Why Ryan Seacrest is New Media’s Secret Weapon


I’ll be the first to admit that Ryan Seacrest does not exactly seem like an agent of the future.  But when The New York Times chose to mention American Idol as an example of broadcast television’s popularity it made me realize something.

American Idol is not Television.

American Idol is MySpace under the guise of a TV show.

The same things which make Delicious and Flickr so popular on the internet makes American Idol popular on television.

User Generated Content

The singers from American Idol come from all across America. But unlike Star Search and it’s clones we actually get to watch and be involved in the process. We can stand in line to try out or we can watch others try out.

Heavy Audience Participation
Without the audience there is no television show.The public votes every week on who stays and goes.

What’s less complicated than singing a song and letting people vote on if you’re good or not.


So Ryan Seacrest, instead of being a questionably talented, super-lucky metrosexual, is actually a harbinger of the future. He’s teaching the children the fundementals of new media and will be partially responsible for destroying the broadcasters which made him famous.

American Idol is old media upside down.

And you thought Paula Abdul was only going to be remembered for “Straight Up“.


Explore posts in the same categories: blog networks, new media, old media

7 Comments on “Why Ryan Seacrest is New Media’s Secret Weapon”

  1. Vampire Feet Says:

    You are funny. Ryan Seacrest really gets on my nerves. I feel better knowing that he is destroying television as we know it. Thank You!

  2. Char,
    not sure if you were at SXSW, but they had a whole panel aimed at one of your posts, it was how the internet is affecting teenage girls and vice versa. They should have a podcast of it up in a couple days. you should check it out.

  3. chartreuse Says:

    I didn’t attend, but I’ll check out the podcast. Thanks!

  4. amanda fanatic Says:

    I love Ryan Seacrest. I thought he was gay but I think I was wrong. He dresses very nice though.

  5. Erik Says:

    American Idol is just the same old “sausage making” of the music industry, just (partly) done in public.

    Instead of AR people going to small clubs and hearing bad bands, singers come to them. First they sing for a few levels of assistant producers (this is analogous to the AR guys on the road), if they make that cut, they sing for Simon et al. If they make that cut (and I’m guessing there are people involved in that beyod just the 3 faces on TV) then they go on to the next step.

    “Going to Hollywood” is analogous to “getting signed to a small deal”, it is no guarantee of success. It’s the same old media gatekeepers it’s always been deciding who the public will be exposed to.

    Then finally, the people get to start to vote. But like always, they only get to vote on who the media gatekeepers decide to expose them to. This is when the people have always voted, either they like your shit and vote for you (or in the old model, buy it) or they don’t.

    There is nothing “long tail” about American Idol.

  6. American Idol is an interesting anomaly. It vexes all other programmers (of TV content), and yet, it reflects a mainstream not really covered by the youth market (the Myspace generation). I’m not even sure they (MyGen) think of AI as “music,” but instead, a far more glitzy bit put on by YouTube. –Chris of [chrisbrogan.com]

  7. Potential Promise (Or, The Key to Building Network Value)

    The problem with just audiences is that without a performance the audience becomes a group that disperses, leaving nothing. (We saw this with Friendster and we’ll see it again with …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: