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Internet Killed TV? Using New Media And Interactivity In Moving Image Entertainment To Create Interactive Narratives. Kurt Massa MCAST Art & Design

BA (HONS.) Interactive Media & Graphic Design 2012/2013 www.projectpursuit.net


Authorship Statement

This dissertation is based on the results of research carried out by myself, is my own composition,and has not been previously presented for any other certified or uncertified qualification.The research was carried out under the supervision of Mr. Kris Savona Ventura.

Signed: _______________________

Date: 17th June 2013

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Copyright Statement

In submitting this dissertation to the MCAST Institute of Art and Design,I understand that I am giving permission for it to be made available for use in accordance with the regulations of MCAST and the College Library.

Signed: _______________________

Date: 17th June 2013

Contact address: 52, Preziosi Street, Lija, LJA1171

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Acknowledgements I find it quite ironic that this is the only section in the dissertation where I can refer to myself as I, yet it is the section dedicated to those who have supported me through my degree and my life thus far. I believe in Ubuntu, thus I believe that every person I have met through my years at MCAST and before had a hand in shaping who I am and have placed me where I am today. Despite this, some have had a far greater impact than others in aiding me to complete my thesis. I would like to begin by thanking Mr. Kris Savona Ventura for his patience, understanding and guidance through the past year. Secondly I want to express my sincere gratitude to my family for their endless supply of love, support and encouragement, as well as being omnipresent proofreaders. They have aided me in completing various tasks some of which they are yet to understand. I would also like to thank my best friend Monique, who is always there to be the sounding board for all my crazy ideas and her constant encouragement, both within and outside the academic world. I also want to extend my gratitude to my friends and classmates who have made my years at MCAST truly a joy and a pleasure. Lastly I wish to thank those who created the new media world of which I feel I am a native, especially those whom I have interviewed. This thesis is my last contribution to MCAST, and it is a contribution I am glad to make.

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Contents Authorship Statement ........................................................................................................ii Copyright Statement ........................................................................................................iii Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................... iv Contents......................................................................................................................... v Abstract ...........................................................................................................................vii 1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 1 2 Literature Review ........................................................................................................... 3 2.1 Defining New Media ............................................................................................... 3 2.1.1 Numerical Representation ................................................................................. 3 2.1.2 Modulation ........................................................................................................ 3 2.1.3 Automation ........................................................................................................ 4 2.1.4 Variability .......................................................................................................... 4 2.1.5 Transcoding ....................................................................................................... 4 2.2 The Myth Of Interactivity ........................................................................................ 5 2.3 Interactivity .............................................................................................................. 5 2.3.1 User-Machine Interaction .................................................................................. 6 2.3.2User-User Interaction ......................................................................................... 6 2.3.3 User-Message Interaction .................................................................................. 6 2.4 Dimensions Of Interactivity .................................................................................... 6 2.4.1 Active Control ................................................................................................... 6 2.4.2 Two Way Communication ................................................................................ 7 2.4.3 Synchronicity..................................................................................................... 7 2.5 New Media As Defined By Interactivity ................................................................. 7 2.6 Interactive Narratives ............................................................................................... 8 2.6.1 Vector With Side Branches ............................................................................... 9 2.6.2 The Maze ........................................................................................................... 9 2.6.3 The Directed Network ..................................................................................... 10 2.6.4 The Hidden Story ............................................................................................ 10 2.6.5 Braided Plot ..................................................................................................... 11 3 Methodology ................................................................................................................ 12 3.1 Secondary Research ............................................................................................... 12 3.2 Primary Research ................................................................................................... 12 Page |v


3.2.1 Quantitative ..................................................................................................... 12 3.2.2 Qualitative ....................................................................................................... 13 3.3 Limitations ............................................................................................................. 14 3.3.1 Primary Research ............................................................................................ 14 4 Findings ........................................................................................................................ 16 Questionnaire ............................................................................................................... 16 Email Interview............................................................................................................ 26 Discussion Of Findings ................................................................................................... 30 Conclusion ...................................................................................................................... 36 Appendix 1 ...................................................................................................................... 40 Questionnaire ............................................................................................................... 40 Appendix 2 ...................................................................................................................... 45 Email Interview Generic Questions ............................................................................. 45 Appendix 3 ...................................................................................................................... 47 Email Interview Responses .......................................................................................... 47 SourceFed ................................................................................................................. 47 Stuart Ashen ............................................................................................................. 50 Aldrin Gamos ........................................................................................................... 52 Appendix 4 ...................................................................................................................... 55 Project Documentation ................................................................................................ 55 Characters: ................................................................................................................ 55 Storyline: .................................................................................................................. 55 Interactivity .............................................................................................................. 59 Site Design ............................................................................................................... 60

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Abstract The purpose of this thesis was to explore the media viewing habits on the local market and assess any potential trends. Its aim was also to evaluate the potential for the creation of interactive narratives. For this purpose, a questionnaire was conducted online to determine public opinion in the aim of understanding the behaviour of viewers. An email interview was also conducted with some individuals who are earning a living in new media, which provided insight from a different perspective. The viewership of internet videos is high especially with younger audiences having a tertiary level of education. The awareness of existing interactive videos also proved to be high. Additionally, viewership of television is decreasing and more people are opting to view content which they downloaded rather than at the time of broadcast. However, the research took a broad approach to the issues in dispute because of a lack of local information and therefore, further studies would have to be conducted to validate findings. This research was also conducted at a single point in time in a field which changes rapidly and therefore, findings may become obsolete quickly. Nonetheless, the research can help content creators to understand the audiences they are producing for, be it old media or new media. Given the constantly advancing pace of technology and the increasing amounts of smart devices, people are consuming their media in new ways. This study gives a glimpse into the habits of viewers and sheds light on how new media can be used to create more content, which engages the viewer in a new way.

Keywords: New Media, Old Media, Interactivity, Interactive narratives, Online, YouTube

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1 Introduction Society is growing ‘smart’, becoming more connected to each other than ever before. Everyone seeks access; they strive to stay connected to each other and to their entertainment. Hundreds of different services exist, from sites to applications to plug-ins and widgets; and many more are developed every day. All forms of entertainment media are making a radical move; moving away from what ties them down to just one room or large appliances and placing it constantly at the client’s feet waiting to be accessed extending its availability to virtually every electronic device they make contact with on a daily basis. New Media and interactivity are two technologies, which are slowly making their way into people’s day to day lives. People are growing accustomed to their use from a remarkably young age; in much the same way as the current generation has grown up with and become accustomed to television, to the point that a world without it is almost inconceivable. Therefore, the idea of using interactivity and new media in conjunction with each other is fairly rudimentary. Creating narratives, which are interactive, would allow the viewer a new level of immersion into the story world. On the other hand, using familiar platforms would make such narratives accessible to the general public, even those not familiar with new technologies. Interactivity can also be used to allow the viewer to become not just emotionally invested in the story as they are accustomed to with traditional forms of media, but also morally invested. This technology allows creators a new world of opportunities. These technologies exist and are constantly advancing, and ultimately it is down to content creators to use what is available to them in an innovative way, to create compelling new content which can stimulate new excitement in their viewers. While researching this matter it was first required to determine if people actually are consuming more of their media online and if they are moving away from other, more traditional, mediums. It was also beneficial to assess if they have ever tried any other interactive narratives before to provide some insight into the public awareness of works of this sort. Moreover, the research gave insight into how intensive the interactivity can be, before becoming stale or over stretched, leading to many people losing interest before they see the entire narrative. Next, it was also crucial to contact individuals and companies working on video productions based entirely on new media, namely YouTube. The understanding of these people provide an insight into how they make videos which peak the Page |1


interest of their fans and accumulate thousands if not millions of views on a regular basis this can prove to be invaluable. People seeking to build a similar audience can use this information to enable them to get a head start and learn from the mistakes of others. A perfect balance can be found, using a combination of the public opinion, as well as expert opinions and this will help content creators to maximise the potential of any works that they make for this audience. Furthermore, this research will also allow for insight into local trends on this issue which is currently somewhat neglected. If Malta was to be recognised for its creative insight and technological advancements within the field of video production, it has the potential to become a vibrant hub for media productions of all sizes and shapes.

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2 Literature Review “Just as the printing press in the fourteenth century and as photography in the 19th century had a revolutionary impact on the development of modern society and culture, today we are in the middle of a new media revolution.� (Manovich, 2001) Therefore, new media is considered to be the next significant shift that will change the way we think about the world. It can affect every aspect of life and the current generation is at the forefront of this change. When a new technology rises to popularity it creates new opportunities and possibilities for all walks of life. New technologies also force old technologies to adapt and focus on what they do better than the new technology, improving them in many ways, allowing them to in all likelihood survive forever. (Berkun, 2009)

2.1 Defining New Media Lev Manovich defines new media by dividing it into five criteria, which build up on each other and are present in all forms of new media to help distinguish it from that which is considered old media.

2.1.1 Numerical Representation The first criteria for differentiating new media is the ability to represent the content of any object in a numerical form. Having objects represented in a numerical manner means that they can in turn be modified by mathematical operations. Manovich also states that the industrial revolution led the world to develop and support the development of standards which people had to follow for things to work in a consistent way (frame rates, picture sizes, contrast). Old media objects can be made to satisfy these criteria, by performing some kind of analogue to digital conversion such as converting 35mm film into a digital video file. Simply completing this conversion does not in turn make them new media objects. Likewise, this applies to all old media objects stored in a digital form.

2.1.2 Modulation In computer programming it is common practice to design an application which is divided into a number of individual functions that are called upon when required. This allows complex programs to be created and updated by teams, where individuals would Page |3


be responsible for one function which when combined, the module would create one application. Similarly, new media is composed of individual objects, which can be sorted, grouped or otherwise composed into something different; leading to “individual customization, rather than mass standardization.” (Manovich, 2001)

2.1.3 Automation Progressively, electronic devices are becoming more ‘intelligent’ and everything is being labelled as ‘smart’. In fact, this perceived intelligence is the result of automation and moreover automation which occurs in a restricted range of possibilities. An example of this automation is using automatic colour corrections in an application such as Photoshop. From a user perspective, Photoshop might seem to have cognitive abilities leading it to make certain adjustments when in actual facts these adjustments are made through mathematical computations. However, I cannot ask Photoshop to tell me the time, to check the weather or to answer to other questions to which a truly intelligent individual would be able to respond. It is restricted to performing adjustments to images, which in turn sometimes do not perform well or require further refinement from a skilled individual.

2.1.4 Variability Consequently to the property of modularity is the property of variability. It is the ability to select individual modules of new media objects, reassemble and reorder them in a potentially infinite number of ways. Moreover, it is also the result of numerical representation since this allows new media objects to be sorted and modified in the same way as database entries can be sorted and filtered in different ways. The principle of variability exemplifies how changes in media are correlated to social change. “If the logic of old media corresponded to the logic of industrial mass society, the logic of new media fits the logic of post industrial society, which values individuality over conformity.” (Lev Manovich, 2001). This variability can be used to pass the decisions to the individual. Grahame Weinbren argues “making a choice also passes on the moral responsibility” of this decision, therefore, passing on the labour to the user rather than an employee.

2.1.5 Transcoding This principle is perhaps the most abstract of the five. It defines new media objects as having two distinct layers. A layer which defines its computability and the Page |4


‘understanding’ a computer can have of the object as a piece of data which can be stored, organized and managed much like any other kind of computer data. Conversely, the second layer is the human layer which is the human interpretation of the object that is displayed. This process relies on semantics and social perception of the said new media object. Therefore, even though new media is, obviously, a form of media that is derived from that which is considered old media Manovich states that “to understand the logic of new media, we need to turn to computer science”. (Manovich, 2001)

2.2 The Myth Of Interactivity In ‘The Language of New Media’, Lev Manovich goes on to discuss interactivity, arguing that ‘interactivity’ is a terribly vague terminology. Interactivity is in and of itself not necessarily a bi-product of new media. It has existed in many art forms long before computers. This includes a viewer consciously or subconsciously filling in missing details in a painting. Staging and composition interact also in guiding the user through the respective artwork, while sculpture and architecture force the viewer to physically move around the artwork to appreciate the whole piece. Moreover, “there is the danger that we will interpret 'interaction' literally, equating it with physical interaction between a user and a media object (pressing a button, choosing a link, moving the body), at the expense of psychological interaction.” (Manovich, 2001) Interactive media can be seen as a result of externalisation of the mind which in turn is a result of the desire for standardization. People in previous years could see an image or read a piece of text which in turn reminds them of other works. Conversely, interactive media provides a framework that leads users along a path leading them to believe “the structure of somebody’s else mind for our own” “the computer user is asked to follow the mental trajectory of the new media designer.” (Manovich, 2001)

2.3 Interactivity The term interactivity is decidedly ambiguous leading to it being used in various ways and with various definitions. Blattberg and Deighton, (1991) define it as “the facility for persons or organization to communicate directly with one another regardless of distance or time”, (Blattberg & Deighton, 1991) while Deighton (1996) considers interactivity to have two main features: the ability to address a person and to gather and remember the Page |5


responses of that person. (Deighton, 1996) Furthermore, Steuer (1992) refers to it as “the extent to which users can participate in modifying the format and content of a mediated environment in real time”. (Steuer, 1992) These and many other definitions can almost always be grouped into one of three categories: user-machine, user-user and user-message.

2.3.1 User-Machine Interaction refers to situations where a computer returns the appropriate response for a user’s action.

2.3.2User-User Interaction refers to interpersonal communication. However, this ignores the fact that using technology like the internet breaks boundaries found in traditional interpersonal communication, for example, by the use of online translation services people. People no longer need to speak the same language, be in the same place or communicate at the same time.

2.3.3 User-Message Interaction is defined as the ability of the user to control and modify messages. (Steuer, 1992) People have no control of the message of traditional media; however, the internet gives users this freedom. “The degree to which two or more communication parties can act on each other, on the communication medium and on the messages and the degree to which such influences are synchronized.” (Liu & Shrum, 2002) Yadav & Varadarajan suggest that computer based interactivity can be grouped into two broad perspectives, a device-centric and a message-centric perspective. The former focuses on how technology aids or hinders communication, while the latter focuses of the relationship between the messages exchanged. (Yadav & Varadarajan, 2005)

2.4 Dimensions Of Interactivity Yuping Liu and L.J.Shrum also discuss the three dimensions of interactivity.

2.4.1 Active Control: This is the freedom of control that a user has to view content. Content on the internet exists in a parallel and non linear structure so a user can jump from one piece of content to the next to suit his needs. Traditional media such as TV has a decidedly linear structure where the only control is changing the channel. This is also apparent in advertising, where a user of the internet needs to take no action in Page |6


particular to avoid reading the advert, while advertising on TV distracts the viewer from what he was watching in order to show him advertising. In turn, the viewer must switch the channel in order to avoid this advertising.

2.4.2 Two Way Communication: Old media is quite effective at communicating in one direction (company - consumer) but does not allow the user to provide feedback (consumer - company). However, the internet allows the consumer to communicate both implicitly and explicitly. Implicit communication is achieved by tracking a user’s habits on a site such as clicking links and the time spent viewing a page. Explicit communication is achieved by asking a client directly for his feedback and also by making submitting feedback as easy as it can be. A further example of the power that this two way communication has is e-commerce since the internet is the only medium that allows buying and selling goods without involving any other medium.

2.4.3 Synchronicity: This refers to the speed by which a user inputs a communication and receives a response. Old media allowed this to some degree, for example, through viewers’ letters and calls. However the time that is elapsed is usually quite long while the internet allows for split second communication and response. This synchronicity requires systems that operate quickly and reliably. In general, it can be said that interactivity demands for the user to be more cognitively aware of his experience. This is particularly evident in the case of highly interactive experiences, which include an element of active control and therefore, require the user to make choices. Furthermore, a two-way synchronised message bears the potential for being far more engaging. While traditional media, such as TV, are focused on encoding a message and sending to the passive receiver (the viewer), the internet gives every user the power to be a message creator thus increasing user cognitive involvement.

2.5 New Media As Defined By Interactivity Dan Brown starts by defining new media simply as any media which is based online. This narrow and simple definition differs significantly from the five criteria for new media as defined by Manovich. Although not necessarily contradictory, most cases allowing for both theories to apply, there are some cases where Brown’s simple definition is lacking.

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Brown also suggests that new media removes the barriers to entry that exist with old media and allows everyone to become a creator therefore, any content’s value is proven by the consumers themselves. Moreover, stating that “at the heart of all media is the relationship between entertainer and audience” (Brown, 2009) and the dynamics between them defines the media in question. This point of view is also shared by Banerjee who also states that this leads to all forms of communication (point to mass, mass to point and point to point) and given their decentralized nature they are far harder to control, allow for far greater interactivity and public participation. People are free to make their own news and get the other side of the story by using the internet which is seen as freed from control. (Salman, et al., 2011) Therefore, the distinction between old and new media lies in the latter's ability to allow for communities to build around a creator and mutual interaction. “YouTube doesn’t have to have a linear entertainer-audience relationship like old media. YouTube has the potential for networked relationships that span the entire community”. (Brown, 2009)

2.6 Interactive Narratives Marie-Laure Ryan chooses to divide interactivity into distinct groups, which are the two forms that interactivity can take. Selective form includes any form of interactivity where a user can choose from a variety of content which they would like to view next. Conversely, there is also productive form, which allows the viewer to, also become a creator by adding content of their own. (Ryan, 2003) “Marie-Laure outlines a number of different models for interactive storytelling. I have boiled it down to five models”. (Bjarke, 2010)

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2.6.1 Vector With Side Branches: A traditional linear story which has a few branches which a user has the option of exploring, as can be seen in the diagram below.

2.6.2 The Maze: A story where the narrative is broken apart and the user decides how it will unfold, as can be seen in the diagram below.

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2.6.3 The Directed Network: The user is given the option of several different paths, but the storyteller has control of the direction. This allows the narrative to have a common start and end point while allowing the user to select the path that takes him there. This can be seen in the following diagram.

2.6.4 The Hidden Story: In this scenario a user needs to complete a number of tasks or retrieve some piece of information before the storyline can continue. This means that the storyteller has control over the path but frees the viewer to collect different information until they can access the next part of the story as seen in the diagram below.

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2.6.5 Braided Plot: This features different storylines which intertwine at certain points. This allows viewers to experience the story from the perspective of different characters as can seen in the following diagram.

In summation, given all presented facts, one can see that interactive narratives are one of many convergence points of new media and interactivity. New media provides a technological framework which inherently takes away power from an authority and allows the user to customize, edit and redesign media as suits their needs. Likewise, the principles of interactivity define it as giving active control, allowing for two way communication all operating with fast and smooth synchronicity. New Media and interactivity seem to meld together, working together in harmony to make many of the content and experiences society takes for granted.

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3 Methodology This section will discuss the different types of research that were carried out as part of this dissertation. Furthermore, this section will also discuss the research design that was implemented and the limitations that are an inevitable part of this research.

3.1 Secondary Research The research was carried out using both primary and secondary sources. Secondary source materials were obtained from online research, a number of books, articles and videos. Local sources on the researched topics were almost nonexistent since the topics discussed are not well known to Malta both in the academic and non-academic world. Moreover, none of the sources were decidedly up-to-date given the constantly changing nature of the technologies and systems discussed. However, since the topics researched in the literature review were fairly general in nature, the data still remains valid regardless of its age.

3.2 Primary Research 3.2.1 Quantitative Primary research mainly consisted of a questionnaire (as seen in appendix 1) which allowed the researcher to determine what the current trends in user behaviour are, particularly within the local market where little to no research on this topic exists. If a representative number of people respond to the same set of questions, a conclusion can be drawn as to the public opinion. The questionnaire was distributed online, primarily through social networking sites. A number of friends and family members also helped, by in turn, asking their friends and family to help. The questionnaire was also posted to several online groups, forums and pages in the intention of getting as many responses as possible with the aim of achieving 150 responses, which is the maximum allowed by FluidSurveys. The minimum acceptable sample was set at one hundred. The questions were created to be as easy to understand as possible, even for those unfamiliar with the topics being discussed. Where possible, layman's terms were used;

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explaining things which might be ambiguous and using examples, which further illustrate the questions’ intention. It was also extremely crucial to avoid ambiguous terminologies, which might have different meanings to different individuals, such as ‘sometimes’ and ‘often’ when used in the same question. Instead, clear terms such as ‘daily’ and ‘weekly’ were used since these have the same meaning regardless of the individual. Furthermore, the way the questions were worded is also essential. The questions needed be clear while not directing the respondent to answer in any way. A wrongly worded question inevitably skews the findings and renders the question useless, as it would not clearly reflect the true public opinion. After creating a mock up questionnaire, a handful of individuals were asked to pilot it and point out any questions which were in some way difficult to understand or unclear. The questions were then updated based on this feedback. This allowed for a fresh perspective on the questionnaire and allowed its potential to be maximised before it was released to the general public. The questions were all, with the exception of occupation, limited to multiple choice answers. This questioning approach helped subjects understand the questions since the choices further illustrated acceptable answers. Furthermore, this allowed for simpler analysis of results at a later stage; since figures are simpler to evaluate, plot out in graph form, compare to others and can be used to locate any possible emerging patterns. The occupation was left as an open-ended question which allowed the researcher to determine into which group of the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08) each respondent belonged. However, this classification had to be expanded to include those respondents who answered that they are students, unemployed and retired since this standard does not account for these individuals. This step was necessary since, most individuals asked during piloting replied that they did not know which category their job fell into and thus, releasing this question as originally planned to the public would have certainly resulted in inaccuracies.

3.2.2 Qualitative To support the findings further, the researcher also attempted to contact a total of fifteen individuals that have made a career creating content for YouTube in the hopes of interviewing at least a handful of them via email about their experience and insight into the industry. After consideration, it was decided to contact them using a combination of P a g e | 13


email and traditional mail. The message was short and to the point. It also included relevant contact information as well as links to previous works/portfolio. A traditional letter was also sent since most people online are accustomed to receiving spam emails, which are ignored if not immediately deleted. Sending a letter has a more personal touch and is more likely to be taken seriously. This was further enhanced by including a postcard of Malta and a photo of the researcher. This was in the hope that they would consider the researcher as a genuine person rather than some form of scam artist. When the candidates replied, stating that they were willing to answer, they were sent a short list of questions, as seen in appendix 2. The questions were customised for each individual, and their particular channel/studio while, at the same time, still following on the same basis so as to allow comparisons to be made later. This was done with two aims in mind. The primary reason was to collect the most accurate and complete information from the individual. Secondly, customizing the questions shows that prior research about the candidate was done and the questions were asked in such a way as to demonstrate this.

