Introduction to Popular Culture Studies


Posted by mhlowhorn on October 31, 2016

In the modern world of streaming and downloading media, it’s interesting to hear stories of content creators actually approving of and seeking out ways of being more accessible to a wide number of viewers.  These are the opposite of people like Taylor Swift, who take their music off of Spotify and other streaming platforms because it doesn’t generate enough money for them.

In the article about the Swedish music production company, one person said, “I’d rather have one million listeners and one hundred buyers than one hundred listeners and one hundred buyers”, which is undoubtedly one of the keys to success in the world of spreadable media.  The Swedish music company and producers like Joss Whedon (specifically when he was working on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) looked at their consumers as people who can interact with and share their media, rather than just another number or viewer.

The Swedish music company gives away free downloads of their artists’ singles and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog started out being streamed free on Hulu.  Clearly, in this case, the respective producers see the value in allowing their content to reach as many people as possible.  The pay-off won’t be immediate, but it will be apparent as the content spreads and attracts more attention.  This is true for a lot of media with a “cult following.”  Typically, TV shows that spread through the internet or word of mouth attract a rabid fanbase, which is willing to invest a lot of time and money in merchandise and events surrounding the particular program.

It’s interesting to think about how the expansion of media platforms—streaming music, television, or even podcasts—has changed the way content creators produce their material.  It has also changed the way producers consider the economic value of their content and consumers.


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