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My name is Gary Carter, and I work at FremantleMedia, where I have the unlikely titles of President, Creative Networks and Chief Creative Officer, FMX. FremantleMedia is one of the largest producers and exploiters of entertainment brands worldwide. Our production arm consists of some of the world's most creative companies, and our commercial arm comprises distribution, licensing and home entertainment. We produce television in 22 countries, licence formats to 40 and distribute finished programmes to 150 countries. Apart from the 20 or so long running drama series we produce worldwide, we are probably best known for the IDOLS franchise. FMX, of which I am CCO, is the company's experimental personalised and participatory media division. If you speak at conferences, you will know that questions, like formats and technologies, come in and out of fashion. At the moment, there are three questions you get asked from the floor. The first of these is: 'So what's the next big thing?' The second is: 'Do you think people will want to watch television on a mobile phone?' And the third is, 'And who will want to pay?' I am not going to answer any of these questions. I'm going straight for the big life or death question. Is there life after the death of television? And if so, what does that life look like? In case you haven't realised already, I have to warn you that I have no particular qualifications for doing this. Not from a technological point of view, nor from a commercial point of view, and probably not from any point of view but that what's makes me a media executive. I do have some limited qualifications for speaking from a creative point of view first of all, I am creative - I'm pretty good at flower arranging, for example - and second of all, I am a Chief Creative Officer. Have you noticed the inexorable rise of the title Chief Creative Officer? Earlier this year, I was in Los Angeles, in a meeting of 6 people, 2 from my division at Fremantlemedia, 2 from a production company, and 2 from a gambling slot machine company, and in that group of 6, 3 of us had the title Chief Creative Officer. This experience lead me to wonder if we can build on the 80/20 rule, the one that says that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. So I've come up with this, which I like to call The CCO Power Law: In any meeting in which 50% of the attendees are Chief Creative Officers, 95% of the work will be executed by others. These days, when I turn on the television, when I listen to the radio, when I listen to the radio on the web, when I watch the news on the web, when I read the newspaper, when I watch television, when I read the newspaper on the internet, when I read my email alerts, my rss feeds, when I click on Google, listen to a podcast on my I Pod, I see and hear the following messages: "Ã‚Â¢ Reality television is dead! "Ã‚Â¢ 30 second commercials are dead! "Ã‚Â¢ Broadcasters are dead! "Ã‚Â¢ Old business models are dead! "Ã‚Â¢ Schedules are dead! "Ã‚Â¢ Television is dead! "Ã‚Â¢ Everybody is dead except iTunes! "Ã‚Â¢ And Google! .And You Tube! "Ã‚Â¢ And content! Content is king! "Ã‚Â¢ And of course gameshows! Gameshows are back! Television is dying, technology is proliferating and content is kind of the network. But are we living through 'the death of television'? And if it we are, should we kill television before it dies on us? Or should we just kill television before it kills us? And if television is going to die, to quote Joey from FRIENDS, how will we know which way to point our furniture? But when we talk about ' the death of television', what do we mean? The television industry feels itself under threat from a group of emerging mass media technologies, those which are usually, and awkwardly, described as 'new', or 'digital', despite the fact that they are no longer new, and that everything is digital, even the things like radio, or television for that matter which weren't digital in the past. And the industry blames these new digital technologies for a whole host of other ills. The steady decline in audiences, the supposed escalation of copyright infringement, declining budgets for programme making. The response of the television industry to this perceived threat is, in general terms, about as unimaginative as its possible to be, and it would be depressing if it weren't so banal. I used to say, five years ago, that if I had a cent for every pitch I'd heard beginning 'Twelve people, twelve weeks, one winner, the audience will decide', I'd be rich. Now, if someone would like to give me a cent every time I heard someone say 'It's a way to bring User Generated Content to television', I'd be even happier, because I'd be richer. Given this kind of response, I sometimes wonder whether audiences are leaving television because it's just not any good. We can think about whether television is going to die in two ways. First, by looking backwards, at the history of the mass media, and second, by looking forward, and trying to understand some of the impulses behind what is going on, behind media proliferation. The simple historical fact is that mass communication technologies are never replaced by newer technologies. They co-exist, while continuing to evolve. We still have the newspaper, the telephone, the radio, and the movies, despite the fact that each of these was at the time of introduction viewed as the beginning of the end for the other. The only mass communication medium in history to have been replaced by another is the telegraph, a service which began in 1851 with the founding of the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company and spanned 150 years, ending finally on January 27, 2006, when Western Union discontinued the service. Western Union report that telegrams sent had fallen to 20,000 per year, due to competition from other communication technologies, including and probably mainly - email. Arguably, of course, the telegram was not a mass communication technology. But let's look at the question of the survival of television as content, as opposed to the distribution medium, or platform. By this I mean to make a distinction between