Friday, August 31, 2012

Media Convergence Essay - Nathan Sweeney (42457254)

MAS 110 - Media Convergence Essay
Nathan Sweeney – 42457254

Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to one of the following: Advertising and new media or music video online. 

The process of new media convergence has stimulated a power shift from markers & advertisers into the roles of consumers. Trends of new media use (derived from this power shift) can then be used by firms as a means of individual consumer based marketing and advertising.

Although convergence in media has naturally been evident for decades, it is over the past 10 years in which emerging and “new technologies” have been “accommodated by exisiting media and commucation industries and cultures” (Dwyer 2010).
(Dwyer 2010) suggests TV audiences and as a result “advertising revenues are all in a slow decline”, which can be contributed to advancements in technological development. However this increasing trend may also act as the solution – as marketers and advertisers alike show increasing interest in expansion into online and mobile media.

This leaves an extraordinary and somewhat untouched and (possibly) boundless market space in which firms can exploit and target consumers individually through observation and tracing of their daily lives as powerful new media users. The privilege of media convergence is clearly evident through consumers using devices which “act as a gateway to a multiplicity of services” – services which act as a means of individual consumer marketing for advertisers (Dwyer 2010).

Berthon ETAL (2012) proposes three effects of the development of new media (or web 2.0) technology; including a shift in consumer activity from the desktop to the web, value production from the firm to the consumer as well as a power shift away from the firm to the consumer.
Access to new media authorizes consumer’s to take control of their everyday life; “organising contacts, personal, leisure and work activities while on the move” (Dwyer 2010). Consumers in today’s technologically driven and increasingly demanding media and communication market now don’t have to rely on logistical and geographical restrictions as “new media increases the versatility of human action” (Dwyer 2010).
As mentioned earlier all consumers have the ability to benefit from the ease of technology, however it is the ‘creative consumers’ whom are the locus of value in an increasingly new media environment.

Berthon (ETAL 2012) states “it is they (creative consumers) rather than firms; who produce much of the value-added content in social media” and further their networks with friends and family which constitute the ‘social’ facet. The significance of the modern day consumer and their affiliation with new media as a primary mode of communication is clearly underlined in this proposal. However it is the method in which marketers utilise this ‘social’ facet, which is the most significant.
Presented in the form of ‘Facebook page likes’ and ‘Google searches’; this acts as crucial independent consumer information in which advertisers and marketers alike may freely exploit in further developing a new media environment which consumers find “easily accessible” with “media content that was personally meaningful to them” (Jenkins 2006).
Wilken ETAL (2009) compares this environment to one of an ecosystem – “used to stand for equilibrium, resistance or resilience , diversity and adaptability” – a very clear indication of the potential for a thriving new media online marketplace.

Creative consumers project their power roles by participating in informal discussions through social and entertainment media websites and applications such as Facebook and YouTube. Consumers ‘vote’ or ‘like’ certain media and pages in order to express their opinion on social issues as well as influence popularity of artists and celebrities. One particular YouTube channel ‘The Needle Drop’ records and uploads album reviews; encouraging consumers to critique the video and have their opinion by suggesting their desired next review in the ‘comment box’.
By doing so, consumers are not just voicing their opinion – they now have the ability to influence the trends of new media and content in which passes through.

New media convergence has significantly affected the way in which we consume and contribute to a technological environment. Convergence has triggered a power shift from marketers and creators of technology into the roles of consumers – whom now have the ability to both consume and create media through the ease of their mobile phone device.
It is at this platform in which marketers and advertisers alike may exploit opportunities as they arrive through the now creators of media, the consumers.


Dwyer, T. (2010). Media Convergence. McGraw Hill. Berkshire. Pp 1-23

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where old and newe media collide. NY University Press.

Spurgeon, C. (2008) Advertising & New Media. Ozon Routledge, pp 24-45

Wilken, R & Sinclair, J. (2009). Waiting for the kiss of life: Mobile Media and Advertising.

Berthon, P. (2012). Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy

Advertising and New Media

Luisa Morris

Student number: 42457823

Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to one of the following: Advertising and new media or music video online. 

