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Blockbusters for the youtube generation : a new product of convergence culture

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-08-01, 00:00 authored by Kristy HessKristy Hess, Lisa Waller
While scholars have paid much attention to YouTube in a Web 2.0 environment, the YouTube blockbuster is yet to be discussed as part of this convergence culture. It differs from transmedia storytelling in that no single company owns or controls the characters or concepts. Once users have elevated videos with rich narrative qualities to the heights of fame within YouTube and other virtual social networks, they are taken from the YouTube archive by global commercial media and given new exchange values in traditional media forms such as books, films, television shows and ancillary products, using fragmented classical narrative techniques to do so. This paper traces the history of the blockbuster as a way of large commercial media adapting to social and technological change after World War II, to its refinements in the 1970s to cater for younger audiences and changes in the media landscape, to its most recent incarnation in YouTube. We argue that the economic and cultural values of the blockbuster are being transformed and refigured by the new form it has begun to take within convergence culture.

History

Journal

Refractory : a journal of entertainment media

Volume

19

Pagination

1 - 12

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1447-4905

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, University of Melbourne, School of Culture and Communication

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