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Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.

 

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House of Cards

Audience/producer convergence

Jenkins

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House of Cards blurs the distinction between the imagined world of the show and the real world of the audience. By releasing a series of fake presidential  campaign adverts during the real American elections of 2017, the show used a clever marketing ploy that placed the HOC story arc within the real world experience of its audience. This nurtured valuable  brand visibility for Netflix just as it was starting to produce original content for its streaming service - a  vulnerable moment for the streaming giant.

 

We might also label these tactics as 'transmedia storytelling' in that the additional narratives surrounding the broadcast story build a fictional universe that extends beyond core story lines. Jenkins also argues that these extensions prompt fan communities to construct their own imaginary reworkings - to appropriate fictional content for their own purposes. Certainly, the scope of online fan fiction using President Underwood as a central antagonist provides ample evidence of this process in action.

 

Importantly, it is digital media technology that has enabled this convergence or coming together of both audiences and producer. More importantly, and as illustrated above, audience/producer convergence conveys benefits for both parties.

Audience/producer convergence

Refers to audience/producer interconnectivity in the digital era. Fan activity, for example, can force makers to adapt content. Producers, conversely, use fan networks to distribute/market their output.

Media terminology used

Transmedia storytelling

The use of several different media forms to tell a story. Narratives might distributed as TV drama, for example, with accompanying story content or character information also available online.

Brand visibility

Advertising tactics that increase an audience's awareness and knowledge of a product. Social media campaigns, for example, make products visible in user feeds, telling users the benefits of product use.

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