Convergence of digital media with advertising is a phenomenon that increases as new media is created. Advertisement is everywhere, on buses, billboards, cars, magazines; everywhere. With the creation of new media such as twitter, facebook, Skype and YouTube online advertising is on the rise. Not only has digital convergence revolutionised the world of digital technology, but it has created a whole new sphere of advertising. It is now almost impossible to click on to a webpage such as YouTube and find no advertisement. Even before you watch a video on YouTube there is a short ad beforehand.  And with the amount of new and popular media being created there is always space for advertisement. The ease at which we get things and see things is changing the way people act. Instant gratification from digital convergence is making people lazy and impatient. It is a bleak outlook for the future…

The clip is a vision of the future that comes from the Disney classic Wall –E. It is a dystopian future where the large company ‘BNL’ or ‘Buy n Large’ has taken over the world. In the clip, the logo ‘BNL’ is advertised everywhere; even on clothes and food. The ability to access multiple platforms through one medium is why the human race lost their ability to walk, and feel. While this apocalyptic vision of the future is still ahead of us, with the convergence of digital media, we are well on our way. McChesney states that “whereas previously media systems were primarily national, in the past few years a global commercial- media market has emerged (2001, pg 80).” The creation of new media and digital convergence has enabled already huge companies to run global companies. New media and digital convergence such as Skype has made it possible to run companies all around the world and just like ‘BNL’ American products such as Disney are being advertised globally. Appadurai explains: States find themselves pressed to stay open by the forces of media, technology, travel that have fuelled consumerism throughout the world and have increased the craving, even in the non western world, for new commodities and spectacles (Appadurai, 1990, pg 102).” Christopher Dixon, media analyst for the investment firm PaineWebber says “what you are seeing is the creation of a global oligopoly. It has happened to the oil and automotive industries earlier this century now it is happening to the entertainment industry.” And will keep happening to every industry on earth till one company such as ‘BNL’ will control everything. New media and digital convergence has enabled this to happen.

Each year the world spends 467 billion on advertising. Now thanks to digital media convergence advertising has clogged up yet another social sphere; the internet. Though advertising can be annoying and obtrusive to the viewer for the producer the internet can be a cheap way to promote a new product or campaign. TV commercials are costly, during the Super bowl an ad can run for about $2.5 million dollars for a viewing time of thirty seconds. The internet provides an affordable alternative. Instead of spending thousands of money paying for viewing time on TV producers can now use that money to create better quality advertisements online. For example J.K Rowling’s new interactive website called ‘Pottermore.’ ‘Pottermore’ is an interactive book for the ‘digital generation’ aimed at the younger generations, a website where the viewer can control the story. JK Rowling deliberately tells the viewer that: “It's the same story with a few crucial additions; the most important one is you” hinting that the viewer can be involved in the Harry Potter world. The website was kept hidden until JK Rowling made an announcement on her website that “The owls are gathering; find out why soon” there was a hyperlink to YouTube and a short clip was broadcast on YouTube of JK Rowling revealing Pottermore. The ad unlike other ads was interactive and required the audience to interact or to “follow the owls.”

The ad was aimed at the ‘digital generation’ and so was broadcast on YouTube for the young digital savvy viewers to see. The creators of ‘Pottermore’ were smart to set up an ad on the web, especially on YouTube as their target audience was most likely to see it. The creators of ‘Pottermore’ even customised the YouTube page with different owls perched on a tree branch across the YouTube screen. The broadcast for ‘Pottermore’ has 2,260,353 views on YouTube to date. The amount of views ‘Pottermore’ has on YouTube is exactly why online advertisement is working. Dwyer states: “Unprecedented structural transformations are occurring throughout the media and communications industries, suggesting that they are no longer dominated by the traditional broadcasting or publishing industries (Dwyer. T 2010).  Although digital convergence is a great thing for those who work in advertising and the companies which advertise their products online, it is one more step to global oligopoly. McChesney explains: “Although the internet offers extraordinary promise in many regards, it alone cannot slay the power of the media giants…the internet becomes part of the commercially viable media system, it looks to be under the thumb of the usual corporate suspects (McChesney, 2001, Pg 89).”

Digital convergence is a huge step forward for technology. It has opened up new spheres of advertising and new media has enabled people to connect with people all over the world at a click of a button. However digital convergence is also dangerous.  The same companies that have control now will profit even more from the convergence of media and advertising until we are left with one company or firm in control of everything.


