You have 3 seconds. impress me

The main idea for the chapter "Buying into American Idol" is about the audience's reaction to reality shows and how the industry makes money off us. The part I found most interesting was about the Apple Box Production's poster. The main question they ask is "How does the viewer's search for compelling content translate into exposure to sponsored messages?"

The poster depicts a young boy pointing a remote at the camera deviously and the caption reads "You have 3 seconds. Impress me." As viewers, we are constantly searching for something to grab our attention. We surf the channels, awaiting for something amazing to appear so we can be entertained. We hate wasting time so we even change the channel during the commercial so we don't waste one second of being NOT entertained. Impression "refers to the consumer's search for something so "impressive" that he pauses his relentless search for novelty." It's also the "unit of measurement historically deployed by the networks in their conversations with potential sponsors - the raw number of "eyeballs" watching a television program at a specific moment in time."

One thing Jenkins mentions is that the numbers and money making isn't only about who buys the product or sees the message, but it's about what particular channel the television is on. And to keep your audience engaged, the programs must be enterating to grasp their attention. The industry is starting to realize that it's not about the quantity of viewers, but about the "quality of the audience's engagement". "Marketers seek to shape brand reputations, not through an individual transaction but through the sum totally of interactions with the customer. - an ongoing process that increasingly occurs across a range of different media."

It's not about getting as many viewers as possible, but once there's a good amount of audience members, they will coninually watch their favorite show. The television audience will always be exremely picky about what they watch so the only thing the industry can do is entertain them as much as possible because viewers will always remain difficult to please.