3.3 Limitations 3.3.1 Primary Research While conducting primary research a number of limitations within the chosen methodology were observed. The questionnaire was conducted online using FluidSurveys.com’s free account system. This has some inherent limitations intended to allow the user a taste of the services they offer and persuade them to pay for an expensive premium service. However, most of these limitations were beyond the scope of research and could be worked around. These limitations included a maximum of twenty questions per questionnaire and a maximum of hundred-fifty responses. One limitation, which was slightly more significant, was not having the ability to skip over questions depending on the response to previous questions. A case in point would be those answering ‘Never’ to question 1 stating that they never watch movies and still be asked question 2, ‘How do you usually watch movies?’ This limitation required modifying the questionnaire to include an additional option in question 2 (‘I do not P a g e | 14


watch movies’). This meant adding an extra and otherwise, unnecessary step, that might have confused some respondents. Moreover, this was not the only occurrence in the questionnaire. Another significant limitation inherent in the FluidSurveys free account is not being allowed to export the collected data in any form. This meant the researcher was restricted to only a summary report which had rather limited options and meant that figures needed to be copied over to an application, which created charts and graphs that were included in later sections of this document. Furthermore, distributing the questionnaire online meant that the majority of respondents were to some extent computer literate and exposed to social media, which was the primary method for distributing the questionnaire. With regards to selecting candidates for an interview, no local professionals exist, due to the restrictions set by YouTube. An individual residing in Malta cannot become a ‘partner’ and therefore, a local individual can never earn money from the advertising appearing adjacent to his/her videos. This meant that when seeking candidates to interview all thought had to be turned to foreigners, which were far harder to contact than locals and less likely to respond. Furthermore, choosing candidates for interview was difficult since many do not make their emails or addresses available to the public. Moreover, others make only PO Box addresses available which are often neglected and checked sporadically. This resulted in some letters being returned undelivered. Obviously, inherent in choosing to conduct an interview, the selection of candidates was limited by those willing to participate.

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4 Findings This section will present the results of the quantitative and qualitative research conducted, respectively. Below, are the results of the questionnaire discussed in the previous chapter. The first section of the questionnaire contains questions with regards to the current habits, as well as any shifts in habits observed in previous years.

Questionnaire

Figure 4.1: How often do you watch a movie? Daily 7%

Rarely 16%

Monthly 20%

Few times a week 26% Weekly 31%

The above chart illustrates that all those questioned watch movies at least 'Rarely' while the majority stated that they watch a movie at least once every week. In fact, the top three options accounted for 64% of those questioned.

Figure 4.2: How do you usually watch movies? Cinema 6% Streaming 20%

TV 23%

Download 47%

Rent DVD/Bluray 4%

The above question asked how people view the majority of their movies. Almost half of those questioned stated that they download movies. The downloading and streaming, together accounted for 67% of those questioned, both of which require the use of a computer. P a g e | 16


Figure 4.3: In the past 5 years, has the amount of movies you watch changed?

No 25% Yes, it has increased 39%

Yes, it has decreased 36%

In this question, though fairly split in their judgment, it is clear that the majority answered that, in the last five years they have started watching more movies.

Figure 4.4: How often do you watch TV? Never 4%

Rarely 19% Daily 48%

Monthly 4% Weekly 7% Few times a week 18%

Next, the subject was switched to television viewing habits. A resounding 48% watch television daily while the top 3 options accounted for nearly three-quarters of those questioned P a g e | 17


Figure 4.5: What do you watch most? I don't watch TV 5%

Specific content only 21%

Mostly local channels 13%

Mostly foreign channels 61%

When given the choice of the type of content viewed most often, the absolute majority responded that they view mostly foreign channels. A comparatively small but significant portion (21%) answered that they only watch specific content on television, such as news or sporting events, which are usually a live broadcast.

Figure 4.6: In the past 5 years, has the amount of TV you watch changed?

No 23%

Yes, it has increased 22%

Yes, it has decreased 55%

In this case, the majority of those questioned expressed a reduction in their viewing of television content with 55% stating that they are presently watching less television than they did 5 years ago. P a g e | 18


Figure 4.7: Do you watch TV content after it has been broadcast? Daily 5% Never 21%

Few times a week 20% Weekly 16%

Rarely 33%

Monthly 5%

The responses of this question clearly illustrate that the majority of people rarely or simply do not watch television content after it has been broadcast with the lower 2 options amounting to over half of those questioned.

Figure 4.8: How often do you use Social Media? Rarely Weekly 4% 4%

Never 4%

Few times a week 12% Constantly 43%

Daily 33%

This question was intended to assess the usage level of social media of those questioned. From this question, it is clear that over three-quarters of those questioned use social media either daily or constantly. While, only 4% answered that they never use any kind of social media. P a g e | 19


Figure 4.9: How often do you watch online video content? Never 2% Monthly 4%

Rarely 10%

Weekly 7% Few times a week 22%

Daily 55%

The above chart shows that the absolute majority watch online video content on a daily basis. In fact one can note that77% of those questioned answered that they watch online video content either on a daily basis or at least a few times a week.

Figure 4.10: What sort of content do you watch? 90

Music videos Film trailers Vlogs

80 70

Web shows

79

Short movies 60 50

62

58

56

Reviews Tutorials

40

TV show clips

30

32

20 10

22 13

26

Funny Clips

28

Other

18 3

0

I don't watch online video content

The next question asked the participants about the sort of content they see online. The mostly viewed content is clearly music videos. This is followed by funny clips, tutorials and film trailers respectively with little difference between them. P a g e | 20


Figure 4.11: Do you share video content to social networking sites?

Rarely 32%

Monthly 11%

I don't watch online video content 1% I don't use social networking sites Daily 5%

Never 21%

4% Weekly 12%

Few times a week 14%

These two questions are about how people share the video content they view. The above chart shows that the majority of those questioned rarely share video content on social media, with the lower 3 options accounting for 64% of the respondents. Moreover, only 4% answered they shared some content daily.

Figure 4.12: Do you ever send video content to a specific friend or family member? Daily 3% Never 20%

Few times a week 18% Weekly 13%

Rarely 37% Monthly 9%

The strong negative trend was even more apparent in the responses given to this question. Here, the lower 3 options make up 66% of those responding and the number of daily shares is only of 3%. P a g e | 21


Figure 4.13: Do you view online video content from devices that are not a computer or laptop?

Never 34%

Often 17%

Sometimes 49%

This question was intended to determine the number of people viewing their video content from smart TVs and hand held devices since not all features perform the same on these devices.

Figure 4.14: Have you ever seen any interactive videos?

Not Sure 14%

No 26%

Yes 60%

This question was intended to determine what percentage of the population has been exposed to interactive videos and the results show that a substantial majority has had experience with interactive videos in the past. Moreover, a significant minority are unsure if they have or have not seen some sort of interactive video. P a g e | 22


Figure 4.15: If you found an interactive story intriguing, how many steps would you actually be willing to complete to reach its conclusion? 1 19%

5 or more 27%

2 17%

4 11% 3 26%

In this question, the respondents were asked how long an interactive experience can be before it becomes too long and potentially frustrating. The responses showed that, given an intriguing story, most would be happy to finish 5 or more steps, in order to complete an interactive experience.

Figure 4.16: Do you think that asking the viewer to participate makes the video more interesting to watch? Yes 22%

Not Sure 16% No 18%

Sometimes 44%

From this question, it is also clear that simply adding interactivity does not necessarily make the content more attractive to the viewer. P a g e | 23


Figure 4.17: Gender

Female 43% Male 57%

This chart shows the gender split of the sample taken. This shows that the sample was slightly more predominantly male.

Figure 4.18: Age

46 - 55 7% 36 - 45 10%

56 or Over 8%

16 - 25 48%

26 - 35 27%

This chart shows the age groups of those questioned, showing that 75% of those questioned are 35 and younger and the remaining 25% being over 36. P a g e | 24


Figure 4.19: Highest level of education Masters Primary 1% 7% Secondary 12%

Post-Secondary 21% Tertiary 59%

The above chart shows that the absolute majority of those questioned were of a tertiary level of education while the 3 lower levels of education made up 34% of those questioned.