  • Appadurai, Arjun (1990), 'Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy', Public Culture, 1990, 2008, Vol.2(2), p.1–24

  • Dwyer, T. (2010) “Media Convergence”, McGraw Hill, Berksire, pp 1-23
  • McChesney, Robert W (2001) “Global Media, Neoliberalism and Imperialism” Monthly Review, March 2001.
  • Sheehan, Kim and Morrison, Deborah (2009) Beyond convergence: Confluence culture and the role of the advertising agency in a changing world, First Monday vol 14 no 3
  • Jenkins, Henry (2006) ‘Welcome to Convergence Culture’, accessed August 27th 2012


    'Pottermore' JK Rowling, 2011, 30/8/12

    Assessment 1 - Media Convergence Essay; 4244 8379

    'Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to Advertising & New Media'
    By Carlos English Walters - 4244 8379

    In a perpetually evolving and expanding media world, digital media convergence is reshaping the industry of Advertising, catalysed by the introduction of new media platforms. New media includes digital media resources such as the Web, Internet Video Distribution, Mobile Phones and Internet Protocol Television. Through these new phenomena, advertisers are being forced to adapt their marketing techniques to effectively target an audience that has freedom on what they choose to see, over a broad range of new media platforms.

    Dwyer suggests the basis of media convergence is, ‘the process whereby new technologies are accommodated by existing media communication industries and cultures.’ Specifically, it refers to the confluence of digital media and information technology that was, ‘previously thought of as separate and self-contained.’ Alternatively, the UK’s convergent media regulator offers a more technological definition, ‘The ability of consumers to obtain multiple services on a single platform or device or obtain any given service on multiple platforms or devices’. The implications of these changes are vast – it has provided the audience with sheer accessibility to a range of media outlets – that seamlessly flow into one another. For example, someone may use their mobile phone to read an article from the Sydney Morning Herald or watch a video posted on YouTube through a link embedded on Facebook. In this sense, the World Wide Web, in its very infrastructure, is providing a means by which users can converge on the internet in order to make their lives more efficient, and allow for constant, instantaneous access to virtually any media source they desire.

    As the World Wide Web has only become integral in the structure of information technology and social systems in the recent past, (since the influx of Web 2.0 in approximately 2005), some advertising agencies have acknowledged this change, while others have struggled to deal with the concept of a confluent, online environment. Sheehan and Morrison pertinently describe this, ‘While select British advertising executives admitted a problem, other global executives have noted that many advertising executives fail to even recognize that digital culture is a concern.’ This causes a disparity between advertising agencies, where those that adapt to and use new media to their advantage gain hegemony over less innovative, traditional agencies. Therefore, the model of traditional advertising paradigms in a digital climate is fundamentally naive, ‘Agency Heads...viewed retailing opportunities like eBay and Craigslist as new types of flea markets, and did not recognize the power of these venues to detract from both traditional retail sites and traditional markets for retail advertising’.

    The change that was web 2.0 was effectively the pressure that produced convergence. Timo Beth notes, ‘the term came into mainstream in 2005 as a result of the irresistible boom of the “do it yourself” web.’  The new direction was one that encouraged social interactivity and user generated content, and with this the true potential of the web was unlocked. Now people shared, critiqued, responded to information, advertisements and opinions between one another, via a network of converged platforms, online. This can be seen most lucidly in Internet Video Distribution (IP VoD) providers such as YouTube and social media websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Web 2.0 has been and continues to be a problem for traditional advertising as consumers are now ‘less brand–loyal than ever before and pay more attention to the recommendations of friends and family than they do to marketing messages’. In accordance with the nature of web 2.0, ‘audiences view messages more critically than ever’.  

    Furthermore, the expansion and convergence of the web – such as the phenomenon of Internet Protocol Television (IPT) – which allows for time shifted and on-demand broadcasting of Television through an internet protocol suite, has allowed people to not only evade advertising, but to make their schedule more flexible. This trend means that people can now watch and view what they want, when they want. As a result, a traditional advertising model built upon specific channels and timing that correlates to target a particular demographic, is largely ineffective. 

