In chapter 1, “Matrix media,” Michael Curtin describes a matrix media as a media system where corporations provide media in a variety of forms, allowing consumers to interact with and intake the media at any time. This style of media doesn’t aim at mass audiences at once, but rather uses a large supply of outlets for their product adding up viewers among them. An example of matrix media that Curtin uses is that of “Top Chef,” a cable show. This particular show can be viewed on cable during its’ allotted show time or on their website for a period of weeks, can be purchased on ITunes, has video games and blogs for dedicated fans to play and read on the internet, and lastly has mobile applications so viewers can get information anywhere on their phone discretely and quickly. This style of media, matrix media, has not been the dominant style forever.
Technological shifts in the recent past, along with audience members viewing tendencies, guided the media industry into a matrix media set-up. The continually improving video game market was one technological shift that had an impact. As video games continually become more advanced, many consumers began to choose to spend their time playing video games over watching television. Curtin states that the day after Super Smash Bros Brawl was released, television ratings dropped 14 percent. Corporations were forced to make their media more interactive, maybe with fun games or blogs, and have more flexible availability in order to remain competitive, due to the fact that video games were interactive and available to be played at any time.
Another technological shift was the increasing popularity of the internet. The internet became a tool that almost everyone used daily, and with programmers creating websites where television shows and movies were free to watch illegally, it had a staggering effect on television ratings. Thus corporations were forced to supply better, “professional” versions of their shows online that were able to compete with the illegal sites due to better quality and good availability.
Lastly, the obsession with smart phones has led to very profitable opportunities involving mobile devices. Curtin estimates that this market will be worth around fifty billion to corporations in the media market. Thus, due to the advancement of video games, the increased popularity of the internet, and the creation of the smart phone, it became highly advantageous, if not necessary, for the media industry to become a matrix media.