This Program Is Brought to You By . . .: Distributing by Joshua A. Braun

By Joshua A. Braun

Journalism, tv, cable, and on-line media are all evolving speedily. on the nexus of those unstable industries is a growing to be workforce of people and companies whose activity it truly is to strengthen and retain on-line distribution channels for tv information programming. Their paintings, and the tensions surrounding it, offer a fulcrum from which to pry analytically at the various greatest shifts inside of our media panorama. in response to fieldwork and interviews with diversified groups and corporations inside of MSNBC, this multi-disciplinary paintings is exclusive in its specialize in distribution, that is swiftly turning into as primary as construction, to media work.

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Extra info for This Program Is Brought to You By . . .: Distributing Television News Online

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He observes that contemporary film communities may have begun to center somewhat less on the local multiplex or arthouse theater and more on online fan forums organized around particular movies, genres, or filmmakers. He also highlights various discontents surrounding digital distribution methods introduced by media companies, such as windowing and licensing practices that make it difficult or expensive to obtain content on one’s desired service or device; the disappearance of collectible media, as DVD and CD libraries have given way to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify; the increased transitivity of our access to media, as titles now pop in and out of Redbox kiosks and the aforementioned streaming libraries at the whim of publishers; as well as digital rights management (DRM) technologies that can make viewing unnecessarily cumbersome and even prohibit some uses of media, such as sharing personal copies, that had been permissible under previous systems of distribution.

Attention to distribution practices and their negotiated features also uncovers tensions and fault lines between different cultural industries. Consider, for example, the divergent interests of Hollywood on the one hand and consumer electronics companies on the other in deciding whether to limit the ability of devices to record, copy, and play back digital video in accordance with various forms of “digital rights management” (DRM) advocated for by entertainment firms (Gillespie 2007). Debates have similarly cropped up between new media distributors like Apple and Amazon on the one hand and publishers on the other over how to price products available in digital storefronts.

Many of our contemporary ideas and framings of the Internet and digital culture first gained traction as a result of these distribution spaces. Despite these compelling examples, the participatory promises of distribution platforms are often underrealized. As Tryon (2013) points out, for instance, the early expansion of cable television in the United States involved ample—and often unrealized—promises of increasing the reach of independent television channels and the diversity of voices available to television consumers.

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