the technology of television the distribution medium and the content the form of content made exclusively for television. I am asking whether content specifically made for television like gameshows, for example - will survive. In an unscientific way, I analysed a week of primetime in the UK, during the period 19:00 to 23:00 (23:30 in the case of ITV), across all terrestrial broadcasters. If we consider programmes created just for television, and exclude: news and sport, as being retransmission of existing material or common to other media, and dramas made for cinema or based on books, then of the 196 shows in this time period, 64% were 'television' and 36% was not, and of the 136 hours, 70% were television and 30% were not. You could say, by this analysis, that some of the stuff in primetime was not television, although it was distributed by television, and that in fact it represented older historical or past media content forms surviving in a new medium. This means that the content which is intrinsically television, like the gameshow, for example, is likely to survive on emerging technologies. Certainly this is true for my own company, where our catalogue of gameshow formats has been reborn on the web, and on mobile phones, in the gaming environment. So if it is true that television as medium and form will survive, what other lessons can we learn from the history of mass communication technology which might help us understand where we're going? Well, for a start, no mass communication technology has ever been exploited in the way in which the inventors predicted it would. In other words, the really good news it is not just you and I who don't know what's going on nobody does, not even - in fact, especially not, the engineers. When radio was introduced, it was marketed in kit form, sold to men, as a kind of quasi-engineering hobby. It was only when families complained that men were spending too much time 'playing' in isolation that the set migrated into the living room, and kits were replaced with readymade radiograms. When the telephone was commercially introduced in the United States, it was originally believed that it would find its primary market amongst businessmen. In fact, so convinced were the operators that they tried to prevent any other use. When women in rural America discovered that they could use the telephone to communicate with their neighbours, the operating companies tried to stop them through prohibitive legislation. Until they realised that this represented a market. SMS has a similar history. Introduced originally as a channel for communication between engineers, the first commercial short message was sent in 1992, from PC to mobile. Its triumph was the triumph of the consumer, since it was barely promoted until it was already widely used. It was originally presumed it would remain an industry communication medium not the symbol of a youth movement, a set of manners and a culture, a way of extracting revenue from television audiences, the source of a new language, a flirting medium, a sexual technology. The users the audience - has made it all these things, not us. So far, I hope I have also explained why I won't try to answer the questions with which I began: Will anyone want to watch a television programme on a mobile phone, and who will want to pay. Given that I think that an examination of history has answered the question of whether we are living through the death of television, and given the impossibility of trying to understand where technology is going, let us try to understand some of the forces underneath current trends in media. In other words, now I am not going to answer the question, What's the next big thing? It is possible to describe what's happening in the contemporary media by looking at the way communication devices have historically become personalised. Communication devices tend to follow the same pattern of domestication. They move from the public domain, to the domestic, then to the private sphere, and then become intensely personalised. For example, the telephone was originally public: in offices, in public spaces in phone booths. When the phone reached the home, its first position was at the threshold, typically in the hallway, as a kind of uneasy marker of the division between the public and the private sphere. By freeing itself from the party line one phone line serving many customers it became domesticated: extensions allowed it to move into the bedroom, to other rooms and then freed by wireless technology it became possible for the telephone to roam with the 'owner' of that extension. The phone became personalised with the invention of the true mobile: now, for example, I don't know the number of my best friend's domestic landline, I only know his mobile number. This pattern of movement is followed time after time by communication technology, and you can map the same pattern of movement in the development of so called 'new media'. Now you can explain this pattern of personalisation by ascribing it to capitalism, the triumph of the market, the segmentation of customer bases. But I think there is something more profoundly human going on. The story I am going to tell you is like all stories, dependent on your position for its truth. If you'll excuse some simplification, it seems to me that we can divide the history of television, as medium and as form, into three generations: mine, my mother's, and my son's. For my mother, when television arrived in the fifties, it was a technology without history. It appeared as revolutionary, although in fact, like most technology it was evolutionary. Its technology was mysterious, new, perhaps related to film, and the form of programmes derived from other technologies and traditions the movies, the theatre, the radio. Television was a window on the world, a Modernist project which explained the world to its audience the world as it 'really was'. This was the era of television as social instrument, the era of the rise of the public broadcaster. The voice of television was the voice of the social establishment. Famous people as represented on television were famous because of their achievements, because of what