Film and media scholar Dan Herbert joins Amanda and Alex to try to sort out the difference between television and film as these distinctions grow blurrier.
Amanda and Alex host Ira Deutchman in the studio to talk about how the independent film business has changed, and remained the same, over his forty years in the business. Ira reveals what he thinks are the most important parts of training filmmakers, what irks him about discussions of the recent "golden age" of television, and misunderstandings of independent film.
Amanda and Alex take a field trip to the office of Russ Collins, Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan Theater and Creative Director of the Cinetopia Film Festival. Russ explains the particular dynamics of film exhibition outside the multiplex and a sector of filmgoing that remains alive and thriving. Our wide ranging conversation explores the challenges and opportunities of the art film sector, where that sector developed from, and the particularities of operating as a community-based, mission driven theater--all with our media business focus.
Alex interviews Amanda about her new book that begins to make sense of questions such as "Is Netflix television?" Portals--a short book--explores how television distributed over the internet isn't a "new medium," but a new way to distribute television. The book considers how both the technological affordances of internet distribution and the predominant business model (subscriber funding) allow television to do new things, while in other ways it remains very similar to the business of television we've long known.
Amanda and Alex look back over the year to assess what we've learned and how the media businesses have changed and are changing and highlight a few stories to watch going into 2017. We close the show by looking back at our picks for the notable media produced by media businesses in 2016 and with a thank you listeners who've joined us as we complete our first year.
Here's a takeaway "maybe we need to think less about old media versus new media because it is increasingly all just big media."
Amanda and Alex look back at the election as a media business story. Contested elections with colorful characters are good for business, though data about what some media covered this cycle suggests they may not be good for an informed democracy. We also look at all we don't know about the next four years and what a Trump administration might mean for media policy.
Amanda and Alex, provoked by an article by Matthew Ball, consider the changing use of distribution windows by media industries and why windows exist at all. Also, a few thoughts on the pending AT&T/Time Warner merger in closing.
Article discussed: Matthew Ball, "Letting it Go: The End of Windowing (and What Comes Next)" REDEF, Aug. 24, 2016
Amanda and Alex dig into a series about the growing business of podcasts written by Ken Doctor in Nieman Lab. Are podcasts the next big thing, or just another part of the shifting digital media scene?
Ken Doctor, "An Island No More: Inside the Business of the Podcasting Boom." Nieman Lab, Sep. 16, 2016 (and the other four stories in the series).