Unemployed 3%

Figure 4.20: Occupation Retired 2% Managers 11%

Students 34%

Technicians and associate professionals Clerical support 2% workers 6% Service and sales workers 6% Craft and related trades workers 1% Elementary occupations 3%

Professionals 32%

The spread of occupation is largely dominated by students and professionals respectively while the remaining 34% accounts for the other occupations represented in the chart. P a g e | 25


Email Interview In this section there are the responses of 4 individuals from 3 channels working in video production for YouTube. They were asked several questions about their experiences in the world of online video production as discussed in the previous chapter. The full results can be found in appendix 3. The respondents were as follows: Stuart Ashen creator and host of youtube.com/ashens, a product review/comedy channel. Aldrin Gamos is the community specialist at Maker Studio a studio created by a group of well know YouTubers, currently also producing works for traditional media. Finally, two representatives from youtube.com/SourceFed, which is a news and current events channel, making part of DeFranco Inc. This studio is made up of several popular shows all based on YouTube. In the first question they were asked about how they started out in the business. They all agreed that it was a rather scary thing to do, all be it an exciting one, as well. Gamos also stated that most consider YouTube as a place to post random videos and not a place for high quality content. Ashen also feels that it is only recently that one could make a living in this line of work. When questioned what they perceived to be the reason for their channel’s success all the respondents mentioned different aspects, which they viewed to be of considerable importance. Ashen answered that the key to his success was making something people find entertaining. Gamos stated that since Maker was started by YouTube creators this allowed them to understand what partners and supporters expect from Maker as a studio. One representative for SourceFed mentioned the studio’s head Philip DeFranco’s innate sense of what works and what does not in the industry. Furthermore, she also mentioned the team’s hard work and consistency. The second representative also mentioned the dynamic of the presenters which was further enhanced by skilful editing. The next question was regarding the establishment of studios and if it is necessary to be part of a studio to be successful in YouTube. All those questioned agreed that it is not necessary since many of those which are successful now began humbly filming in their own bedrooms (some still do) while maintaining that in order to make content with higher production value it is far easier when creators have the support of a studio.

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Subsequently, the subjects were questioned with regards to shifts in viewership of all forms of media. All the respondents mentioned the users high level of control. This is with regards not only to how, when and where they view their content but also in regards to the content itself, given the two way communication that takes place between the viewer and creator. One representative from SourceFed also mentioned the freedom that new media gives the individual to make his/her voice heard. This is in support of what Brown (2009) and Salman et. al. (2011) stated. Thus, it is this two way communication and freedom for viewers to become creators themselves that defines new media. When asked if new media is currently being preferred over conventional media, the results were split. Ashen and Gamos stated that it certainly is. Gamos further stated that this is because YouTube is more accessible at any time and any place. This second claim is supported by a SourceFed representative, who also stated that people are using their TVs less. Both of the representatives stated that people are watching the same amount of TV while also watching YouTube. Next, subjects were asked if new media can entirely replace old media. While all agreed that it might after many years, Stuart Ashen stated that rather than replacing old media he believes that old and new will combine creating a symbiotic relationship. When the subjects were asked about the advantages of new media, opinions differed slightly, but all remained in the same general area. One opinion from SourceFed stated that

the main advantage is the speed at which content can be created and made

available. This is particularly relevant since SourceFed is a news channel. Ashen also mentioned the speed at which content can be made available to viewers by eliminating traditional media's chain of supply. He also mentioned the complete freedom the creator has over the content he creates. The second SourceFed representative also mentioned this, going further to note that many original show ideas get turned down by mainstream media because of the small demographic they appeal to. This goes even as far as to say that a lot of old media is generic. Finally, Gamos stated that new media's interactivity and creator-viewer interaction are the main advantages. Conversely, when questioned about the advantages of traditional media the consensus showed clearly that the ruling factor was money. All stating that essentially more money brings more money from advertisers, drawing in bigger names and a larger audience. Moreover, Aldrin Gamos also mentioned that traditional media is after all P a g e | 27


traditional and therefore the norm. Also, a representative from SourceFed mentioned that the large amount of new media content makes it difficult for viewers to find what they are looking for. Next, they were questioned about their use and the importance of social media. All participants answered that they used it to communicate with their audience. Ashen plays it down saying that he has only ever used it to engage his audience. Gamos backed up this statement, but also stated that the conversation of the creator and the viewer can boost the viewer's loyalty, making him more inclined to share videos with others. Furthermore, both parties from SourceFed said that it is vitally significant to the success of their channel allowing them to spread their videos to their viewers quicker and allowing them to spread extremely fast. When asked about interactive narratives both Ashen and SourceFed answered they had little or no experience with it. The SourceFed representatives stated that, people will react to interactive narratives like they react to video games. They also stated that the potential for interactive narratives is an asset that new media possesses over old media. Conversely, Gamos stated that audiences respond well because they want the ability to feel part of the action and that interactive narratives make it more likely for people to show loyalty to the channel. Next they were asked what makes an interactive narrative compelling, Ashen does not reply citing his lack of knowledge and experience with narratives. One representative from SourceFed stated that it is creating intriguing questions that creates discussions in the comments and adding annotations to other content. The other representative emphasizes the importance of a good storyline, and that interactivity should add to the story. Moreover, Gamos from Maker Studios answered that the essential thing would be to engage the viewers so that they feel part of the overall story. Finally, the respondents were asked about the viewer's attention span with regards to interactive narratives. Ashen does not answer again citing a lack of experience in the sector of interactive narratives. One of the representatives from SourceFed mentioned that he does not personally enjoy the said narratives stating that this is potentially due to his ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). On the other hand, his colleague restates the importance of a good story as stated in the previous question but also mentioned that the story cannot be exceedingly long. However, Gamos stated that it is all dependent on the viewer, the creator and their relationship. P a g e | 28


The researcher found all those questioned were exceptionally helpful and friendly. Their insight will prove to be invaluable, when combined with the rest of the research conducted, in the subsequent section of this dissertation.

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Discussion Of Findings In this section, the findings presented in the previous section will be assessed and discussed for any patterns in behaviour as well as colorations between the quantitative and qualitative research. In the first question, regarding the frequency of viewing movies, it appears that males watch more movies with the highest percentage of males responding that they watched movies a few times a week (27%) and 5% more males answered that they watched movies daily. When questioned where they watch movies, 61% of the 16-25 age group answered that they downloaded their movies while 88% of 46-55 year olds watched their movies on television. Moreover, 16-25 year olds responded that the number of movies they watched has increased over the last 5 years while 26-35 year olds and 36-45 year olds answered that they witnessed a decline over the last 5 years. Similarly, the majority of all three of these age groups responded that they have shown a decrease in television viewing. It is also clear that most (85%) of 16-25 year olds watch online video content on a daily basis compared to 27% of 26-35 year olds. It is also intriguing to note that the number of movies watched by those questioned has increased while the amount of television has decreased over the past five years as shown by figures 4.3 and 4.6 respectively. Moreover, when comparing the results of these two questions it is remarkably clear that the majority that answered that they are watching more movies are watching less television, While, those stating they are watching fewer movies are also watching less television. This is shown by figure 5.1.

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Figure 5.1: Cross-tabulation of change in movie viewing compared to change in TV viewing

When respondents were divided by their gender, a pattern in television viewing habits could be seen as shown in figure 5.2, where 73% of females responded that they watch mostly foreign channels as compared to only 50% of males. On the other hand, males were more inclined to watch ‘specific content only’ on television; this is most likely due to those that only watch sporting events on television. A larger number of males also stated that their television viewing has decreased in the past 5 years with 61% as compared to 46% of females.

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Figure 5.2: Television content viewed by gender Mostly local channels 5%

Mostly foreign channels

Specific content only

I don't watch TV

6% 12%

28%

50%

17% Males

73%

8% Females

When cross referencing the level of education and the amount of TV each specific group watches, it was clear that those with a lower level of education tended to watch more television. The results show that 77% of those with a secondary level of education and 75% of those with a post secondary level of education responded that they watched television daily as compared to 33% of those that are tertiary level educated. This trend is backed by the response to another question which asked if the amount of television viewed has changed, where 67% of tertiary level educated respondents answered that the amount of television they watched has decreased over the past 5 years. All this seems to indicate that the predictions made by those interviewed might, in fact, be correct. This prediction being that new media has the potential to replace old media in the future. Responses also seem to agree with Ashen's prediction that new and old media might combine since all those that answered that they view television content after it has been broadcast daily(5%) as shown in figure 4.7, were all in the 16-25 age bracket. Moreover, it appears as though the attention of tertiary educated respondents is directed more towards online video content since 62% responded that they viewed online videos daily and an additional 18% viewed online videos a few times a week. A possibility that might account for this shift was the statement made by Gamos, in the interview P a g e | 32


discussed previously, where he stated that new media is being preferred to old media because new media is more accessible, at any time and place. Furthermore, tertiary educated individuals are also more likely to share content with others. Daily and few times a week amounted to 6% and 20% respectively regarding sharing on social media. Additionally, 26% of tertiary educated people responded that they send videos to other individuals.

