Post-network era

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The post-network era, defined by Amanda D. Lotz, describes the transition of television's network expansion from the dominance of three big networks; ABC, CBS and NBC to more networks to include more channels, a wider diversity of programming, and less constraint of the viewer's viewing medium, location and viewing time. The post network era refers to the period following the network era, which was television's first institutional phase starting in the 1950s to the mid-1980s, and television's multi-channel transition.[1]

Technological changes[edit]

The post-network era brings a lot of changes to television, and how it is viewed by the consumer. This era brings changes in technology, program creation, program distribution, and advertising. The change in technology comes about with the invention of the tablet, the use of smart phones, and the use of the DVR. This shift in technology creates a new convenience and mobility for viewers, allowing them to watch what they want, wherever they want, whenever they want. This technological change also brings a change in theatricality, if consumers are now viewing programming on tablets and cell phones the way television is created, also changes.

Rise of the post-network era[edit]

Following the Network Era and the multi-channel transition, there was a vast change in how television was run and operated. Factors governing this transition were computational and generational shifts of the audience regarding the medium of television. The digital generation blended the differences between television and the computer, moving between both mediums fluidly without a differentiation. Thus the fusion of "using" and "viewing" which before differentiated the mediums became "viewsing" The generational regard for the differences between broadcast and cable became relatively unknown due to accompanying technologies such as the VCR and DVD, which rendered broadcast times irrelevant. During this era the factors of who created the show, where the show is viewed, when the show aired and by which mode the show is viewed became largely irrelevant.[2]

The advent of digitalization allowed viewers access to more and higher quality content. This allowed new portable mediums and brought television outside of the home. Consequently, multiple new revenue streams, such as shows sold through iTunes, became available. Practices in the post-network era have led television audiences to split attention between many different channels and devices. To adapt to the new trend, advertisers began putting product placements in popular shows and using branded entertainment, a form of media where the content and advertising messages are inextricably linked.


The post-network era has been defined in five C's; choice, control, convenience, customization, and community. All these fives indicate how viewers during this era have more of a broad option on what to watch and have more control on what television transmits. Post-network era has been a changing system that fragments audience and gives networks less control. This era has played the role as a window into other worlds; do to audiences having more access to different channels. This era has become a sub cultural forum and does not focus in targeting only one audience but it focuses on targeting a variety of audience. A key feature in Post-Network era has been the growing rapid of media and distribution channels, according to Amanda Lotz. In general the audience in Post-Network era is more broad and it continues to reach different audiences do to their being more options on what to watch on television just as it goes beyond like the technology options that grow each day.[3]


  1. ^ Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) "The Television Will Be Revolutionized". New York, NY: New York University Press
  2. ^ Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) "The Television Will Be Revolutionized". New York, NY: New York University Press.
  3. ^ Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) "The Television Will Be Revolutionized". New York, NY: New York University Press. p. 4, 253-255
  • Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) "The Television Will Be Revolutionized". New York, NY: New York University Press.

The change of content on the post network era has become completely about the audience. Increased mobility, and convenience is the target, and it's not about how you watch it, it's purely about when you will watch it, whether on ones smart phone, ones laptop, ones DVR, or ones On-Demand. Distribution in this era has reached the most platforms in any era. Getting content to the viewer by any means necessary is the goal.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lotz, Amanda D. (2007) "The Television Will Be Revolutionized". New York, NY: New York University Press.