Discussion on the Dispute Between the Old and the New in the Evolution of Media by "the Theory of the Vanishing of Television"

According to the editors at present, the development of Internet and mobile communication technology has greatly changed the way people use the media, and at the same time changed the media competition pattern and industry form. In recent years, the demise theory of television has always been heard and even become a representative view. In the course of media development, technological innovation will bring about changes in the status of the media, but the evolution of the media itself will also regain its importance. The relationship between newspapers, radio, movies, and television embodies a rule of media evolution, and the network is another development path. It is not so much that online media will replace television. It would be better to say that it brings new developmental momentum and opportunity to television, which will give TV a new vigor. This article was published in the News Spring and Autumn Period 2014 No. 4.

We are in an era of dramatic changes in media technology. Internet and mobile communications have rewritten the modes of information dissemination and program distribution. In the process of media evolution, many people are accustomed to defining a newly emerging media with “new” and “old”. Today, the concept of "new media" is widely used, and even some universities have established institutions such as the "New Media Research Institute." Accompanied by this, "the theory of television demise" is not in the ear. It seems that television will soon become history because of the new media such as the Internet. Throughout the development of the media, we will clearly see that the development of media technologies has continuously promoted the emergence of “new media”, and that there will always be games and integration between old and new media; after the “new” technologies are popularized, the media will not matter old or new. Now.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the newspapers and magazines gained media dominance. In the 30s and 40s of the 20th century, media dominance was broadcast from newspapers and magazines to more convenient and quick media formats. In the 50s and 60s of the 20th century, television began to occupy a strong position. By the beginning of the 20th century, the Internet began to pose a threat to television. Some scholars have pointed out that different forms of media substantially satisfy people's different needs, and there is essentially no alternative relationship between new and old ones. For example, media such as newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet require different skills and different ways of focusing. They create the possibility of different ways of using. The relationship between new and old media is always in a process of dynamic evolution, either through competition to achieve a new balance, or a complex in the process of fusion and mutual recognition. This article is to review the "new and old disputes" between several major media forms from the perspective of media evolution and explore the laws of media development.

First, the "new and old dispute" in the process of media evolution

New media is the product of a certain stage in the development of media technology, and it is a form of media relative to the then existing media. In terms of definitions, new media refers to media that has undergone a qualitative leap in communication concepts, communication technologies, communication methods, and consumption methods. It must not only be an unprecedented form of media, but must also be a novel media in terms of ideas and applications. From the course of media development, we can find that the catalyst for the evolution of the media is technology, and the root cause of the “new and old dispute” is the interest. In all kinds of media, competition for audiences and advertising revenues is constantly increasing, and differences among media are also playing a role. In other words, when a new media form emerges, it will threaten the existing media's survival and development space. On the contrary, existing media will firmly control existing resources and try to limit the development of new media.

1, newspapers and radio. Before broadcasting to the stage of history, newspapers were the king of the media. At the beginning of the 20th century, broadcasting began to develop steadily. Initially, newspapers and radio have not yet become competitors, and radio stations use newspaper advertisements to promote their new media. With the growth of broadcasting influence, the newspaper industry gradually felt threats. By the early 1930s, there were disagreements on how to treat broadcasting within the U.S. newspaper industry. In 1933, the Columbia Broadcasting Company (CBS) established the Columbia News Center, which exacerbated the unease in the newspaper industry. Newspapers and radio began to sneak in and out, and the media industry in the United States even thought that the "newspaper-broadcast war" had already begun. In order to solve the "new and old dispute", in the end of 1933, the newspaper and broadcasting industry representatives reached an agreement in Hotel Biltmore, New York. Under the agreement, radio stations such as the radio stations of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and CBS can only broadcast five-minute news from newspapers and news agencies every day, once at 9.30am and once at 9pm. Or later, to protect the rights of the morning and evening newspapers; radio stations must not collect news on their own; radio stations must not insert advertisements in news broadcasts, except for sponsors of the actual report.

