The digital age has brought a new interactive practice of media consumption. The media matrix is changing in such a way that not only the boundaries between the media are deleted, but also those between producers, distributors and consumers. The industry adapts to the new technological opportunities and needs of the audience. On the one hand, television text becomes global, formatted and trans-media, while on the other we witness horizontal and vertical merging and concentrations of global commercial producers that accelerate their ability to invest in high-budget content and strengthen their ability to expand to the activities that those companies previously weren’t interested in.
The proliferation of television channels and the transformation of television from mass media into the niche media are in progress. The process of proliferation not only enhances the struggle for the user, but also inevitably jeopardizes one of the basic prerequisites of the prominent influence of public service on the national community – the mass reach of a particular television channel in the national context. Therefore, in public television, there is a growing need for national visibility and popularity, and there is a substantial convergence of public and commercial media that collapse the binary opposition between ‘citizens’ and ‘consumers’ as different targeting groups in the production of content. Public media services cease to be the only distribution range of national and social values. The media and state partnerships generated by the discursive building of the national imagination began to direct their messages to the new address. Rather than formulate a national, ethnic, religious or regional identity as a cultural or political project, as one might expect, these efforts gain a commercial goal. The media are becoming the main drivers of commercializing national identities as well as transnational marketing of those identities through branding nation and similar activities. National identity has become a market good, and one who promotes and sells it can be an independent media organization as much as the state. At the same time, the degree and speed of socioeconomic and cultural changes result in the weakening of traditional institutions and the simultaneous proliferation of new social groups and identities with new interests and specific media needs, which creates an increasing complexity of demand for audio-visual content. The audience is becoming less national, more global and fragmented based on thematic and genre preferences, and viewers also gain control over what, when and where to watch the desired television content.
The tectonic twists and turns of what television is now experiencing reaffirms the reflections on multilevel scientific approaches to the study of television, which is in line with its prismatic nature and constant change of the media, culture and overall social matrix within which it operates. The first question is: how does the television tell stories? Second: What are the relationship between the stories we have on television to the societies and cultures in which they arise (including, of course, all the stories in which stories are produced, not just those that produced them)? And thirdly, why television? The third question will be crucial and it opens up a whole new set of questions that will help scientists from many disciplines explain why television continues to be so significant.