Nested within the wider ADAPT project, this three-year project examines how the use of social media affects the lives of skilled technicians and producers, and in what ways they have adapted to, and adapted, these new technologies into their production routines. It treats social media as a technology that enters the technological array of television production. It explores the adaptation of social media within television production cultures as a ‘live’ and on-going process that is increasingly routine or expected in the context of contemporary factual television production for broadcasters, independent television companies and online TV competitors.
As such the project’s approach to social media as a television production technologies is shaped by two key understandings:
- As a force of creative disruption entering production cultures from an external, wider, cultural mileu that was not planned for or iterative in the production world of television.
- As a technological platform that is non-hardware specific. Social media, as a series of proprietary platforms, can be accessed across an array of hardware technologies: from mobile phones to tablets to desktop computers, laptops, connected TVs and increasingly a plethora of ‘smart’ technologies as part of the ‘Internet of things’, including cameras and other audiovisual recording equipment.
The ADAPT Social Media team (Professor James Bennett & Dr Niki Strange) is currently partnering with PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television) in its investigation into Social Media and its impact on UK TV production. In September 2016 the team launched the first of two surveys via the PACT website, aiming to shed light on how new business models, revenue streams and job roles are emerging in the sector and should help indies to understand the economic and creative implications for their businesses. The survey will be repeated in September 2017 to track developments and identify trends, and its findings will be supplemented by focus groups and one to one interviews with key television industry figures over the next 2 years.
For key findings from the first survey, visit the ADAPT website.