As suggested by all those interviewed, particularly by the members of the SourceFed team, social media and online video seem to go together exceptionally well. This is further confirmed by the questionnaire, which showed that 81% of those who use social media constantly and 50% of those who used it daily, answered that they viewed online video content daily as shown in figure 5.3.

Figure 5.3: Online video content viewing Vs social media usage Constantly

Daily

Few times a week

Weekly

Monthly

Rarely

Never

Social media usage

81%

60% 50% 43%

40%

40% 40%

31% 20%

20% 20% 13%

7%

Daily

21% 20%

20%

11%

8% 2%

4% Few times a week

Weekly

21%

Monthly

Rarely

20% 7%

Never

Online video content viewing

As stated by Gamos in his interview and as shown in figure 4.10, a total of 62 answered that they viewed ‘funny clips’. Additionally, from the 4 most popularly chosen options, only tutorials with 58 votes is content made specifically for YouTube and usually by individuals, not large, old media, corporations. This demonstrates a lack of knowledge as to the many forms of content available online. This lack is potentially due to the large P a g e | 33


quantity of the content found online as stated by a representative from SourceFed. It is also the reason that, at least for the momen, the majority of funds remain in the world of mainstream media as also stated by all the respondents to the interview. Figure 5.4 shows the differences between the forms of online video content each gender views. This shows that males are more likely to view tutorials and reviews while females are more inclined towards music videos and movie trailers.

Figure 5.4: Online video content by gender Male

Female

22% 19% 17%

17%

12%

11%

17% 15%

11% 9%

8% 6% 4%

3%

5%

6%

6% 4%

4%

5% 1%

Music Film videos trailers

Vlogs

Web Short Reviews Tutorials TV show Funny shows movies clips Clips

Other

0%

I don't watch online video content

When questioned as to whether the respondent had ever seen an interactive video it was shown that more males (64%) than females (54%) had seen an interactive video. Furthermore, when questioned how many steps they were willing to complete, the most popular choices were 3 and '5 or more'. However, the number of males that would be willing to complete ‘5 steps or more’ was slightly higher (31%). Contrastingly, when asked if interactivity made videos more interesting 10% more males than females answered 'No'. Unsurprisingly, when cross referencing by age of respondent it was clear that both groups younger than 35 were more aware of interactive videos and had viewed at least one in the past. One of the SourceFed representatives was exceedingly insistent on the importance of a strong plot regardless of whether it is an interactive narrative or not. This statement can be used to account for the uncertainty displayed when users were asked if interactivity makes a video more compelling to watch as seen in figure 4.16. It would be a safe P a g e | 34


assumption that a bad plot cannot be improved by interactivity, but good plots are enhanced by interactivity when used correctly. These findings reveal specific patterns and trends that are useful to content creators. One example of this is in the user base that is most noticeable in online video consumption. This allows content creators, especially those trying to build a viewer base to create more content that appeals to the strongest demographics. While, those more established can deliver content that targets secondary demographics to allow them to broaden their appeal and get more viewers.

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Conclusion After a substantial amount of research through both primary and secondary sources some conclusions can be drawn. From the primary research, it is clear that people have shifted their mentalities away from that of conformity to that of individuality. Individuals are trying to be themselves and express who they are by all means possible. This has lead to the current growth of social networking, which places everyone in a position to be heard. Moreover, as was shown through the statements of the creators who have made their success and continue to grow, it is this power that drives a community like that of YouTube. Add to this, the ability to earn a living doing what they enjoyed doing anyway and a new form of media is created. This media is free of the restrictions and barriers of entry set by those in Hollywood. This is a place where a content creator, who is consistent in creating high quality material, which appeals to even a small niche of people, can have success. Though fully replacing traditional media is highly unlikely, it is also clear through the findings that people are moving away from watching content as it is being broadcast and not necessarily even on a television. Services like Netflix and Hulu, though as yet unavailable locally, were mentioned by the Americans interviewed who have grown accustomed to these services which also put some of the control in the viewer’s hands, as to the time and place they see the content they love. Hence, given this shift away from the so called ‘dumb’ TVs and the freedom of time and place granted to viewers already. The creation of interactive narratives no longer seems an unattainable goal. Given a technological base, producers will be given an entirely new realm of possibilities where to unleash their creativity and a new realm for classic characters and stories to discover new life. Moreover, the primary research also demonstrates that there are many forms of interactivity, some of which might be hidden in plain sight. The questionnaire has also been extremely helpful in pinpointing the strongest demographic which are currently at the forefront of change. More males responded that they have seen interactive videos and that they are willing to go through more steps in an interactive narrative. Those with a tertiary level education are watching less TV broadcasts and download the majority of the content they view. Additionally, much like P a g e | 36


most revolutions this one too is lead by the young, those under 35 and more prominently those between 16 and 25. While there is certainly a change that is happening in the way media content is being consumed, the mainstream adoption of interactive narratives is certainly not imminent. However, those wishing to experiment or potentially create supporting material for mainstream productions have a technological base and freedom from restrictions to do so while simultaneously refining their skills. Those that chose to do this will be able to garner fame and success while being in prime position when a mainstream shift does occur.

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Bibliography Berkun,

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Liu, Y. & Shrum, L. J., 2002. What is Interactivity and is it Always Such a Good Thing? Implications of Definition, Person, and Situation for the Influence of Interactivity on Advertising Effectivness. Journal of Advertising, 4(31), pp. 53-64. Manovich, L., 2001. The Language of New Media. 1st ed. London: MIT Press. Powerflasher, 2010. 13TH STREET „Last Call - The first interactive Movie. [Online] Available

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[Accessed March 2013]. Ryan, M.-L., 2003. Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media. 1st ed. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Salman, A. et al., 2011. The Impact of New Media on Traditional Mainstream Media. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 16(3), p. article 7. Shanken, E. A., 2009. Contemporary Art and New Media: Toward a Hybrid Discourse?.

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Appendix 1 Questionnaire

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Appendix 2 Email Interview Generic Questions 1. How did you start out in media? How did you feel starting your channel and eventually making a career out of it? 2. What do you think is the key to your channel’s success?

3. What are your thoughts about on studios? Is being part of one prerequisite for YouTube success? 4. Have people’s viewing habits have changed in the last five years with respect to all forms of media?

5. Do you think people are watching less TV in favour of watching YouTube?

6. Does new media content have the potential to replace traditional media altogether?

7. What do you consider as the main advantages of new media?

8. Despite all the praise that new media receives, do you think traditional media has any advantages of its own?

9. How effective do you think social media is for spreading your videos to the masses and increasing views?

10. Do you think audiences respond well to interactive narratives?

11. What do you think makes a compelling interactive narrative?

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12. From your experience, if a viewer finds an interactive narrative engaging, how many steps do you think they would be willing to complete in order to reach its conclusion?

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Appendix 3 Email Interview Responses SourceFed First Representative 1.

I started out in media originally as an Animation student, but shifted to Film Production. I always wanted to work in the production setting of media, but it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do. I was incredibly nervous to start at SourceFed. When I applied, I had mixed response from friends and family about working for a YouTube channel, but at the end of the day it was my choice. I debated for a couple of days about whether or not a studio solely based on YouTube was the right fit, but then my professor told me I wouldn't know what I like and want to do in life unless I tried. So I took the leap of faith.

2.

I don't believe that it is one individual key, but many pieces. A part of their success is from the help of Phil. He is a very smart man when it comes to this business and he kind of knows what will work and what doesn't. Another key factor is the the hard work and countless hours the SourceFed team has put in to make the production work. They stay consistent with the content and keep pushing forward no matter what the obstacle.

