall inform the marketers of what particular products would likely be more accepted by the viewers of such programs when they are aired online. To prove the effect of such marketing approaches dedicated to a particular bracket of market sector being served by the businesses, an interview approach has been applied to support this assumption accordingly.

Popular press programs such as BBC and NBC news have largely contributed to the success of both the VOD platforms utilized by Nitflix and Hulu. People apparently desire to know more about the society that they are living in. At some point, they even use the said programs as reliable source of marketing advice as to what particular products are trending in the market, what they should buy and where they should buy the items they desire. Popular press platforms have expanded the ways by which they influence the society’s lifestyle through VOD technology. To be able to see just how much impact this collaborative form of modern media have on the society’s style of living, the following section shall provide a good source of proof based on the interview that has been handed by the researcher according to the topic being discussed.

Understanding How the Society Responds to VOD Technology Developments

As mentioned earlier, VOD technology in collaboration with popular press has created a sense of social control that indicatively invites more users to access popular press videos anytime and anywhere they want to. For what specific causes is this particular response of the market dependent upon? With at least 35 respondents to the questions [that follow], the measurement of the influence that VOD and popular press have on the general market of users have been further assessed through this research:

  • Are you familiar with VOD or the video on demand technology? Do you subscribe to any particular platform or provider of VOD? If no, do you plan to do so in the near future? If yes, why did you subscribe for the said service?
  • Do you know what popular press is? Do you use this platform of media in your life, do you watch programs under this genre? How do your viewing practices affect your decisions regarding the featured stories presented in popular press programs?
  • Do you see VOD technology as a helpful platform of media when it comes to giving you valuable information through popular press programs?

To these particular questions, three particular responses from the participants specifically stood out. One is that most of the participants know about VOD and at least 75% of them have subscribed to either Hulu, Netflix or other VOD-providers.  Given the availability of the connection to these service providers, at least 45% of them actually utilize the said service to access popular press programs for information and for updates. Out of the 18 women who were asked, most of them appreciate the creation of a more convenient platform for them to access particular videos that are related to most topics that concern them [in this case, out of the 18 who were asked, 12 regularly access popular press programs through VOD platform].

Conclusions and Recommendations

The liberation of modern media is dedicated towards responding to the social need for freedom. With the fast-paced system of living, entertainment has to adjust to the current situation that human individuals need to contend with. It is rather essential that in the process of making a distinctive condition of development for media and the entertainment industry that VOD be produced and further be supported for development to make it more responsive to the needs and demands of the new society. Making distinctive adjustments in the field of media presentation and the entertainment industry opened the way to serving a larger scope of the market and responding to the more complex desires of the people. It is through this case that VOD technology becomes highly appreciated as a major part of modern society’s development indicating how the people tend to embrace progress and innovation as part of their daily lives.

The popular press and the indicative use that it has in relation to marketing do receive a distinctive benefit in relation to the development of VOD technology. In consideration to this, the respective advertisers and marketers that used to utilize television as a portal of marketing media found VOD technology to be specifically helpful and effective (Joshi, 2005). This portal has specifically improved their process of finding the right market bracket that they hope to influence in relation to the products and services that they are ready to offer to the consumers that respond to their campaign.

References

Adcock, Dennis; Al Halborg, Caroline Ross (2001). “Introduction”. Marketing: principles and practice (4th ed.). p. 15.

Alvey, M., 1997. The Independents Rethinking the Television Studio System. In: L. Spigel & M. Curtin, eds. The Revolution Wasn’t Televised: Sixties Television and Social Conflict. New York: Routledge, pp. 138-158.

Barnes, Brooks; Stelter, Brian (September 26, 2011). “Netflix, DreamWorks Announce Content Deal”. The New York Times.

Hilmes, M., 1990. Hollywood and Broadcasting: From Radio to Cable. Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

Joshi, Rakesh Mohan, (2005) International Marketing, Oxford University Press, New Delhi and New York

Lotz, A. D., 2007. If It’s Not TV, What Is It? The Case of U.S. Subscription Television. In: S. Banet-Weiser, C. Chris & A. Freitas, eds. Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting. New York: New York University Press, pp. 85-102.

Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) “The Television Will Be Revolutionized”. New York, NY: New York City University Press. p. 59

McDonald, P. (2007). Video and DVD Industries. British Film Institute.

McCutcheon, M. & Given, J., 2009. Audiences as Consumers-Broadcasting meets Telecoms. Telecommunications Journal of Australia, 59(3).

McGregor, Michael A., Driscoll, Paul D., McDowell, Walter (2010) “Head’s Broadcasting in America: A Survey of Electronic Media”. Boston, Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon p. 47-48.

Sandoval, Greg (22 October 2009). “More signs Hulu subscription service is coming“. Media Maverick. CNET.

Wasser, Frederick., Video : The Hollywood Empire and the VCR. Video Becomes Big Business. University of Texas Press, . p 156.

Wasser, Frederick., Video : The Hollywood Empire and the VCR. The Development of Video Recording. University of Texas Press, . p 61.

[1] Wasser, Frederick., Video : The Hollywood Empire and the VCR. The Development of Video Recording. University of Texas Press, . p 61.

[2] Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) “The Television Will Be Revolutionized”. New York, NY: New York City University Press. p. 59

[3] Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) “The Television Will Be Revolutionized”. New York, NY: New York City University Press. p. 59

[4] Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) “The Television Will Be Revolutionized”. New York, NY: New York City University Press. p. 59

[5] Wasser, Frederick., Video : The Hollywood Empire and the VCR. The Development of Video Recording. University of Texas Press, . p 61.

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