Media Theory Revision Guide

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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 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 fan fiction using President Underwood as a central antagonist available online 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 the synergistic relationship that exists between audiences and media producers in the contemporary media landscape - usually constructed through digital or online media. Audiences might use social media to affect fan power. Media producers might use fan networks to distribute or market their products.

Media terminology used

Transmedia storytelling

The use of several different media forms to tell a story. Stories might be principally distributed as a television drama for instance with accompanying story content or character information made available online.

Brand visibility

Those processes that make audiences aware of a product's existence. Also describes the level of awareness that audiences have of a marketed product.

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