“Already, convergence is eroding the boundaries between newspapers and broadcasters. Online, each have begun to mimic the other, challenging Australia’s sensitive media control limits, cross-media ownership laws, and increasingly, Australian content requirements.” – Greg Hoy
Technological convergence is a phenomenon which has taken the globe by storm and forever changed the way in which we, as consumers, interact with media.
Silo media, (broadcast television, radio and print) which were once the standard and most popular forms of media communication have now become outdated and irrelevant as the process of converging technology and media platforms becomes more and more prevalent in today’s society. Newspaper corporations have been forced to merge into an online environment in order to cultivate a broader audience and keep a steady interest in their brand.
Furthermore, Broadcast Television has been faced with a brand new and ever evolving challenge in the form of ‘Smart TV‘s’. Smart TV’s are a prime example of technological convergence and are a major contributor to the brutal murder or good old fashioned free-to-air. A Smart TV can not only function as a television (with the addition of ‘on-demand’ functionalities allowing the user to pause, rewind and select when they wish to view any particular program – including live sport coverage) but it can also feature; internet streaming services such as Netflix , quickflix and Presto; applications such as youtube, facebook and twitter; and the ability to surf the net just as you would on a laptop or desktop computer.
So, when it comes down to explaining the depth of technological convergence, Smart TV’s pretty much set in concrete the fact that the future is now!
I got the idea for the case study for this week’s blog post when I decided it was about time I got my act together and downloaded Kanye West‘s latest album ‘The Life of Pablo‘, only to find that the only way I could even listen to it was if I subscribed to the music streaming app TIDAL. I had already used up my one month free trial ages ago and really didn’t want to give up my credit card details all for the sake of one album. I was so frustrated, why can’t I just buy the damn thing Kanye!?
Anyway, I did some research and found that he and his lawyers had actually launched a campaign against Pirate Bay for breach of copyright laws. So far no actual legal action has been taken and there is serious doubt as to if it ever will but it still adds to the constant buzz that surrounds well-known artists and the ways in which they try to combat copyright infringements. I made a Prezi (ironically riddled with copyright breaches) in order to further illustrate the case.
(Sidenote: HOW THE HELL DO YOU EMBED A PREZI!?)
Audio used in Prezi: Power by Kanye West ,
When first being introduced to McLuhan’s famous communication philosophy ‘The Medium is the Message’, the thought process goes a little something like this: “I think I get it… I think i’ve got it… IT MAKES SENSE, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THIS…. nope, I don’t get it, I will never get it.” Or at least, that’s how my brain deals.
To say that ‘The Medium is the Message’ is to say that the platform, through which information is distributed, has a greater impact on the individual than the content itself. And that’s all well and good but the hardest part about trying to grasp this concept is that there are so many elements that go into the meaning.
The Medium can become the message when it delivers content that we would otherwise be unable to access.For example; before innovative communication technologies existed in our world, such things as conversations with other people in different towns, regions or countries, were simply not possible. Today, however, with the existence of electricity, the internet and a myriad of communication devices which allow instant messaging and phone calls; we have become accustomed to the idea that we are able to contact anybody in any part of the world in an instant. This is because we, as tool users, view technology (our tools) as an extension of ourselves. (McLuhan, 1964)
This is the interpretation that makes the most sense to me and even still, I confused myself to no end trying to construct a response.