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The New Television Ecosystem

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Edited By Alberto Abruzzese, Nello Barile, Julian Gebhardt and Jane Vincent

This highly topical book deals with the new frontiers of digital television addressing the challenges it faces as a result of the upsurge of new and converging digital technologies. In a world which has developed online interactivity and new roles for its users, a new scenario of the domestic sphere is emerging where television has lost its dominance within audiovisual products to the Internet, videogames, tablets, mobile phones, and more. Contemporary digital television is thus a field where different platforms, languages and formats compete in order to become the dominant standard for the future. In this new TV ecosystem audiences are negotiating their identities and are implementing practices of use which are redesigning the entire processes for TV production and consumption.

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Part IV Understanding New Behaviours and Attitudes towards Digital Television

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175 Jakob Bjur Social Television Ecology – The Misfits and New Viewing Practices The death of television. We have all heard it being proclaimed before (Gilder, 1994; Katz and Scannel, 2009) but this is far from reality – both in theory and in real life. A more adequate description seems to be that television is subject to broad transformation; in terms of content and services, distributional form, tech- nology and cultural form. This transformation is not limited to television itself but encompasses its audiences, becoming highly fragmentised and accordingly, in- creasingly polarized (Napoli, 2011; Webster, 2005). Thus, what used to be com- mon, shared and homogenous is today individualized, specialized and heteroge- neous (Bjur, 2009). Audiences, as well as societies, have transcended from mass to individualized towards networked (Castells, 1997; Jenkins, 2006). During the last two decades, this line of change has been fuelled by digitalisation and accel- erated by an increasingly ubiquitous Internet (Fortunati, 2008; Urry, 2007). Con- sequently, observers have forecasted that television is about to be revolutionized (Lotz, 2007). Addressed below is when, where, and how this revolution is taking place in everyday viewing situations. The subject matter of this chapter is to outline the social contours of television viewing. The chapter delivers an unique empirical outline of how traditional tele- vision viewing is socially structured, in time and in space, and how patterns of social viewing have transformed during the last decade. Inherent to the present social, cultural and technological shift that is breaking the audience apart, from...

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