Fox’s Business Model Nostalgia
Unsurprisingly, when a company — in this case, Fox — decides to hold its shows back from viewers for over a week when those users were used to getting them on Hulu earlier than that, downloads of those shows went up. Even the NY Times coverage of this change (that link) gets that that’s an obvious result; they phrase it as, “It looks like the television studios did not learn anything from the missteps of the music industry.”
People will watch legally if they can, but if they can’t, they want to keep up with their shows, and it’s easy to do so. Many people don’t see why they should pay for something that the day before came free into their house. Trying to force the audience into the viewing pattern the studio prefers is old-fashioned thinking, and more importantly, it clearly doesn’t work.
Fox’s response, by the way, is even more mixed up, talking about how someday they will be able to serve these customers again by “authenticating” them through one of a variety of pay sources.
Pump up the Volume Provides Life Lessons
I knew you could find insight in what otherwise is considered junk culture. This kind of analysis is why I got a degree in popular culture. Doctor NerdLove looks at one of my favorite films, Pump up the Volume, and finds a number of valuable lessons about identity and passion, including “If you don’t define yourself, someone else will”, “we are all trapped by other people’s expectations”, and “Sometimes in order to be who you really are, you have to pretend to be someone else.”
Too Many Films Available to Find the Classics?
Given how many classic movies are available to viewers today, it’s a bit surprising that very few take advantage of these outlets. A film appreciation teacher shares his experience with students who haven’t heard of such films as His Girl Friday, Casablanca, Double Indemnity, Dr. Strangelove, Chinatown, and many more. It’s heart-breaking to me, someone who remembers a time when you couldn’t see these amazing movies whenever you wanted, but I guess I sound like a fogey by saying that these kids should take better advantage of the variety of entertainment available to them.
With the exception of Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), and (for just a few) The Godfather (1972), it seemed most of them didn’t know any movie before Independence Day (1996) and Titanic (1997). … why didn’t they know? The Internet, Netflix, DVDs, dozens of cable channels… my students had incredible access to a virtually limitless library of movies, yet almost every day I went into class it was like I was speaking in tongues to them…. After mulling it over for a couple of days, I had my epiphany: an outrageous paradox. For all their access, my students saw astoundingly little; and as limited as my access had been, I’d seen so, so much more.
There’s a lot more information about how movie releases used to be special, and that presentation signaled to viewers that that movie counted. Now that everything wants to be a blockbuster, and most are evaluated based on the first weekend, there’s a lack of impact. Back in the Baby Boomer days, movie showings on the few TV channels available were shared experiences. Now, black-and-white movies are considered hopelessly out-of-date, so no one but TCM wants to show them, and today’s generation only wants to see things made within their lifetimes. I know, more fogieness, but even leaving aside the generalization of a particular kind of experience, there is a good amount of historical information you may not be familiar with in the piece.