Wednesday, April 27, 2022

EP272: From Vaudeville to Netflix

Technology, taste, and trends continually change the forms of entertainment we enjoy. What does the future hold? Can the past offer any tips? Ken looks back at how show business has evolved over the last 120 years with the emergence and impact of movies, radio, television, and now the internet. Does it all lead to streaming? Or something else? Tune in. 

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Roger Owen Green said...

this was an ambitious undertaking and pretty darn good. And of course, you can't get everything or it'd be an hour long.

The random thoughts I had:
Payola had an impact for a time on getting records on the radio
There was a real linkage between getting color TV into the market and the manufacturing so that NBC was far earlier broadcasting in color regularly than ABC and CBS, who really weren't doing color until about 1966. My family didn't get a color set until Christmas 1969
MTV both promoted the music and had musicians promoting MTV
FOX getting the NFL turned it into a real network

Blockbuster did rent DVDs but its first great innovation was renting VHS tapes

But very interesting.

Pat Reeder said...

I have Netflix. I think I'd rather watch vaudeville.

Jeff Boice said...

Second what Roger Owen Green said. I would just add the role sports played: The first nationwide radio broadcast was the 1927 Rose Bowl Game. And it took the Brooklyn Dodgers-N.Y. Yankees World Series of 1947 to convince the industry that television could attract large numbers of viewers. In June of 1948 the Milton Berle and Ed Sullivan shows debut on NBC and CBS.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Man, what a cogent summary of our media culture! This summary puts in jeopardy the jobs of every leather-patched, coat-wearing, pipe-smoking professor of media in colleges across the country.

Kids: if you want to "major" in communications, save yourself thousands of dollars and years of time. Listen to this podcast - five times - then go create your own niche gig!

"Two weeks ago" happens fast, so be nimble, trust no one and get cash in advance.


Great podcast Ken!

Jim S said...

You are so right about being an NBC family or a CBS family. My family was NBC. I barely knew who Walter Cronkite was. I as 6 when man landed on the moon and we saw it on NBC. That mattered.

To this daY, if I need to watch some national news event, Bin Laden killed, I will put on NBC.

Mike Barer said...

It was a great trip from Vaudeville to Netflix. I got Netflix to watch a special on the Portland Mavericks several years ago and kept it ever since.
One thing that bugs me is how short the TV seasons are.

Breadbaker said...

Ken, an ambitious project.

The bit you missed, though, was huge: the legal fight over "time-shifting" where the producers sued VCR manufacturers, claiming copyright infringement over making machines that allowed people to watch programs untethered to broadcast schedules. The Supreme Court deciding that it was okay to videotape shows at home for later viewing was probably the most momentous change in TV since color. Remember fights over what to watch? Remember scheduling social activities based on what you'd miss on TV a particular night?