All Audiences are Niche Audiences

The New York Times looks at how time shifting TV programs is affecting the medium and our culture:

“Media consumers have said, loudly and repeatedly, that they want to watch what they want, when and where they want it. Last week NBC called that bluff, saying that its prime-time broadcast schedule would be there for free downloading for a week after being shown on television.””Instead, a historically passive medium that provided comfort and familiarity has been pushed into a new level of engagement by younger viewers and technological change. Consumers are surrounded with choices like downloads, streams and digital recordings, yielding a customizable media universe that may mean the new mass audience is really a series of niche ones.”

“With a new fall season getting under way, will audiences leave behind the tyranny of the broadcast schedule and make up their own fall television schedule by downloading? And if they choose the mouse, what do we talk about around the water cooler the next day at work?”