Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Archive for February, 2017

Are You Engaged?

Posted by amycorysite on February 28, 2017

After reading chapter 3 for the 2/27/17 blog post of “The Value of Media Engagement”, I found it very similar to our other readings. The key value established in media engagement is all about the audience at hand. In the second portion of the reading titled, “Are you Engaged?” examined the concept of viewership and how well the producer of several television shows are able to predict and sell such attention to advertisers for profit. This chapters main obligation is to analyze the media industry and manage to give enough value to the audiences of various television shows. In doing so the producer and consumer engagement will then form a mutual understanding under any given platform. The concept of “piracy” described on page 117 described the result of piracy of television shows “is more often a product of market failures on the part of media industry than of moral failures on the part of media audiences”. The way media industries measure by rewarding an audiences engagement has formed great tension about how to go about establishing a moral economic stand point behind the production value and the movement of media. Once again, the main focus of the media industry is to allow fandoms of such cult and popular television shows to instigate more engagement from the more or less casual viewers of such shows. In comparison to these statements, “The Nielsen ratings system” proves a valid point of how ratings are added up by “not just those who made the appointment on time but also everyone who was fashionably late” (117).


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It’s a Piracy Life For Me

Posted by connorfrederick12 on February 28, 2017

This was a pretty big section to read and I touched on a lot but, piracy is the one thing I will never turn down the chance to write about. I did a speech last semester on my piracy was bad, which is extremely iron because I still pirate TV shows and computer programs, but not music. I don’t want to hurt the music man. But piracy is always something I’ve been an advocate for and it has so many positive effects on media.

Yes the media company initially loses ratings and money because viewers aren’t watching the show live but, if those people do not have the means to watch the show (such as myself with Game of Thrones) they will mostly likely at that point find a “legal” way to watch the show like buying the streaming service or channel. Again, the companies initially lose money, but like it was stated in the book, the shows are being seen and it’s turning people into fans of the show. Fans buy clothes, books, accessories and other merchandise that pertains to the show that they know and love thanks to pirating a season or two, or three, or five.

Piracy is an extremely controversial topic in the digital world right now and multiple people have been arrested for redistributing some products that have copyright, but not selling. I will be an advocate for piracy until the day I die and I may be a pirate for that long too.


“Arrg.” – A Pirate

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The value of media engagement

Posted by toripatterson504 on February 28, 2017

As I begin reading this chapter I couldn’t help but connect what we discussed in class about media audience in viewings to what this chapter was all about.  As audience members our basic understanding of television shows are watching them when they’re convenient for us but there is a such thing as watching the show when it’s convenient for the producers. Our discussion in class a few weeks ago was about a specific television show that wrote to his viewers and told them to tune in while the show is playing or the show was eventually going to be canceled. Some may argue that that was very unprofessional but for the people who do enjoy the show it was important for the producers to get the message out about the possible cancellation of the show to try and stop it. Recording your favorite television show and saving it for later has become so popular in our society today. We have all been guilty of setting a timer to record our favorite show but not actually tuning in while the show is airing. To us this may seem convenient but for the producers in the writings of the show it could possibly be calm detrimental. As discussed in the chapter that most of the people who are you legally streaming TV shows and movies are from other countries but want to watch the show when it corresponds to its airing time. This form of illegal downloading is look down upon but I understand why it’s being done. Imagine if you had to see all the details of your favorite TV show online before you even had a chance to watch that show. It would piss you off and potentially cause you to lose interest in the show.




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Media Engagement

Posted by tommistowers on February 28, 2017

While reading The Value of Media Engagement, I couldn’t help but to think of an app called LimeWire and Frostbite. These streams were illegal downloads for music a few years back. Instead of paying $3 for a song on ITunes it seemed as everyone just streamed illegally. I’m not going to lie, I used LimeWire when I was younger but now just bought the $10 a month for the Apple Music app. I mean am I wrong for doing that? Why pay for something when you can just get the same quality for free?