In the United Kingdom, the BBC was also severely restricted by the press at the beginning. The BBC began broadcasting general news bulletins in London on December 23, 1922. In order to effectively cope with the challenges of this new media, the newspaper owner urged the government to restrict the BBC from conducting news operations and added a ban on its business license: BBC can only cover news briefs provided by several specific news agencies, including Reuters, the Press Association, the Exchange Telegraph, and the Central News, and can only broadcast after seven in the evening, the government hopes to reduce the damage to the daily sales volume. With the passage of time, the media ecology has become more balanced, the "new and old disputes" between broadcasting and newspapers have gradually subsided, and the cooperation has become closer. Newspapers and broadcasting belong to two different types of media, which essentially do not constitute a "replacement" relationship.

2, radio and television. TV entered the people's life formally in the 1930s, and has achieved considerable development since World War II. Compared with the relationship between newspapers and broadcasting, the relationship between broadcasting and television is complicated. Television has the characteristics of media usage such as watching, listening and reading, and in most cases beats the single listening characteristic of broadcasting. In the early days of television development, people did not fully realize the development potential of television and underestimated the impact of television on broadcasting. Lord Simon of Wythenshawe, who chaired the BBC’s oversight committee from 1947 to 1952, mistakenly compared television news and radio news, and concluded that there is little chance for television to replace the broadcast. In the United States, advertisements are gradually flocking to television as a new media. By 1955, Radio's radio revenue had fallen by about 58% from 1952. As some of the big names of radio stations switched to television, a large number of broadcasters turned into television viewers. In the early 1960s, the status of television in the United States and the British media had gone beyond broadcasting. At the time, opinion polls showed that television news had replaced broadcasting and newspapers and became the main source of news for English and American audiences.

At the time, a study also found that the advent of TV allowed people to listen to the radio on average for an average of 8 minutes a day. In the 1960s, a Hungarian sociologist, Alexander Sale, conducted a wide range of research for UNESCO. He received daily time-use tables for four Western European countries, six Eastern European countries, one Latin American country, and the United States. More than 25,000 samples were sampled. The study found that in the early stages of television, people began to drastically reduce their time spent in other media; in addition, they spent more time at home; they slept less; they had less chat; these may be because Affect watching TV. After some time, the study found that the changes brought about by television were even more pronounced. The time that people with televisions respectively reduced in the following items is:

In the end, the broadcast did not die out because of the development of television. As Paul Levenson said, a media usually has many types of functions. It may be more advanced than its rivals in one area and may be lagging behind in another area. For the same or different opponents. The radio survived successfully in the TV era because it no longer focused on the people in the evening room (here, it was easily overcome by TV), but instead catered to people listening. And other natural needs.

3, movies and television. Movies and television are all audio-visual media, but the former has strong public entertainment attributes, and the latter is basically home entertainment. In the early days of television development, the relationship between the film industry and the television industry was somewhat similar to that between the recording industry and the early broadcasting industry. The former considered the latter as a competitor, and the former held the important content resources needed for the development of the latter. . The American film industry has been hostile to television for a long time, refusing or restricting the provision of television to television stations.

Before 1960, the American film studios only provided television stations with old movies produced before 1948. Therefore, some scholars believe that this is a major failure of the film industry, forcing the television industry to develop its own content industry, thus losing an important broadcast channel and source of income. With the deepening of the television industry, the film industry realizes that television will not replace movies, and that the two can form a close cooperative relationship. The closer cooperation between the film and television industry is reflected in the fact that the film company has produced more movies targeting TV viewers. In 1978, Hollywood produced about 180 movies exclusively for television, and the production of movies for the release of movie theaters was only more than twenty.

After entering the 1970s, about half of Hollywood's annual revenue comes from television. The television station purchased the right to broadcast the movie. On average, each department had to pay 500,000 US dollars, and the highest one had reached 10 million US dollars. The integration of cinema and television can promote the common development of film and television. From the perspective of media evolution, the movie did not disappear because of the television that came after it. Each kind of media has its own uniqueness. Although it will be threatened when a new media appears, it will still maintain its inherent status. For a large number of viewers, the movie is still largely irreplaceable because it provides very unique social behavior (usually cultural activities for many people to go out), providing a special ritual immersed in a quiet dark theater. (There are also some auditoriums in a cultural background that are very noisy!).

