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Contemporary Media Issues

Introduction to Section B of the Exam

Part Four
Introduction to Section B Review of
Part Three
So what did we learn last time?
We learnt what culture means.
We learnt about different social groups,
audiences and fans.
We learnt about the new social values
and cultural languages of Web 2.0.
We learnt about mash-ups, citizen
journalism active audiences and we-
Introduction to Section B Part Four

This presentation will reveal

What the biggest media event of 2011
What the long tail means;
If you live in a global village or
Are we all separated by a digital divide?
The cultural shift created by Web 2.0 is
economic as well as creative

John Hartley (2007), in his book Creative Industries

describes the move from a demand-led market to a
social network market. Hartley describes these
changes as a shift to long-tail economics.
Long Tail Economics suggests that businesses are
increasingly realising that the best way to make
money is to sell less of more,
to create more niche markets, to diversify.

This becomes the long tail theory of media

production - the spread of small chunks of media
content at the opposite end of the body to the head,
which is where the big institutions make hugely
popular media products like The Dark Knight (2008)
or the final of the X Factor in 2009.
Long Tail Economics
So what was the biggest media event of 2011?
Depends on how you define biggest.
Most viewed event of 2011?

Royal wedding watched by 24.5 million on UK terrestrial

TV 2 billion worldwide (est)
Most money - 2009?
Well in November 2009 Modern Warfare 2s first day
sales of $310 dwarfed that years best opening
weekend takings for a film - the $158.4 million earned
by The Dark Knight, which hit cinemas in July 2009.
Most money - 2010?
Call of Duty: Black Ops surpassed the $1 billion
worldwide sales mark after just six weeks of availability.

In just its first day of availability, Call of Duty: Black

Ops took $360 million in worldwide revenue. The game
then became the biggest entertainment launch
in history, making $650 million in its first five days of
availability. Modern Warfare 2 made $550 million
during its first five days on store shelves.

It took Modern Warfare 2 approximately two months to

reach the $1 billion worldwide sales figure Black Ops
surpassed in six weeks.

The best opening weekend for a film in 2010? Iron Man

2 which took $128 million in its opening weekend and
$312 million overall
Most money - 2011?
In July 2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part
2 became the biggest film of all time taking $169
million in its opening weekend and $380 million so

However it still is unlikely to be the biggest

entertainment event of 2011
Most money - 2011?
In July 2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part
2 became the biggest film of all time taking $169
million in its opening weekend and $380 million so

However it still is unlikely to be the biggest

entertainment event of 2011

Because this is
Long Tail Economics

Now think of a tiny scale event at the

other end of the long tail?
Long Tail Economics
Long Tail Economics
Describing the implications of this long
tail of media distribution, Hartley
suggests that the liberating potential of
Web 2.0 might be as important as the
emergence of mass literacy in the 17th
century or the introduction of mass
public schooling a century ago.
So this part of your exam is about
exploring theories like postmodernism,
universal digital literacy, Web 2.0 and
the We-media phenomenon - 'one
minute you're a fan, the next you're
signing autographs'...
We-media phenomenon

Today, after more than a century of electric technology,
we have extended our central nervous system in a
global embrace, abolishing both space and time as
far as our planet is concernedThe new electronic
independence re-creates the world
in the image of a global village.

Marshall McLuhan (1964)

The world is fragmenting into niche audiences on a

global scale.
How are we-media stars examples
of the global village?

Most watched TV show in the UK in 2009

Britains Got Talent Final
68% audience share 18.2 million viewers
120 million views on YouTube
So is Web 2.0 a global village?
Hopefully you now think of the media as a range
of networks via which we can decide to
participate, to whatever degree we like, in
creative, communicative, collaborative and
democratic activities, and not as a group of
powerful institutions trying to influence us.
However, it is only the developed world thats
close to being like this as less than 20% of the
world has any broadband connection at all
Academics call this difference the digital divide
So has Web 2.0 changed everything?

Not quite!
The most popular Web 2.0 sites are
owned by huge companies, so every
moment of democratic We-media social
networking makes money for the big
corporations - the same ones that were
making billions from Web 1.0.
Who owns Web 2.0?
Google began in January 1996, as a research
project by Larry Page, who was soon joined by
Sergey Brin, when they were both PhD students at
Stanford University in California.

In 2000, Google began selling advertisements

associated with search keywords. The ads were text-
based to maintain an uncluttered look and to maximize
page loading speed. Keywords were sold based on a
combination of price bid and clickthroughs, with
bidding starting at 0.5 cents per click (about 2p).

In late 2006, Google bought the online video site

YouTube for $1.65 billion.
Who owns Web 2.0?
News Corporation is the world's second-largest
media conglomerate (behind The Walt Disney
Company) and the world's third largest in
entertainment as of 2009. It bought MySpace in
July 2005 for $580 million.

MySpace was the most popular social

networking site in June 2006, however it
was overtaken internationally by its main
competitor, Facebook, in April 2008.

In 2006, Google and News Corporation

entered into a $900 million agreement to
provide search and advertising on the popular
social networking site, MySpace .
Who owns Web 2.0? is a UK-based Internet radio and music
community website, founded in 2002. It has 30 million
active users based in over 200 countries. On 30 May
2007, CBS Interactive acquired it for 140m.

CBS Interactive is an American company and

division of the CBS Corporation .

CBS Corporation is an American media

conglomerate focused on broadcasting, publishing,
billboards and television, with most of its operations in
the United States. It owns familiar web brands CNET,, amongst others.
Who uses Web 2.0?
Bill Tancer Hitwise Social Networks (2007)
A Hitwise report suggest that only 0.16% of YouTube
visitors upload video;
0.2% of Flickr visitors upload photos,
Wikipedia is edited or expanded by only 4.59% of users.
So most of us are using the Web 2.0 sites to read, watch,
play and listen and not to create and upload, which is
how we were using 'old media.
And if Web 2.0 companies are owned by old media
Are we really in an age of unbounded creativity?
Might it be more sensible to think of where we are now
as Web 1.5?
Corporate America wants to know what 18-24 year olds think
is cool because they are the prime targets for advertisers.
And sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook can sell the
information they learn about you to advertisers. The principal
value of social networking sites for corporate America is

Toby Miller (2008)

Introduction to Section B Review of
Part Two
So what have we learnt?
Weve learnt about cultural studies, social
groups and how broadband has changed the
cultural landscape.
Weve learnt about theories like we-media and
the long tail.
Weve learnt about the digital divide, who owns
Web 2.0 and why old media companies think
social networking is so important.
Short Essay on Web 2.0

Time for some writing:

What are the wider issues surrounding
Web 2.0?
Remember youve got to write about the
past, present and future give examples
use theory to back up your ideas