In reading this chapter the producer, Jenkins expressed his opinion on this topic. “I’d rather have the show I work on be seen, and, frankly, given the way that the studios have dealt with the royalty compensation for writer on alternative platforms… I’m so sorry about your pirating problem, really!” Jenkins expressed his opinion like this because when people are pirating his television show, he is not getting the credit or being recognized for the potential value of the audience’s engagement. Most of the shows that were being illegally downloaded were the hits of “cult shows” that rely on the audiences and viewers to attract on more viewers. Illegal downloads have ruined shows throughout the years. For example, Heroes had 6,580,000 illegal downloads for a single episode as a comparison of 5,900,000 legal viewers. Therefore, the show Heroes was eventually canceled. Meanwhile, Lost had 6,310,000 illegal downloads for a single episode as a comparison to its 11,050,000 legal views. Therefore, the illegal downloads didn’t matter since their legal views were higher.

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Deepstream: Internet Challenges.

Posted by vene131 on February 28, 2017

Our group (Cameron Brooks, Kate Milner, and Venesa Hill) all met up during the week to try and think of what could we possibly do to come up with a good topic for the Deepstream project. So with all of our creative minds we decided that we could elaborate on spreadability in the case of video challenge trends like the Ice Bucket Challenge, the Mannequin Challenge, and even go back as far as Planking. The fact of the matter is that these challenge are not just for ordinary people, but famous people like celebrities and politicians have even began to participate in the trendy challenges. The spreading of these challenges is one way that people have sort of bonded together.

One of the first Internet challenge we covered in our Deepstream was Planking. Planking was known at first as something that was for people who exercised. Eventually it became this fad where people would mimic a wood plank in various locations and have pictures of them doing it posted to social media. The first example of this was in 2007 where a friend group at the time decided to make a Facebook group dedicated to pictures of people planking. It spread like wildfire after that, and became one of the first major challenge memes that people participated in worldwide.

Following planking, there was another internet fad called the Harlem Shake. It started in 2013 by a YouTube personality and his friends dancing ridiculously to the song Harlem Shake by Baauer. The Harlem Shake was one of the first major challenges where celebrities got heavily involved. Casts for TV shows and movies would do Harlem Shake videos and upload them as a form of publicity.

After the Harlem Shake there was what many consider to be the largest challenge ever, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ALS Foundation prompted people to pour buckets over their heads full of ice water as a way to spread the need for donations to the ALS fund to help those who suffer from it during the summer of 2014. Anyone you can think of got involved, and there probably isn’t a person alive who doesn’t know about the Ice Bucket Challenge. I mean, Obama did the Ice Bucket Challenge. Obama. How cool is that? So obviously it spread everywhere and raised well over $100 million.

Another significant challenge would be the 22 Pushups Challenge. Although not as widespread as the Ice Bucket Challenge, it still gained popularity. Basically people were encouraged to do 22 pushups as a way to spread awareness of the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day.

Now the most recent challenge would be the Mannequin Challenge. One of the few challenges on our list that literally has no good reasoning behind it except some high schoolers thought it would be funny. I think this is a great example of how internet challenge started off being things that helped promote something, but now they have just become something for people to do as a way to connect with one another. It’s not always about helping promote a great cause, but sometimes it is just something funny to do with your friends or political team (looking at you, Hillary). The spreading of these challenges is significant to popular culture because they are a way for people to connect with one another through something that can seem almost insignificant.

Final Stream: http://deepstream.tv/watch/pop201group/pop-201-project-RnTm5AB7

Note: We placed all our videos into one stream. To navigate through them, hit the square to see arrow keys that will lead you through what’s included.

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The Value of Media Engagement, Part 2

Posted by nathanpowers22 on February 27, 2017

Much of the first half of Chapter 3 from Spreadable Media reaffirmed points made in the assigned essays from last week, including:

  • the Nielsen ratings system is far from being in sync with the realities of audience engagement (and even viewership, since they rely on representative samples),
  • fans contribute a lot of value to media properties by generating cultural value (encouraging friends/family to watch and rewatch, making shows a topic of discussion), and
  • “drillable” media texts, those that rely on heavy engagement through establishing “communities of consumption,” often prove more valuable than one would expect based on dominant appointment-based logic.

