My soon to be sister-in-law Andrea is a film student, and while working with her on a paper last semester I helped her look at the business side of TV, and realize the fact that TV exists to sell advertisements and hock products, and not to entertain. To punctuate my point I am please to direct you to the American Idol Telephone!
Here the TV created a community of consumers. Demographically pre-teen and teens, as I understand it, are the most coveted market. The stream of branded goods from this could be endless, and the need is fed by new seasons of the show. These special phones give you ‘exclusive rights’ Idol concert tickets, and voice/text mail from the hosts and participants. All designed to separate the community form its money. American Idol has cultivated youth the way we cultivate honey bees … yea we give them a nice wood house to build a hive in, but then we take their honey.
Andrea gets it now and I can’t wait to see what products her hit series will spin off some day.