4, Internet and television. The relationship between the Internet and television is not an ordinary relationship between the old and the new. It shows the characteristics of being intertwined and intricate. The world began during the Cold War. At that time, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency established a computer internet network for the military needs of the time. This network is the Internet's predecessor, “Apanet.” In 1989, the World Wide Web (www) was born. In the 1990s, the global Internet has made great progress. The Internet has entered a period of extraordinary development across regions and industries. The main form of information on the early days of the Internet was character content, and the amount of audio content transmissions has steadily increased. With the development of technology, TV programs (more precisely, video contents) are gradually increasing.

The intersection of the Internet and TV is after the Internet has entered the Web 2.0 era. Unlike Web1.0 portals, BBS, and search engines, after the Web 2.0 era, the emergence of social networking and online video services not only enriched the content of the Internet, but also changed the way people use the Internet. Among the several Web2.0 models, the most developed ones are online video (the initial form of Internet TV) and social networking. The Internet poses a huge threat to TV stations and even triggers the "disappearance of television" theory.

Indeed, the Internet has had a tremendous impact on TV program production, transmission, broadcast, and content distribution. Take the TV operation industry as an example. Internet TV directly erodes users in the traditional TV operation industry. According to a survey of 24,000 adults in the United States in April 2014, subscribers of online video sites such as Netflix or Hulu are more likely to stop paying to watch cable TV, and the cancellation rate is three times that of regular TV users. As of July 2014, Netflix registered a total of 50.5 million registered users, of which 13.8 million registered overseas. Of the registered users, 47.99 million are paying users. In contrast, the total number of users of Comcast, the largest pay-TV operator in the United States, is around 22 million.

At present, the television industry treats the Internet with an attitude of learning and integration. In April 2014, Mike Fries, president and CEO of the Free Media Global Group, said at an industry conference on cable television in the United States that the rise of Netflix did not indicate that the cable industry suffered a major setback. Netflix does provide a good experience for the entire cable TV industry. Netflix Corporation has given an important lesson to the traditional cable television industry and has been at the forefront of the entire TV industry in providing users with new video screen services. In addition, the traditional cable television industry is also actively using network technology to expand and upgrade its business. Comcast of the United States has launched the X1 business, and the Free Media Global Group has also launched the “Horizon” business. Both of these businesses have established a new network program distribution platform, and the broadcast terminal includes not only televisions but also mobile phones. terminal. In addition, these two services are more convenient for interaction with users.

Second, the new and old media development process

The "new" and "old" of the media are relative concepts, but the relationship between the new media and the old media is not a replacement relationship between the "survival of the fittest" and the "old". In other words, when a new media wins over old media in a particular field, it does not mean that the old media is about to decline and die. In fact, the old media will be squeezed into a small living environment in which it will play the role that the new media cannot perform and thus survive. Of course, the prospect of continued existence of the old media depends on whether it can discover the still existing human needs or perception patterns. On the other hand, new media and old media can be transformed from a confrontational relationship at a certain stage to a cooperative relationship at the next stage. Take broadcast as an example. In the era of broadcasting or new media, it has had a great impact on the recording industry at that time. As more and more listeners listened to music programs on radio, the recording industry suffered a recession in the 1930s. China Insurance was destroyed.

Obviously, at the time, the radio and recording industry was in a state of opposition, and the record company did not even allow radio stations to broadcast its records. However, subsequent developments have proved that radio broadcasts are good for the broadcasting industry and the recording industry, but this was not understood at the time. Naturally, the relationship between broadcasting and the recording industry changed from confrontation to cooperation. For the media market operation, new media often pose a challenge to the old media, and it often contains enormous opportunities for development. When the first gasoline-powered car appeared in the early 1890s, few carriage manufacturers believed that they would replace reliable horse-drawn carriages. Most people argue that cars are just expensive toys for the rich, and that the right road and car filling stations will take several generations to build. Others have completely misjudged horses. They believe that only steam rather than gasoline is the future energy source. However, despite the physical obstacles and the natural tendency of existing companies to resist changes, gasoline-powered cars are rapidly spreading in the world. Today, the media industry is facing the same situation.

