Crawl Across the Ocean

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Random Thought For the Day

I think that most people would agree with the statement that television (or radio, or newspapers) exists to provide content and uses advertising to cover the expenses of providing that content.

But I think it is more accurate to say that television (or radio, or newspapers) exists to sell products and uses content to get people to look at the advertisements for those products.

Perhaps this is just semantics, but I know it makes a difference to my own attitude if I think of it the second way, rather than the first way.


  • I look at it slightly differently, or maybe I've . I think television (or radio or newspapers) produce content as a means of selling eyeballs to advertisers. That is, I agree, but the media doesn't exist to sell products: your attention is what they are selling to advertisers.

    It's not semantics at all. It's a really important distinction. It helps explain a lot about the media.

    The thing that is a little mind bending for me is that news collection and distribution is entirely dependent upon consumerism, branding and advertising.

    By Blogger KevinG, at 11:15 AM  

  • As I work in an aspect of the TV industry, I'd actually have to say that most current television exists to provide product placement and uses advertising to cover the expenses of providing that product placement.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:54 PM  

  • It is indicative of how the industry views themselves that the news and editorial content of a newspaper are (or were) referred to as "the news hole" - a blank area surrounding the advertising that has to be filled for every edition.

    By Blogger deaner, at 2:32 PM  

  • Kevin - fair enough. That eyeball attention is typically used to sell something but not always, so your view holds more generally than what I said.

    I wonder what kind of news collection and distribution we would get in a world where you couldn't mix news and advertising?

    Cameron - you're even more cynical than I am! Still, I can't dispute that the product placements have been getting both more numerous and more blatant in recent years.

    Having said that, I guess the classic example of TV as product placement - 'The Price is Right' - has been around for a while.

    Dean - I didn't know that. Like you say, it gives a sense of the relationship between things.

    By Blogger Declan, at 2:46 PM  

  • I would say that the viewer is the product the media delivers to the advertiser.

    By Blogger Alison, at 1:23 AM  

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