Is Jay Leno the future of television?

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3 Responses

  1. kiyallsmith says:

    The future of television is indeed in a unique position. Television is now only one form of hardware that transmits programming. I regularly see people watching TV shows on their iPods–which can be watched any time and any where. I wonder if some shows are more well suited to internet audiences than television audiences, and how this might impact the future of “television”?


    (Caveat: we got rid of our cable last winter and have not missed it one bit. Watching tv via the internet is cheaper and there are fewer advertisements.)

  2. bmckernan says:


    I couldn’t agree with your inquiry more! Indeed, many of the cultural industries are most certainly scrambling right now to find shows that not only cater to the demands of a new type of audience but also are profitable. The “convergence culture” we have entered has sparked an interesting era of experimentation in the cultural industries.

    You are certainly not alone in “turning off the tube” and turning to the internet for you tv show fix. And honestly, understanding this trend really helps illustrate the insight of sociology.

    Watching television online makes sense from a consumer’s standpoint. We no longer are dependent on network scheduling, we can relatively pause and play anywhere, and as you point out, there are usually less commercials. This is certainly an example where the internet has benefited the experience of popular culture.

    But, as most sociologists will note, technological advances don’t happen in a social vacuum. Just because we have the capacity to watch shows online does not mean that we will all get to enjoy that luxury. For example, networks are still struggling to make a profit off of online viewing, which may lead to subscription fees or other premium-type services.

    Perhaps even more significantly, every few years here in the US the major telecom companies toy with the idea of charging customers for their bandwidth usage. If the telecom companies are successful in this enterprise, it could potentially spell the end of internet viewing for most Americans, pushing viewers back to “free” network television rather than spend the cash to consume the appropriate bandwidth needed to watch the show for “free” online.

    These are certainly interesting times!

  1. 28th September 2009

    […] few weeks ago, I wrote a post on Sociology Lens entitled “Is Jay Leno the future of television?”  Using Leno’s new prime […]

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