Friday, August 31, 2012

Digital Media Convergence and Advertising & New Media (42895421)

Throughout the late 20th century mass media organisations such as television, radio and print vastly controlled the majority of content delivery. This control has had a large influence on the products we bought, the music we listened to and the television shows that we watched. Consumers had very little control or influence over the content or distribution. Media convergence has changed the way we are influenced. We have a greater level of control over content we want to view, when we want to view it and how we want to view it. These changes have meant advertisers have had to come up with new strategies to attract consumers to purchase products. I will be discussing how media convergence benefits consumers and how the role of the advertiser has changed. I will also be discussing how the advertising world has been affected by media convergence and the new strategies that agencies have had to embrace to connect with consumers.

“Media convergence is the process whereby new technologies are accommodated by existing media and communication industries.” (T. Dwyer, 2010) Media convergence has had an overwhelming impact on the way we get entertainment and information, traditional forms of media such as Television, Radio and print media are becoming less popular as consumers use web technologies instead which enables us to view forms of information and entertainment which would not have been possible ten years ago.  Amateurs are now able to showcase there work in ways up until recently have not been possible. “Confluence culture encourages the blending of new and traditional media outlets and blurs the boundaries of professional and amateur.” (Beyond Convergance, 2009) Today’s media industries have a large array of delivery platforms to choose from to deliver their content, which have only been possible over the last decade. Portable devices are becoming smaller and more powerful at the same time; this advancement in technology has meant information is available around the clock in almost any location. We have become so much more dependent on these devices we are now spending more time using the internet than watching television, in 2010 Australians averaged 21 hours and 42 minutes of Internet viewing time per week which has surpassed television viewing which we view about 14 hours and 46 minutes. (Nielsen Australian Online Consumer Report, 2010)

(Nielsen Australian Online Consumer Report, 2010)

The impact that media convergence has had can be clearly demonstrated through The Sydney Morning Herald. The Fairfax media newspaper now delivers its content through the use of digital services. Although the paper option is still a key delivery mode for Fairfax Media, digital versions of the content are now a prominent part of the business with web and tablet versions of the news becoming a primary delivery method. It is for this reason Fairfax now offers video and interactive content as well as print journalism to broaden the spectrum of content they offer.

Advertising is a key revenue source for The Sydney Morning Herald but throughout the long history of the newspaper the way it is delivered has drastically changed. We are exposed to it every single day but traditional forms of advertising are becoming less prominent with advancement’s in technology. Traditional forms of advertisement delivery consist of print ads, billboards, television and radio advertising which are designed with the mass audience in mind, they are targeted at a particular mass audience group based on research which will see the advertising broadcast with characteristics such as its location and its delivery medium. It is now so much easier for advertising agencies to target individuals opposed to a group audience. “ The internet search engine is, perhaps, the single most important development for informational advertising since the time of the first paid newspaper advertisements or the telephone.” “Advertisers target search terms rather than consumers.” (Spurgon, 2008).

An advance in technology that shock up the advertising world was the V.C.R. People watching television no longer had to sit through commercial slots but instead could time shift television to view a programme when it suited them and also skip through the commercial slots, today time shift products such as PVR’s are more popular than ever. It for this reason advertising agencies have to look at new means to showcase a product through methods such as product integration and branded entertainment. These are usually discreet forms of advertising so the viewer is not always aware of the advertisement. Jean-Marc Lehu describes there as being four types of product placement that are used in film and television, Classic placement where the product is clearly on display, Institutional placement where a location is put on show such as hotel, Evocative placement where an item is showcased apposed to a brand such as a Champagne bottle with no brand on show and stealth placement is when the branding is so discreet that it usually goes undetected, they are all techniques film and television makers seek when determining how to use product placement.

Media convergence is very effective through Apple's iAd strategy. Subliminal advertising is key component to it being effective for there devices. The iAd strategy works by integrating into others App’s and acts as another form of revenue to the Developer, whenever the ad is pressed on the developer receives revenue but also takes them to another App which appears integrated. But many of these Apps do not portray there product with the ‘in your face buy my product approach’, but instead delivery is a form of entertainment whether it be through a game or seamless navigation the quality of the App manages to get the user to embrace the advertisement. This is a clear example of the philosophy behind media convergence and branded entertainment. By using new forms of media advertising agencies are able to convey their message through an entertaining approach.

ABC'S Media Watch program talks about how the television networks are using product integration and branded entertainment in there programming.

Media convergence has had an overwhelming effect on the services we now really on a daily basis such as video and audio sharing services, social networking websites and many more. Convergence has allowed amateurs to broadcast to the wider population with such ease that have only been available recently. Consumers now have more choice with such a variety of services available through the competitive bases of the industry. Advertising agencies have stretched the creative boundaries to broadcast there messages as media convergence has meant that traditional means of broadcasting a message is no longer the most effective way. As technology continues to develop new forms of media and broadcast will continue to appear.

Reference List

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

Spurgeon, C. (2008) Advertising & New Media Ozon Routledge. pp. 24-25

Nielsen Australia. (2010) Australian Online Consumer Report.

Dinnie, K. (2008) Branded entertainment: Product placement & brand strategy in the entertainment business. pp.216-217

Sheehan, K.B. and Morrison, D.K. (2009) Beyond convergence: Confluence culture and the role of the advertising agency in a changing world [online]. First Monday. Available at: [Accessed 27 August 2012].

Media Watch (2012) Branding Entertainment (broadcast date 18 June 2012) [television programme]. Sydney: ABC.

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