    In an attempt to address these issues, a multitude of new advertising devices, methods and tactics have been implemented by advertising agencies. One of these is covert advertising. Ellen McCracken defines covert advertising as, ‘the promotions disguised as editorial material or hidden in some other form so that they appear to be non-advertising’. This can be seen Avril Lavigne’s music video ‘What The Hell’, in which a scene depicting a live concert focuses on a member in the crowd which is filming Avril with a Sony Ericson mobile. This is only momentary, but it is very clearly presented, and for just long enough to leave an imprint on the consumer. The aim of these types of advertisements is to affect the consumer on a subconscious level – in order to influence their perception in favour of specific branded commodities. However, if this product placement becomes too obvious Jenkin’s double-edged sword metaphor explains it might cause ‘on one hand, higher consumer awareness and, on the other, higher consumer scrutiny.’

    Another technique that has been used to capitalise on new media confluence, especially in a web 2.0 environment where consumers actively produce information, is promotional competitions. Doritos are one of many companies that have used promotional competitions whereby the public audience were asked to film and produce their own Doritos advertisement – a prize would be awarded to the best commercial, which was also to be aired on Television. This is the epitome of convergence, whereby consumers from all around the world aid Doritos’ advertising campaign, by creating, sharing and spreading ideas and connotations associated with the product through platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. Not only does this provide positive exposure for Doritos at a low cost, but it shows insight into future marketing possibilities, through the collaboration of creative ideas and the representation of consumer value. Thus companies like Doritos have harnessed the power of the ‘do-it-yourself’ web that Beck describes as ‘a strategic marketing tool and source of valuable information about customer preferences.’

    It is safe to say that as a result of digital media convergence into a contemporary environment characterised by a constant state of flux, web 2.0, Internet Vid eo Distribution, Mobile Phones, Internet Protocol Television and so on, it is becoming increasingly important for Advertisers to acknowledge the circumstances of new media, and to be as flexible as possible in order to have successful advertising campaigns, that will penetrate over a broad range of media platforms.

    ·         Sheehan, K. and Morrison, D. (2009) Beyond convergence: Confluence culture and the role of the advertising agency in a changing world in  First Monday vol 14 no 3 (Recommended Reading)
    ·         Jenkins, H. (2006) ‘Where New and Old Media Collide’, Convergence Culture, New York University Press. (Recommended Reading)
    ·          Dwyer, T. (2010) ‘Media Convergence’, McGraw Hill, Berkshire, p. 4 (Course Reader)
    ·         Beck, T. (2009) Web 2.0: User-Generated Content in Online Communities: A Theoretical and Empirical investigation of its Determinants, GRIN Verlag (Independent reading)
    ·         McCracken, E. (1993) Decoding Women’s Magazines : from Mademoiselle to Ms, Macmillan, pp. 38 (Independent Reading)

    P. Rasmussen 42848520 New Media Advertising Essay

    Philippa Rasmussen, 42848520.

    Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to advertising and new media.

    Advertising has never been so challenged by it's audiences' demands, expectations and mobility. These new changes have been caused by digital media convergence, a recent phenomenon that has seen multiple media platforms unite and intertwine. Jenkins defines convergence as "the flow of content across media platforms.. and the migratory behaviour of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want”[1]. In particular, advancing technological convergence has had a profound impact advertising. For the purpose of this essay new media will be specifically defined as the internet. New media and the convergence that exists within it have provided opportunities for advertisers to reach their audiences in revolutionary ways that turn old strategies on their head. As Spurgeon states,s convergence has had "a direct impact on creative and persuasive advertising approaches and techniques"[2]. This is exemplified by the online sensation of interactive/make-your-own-adventure videos that have gone viral. 

    Tippexexperience. 2010. NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear! [online]. [Accessed: 27/8/12] Available from:

    A prime case study to examine the affects of digital media convergence in relation to advertising is the 2010 Tipp-Ex "Hunter Shoots A Bear" advertisement. It utilises new media in order to make a crude, delightful and funny piece of advertising, allowing the audience to experience it any way they desire. Most importantly, it reaches a larger audience with the advantages of convergence as it can be shared on multiple websites. Tipp-Ex's advertisement defied the fundamental characteristics of traditional media - media being bound to it's material form, specialised industries for different media forms, distribution limited to an area and of course one-directional communication - because it converged into new formats of media outside television, print and radio. Because it is web-based, it has the ability to be mobile, ever-present, interactive and global, traversing physically boundaries and old expectations of advertising.

