I really liked the readings this week as I feel they finally breached a subject that I have been interested in for the length of this course: the role of the consumer in these globalized media networks.
The consumer’s role and the personalization of media was a theme found in Deuze’s, Miller’s and Castell’s pieces this week.
Deuze highlights that there is a convergence occurring between media production and media consumption. He provides examples from across the media scope, from gaming to advertising to journalism. When he used the term “Interactive Advertising” I instantly thought of online videos — particularly on Hulu — that now prompt viewers with questions and/or choices as to what advertisement the viewers want to watch, whether or not the viewer would like to take a quiz, or whether or not the advertisement content was relevant to him or her. More and more, viewers are having a choice to personalize their media experience, or at least are given the impression that they have one.
Castell’s wrote about the shift from “prime time” to “my time,” another example of this customized consumer relationship with the media. With the age of the Internet, viewers are able to record their favorite shows or watch their preferred content on their own time.
My question is: If the consumer is becoming increasingly capable of demanding personalized media, if their role in the production of media content (from advertising to journalism) is growing, where are the lines being drawn between what people demand and what they need?
To what limits can consumer demand distort and or limit media production?
Or to the contrary, is this personalized media really providing the world with an abundance of diverse produced options?