I feel like all of these elements were factors that ultimately led to the renewal of Community for a 6th season a couple of years ago on Yahoo! Screen. This is yet another example of a grassroots movement to reverse the decision by a TV network (NBC) to cancel a show with poor ratings, but a devoted cult following. Although the campaign was successful, the strategy of Community fans was arguably much more passive compared to the efforts of Jericho and Chuck fans. However, the event is still fairly similar to the Jericho situation in that the movement centered around a reference to something within the show itself. Rather than a line about peanuts, fans rallied around the season 2 in-joke, “six seasons and a movie” by getting the hashtag #sixseasonsandamovie to trend on Twitter. I think the key difference here was honestly that Yahoo! Screen was trying to net the rights to a property that they felt would drive users to their company’s answer to Netflix, Hulu, and the growing number of other streaming services that exist today, and Community just seemed like the right move in the face of this high (or at least vocal) demand.

Despite this, as a fan myself, I would argue that the depth of engagement played a large part in the enthusiasm for the show that fueled the social media crusade in the first place. I feel like the show subverted a lot of sitcom stereotypes in humorous ways, and it has a high degree of “rewatchability” because there are so many small details that foreshadow events in later episodes (and even seasons) [1] as well as entertaining easter eggs based on implied character histories and pop culture references. For me personally, there’s also a connection to the aspect of viewership garnered through “pirating;” it’s how I binge-watched the first four seasons of the show. And like the introduction to Chapter 3 suggests, I believe I added some value to the show in doing so because I made an ex-girlfriend a fan as well as my roommate, with whom I watched the 6th season as it was released.

[1] – Abed delivers a baby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrVcTXXGLho

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Deepstream Analysis

Posted by nasir502nasir on February 27, 2017

Our group (Nasir Stoner, Kimberlea Ferrell, Amy Cory and Laura Mitchell) met up last week to do our Deepstream project on the movie They Live since we all seemed to like the movie and have our own opinions about the movie and specific scenes. We were able to find a video of Rowdy Piper being interviewed for the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release. He had a lot to say about the movie and the subjects that the movie was trying to touch on. From mind control to the Illuminati the move had a lot of points and even connections to things that go on in today’s age. Rowdy Piper spoke on this in the interview. We analyzed these specific points that he touched on. In the movie Rowdy Piper’s character could see things as they really were behind the scenes through special glasses. He saw that the world was being controlled by skeleton like figures that appeared to be humans. He could walk in a room of people and be able to see which people were real and which people were not. Everybody that would look at him thought he was crazy, but he could see and knew the truth. There was even a scene where he went in a place and shot all of the skeleton like figures and everyone was scared. It was probably the most popular scene of the movie because it was so violent and dramatic. Throughout the movie he tries to get other people to see the world how he does and a lot of people just blow him off. With the exception of a decent sized group of people nobody would believe what he was saying until the end. And the skeleton figures always portrayed themselves as humans so the people that couldn’t see through it really thought he was crazy. In the interview Rowdy spoke on where he was from, stating he was born in Canada originally but is from and lives in the United States. He proceeded to talk about the present and the future comparing it to the past. The movie was made in the 80’s but still had a huge connection to things that are going on now. Rowdy spoke on how the world seems to be trying to move to a one world government but it seems like there are too many things preventing that from happening at the same time. The fact that this movie came out in the 80’s and  is still relevant to conspiracies of now and things that are really going on now is very interesting. The world is changing at a rapid pace but at the same time things are really staying the same in ways. We are progressing, but at the same time we seem to be going backwards. All of the propaganda we see in our faces every day that we don’t notice as propaganda is the reason we are so reliant on things like television, communication, cell phones and the internet. And I think that is kind of what They Live is about. Because Rowdy could even see the world differently looking at billboards and signs. This movie was really a great one and a one that we should all relate to.  http://deepstream.tv/curate/Pop201/they-live-deepstream-project-zx56rktG

