With growth in access to high-speed broadband and 4G, and increased ownership of smartphones, tablets and internet-connected television sets, the internet has simultaneously begun to compete with and transform television. Online TV argues that these changes create the conditions for an emergent internet era that challenges the language and concepts that we have to talk about television as a medium.
In a wide-ranging analysis, Catherine Johnson sets out a series of conceptual frameworks designed to provide a clearer language with which to analyse the changes to television in the internet era and to bring into focus the power dynamics of the online TV industry.
From providing definitions of online TV and the online TV industry, to examining the ways in which technology, rights, interfaces and algorithms are used to control and constrain access to audiovisual content, Online TV is a timely intervention into debates about contemporary internet and television cultures. A must-read for any students, scholars and practitioners who want to understand and analyse the ways in which television is intertwining with and being transformed by the internet.
Chapter 1: From broadcast to online TV
Chapter 2: Defining online TV
Chapter 3: Online TV industry and technologies
Chapter 4: Online TV content production and distribution
Chapter 5: Online TV interfaces
Chapter 6: Online TV data and algorithms
Conclusion: The volatility of online TV
'Online TV offers a comprehensive framework for discerning television's expansion to internet distribution and cogently explores how new capabilities blend with persistent features to evolve our understanding of the medium.'
Amanda Lotz, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
'When today’s television or media scholar isn’t watching Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and co., we should be trying to work out what they represent, and how they change or develop our traditional structures of thinking about television. Online TV does an amazing job at answering those questions, a spectacular account of where we are and how it all matters. Required reading for us all.'
Jonathan Gray, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA
'In Online TV, Catherine Johnson cuts through the hype of digital disruption to provide an immensely valuable set of critical concepts for understanding television industries. Covering everything from interfaces to infrastructure – and highlighting historical continuities as well as changes – this book sets a new agenda for television research.'
Ramon Lobato, RMIT University, Australia
'Online TV is engaging, provoking and practical, and provides valuable conceptual tools ‘with which to trace the varied, dynamic and volatile ways in which power is enacted as online TV expands and develops around the world’ (165).'
Alexa Scarlata review for Journal of Digital Media & Policy
'Catherine Johnson’s excellent book undertakes ‘the task of unravelling [the] tangled ball of wool’ (p. 158) that is television in the internet era. It is daring to take on the woolly thinking of everyone from UK politicians taking a pop at the BBC to confused TV professionals, via the current generations of students who display startlingly diverse patterns of media use. Fortunately, Johnson’s careful and logical exposition begins with a series of concepts that are likely to become standard.'
John Ellis review for Critical Studies in Television