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Happy 10th Birthday, iTunes!

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - The way we watch and listen has dramatically changed in the decade since the initial release of iTunes. Think of all the changes our culture has seen with the rise of iPods, iPhones, the podcast, and the idea that you could download a digital copy of your music, videos, books, and apps from one easy place. Can you imagine life before that?

And we have seen huge cultural changes in how we get and process media. Take the soap opera industry. What once was a standard on TV since its inception is now going extinct as two major soap operas go dark on TV. "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" will start broadcasting online only, and it's all about the high production costs and low ratings associated with these shows.

"I think online is a pretty good place for these to land," says, Dr. Robert Thompson, Director of the Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University. "You can watch them anytime, you can get caught up, and the new versions of these are four days a week for a half hour."

KDKA-AM's Larry and John talked to Dr. Thompson about the 10th anniversary of iTunes and the changes we've seen in that decade. For instance, the amount of music available now is staggering.

"It had 200,000 songs when it started," says Dr. Thompson. "Now there is a catalog of over 35 million songs. They've been busy in those 10 years."

Dr. Thompson talked about how the convenience of buying music online has virtually ended the music store industry. It has also changed the way we listen to music.

"It used to be that you'd walk down fraternity row and you'd hear stereos blaring from the windows," says Dr. Thompson. "Listening to music was a collective act, whether you wanted to or not. Now, when I walk down our fraternity row, you can hear birds chirping. People are listening one-on-one through ear buds."

Dr.Thompson also talked about the eight-year anniversary of YouTube.

"I can't believe it is as young as it is," says Dr. Thompson. "YouTube and online video have completely penetrated the way we watch TV and the way we think about video. It's hard to believe that ten years ago, it didn't even exist."

Dr Robert Thompson


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