    Spurgeon argues that giving the consumer complete control is a key characteristic that has been brought about by the emergence of new media advertising and convergence within the online realm. Advertising has changed rapidly due to online searching, with users finding what they want on their own terms and in their own time. Spurgeon emphasises that handing over the reins is part of why new media advertising is so effective, stating that "the rapid migration of this type of advertising from print to online media has been powerfully driven by the increased control that online, search based publication extends to end-users"[3]. She calls it "search culture" and argues that this new era of "search interfaces facilitate greater end-user control over media and entertainment choices"[4], which empowers people and makes them active consumers. A section of Jenkins definition of media convergence aptly highlights that this new user-active form of advertising responds to the "behaviour of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want"[5]. The kinds of entertainment people want are not experiences that are spoon fed to them, instead they are in control and the choices are limitless. 

    When looking at Tipp-Ex as a case study, it's clear that the advertising agency Buzzman has also acknowledged that this control and freedom for the user is essential for creating a successful viral campaign. Interactivity of the video allows people to manipulate what they see. The campaign was adequately called "White and Rewrite", reflecting the way viewers can rewrite the advertisement, becoming its director. It directly deals with the problem that users are distracted, distrustful and disinterested[6] because it appeals to the user's sense of power and imagination. It's creative, fun and engaging successfully making it less like an ad and more like procrastination or an activity. It even becomes a social activity because of it's ability to be shared through multiple social networking sites where users can comment, 'like', share and promote links. Again, new media breaks down physical barriers and highlights how fractured audiences can be reached through media convergence. 

    Screen shot of the multiple ways a user can circulate a YouTube video. [Taken: 31/8/12]

    "Search culture" is a large factor in Tipp-Ex's ad that relies on consumers to "self-select qualifying results, which may include.. Tales of personal experience and opinions.."[7]. This is  end-user control directly contributes to it's ability to go viral. Word of mouth clearly comes into play through Tipp-Ex's video, as it relies on its viewers to hear opinions or stories of a new viral video through others offline and online, and to search for it themselves. Haenlein's graph highlights how viral campaigns work in order to propel the advertisers product through physical and electronic word of mouth (WoM).

    KAPLAN, A. M, HAENLEIN, M. 2011. 

    Haenlein discusses how WoM over new media and social media is highly infectious and effective for viral marketing. The advertisement reaches a larger number of people online than by physical WoM or other traditional advertising strategies such as television and radio because of a few reasons. Old media is situated and bound by it's location, whereas online media is not physically bound. In the case of Tipp-Ex, the advertisement can be viewed on multiple devices in and outside of the home. Another reason is that once the seed is planted in one social networking or blogging site, it is accessible to several hundreds of people instantly. Haenlein argue that "social media applications are particularly suited for viral marketing, as the community element embedded in them makes it convenient to transmit the marketing message"[8] to numerous people. Tipp-Ex's advertisement has been so successful because of its response to new media, in particular the power of converging platforms of media and people online - from content making YouTube, to sharing on Facebook and promoting through Twitter. 

    The shake up of advertising and new media directly correlates to the emergence of digital media convergence, where users, content and technology converge together, bringing about challenges for effectively reaching these audiences. Through examining Tipp-Ex's "Hunter Shoots a Bear" video, it is clear that traditional methods of advertising are now being abandoned, as advertising agencies have been put in a "situation where traditional methods of work adapt to embrace the new reality of interactive content"[9]. This advertisement latches onto the increasingly popular viral video technique to target tech-savvy consumers, and responds to changing behaviours in audiences, which are predominantly online as opposed to in front of the television, radio or newspaper. Control, interactivity and the reliance on consumers to share, link, and forward a product or advertisement are the realities that advertisers must accept in the 21st century of digital media convergence.

    KAPLAN, A.M. HAENLEIN, M. 2011. Two Hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance. Business Horizons, 54 (3). pg. 253-263

    JENKINS, H. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: University press. 

    SPURGEON, C. 2008. Advertising and New Media. Oxon: Routledge.

    SHEEHAN, K, MORRISON, D. 2009. Beyond Convergence: Confluence, Culture and the Role of Advertising agency in a Changing World. First Monday, 14 (3) Accessible: [link]

    Reference List:
    [1] JENKINS, H. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: University press. 

