Post-TV: Piracy, Cord-Cutting, and the Future of Television

Post-TV: Piracy, Cord-Cutting, and the Future of Television

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By Michael Strangelove
Digital Futures
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014
World Rights
360 Pages
ISBN 9781442614529
Published Mar 2015
Online discount: 35%
 $32.95    $21.42
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442666191
Published Mar 2015
Online discount: 24%
Full purchase $32.95

In the late 2000s, television no longer referred to an object to be watched; it had transformed into content to be streamed, downloaded, and shared. Tens of millions of viewers have “cut the cord,” abandoned cable television, tuned into online services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, and also watch pirated movies and programmes at an unprecedented rate. The idea that the Internet will devastate the television and film industry in the same way that it gutted the music industry no longer seems farfetched. The television industry, however, remains driven by outmoded market-based business models that ignore audience behaviour and preferences.

In Post-TV, Michael Strangelove explores the viewing habits and values of the post-television generation, one that finds new ways to exploit technology to find its entertainment for free, rather than for a fee. Challenging the notion that the audience is constrained by regulatory and industrial regimes, Strangelove argues that cord-cutting, digital piracy, increased competition, and new modes of production and distribution are making audiences and content more difficult to control, opening up the possibility of a freer, more democratic, media environment.

A follow-up to the award-winning Watching YouTube, Post-TV is a lively examination of the social and economic implications of a world where people can watch what they want, when they want, wherever they want.

Michael Strangelove has been called a “guru of Internet advertising” (Wired) and “the man who literally wrote the book on commercialization of the net” (Canadian Business). He is a lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ottawa.


1. From the Remote Control to Out-of-Control: Music Piracy and the Future of Television

2. Television and Movie Piracy: Simple, Fast, and Free

3. Sport Television Piracy: They Stream. They Score!

4. Television’s Scariest Generation: Cord Cutters and Cord Nevers

5. Disruption: Viewing Habits of the Post-television Generation

6. Innovation: New Sources of Competition for Online Audiences

7. Disintermediation: The Political Economy of Television

8. Post-Television Society: Diversity, Citizenship, News, and Global Conflict

Conclusion: Post-television Culture

“With Post-TV, Michael Strangelove fires the opening salvo regarding our thinking about television and its significance in the early twenty-first century. His notion of post-TV is one that is incredibly compelling, and one that media and cultural studies must address.”

Scott Henderson, Department of Communication, Popular Culture, and Film, Brock University

Post-TV is a crucial addition to the conversation about what television means in an era of expanded consumer activism, deregulation, global conglomeration, and technological innovation.”

Rebecca Sullivan, Department of English, University of Calgary

‘I enjoyed reading Post-TV. It is extremely accessible and clearly written book…. It is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the future of television.’

Maria Michalis, International Journal of Digital Television, vol 7:01:2016