3.

-Working in a studio defiantly helps in understanding what it takes to produce professional content for Youtube, but I don't think it's a prerequisite for YouTube success. People can succeed on YouTube without ever having any prior experience. That is the beauty of YouTube.

4.

I believe that people's viewing habits have changed. I had a conversation with my Uncle who was shocked that one of his coworkers sat and watched an entire season of a certain show in one sitting. I explained to him that people have to power to watch what they want at their fingertips. That is the difference now. People can watch anything, anywhere, at any time. P a g e | 47


5.

I don't feel that people are watching less TV but instead using their Television set's less. People spend more time at their computers so that is what they use to watch content. Most content generated on YouTube is short, sweet, and to the point while television shows are twenty-two or forty-eight minutes on average. I feel that people are watching a healthy dose of both.

6.

I feel that new media is a powerful beast but I don't believe it has the strength to take down traditional media just yet.

7.

The main advantage of new media is how quickly content can be generated. It takes months to make an episode for television and is heavily monitored. New Media does the opposite. You can produce something very quickly and the makers have complete creative control.

8.

Though new media is a good tool, traditional media has the power to generate a lot of money. More money means more content, creating a snowball effect.

9.

Social media has changed every outlet of imaginable; SourceFed is no different. Social media can keep the content generate all day long even when we aren't. It is a really good weapon in SourceFed's arsenal. I feel that it has been a huge factor in the increase of views and getting the stories out to the public quicker.

10.

I don't know too much about interactive narratives, but I would imagine audience responds to them like a video game.

11.

Whether you are making an interactive narrative or just a narrative, the story makes it compelling. Without a compelling story, then you have nothing. The story if the first step.

12.

If I were to make an interactive narrative, I would base the steps on the story. While saying that, I wouldn't make too long of a story. It all falls back on the first step: the story.

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Second Representative 1.

I felt very excited to be apart of one of my favorite media companies. I thought it was great to work for a company that was started in my lifetime, and that I've watched grow into something bigger. It allowed the job opportunity to feel even more personal and hands on than most jobs.

2.

I believe SourceFed's success stems from hard work and staying current. SourceFed has a great dynamic they've discovered that works for them. Each member of SourceFed has done a great job at distinguishing their sense of humor and developing it. Also the editors play a huge role. I think their editing style really adds to the show's hilarity and is a huge key factor in the show's success.

3.

I wouldn't consider being part of a studio as a necessary part for success, but it's definitely helpful.

4.

With out a doubt. Before YouTube was a thing, the media was just in the hands of Hollywood, and while YouTube has capitalized, it is still gives so much more control to the general public allowing anyone to get their voice heard. Not only does it allow for news to be viewed, but it also opens creativity to independent people who have lower budgets, but great ideas. It's becoming a much more common way to watch shows and access information.

5.

I personally am. I don't know if people are watching less TV because of YouTube. From what I've gathered people are watching more TV and YouTube but the more people watch YouTube, doesn't decrease the amount of TV they initially watched.

6.

It could, but I don't see that happening soon. Not until ad agencies find a better way to make an equal amount of revenue profiting off of the internet like they would on major television networks. Also I feel like major tv networks won't let that happen and neither will actors' guilds. Unless an agency or network comes along that specifically focusses on YouTube and actually offers and equal profit competition to major cable networks probably not. I think it'll do what Netflix P a g e | 49


does. It offers a great alternative, but cable will remain as the primary means of watching content in the next 10 years.

7.

I think where new media has the advantage over traditional media, is the original and independent content. Many great ideas get turned down or have a specific audience they appeal to that would be ignored by traditional media, which is why a lot of what is popular is crap and generic. New media allows the individual to watch specifics of what they enjoy. Also the lack of ads. I think another appeal of smaller media is that it isn't corporate and does feel like a more shared experience amongst your viewers, not to mention the participation via comments and likes.

8.

Bigger budgets, more notoriety, and more viewers are going to attract bigger celebrity names that people want to watch. Less content on TV make it easier for the general public to watch whatever is being reviewed. There is so much content on new media that make it more of a challenge to find what you want. The advantage traditional media has is more in the hands of the companies that produce it. There's more money for major companies in traditional media than there is in new media.

9.

10.

Extremely. I'd say that's one of the biggest contributors to SourceFed's success.

Yeah. Some comments and reactions are better than others, but I think the responses are and advantage new media has over tradition.

11.

Exactly what SourceFed does by coming with good questions of the day and creating annotations.

12.

To be honest, I don't find interactive click annotation narratives fun. Maybe it's because I have ADD. I don't know.

Stuart Ashen 1.

I started in video by accident – I made a video for a small group of people, one of whom forwarded it to the online newsletter b3ta. It became quite popular so I kept going. For the first few years I never expected to make any money - It’s P a g e | 50


only relatively recently that online video has become a viable career.

I’m

extremely happy with it as I enjoy it immensely.

2.

It provides something that people find entertaining - and also something that’s extremely difficult to copy!

3.

I think studios are only useful if you need to film something specific – I’ve never really used one myself. I know some of the top few YouTubers use them frequently and there’s a studio in Google’s HQ in London for YouTube use. It’s certainly not a prerequisite for success as many of the most successful channels are people filming themselves in a bedroom or similar!

4.

Younger people seem to be watching more online video and less television. The average age of TV viewers is rapidly increasing as a result. However I suspect that a lot of what’s being watched online is content originally produced for television!

5.

Yep – see previous answer.

6.

Not as such – I think over time the two may merge, mostly due to conventional delivery methods giving way to online distribution.

The original series

commissioned by Netflix and the YouTube ‘sponsored’ channels may be the beginning of that.

7.

Immediacy and freedom. You can upload something to the internet and people can view it straight away without having to rely on traditional supply chains. And content creators have more control over the end product as there is no commissioning process.

8.

Absolutely - it’s still where most of the money is! Which of course translates to higher production values as well as payment for all concerned. And there’s still a certain cachet attached to traditional media projects – most people would be impressed if you told them you were in a TV programme, but not if you said you were in a YouTube video! P a g e | 51


9.

It’s never been useful for me in that respect. I’ve only ever used social media to engage with my existing audience.

10.

I don’t know – I’ve never worked on a project with an interactive narrative, and don’t know much about them I'm afraid.

11.

See the last answer.

12.

See answer 10.

Aldrin Gamos 1.

Starting Maker Studios is both very exciting yet scary at the same time. Most people see YouTube as a place for random videos, and not as a place for high quality content. At the same time, more people are starting to see the way content is evolving online to resemble traditional media, and it's exciting to see Maker be at the forefront of it all.

2.

Maker Studios was started by YouTube creators, and even today, many Maker employees have channels themselves. This allows us to understand what it is our partners and supporters in general expect from us.

3.

The beauty of YouTube is the most successful creators today started off shooting videos in their homes on webcams. Studios allow for higher production value, so it can help make you stand out more in the endless sea of content, but it's not entirely necessary to be successful.

4.

Online media has changed the game since it allows viewers to interact with the content creators. Previously, watching television was a one-way street, where viewers could watch but not do much more than that. Now, with YouTube, people can watch something and leave a comment. Even television takes advantage of this by encouraging people to tweet their thoughts about an episode. YouTube and social media has done a lot to make the viewing experience more interactive than it's ever been.

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5.

Absolutely. The advantage of YouTube is it's accessible anywhere and anytime. There's on-demand TV, but you need a cable subscription to access that. All you need for YouTube is an Internet connection. Also, people from traditional TV are hopping over to YouTube to interact with their fans more and bring them extra content they haven't seen yet. It wouldn't be surprising to see the majority of Hollywood end up on YouTube someday.

6.

That's tough to say. Even the most hardcore YouTube watchers still tune in to traditional media. I think people will still watch and enjoy traditional media, but more and more people will see the value in new media and realize what they've been missing.

7.

