The DVR generation and the end of mass media

I don’t say this often, but this is a must-read article (free registration required) for those who follow the TV industry. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times has done an excellent job of telling the story of the end of mass media.

And the image you are seeing could be the biggest change in our relationship to television since television was invented — the shift from mass media, which brought the world into the living room, to self-serve media, through which viewers need never see anything they don’t want to see. There will be no return to our regularly scheduled program.

“This is an acceleration of the process that began with the VCR,” says Ron Simon, curator of television at the Museum of Television & Radio in New York. “The VCR allowed us to time shift, but DVRs make it effortless. This is a breakdown in the national experience of television, a breakdown of an ongoing national conversation.”

“It has fundamentally changed the way we use television,” says Todd P. Leavitt, president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. ” ‘Must-see TV’ goes out the window, the water-cooler show goes out the window. You create your own schedule, you become your own Freddy Silverman.”

There are a lot of good quotes here, and the story’s told without a lot of the usual whining about loss of community, etc.

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