    [2] SPURGEON, C. 2008. Advertising and New Media. Oxon: Routledge.

    [3] SPURGEON, C. 2008. Advertising and New Media. Oxon: Routledge.

    [4] SPURGEON, C. 2008. Advertising and New Media. Oxon: Routledge.

    [5] JENKINS, H. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: University press. 

    [6] SPURGEON, C. 2008. Advertising and New Media. Oxon: Routledge.

    [7] SPURGEON, C. 2008. Advertising and New Media. Oxon: Routledge.

    [8] KAPLAN, A.M. HAENLEIN, M. 2011. Two Hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance. Business Horizons, 54 (3). pg. 253-263

    [9] SHEEHAN, K, MORRISON, D. 2009. Beyond Convergence: Confluence, Culture and the Role of Advertising agency in a Changing World. First Monday, 14 (3) Accessible: [link]

    Ben Ryan 42890500 - Digital Media Convergence - Advertising & New Media

    Digital Media Convergence in Relation to Advertising & New Media

    Media convergence is a complex phenomenon that has demanded, and continues to demand, review of established notions of media consumption. In the simplest of terms, convergence refers to ‘the coming together of things that were previously separate’ (Meikle & Young, 2012, p.2). However, in regards to digital or new media, this definition will not suffice; scholars have outlined the concept of digital media convergence as a rather contradictory one, encompassing both the provision of services that were previously separate through a single means, and the now numerous ways in which to access content that were previously only provided through a single medium (Pool, 1983, cited in Jenkins, 2006, p.10). This conception of convergence, particularly the latter half of the definition, has had serious implications for the advertising industry, as consumers of media are empowered and fragmented. This essay will begin with a general discussion of some of the problems for advertisers that have been encountered through the rise of the ‘convergence culture’ (Jenkins, 2006) and then will deal more specifically with some of the strategies that have been employed, at both the larger and smaller agency levels, to deal with the shift to new media.

    The Brief

    The shift to a digital, or ‘convergence’, culture, along with reductions in brand-loyalty and attention to marketing messages has caused the demise of the traditional ‘mass message model’ of advertising. Increase in the sovereignty of the consumer, for example, by means of ‘pull media’, in which consumers can ‘choose what to see… what to do with what they see’ and whether or not to avoid it, has put more weight on ‘the importance of one-to-one engagement and interactions’ (Sheehan, 2009). This idea would seem to put younger Internet advertising companies in a privileged position as having a greater ability to develop ‘interactive messages’, however, these agencies fall short of traditional ones in developing strong brand messages (Sheehan, 2009). Strategies employed by both smaller advertising companies and traditional agencies in the age of new media are explored below.

    Just Google it

    The first new trend in advertising that has been facilitated by digital media convergence and new media is the development of ‘search-based advertising’, in which search terms, rather than consumers, are targeted to more accurately penetrate fragmented markets (Spurgeon, 2008, p.25). According to Jenkins (2006, p.2), convergence necessarily involves the active participation of consumers, or to put it concisely, a ‘participatory culture’, and it is held by Spurgeon (2008, p.25) that ‘Search culture is, fundamentally, based on conversational interaction and social participation’. This shows clearly a strong link between convergence and new media advertising at a basic level. An exemplary model of search-based advertising is that which occurs on the search-engine Google. The complexity of the algorithms they employ, which provide ‘outstanding search results, remains a key factor in explaining Google’s popularity with end-users and advertisers alike’. Google have employed a ‘keyword auction’ system in which advertisers bid for the ability to have their product affiliated with certain words entered into the search engine (Spurgeon, 2008, p.30-31). This lowers risk for advertisers, as they know that ‘everybody who clicks on [their] listing is a qualified lead’ (Milnes, 2005, cited in Spurgeon, 2008, p.33). Furthermore, the capabilities of smaller advertisers, who are generally focused on information-based advertising, have been optimised by this digital shift, whilst larger advertisers, generally focused on the creative and persuasive side, have had to explore new creative potentials (Spurgeon, 2008, p.26-27).

    Movies or Marketing?