Definitely the feeling of interactivity and communication between content creators and the audience. The best way to improve content is to get feedback straight from the viewers, and new media allows that to be done quite easily.

8.

Traditional media gets more support (funding, views, etc.) because everyone is used to it and knows what to expect from it. In many ways, it's the norm in society to consume traditional media. However, if new media were to gain more supporters, it could very well catch up if not surpass traditional media.

9.

It's very effective. It allows creators to send a message to their fans about new content, and creators can interact with their fans that helps build a connection between the two. It's easy to fall in love with a personality from TV or movies, but being able to have a conversation with that personality can magnify that loyalty, which usually causes fans to share content with their friends. Social media, if done correctly, can do wonders for promotion of content.

10.

Yes because it gives them a chance to feel like they're a part of it, which in turn, makes them more likely to tune in in the long run.

11.

Giving the viewer the ability to feel like they're doing something that adds to the overall value of the narrative. It's one thing to give feedback, but to see it be implemented is a great thing. It depends on many factors, such as how much of a fan the viewer already is to whoever is giving the narrative, as well as how well P a g e | 53


the creator is delivering the narrative. However, the fact that it's interactive in the first place is already a plus since the viewer has a choice. With traditional media, someone can start watching and if they don't like what they see, the only choice is to switch channels or turn the TV off. With new media that's interactive, if the viewer doesn't like what they see, they have the choice of trying to make it better before tuning out completely. They have been received very well, as we can see the choices people make while watching the content. If we see what the majority of people like, we can use that information to shape how we produce further content. Additionally, the instant feedback and the ability to reply to that is a feature both parties benefit from, and is used quite often.

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Appendix 4 Project Documentation Characters: Kurt: Normal college student. Lives with his mother in the house which is the set of the action. Monique: Kurt’s best friend. A normal university student. Andrew: A mysterious friend that only shows up at the end with the aim of finding Kurt’s disappearance.

Storyline: Exposition: Monique knocks on the front door. Kurt opens holding on a camera. Monique asks why he is filming her. He turns on a bright LED light mounted to the camera. Which temporarily blinds her. She walks in as normal as Kurt continues to film. He tells her he knows the perfect place to test out his new light. Kurt takes Monique down to the basement. They go down into the dark basement and look around for a bit making comments about the look, the smell and the dirt of the place. They find a box, hear a the sound of a door slamming and return upstairs with the box. Kurt hands the camera to Monique while he closes the door and they both rush back to his room. Monique dumps the stuff in her hands on the dining room table. Camera is left on facing the box and the video lingers on till the camera stops recording automatically. Rising Action: Bedroom Dining room Kitchen hall

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Later that day Kurt is alone and goes to collect the camera from the table. Kurt puts the camera around his neck and stops for a moment to look at the box. Kurt turns it a few times in his hands, opens it, looks inside closes and sets it back down on the table. Day 1 outfits Monique - black pants, black sneakers, yellow t-shirt Kurt - blue tracksuit pants, link t-shirt, DCs Props Box

The next day Kurt checks the CCTV footage to see what the noise was. Monique arrives to study. Kurt lets her in saying he has something weird to show her. Kurt shows Monique that none of the videos show any movement whatsoever. While they snack on a big bag of crisps. Day 2 outfits Monique - pink t-shirt, black pants, black sneakers Kurt - Nike t-shirt, grey tracksuit pants Props Big bag of crisps

Day later. Monique knocks on the door. Kurt is lying on the bed and does not react to the doorbell in the background. Kurt’s mother opens the door. Letting Monique in and telling her Kurt hasn’t moved all day. Monique sits down near him and asks what’s up and if he’s sick because he of something that happened in the basement. Kurt says he’s ok he just doesn’t want to get up and continues laying on the bed staring at his laptop screen. Monique gets bored quickly and says she is going since Kurt isn’t paying attention to her. Mother is finishing cooking. Puts plates on the table. Calls Kurt. Kurt starts eating very fast his own food pull the second plate (his mother’s) towards him to stop her from taking it. Day 3 outfits Monique - purple t-shirt, black pants, black sneakers Kurt - Nike t-shirt, grey tracksuit pants Props P a g e | 56


2 plates of food

The next day Kurt and Monique are playing a game and Kurt gets really angry and yells at Monique. She calms him down and they go to the kitchen to have some tea. Kurt makes tea as Monique shuffles a deck of playing cards and they chat. Kurt opens a pack of cookies and eats all through the scene. Monique ask for one. Kurt shouts or growls and says no because he’s hungry. They play a quick card game. Monique wins and Kurt throws the cards at her. He takes a deep breath calms down and immediately gets on his knees to pick up the cards. Monique quietly collects her things and lets herself out. Kurt is walking back and forth in the dining room on his phone with Monique apologizing for what he did and tells her he doesn’t know what has gotten into him. Very late that night Kurt gets out of bed. Walks to the dining room and stands looking at the box for a long time (time lapse) Day 4 outfits Monique - blue t-shirt, black pants, black sneakers Kurt- blue tracksuit pants, tom tailor red t-shirt, no shoes Props Big bag of cookies

Next day Monique walks in with takeout food. She mentions she can’t stay long since she just went to the ATM and needs to go pay her insurance. She sets up her laptop on the table and they start watching a something while they eat. Later Monique says she's going to the bathroom. Kurt gets out of his chair goes to Monique's handbag digs in it till he finds her wallet and shoves the wad of cash inside in his pocket and goes back to his seat. Day 5 outfits Monique - rugby shirt, dark three-quarter Kurt - green tom tailor t-shirt, black tracksuit pants, no shoes Props Take-out food

Next day. Monique shows up very mad when Kurt’s mum opens the door. Monique goes to find him in his room and starts yelling saying that when she went to pay her P a g e | 57


insurance the money in her wallet was gone. She checked a t home and she couldn’t find it anywhere. she says this is the only place she went and she believes Kurt took them cause he has been acting weird. At first Kurt is very shocked and calm saying that he would never steal from her. Very quickly he gets mad and goes on a rage breaking a TV. Monique leaves mad but very scared.

Later that day Kurt calls Monique and tells her to come collect her money. She arrives quickly finds the door open and walks in leaving the door open. Kurt meets her in the bedroom startling her. Without speaking he pushes her to the wall like he is about to rape her. She yells that this is not him he blinks for a second. and she gets out of his grip. Volta Monique goes to leave. When she picks up her bag she knocks over the box on the table in the same moment the lights flash off and from the darkness Kurt appears in front of her very angry. Kurt grabs Monique by the neck and throws her to the ground and begins to choke her. Monique struggles for a moment and dies. Kurt, in a panic, runs off escaping through the front door leaving it wide open. Day 6 outfits Monique - blue dress, beige cardigan, brown shoes Kurt - jeans, black shirt, shoes, black sneakers Resolution: Andrew comes into the house. Let in by Kurt's mother. He is filming hand held and saying he will figure out what is going on and try his best to find Kurt and that police don’t make any effort. He goes to the computer and connects a pen drive and casualty browses the footage on the computer while it is being copied. while the camera is on a tripod. He films till a shadow crosses the screen and the video cuts off with some static.

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Interactivity Flow Chart

This simple flow chart shows the user's flow between each video and the website its self.

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Site Design Inspiration

Inspired by the Cluedo board for the colours particularly this is because of its simplistic design. It is also very iconic and tied to mysteries. All the main buttons are rooms making it simple to navigate and also allows viewers to understand the layout of the house without having to see many angles or shots within the video itself.

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Layout

The basic layout of the site featuring only the floor plan, a bottom bar with links and 2 buttons for intro and ending pages. It was later decided that the intro button would be removed and the intro video would open automatically when the page loads. A link was also included in the bottom bar in case the user wanted to watch the video again or closed the video accidentally when it loaded. Title/Address The name project pursuit was chosen because 'project' implies that is something ongoing and experimental.

While the name 'pursuit' implies the seeking out of

something, in this case it is the pursuit of information and understanding.

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Internet Killed TV?  

Using New Media And Interactivity To Create Interactive Narratives.

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