The new and old evolution of media form is directly related to the development of media technology, and the development of media technology has its inherent laws. The development of media technology is the result of the contradiction between human cultural needs and material production. Just as productivity changes production relations, technology is the driving force for the reform of media forms. At the same time, the fact that a media technology can be generally accepted by the public means that it has the ability to meet user needs. Each new media technology can always meet people's information needs more conveniently and meet people's entertainment needs with higher quality. At the same time, the evolution of media forms has its own internal laws. The first is the law of co-evolution and co-survival. That is, all forms of communication media will live together and evolve together within an ever-expanding and complex adaptive system. Whenever a new form emerges and develops, it will continue to grow. Different degrees affect the development of every other existing form. The second is the law of morphological change, that is, new media will never appear spontaneously and in isolation. They are gradually born out of the changes in the shape of the old media. When newer forms emerge, older forms will go. Adapt and continue to evolve rather than die. The third is the law of proliferation, that is, the newly emerging forms of communication media will increase the main characteristics of the original forms. The fourth is the law of survival, that is, all forms of media and media companies are forced to adapt and evolve in order to survive in an ever-changing environment. Their only other alternative is death. Fifth, the law of opportunity and demand, that is, new media is not widely adopted merely because of technical advantages, but also has social, political, and/or economic reasons to stimulate. Sixth, the law of time-delay application, that is, new media technology will take longer than expected to achieve commercial success. From the proof of concept development to universal adoption, it usually takes at least one generation (20-30 years).

At present, the Internet subverts the laws of media evolution to some extent, because in the new and old media formats such as newspapers, radio and television, it is not difficult for us to discover that this is just the evolution of images, sounds, and words through the use of technology. The mutual conversion between the words constitutes the newspapers and magazines, the sounds constitute the broadcast, and the images constitute the television. Now, the Internet has embraced all previous media forms in a digital form, forming an all-encompassing super carrier.

Some people think that the position of the king of traditional television will be replaced by the new media such as the Internet, and put forward a three-stage theory: In the first stage, new media on the Internet continue to attract the attention of the audience and advertisers, resulting in traditional television. Loss of audience, loss of advertisements, discourse power and influence. In the second stage, with the rise of video websites, the content copyright of traditional TVs began to shift to the Internet, and the video production talents of traditional TV media also started to lose track of the production of video website programs. In the third stage, the resources of viewers, advertisements, brands, talents, and content of traditional TVs were lost. The television station may become a content provider of new audiovisual media.

However, many professionals believe that from the current development trend, there is no conflict between the new media of the Internet and traditional television, but a mutually reinforcing relationship. From the perspective of the development of traditional television, the Internet has even brought new opportunities for the development of traditional television. Because, the transmission channels of television programs are no longer limited to cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite platforms or terrestrial wireless, but also to the network; the broadcast methods of television programs are no longer confined to linear broadcasting, and can be carried out more conveniently. Playback, on-demand, etc.; broadcast terminals of TV programs are no longer limited to televisions, smart phones, tablet computers, desktops, etc. can all become broadcast terminals. To some extent, the television era that belongs to television sets has ended, but television has entered a new era. The growth in the variety and number of television broadcast terminals has continued to inject vitality into the development of the entire television industry, and the viewing time of global television viewers has shown an upward trend. For example, in five European countries with more developed TV industry, the average viewing duration of TV viewers has increased by 43 minutes over the past 20 years. Therefore, some people in the industry believe that the golden age of television began.

Third, the conclusion

At present, the Internet and the new media it represents are just in the ascendant and continue to trigger people's discussion about new media and old media. Throughout the history of media development, the relationship between newspapers, radio, film, television, and the Internet is complex, but there is still a clearer line of development that follows the evolution of symbols and the law of technological development; the prerequisite for a media to gain dominance is It has a more complex symbology, more convenient reception, and better meet people's content needs. With the development of the Internet and mobile communication technologies, the media evolution will show a convergence trend. In the long run, telecommunications, television and data services will be integrated into a single, new network that can provide voice, data and other video and various services on all three networks. In such a media environment, it is hard to say whether the Internet has dominated TV or whether TV has consolidated its position with the help of the Internet. But what is certain is that the Internet will continue to develop and television will not die.

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