    Another strategy employed, this time by larger advertisers, to reach consumers despite declines in brand-loyalty brought about by digital media convergence, is that of ‘branded content’ – where advertisers move from placing products in movies or television etc., or in-between them, to actually embedding the product in content of their own creation that is ‘so appealing that consumers will seek them out for inclusion in their personalised media and entertainment flows’ (Spurgeon, 2008, p.40). A real-world example of this strategy was BMW’s establishment of ‘BMW Films’ which developed and distributed a number of advertisements in the guise of short films (see video directly below). The films were successful in penetrating the market of affluent youths savvy in new media and in increasing sales. Most notable was BMW’s budget ratio; with a 1:9 ratio of distribution to production, they had reversed long-standing advertising norms (Spurgeon, 2008, 40). This advertising strategy, however, has raised questions over what really constitutes advertising (Spurgeon, 2008, p.41), and comparisons can be made between this notion of branded content and the discussion over the ‘breakdown in the separation between the editorial and advertising’ and entertainment functions of news media’ (Barker, 2009, p.120). 

    The V Factor

    The final advertising format that digital media convergence has given rise to is that of ‘viral advertising’. This form of advertising relies heavily on the participatory and interconnected nature of convergence culture; consumers themselves acting as distributors, voluntarily sharing content with peers and target audiences by online means. Most notably, this form of advertising removes the ‘media buying element’ from the marketing process, instead depending on the willingness of consumers to be distributors; a willingness ‘that may not only be influenced by the source of the message but also by its content’. Thus this form of advertising would seem to favour ‘big advertisers’, with their larger capacity for creative potential; people are not likely to relay content on to peers if it is boring, so there needs to be an interesting or pleasing ‘viral component to it’ (Golan & Zaidner, 2008, p.961-962). (For an example of a viral advertising campaign, see directly below.)

    As can be seen, digital media convergence and the rise of new media have had a significant impact on the advertising industry. Traditional strategies of advertising through top-down mass-message models of media are being undermined by the capacity of the consumer to gain sovereignty over the media and marketing that they are exposed to (Sheehan, 2009). In response to this, advertising companies have had to develop new techniques for reaching target audiences in a fragmented market, including: paying to have their product attached to certain terms entered into Internet search-engines, actually creating entertaining content that people seek out and embedding the product within this, and seeking to employ consumers as the distributors of content by attempting to embed viral components within it.


    Barker, G 2009, ‘The crumbling estate – Ten steps: the long, slow death of Australian journalism’, Griffith Review, vol. 25, pp. 117-123.

    Golan, G & Zaidner, L 2008, 'Creative Strategies in Viral Advertising: An Application of Taylor's Six-Segment Message Strategy Wheel, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 13, pp. 959-972.

    Jenkins, H 2006, Convergence Culture, New York University Press, New York. 

    Meikle, G & Young, S 2012, Media Convergence: Networked Digital Media in Everyday Life, Palgrave Macmillan, New York. 

    Sheehan, K & Morrison, D 2009, 'Beyond Convergence: Confluence culture and the role of the advertising agency in a changing world', First Monday, vol. 14, no. 3.

    Spurgeon, C 2008, Advertising and New Media, Routledge, Oxon.

    Digital Media Convergence Essay

    MAS 110 - Digital Media Production
    Beau Quick SID 42841402

    Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to Music Video Online.

    The standard technically-oriented definition of media convergence used by the UK's convergent media regulator is "the ability of consumers to obtain multiple services on a single platform or device or obtain any given service on multiple platforms or devices" (Dwyer 2010:4). We see these new ideologies of convergence taking place, as we examine the world of Music Video online. Through this essay I will analyse, the birth of music video and it's subsequent decline due to media convergence and how this then paved the way, for a greater distribution of music videos and music related user-videos to be produced without the means of great financial support.

    At the end of the first decade in the third millennium, "newspaper circulation, TV audiences and advertising revenues were all in slow decline" (Dwyer 2010:3), due to the privilege of media convergence experience by everyday consumers. Convergence, describes "the flow of content across multiple media platforms ... and the migratory behaviour of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want" (Jenkins 2006:18) but this circulation of media content across different media systems depends heavily on active consumer participation. This is where the Youtube phenomenon comes in; a site dedicated to streaming videos, where anyone can upload, comment, rate, favourite and subscribe. It's user-generated content for other users of the media service resulted in a great deal of active consumer participation. This is an example of where the old traditions of Music Video were overthrown by new ideas of media convergence. For instance, back in 1981 when MTV aired  for the first time, they gave their channel the original tagline, "You'll never look at television the same way again" (CNN 1998) and rightly so, with never before seen music videos appearing on television 24/7 using on-air hosts called VJs. The debut music video of the channel was the synonymous hit 'TV Killed The Radio Star' by The Buggles. Without knowing it, the producers had already made a prediction about the history of media and its format. MTV was the only channel that consumers could watch music videos on and this made for a community streamlined towards watching music videos solely on the television. But "the days of MTV having anything to do with music began winding down in the mid-eighties and eventually ground to a halt in the late nineties" (Robinson 2010:1). With the explosion of the Internet, the music industry was profoundly effected.

