social media and the Players

A few recent, seemingly disparate, events illuminate the seismic shifts occurring in entertainment and media (E&M). When basketball superstar Kobe Bryant announced his retirement from the NBA on November 29, 2015, it occurred not on a major sports network but via social media and the Players’ Tribune, an athlete-centric digital publisher. That same month, CBS — which like NBC, FOX, and ABC is trying to grow viewership outside of traditional pay-TV — announced plans to revive Star Trek, one of its best-known franchises, exclusively on CBS All Access, its new subscription video on-demand service. Fox declared it will no longer track same-day TV ratings; rather, it will report on program viewership occurring after three and seven days, responding to the prevalence of on-demand viewing. Mobile operators like AT&T and Sprint responded to users’ surging demand for streaming video by emphasizing their unlimited wireless data offerings in their marketing and subscriber acquisition efforts. And some of the hottest-selling gifts in the holiday season of 2015 were streaming video devices and smartphones.

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