Communication across the world has evolved with the advent of technology and media. There are now several ways to exhibit your work, voice your opinions on issues and spread knowledge and information globally. Related to these, is a phenomenon called Media Convergence. This has emerged due to the immense digitalization and the widespread use of the internet. Industries and organizations across the world have started transforming their methods and have merged the many types of media for better functioning and growth. In this blog, we will go through the various characteristics of media convergence, examples, advantages, and more.
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What is Media Convergence?
Media Convergence simply refers to the merging of different types of mass media such as Traditional Media, Print Media, Broadcast Media, New Media and the Internet as well as portable and highly interactive technologies through digital media platforms. This results in the combination of 3Cs, i.e. Communication, Computing and Content as all three are integrated through technology. The most relevant example of media convergence is a Smartphone that blends together various media, i.e. print media (e-books, news apps), broadcast media (streaming websites, radio, music apps) as well as new media (the internet) into a single device that performs various functions from calling and texting to photography, videography, gaming and so much more.
The most popular examples of Media Convergence are:
- Smartphones (converging camera, music, the internet, books, and all other media together)
- Online Radio (converging radio with the Internet)
- E-books (converging paperbacks with the digital technology)
- News Websites and Apps
Media convergence has proved to be beneficial in the digital era which is filled with content seeking our attention continuously. Here are the most important advantages of Media Convergence:
- The instant availability of news and moment-based content is one of the top advantages of media convergence between traditional media and new media.
- The content producers can specifically target the best audience or group they are aiming towards by publishing customized content.
- With media convergence, the audience has also become the creator themselves. From memes to social media posts, media convergence has truly been beneficial to integrate audience on a global level.
- Another important benefit of media convergence that it has broadened the limitations of traditional media by blending it with new media, thus providing instant and latest content on an international level.
- With the media convergence between traditional media and new media, the cost of digital marketing has also become economical thus making this process beneficial and affordable.
Types of Media Convergence
Media convergence is an umbrella term that can be defined in the context of technological, industrial, social, textual, and political terms.
The three main types of Media Convergence are:
- Technological Convergence
- Economic Convergence
- Cultural Convergence
Technological convergence is a term that describes the layers of abstraction which enables different technologies to interoperate efficiently as a convergent system. It is when new technologies are created and take over from past technologies and perform the same task in a more efficient manner. Technological convergence is the combination of computing, communication, and content around networked digital media platforms. It further aims to convert existing media into a digital form of technology, for example, viewing a book online (E-books, Kindle). We have compiled some of the basic fundamentals of Technological convergence below:
- Technologies convergence is when new technologies are created that mostly take over or get upgraded from past technologies and perform the same task but in a more advance manner, for example, people used to listen to music using the radio but now technological convergence but now the convergence has evolved majority use smartphones.
- Technological convergence is the tendency that as technology sometimes evolves towards performing a similar task.
Just like the general definition of Economic convergence which suggests that countries with lower GDPs are going to grow faster than countries with higher GDP, the Economic media convergence allows a single company to target larger interest groups through various kinds of media. Some of its key features are:
- In Economic convergence large companies use old and new media to their advantage by selling merchandise or the rights of the product.
- It is the horizontal integration of the entertainment industry companies such as Sony, AOL, Time Warner now has an interest in film, TV books, games, and the internet, music real estate, etc.
This concept of media convergence occurs when two or more cultures adopt each other’s traits and become more alike. Those Increasing similarities between cultures are not limited to beliefs of consumer brands and media. Some of the major forms of cultural media convergence are:
- Acculturation: When weaker among two cultures adopt traits from more dominant culture e.g Indians mostly speaking the English language.
- Assimilation: When original traits of weaker culture are completely erased and replaced by traces of more dominant culture e.g war immigrants no longer speak the native language.
Importance of Media Convergence
Wondering why media convergence is important? It is important because it blends together content, communication technologies and computer networks thus leading to the immediate transformation of many established industries, services as well as work practices and through all this, new forms of content are born.
Here are the key points why Media Convergence is important:
- It transforms the modes of communication, news reporting, and journalism. For example, Media journalism.
- It led to cross-media since a huge amount of content is now being accessed through portable devices. For instance, news organizations no longer simply rely on print or AV transmission.
- Many new media forms are born like news portals, podcasts, news feeds, blogging, websites and mobile applications.
- The newly converged media platforms provide online access to the archives, and endless opportunities for users to comment on the story or provide links to relevant material.
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3Cs of Media Convergence
The 3Cs of Media Convergence are Computing, Communications, and Content. Media Convergence unites these 3Cs of Computing, Communications and Content and is an immediate result of digitization and promotion of the Internet. To put it even more simply, the convergence of Content with Communication technologies and Computer Networks is what leads to Media Convergence.
Disadvantages of Media Convergence
While the advantages of this form of convergence focus on content integration, faster access and international reach, disadvantages highlight the impact of convergence on consumers as well as technology. Here are the major disadvantages of media convergence:
- Difficulty in assessing consumer responses and reactions scattered across diverse converged platforms.
- More competition for consumer’s time and attention with various media platforms in one device.
- Audiences often feel overwhelmed with massive amounts of information overload.
- The older generation and the disabled sections of the community find it hard to learn the digital skills to use different types of media
- Highly relied on technology and the internet thus the areas deprived of these two aspects can face issues with using online information.
- Prone to cyber-attacks and malfunctioning.
Universalization is another lesser-known aspect of mass media that has been highlighted with convergence. Media convergence has led to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in our world as we get to know about various cultures, their traditions and values and further learn to imbibe a respect for every culture. Globalisation has played a central role in universalization of cultures through media as the world is striving to become more inclusive of everyone, irrespective of their culture, religion, gender, etc. Here’s how media convergence has led to universalization of popular culture:
- By providing open access to cultures around the world
- Increased cross-cultural consumption through digital media
- Promotion of pop culture on the Internet
- Diversity and inclusion in media (be it through the content we consume or content creators)
- The internet is an hybridization of cultures and identities as we consume content from around the world and learn about diverse cultures.
Media Convergence is known broadly as the coming together of computing, telecommunication, and media in a digital environment. In 1978, the term Convergence was first coined by Nicholas Negroponte which stated that modern devices in combination with technology, social media, and the internet form the basic structure of Convergence in media. It brings together the “3 C’s”,i.e communication, computing, and content which is a direct result of the digitization of media content and high usage of the Internet.
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- Travel Journalism
- Staff or Freelance Writers
- News Analysts
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Media Convergence means the interconnection of communication technologies, computer networks, media content and information. It is constituted of 3Cs, i.e. Computing, Communication and Content and is a result of digital media content and the inception of the internet.
The best examples of media convergence are Smartphones, laptops and ipads that converge different types of digital media like radio, camera, TV, music, content and more in a simple single device.
There are three main types of media convergence:
1. Technological Convergence
2. Economic Convergence
3. Cultural Convergence
Media Convergence has proven beneficial for small and large businesses both as well as have provided us with the rapid accessibility and availability of information and content at the touch of our screen. Media convergence has also made communication better thus making our society more globalised though it has resulted in our unhealthy addiction to our devices too.
Hopefully, this blog helped you acquire the basic knowledge of Media convergence. \If you are passionate about making your career in this field and are confused about how to go about it, then get in touch with experts at Leverage Edu. We will help you in choosing the Top Mass Communication Colleges but also will help you to choose the right career path!