    (the debut of 'Video Killed the Radio Star' by the Buggles on MTV)

    Let's look at the current generation, only a couple of decades on, yet you can now watch those same music videos, on your television, or on the internet, or even on your iPhone while on the bus or train, while texting at the same time. That's a giant leap in only a couple of decades. Now, convergence of media has enabled everyone to locate the means and the services that they require, such as music videos, whenever they want. Media convergence in turn, has become a necessity for media companies wishing to fulfil the needs and desires of everyday consumers. 

    Convergence represents "a cultural shift as consumers are encouraged to seek out new information and make connections among dispersed media content" (Jenkins 2006:18) but our way of thinking of convergence is also changing, especially due to popular culture's impact on the relationship between producers, media audiences and content. To draw an example from Youtube again. It has combined audiovisual media with social networking; in turn, this allows for the sharing of completely original material, straight from the people producing it to the media's audience. It has become "the go-to website for finding topical and obscure streaming video clips" (Hilderbrand 2007:48) and it has seen a great success due to it's user friendliness. Music video in it's heyday represented the pinnacle of musicianship, only the big names in music had music videos made for them, and they were only displayed on television beside actors, models and politicians. Youtube has allowed the audience to create and share their own original content, transnationally with a click of the mouse. If we think back to the birth of MTV, any artist pursuing a career in music, would be struggling to find solid ground in a sea of voices who all wanted to be heard. It would have been impossible to share your musical talent with the world, if not for streaming video and this convergence of media. 

    In some cases, a video on YouTube obtains numerous views quickly, due to sharing, commenting, favouring and embedding videos, causing them to go 'viral'. Some people have even achieved fame from YouTube, such as rapper Hopsin.  Hopsin has gained high popularity on YouTube where many of his songs accompanied with music videos are uploaded, most remarkably 'Sag My Pants', uploaded in October 2010, and 'Ill Mind of Hopsin 4', uploaded in July 2011, with the former having over fifteen million views and the latter having over fourteen million. On July 18, 2012, his 27th birthday, he released 'Ill Mind of Hopsin 5', which received over 10,000,000 views within a month. In 2007, he was signed to deceased rapper Eazy-E's record label Ruthless Records and in 2009 founded his own record label Funk Volume. Hopsin's success was greatly due to the user-friendliness of YouTube and the ability to share his original content transnationally. This example shows how convergence of media has allowed for greater sharing of original user content to the world of the web.

    (Hopsin talks about his buzz and success due to the online community.)

    (An example of one of Hopsin's songs gone viral. 'Ill Mind of Hopsin 5" has achieved over 11 million views in little over a month.)

    Through the birth and decline of Music Television (MTV), we saw a greater emergence of aspiring musicians and acts, sharing their material with the internet in the hopes that someone, or everyone will see it. Although media convergence in a way killed the originality of the music video, it has paved the way for a new generation of music video online to be experienced. 'If the histories of communications technologies have taught us anything, audiences rarely adopt and use media in the ways they were originally envisioned" (Hilderbrand 2007:48).

    Word count: 995


    Dwyer, T. (2010). Introduction. Media Convergence. McGraw Hill: Berkshire, 
    pp. 1-23.

    Hilderbrand, L. (2007). YouTube: Where Cultural Memory and Copyright Converge. Film Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 48-57.

    Jenkins, H. (2006). Introduction: “Worship at the Altar of Convergence” in Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York University Press: New York.

    MTV changed the music industry on August 1, 1981 at music-vidoes-beavis-mtv-crowd? Retrieved 29 August, 2012

    Robinson, I. (2010). Analysing the End of Music Television at