they had done. Television came at you, it was a 'push' technology, in current terms, and in fact, it moved down it came from a position of power and moved down to the people. It is in this period that the means of reception the screen, the set begins to be domesticated, it drifts from the shop window into the living room. But my generation - the generation which came of age in the early eighties we grew up with television. Entirely domesticated, it had moved into our space, and appeared in bedrooms, in kitchens, even in toilets. It had a history of its own, it had a culture of its own to which we could refer, it had already codified its own conventions. And in this generation, fame began to share airtime with celebrity those people who were famous because of the amount of media exposure they gained. And since television programmes started to provide exposure, in an unholy alliance with the dark arts of marketing, it was possible to become famous for being on television, or in the media. We were the first generation who had grown up as the subject of audio-visual media the Super 8 movies, the early videotape, which our parents used to film those important events in our lives. We grew up then, with an understanding of the conventions of television, and with the domestic version of the technology filming us at home, and as the subject of the camera's gaze. This we could characterise as the beginnings of the post-Modern phase, the development of a medium which was a mirror, not a window, one with its own dubious heroes porn stars, politicians, their mistresses, their rent boys, retired gameshow hosts, and 'ordinary' people. As Andy Warhol said, In the future everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes. This was the era of television as reflective and creative of different worlds and it was the period of the rise of the commercial broadcaster. Television came at you from different directions, not just 'down' but it also started to come from you in programmes like Fox's COPS and AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS, where, for the first time, the material was generated by the subjects of the camera's gaze. But for the generation represented by my son, the world is very different. Television or rather, the moving image with sound has become totally personalised, and in all aspects: subject, production and distribution. The digital project means that media represent no reality, where the image multiplies indefinitely, perfectly, and represents only itself, and no reality at all. Or rather, a reality in which the image is the only reality. A reality in which 98% of photographs in the average glossy magazine are digitally altered, in which 98% of Hollywood movies even those without special effects are digitally altered; in which newsreaders and gameshow contestants appear in environments that don't exist. A separate pseudoworld. Now it is possible to define celebrity as utterly divorced from achievement at all as someone who 'is recognised my more people than they themselves can recognise'. This generation has a different understanding of media and technology for a start, it has grown up with games in which the individual audience member can affect the outcome directly. It has grown up with an in-depth understanding of genre derived from television history, with an in-depth understanding of technology a technology which is now of broadcast quality, with domestic editing sets which rival those used in what we like to call an industry, and now crucially the audience has distribution. This is the world of digital television, digital networks, digital everything. Power, in this environment, is certainly not a push, but it's probably not, in fact, a pull: it is distributed equally, in all parts of the system, acting in all directions simultaneously. In fact, power is a peer-to-peer distributed network. The audience, having been first the recipient of the camera's gaze, and then its subject, took control first of the means of production, and now, finally, of the means of distribution. Media has become totally personalised, in all its aspects. It has moved into 'my space'. The artist formerly known as the audience has become to use Macluhan's prediction from the early '70s - the prosumer. To quote Andy Warhol just before his death: "My prediction from the Sixties finally came true. In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. I'm bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is, in fifteen minutes everybody will be famous." I believe that we are living through a profound moment in the evolution of technology, and therefore of our species. We should be careful that when we mourn the so-called death of television we are only mourning our own loss of power as a media elite. I know that sounds rather dramatic at the end of a long day in a seminar, but I believe it nonetheless. We are not living through the death of television, for the simple reason that this is not about television. Technological development is a story, which runs through human history, and which shapes it and is shaped by it, and part of that story is the rise and rise of that which we call the media. This is about us, in a very deep and profound way, and it's about the way in which we as a species are driven by creativity. Obviously, I realise that I sound alternatively naÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¯ve and pretentious when I say this, but these concerns of ours is television dying, what's the next big thing, will people want to watch television on a mobile phone, who will want to pay for it these are not the questions which are important, culturally or historically. The important ones are: now that we have it, what will we do with it? As it grows, who will control it? And finally, what will we become? This is a moment in time in which we can all help to answer these questions, and that's why it's an exciting and important moment. It's exciting and important because it will require us to do the thing which ultimately defines us as people: it requires us to dream, and to create the products of our dreams, and to fill the flickering screens around us with those dreams.