Gleeks

Unless you’ve been living in a cave these past few weeks, or do not have access to a tv, a radio, a computer, a mobile phone or a newspaper, you will be fully aware of the new American import phenomenon that is Glee. A cross between High School Musical 1, 2 and 3, Mean Girls, American Idol and 30 Rock, the show mixes high school life with sardonic wit and killer tunes. Last night’s installment on E4 drew in 1.2m viewers – a high share for a Monday night. What’s most intriguing is the show’s business model. Instead of relying on merchandise to earn extra bucks, Glee is capitalising on its young audience’s preference for watching tv online. Increasingly, people are “shopping the screen”, responding to product placement instantly online. By airing close to the “clicks”, Glee can turn the songs featured on the show into immediate iTunes hits, as the line between being a viewer and consumer blurs.

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