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Piracy and Engagement

Posted by adusheck on February 27, 2017

Issues of piracy and copyright have been topics heavily discussed through this course, it what my group did our DeepSteam project on. It is interesting to me that with so much discussion/attention being put on it the two that 1.) a solution has not been devised and 2.) the punishment is not more severe. While reading The Value of Media Engagement I had several interesting thoughts that the book outlined, number one being WHY do people watch television series and movies on pirated sites and apps? The book gave several answers that I agreed with number one being the schedule. To elaborate on that I think that people are more apt to watch something when it is convenient for them sometimes 9 pm is not convenient and they forgot to dvr it or do not have dvr available to them, but they do have a free pirate website. Not having dvr could be a big issue because a lot of television dramas such as the example of Heroes given in the text are only aired once a week. If someone is to miss the one time it airs what are they supposed to do? Wait for the dvd set to come out? Watch the next week’s episode having no idea what happened last week? The problem of scheduling also brought to my mind the idea of binge watching. Sometimes it may not be ideal for someone to view a show one episode at a time, week to week so viewers wait for a series to end or watch a series/season of a series that has already ended all at once. It may be more ideal for companies/networks to air shows all at once to up ratings such as shows like Orange is the New Black do.

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Engagement is the 🔑

Posted by cameronbrooks3 on February 27, 2017

After reading “The Vaule of Media Engagement.” I discovered that companies are losing money when viewers watch shows online instead of live. In my opinion I thought as long as you watch the show it will be fine but I guess I was wrong. That even includes Netflix, Hulu, and if you think about it even if you watch movies online that haven’t came in theaters yet or that just came out. In a way it kinda makes since just for the fact that stations have a type of recorder that showed how many people watch their show and that’s how there views and rating go up. But if more people watch the shows online than live at that moment than it seems that people aren’t watching the show and that’s how they lose money. In the world that we live in today unless your lazy and live with your mother in the basement, majority of the time we are to busy too actually watch TV, especially if your a college student. Where being engaged really comes in to play when if your actively watching the show and not recording it. A highly recommended show that I recommend to people is “Empire” this show premieres on FOX, and you can watch it on Hulu and online on sites like Putlocker. Overall, I feel that this is very beneficial to viewers that are out and about and just want to watch there show whenever they can cause once in awhile when are we ever engage in TV with so much to do in the world.

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Value of Media Engagement Part 2

Posted by jasendavis on February 27, 2017

The first portion of chapter 3 was essentially a recapitulation of the essays that were read last week, but the idea of consumer interaction shaping distribution of material remains interesting. I believe that many more stations will move from the appointment model to the engagement model of television. The best example of this model would be HBO GO. I use it to watch Game of Thrones, Ballers and Eastbound and Down. The university subsidizes what would be the normal cost of the service, but HBO is no worse for the wear. These are the reasons I believe more companies will move to this model:

1.      Consumers would prefer this model due to the flexibility of viewership that it provides

2.      It is much easier to track the number of visits on a website (and therefor value) than counting viewers of a television broadcast

3.      Due to the ease of tracking, producers will have the option to monetize their most popular shows through advertising

I know that I prefer the ability to watch television programs when my schedule dictates. For example, most Monday nights, I work until ten o’clock and miss Motor Mondays on Discovery Channel. I enjoy having the ability to watch on delay on their website later that night. Each tiem I watch the episodes on their website, Discovery Channel knows that I have. This opens the door for advertisers to place their ads on the videos or surrounding click-bait spots. A good example of advertisers taking advantage of the engagement model is MLB.com. The website posts virtually all programing from MLB network on the website the following day in fragmented clips. Each clip is tied to a video advertisement that cannot be skipped. The reason MLB does this is because MLB network is a premium channel that few people pay for. Placing the clips on their website gives a second medium through which they capitalize on the productions.

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