Friday, August 31, 2012

Media Convergence 42847818 Rob Coy

Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation the following: Music Video Online

Media convergence is the intersection of old and new media. Henry Jenkins defines it as "the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences."[1]. Howard Rheingold believes that technological convergence can alter the "social-side effects," in that "the virtual, social and physical world are colliding, merging and coordinating."[2] In recent years, one of the most significant examples of media convergence in relation to music video online is that of the development of the Apple Corporation’s iTunes. iTunes is a media player computer program initially released on January the 9th, 2001, developed for playing, downloading, storing, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop or laptop personal computers. As a program, it has revolutionized the way society uses music, music video and film in relation to convergence.

Media convergence can be studied at a number of distinct levels including cultural, industrial, technological, or regulatory levels. The phenomenon of digital media convergence is one, which has evolved significantly over the past decade. The ways people are using media are fragmenting. At the end of the first decade of the third millennium, profits and revenue from newspaper circulation, TV audiences and advertising began a slow decline. This partially explains why traditional media has been so keen to expand into online and mobile formats.[3] In the last five to six years, we have witnessed the emergence of a huge amount of ‘on demand’ video services on the Internet, specific ‘internet TV’ channels and ‘time shifted’ versions of parts of programs from traditional broadcasters. Furthermore, broadband operators deliver IPTV services in their managed IP networks.[4] 

There are many common threads emerging across the patterns of media convergence. One is distinction – where are the edges, the ends, the distinctions between different elements, modes, activities, spaces, technological actions and human ones, in ‘new’ new media systems? As a part of this we have asked not only what makes ’2.0′ distinct from ‘what came before’ but also how it will be understood in the future. We ask this question not least because we are somewhat alarmed by visions of proliferating version control as 2.0 merges with 3.0 and 4.0 looms on the horizon. [5]
Now in accordance to what has been defined at media convergence, we must analyze the curious significance of iTunes and music video online. iTunes was introduced by Apple Inc. on January 9, 2001. It is a media player computer program, developed for playing, downloading, storing, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop or laptop personal computers and more recently, smartphones and tablets.[6]  What made iTunes significant in terms of its relationship to music videos is the introduction of video support. On May 9, 2005, video support was introduced to iTunes with the release of iTunes 4.8. Users can drag and drop video clips from the computer into the iTunes Library for cataloguing and organization. They can be viewed in a small frame in the main iTunes display, in a separate window, or full screen. Before version 7 provided separate libraries for media types, videos were only distinguished from audio in the Library by a small icon resembling a TV screen and grouped with music in the library, organized by the same musical categories. On October 12, 2005, Apple introduced iTunes 6.0, which added support for purchasing and viewing of video content from the iTunes Music Store. The iTunes Music Store initially offered a selection of thousands of Music Videos and songs.[7] As apple began to release such products as the iPod touch and the iPhone, it made it possible for customers to purchase products online with their wireless devices. This was revolutionary because of Apples gargantuan variety of content and data.
2005 saw the launch of the YouTube, which made the viewing of online video much faster and easier than its rivals such as Google Videos, Yahoo! Video, Facebook and MySpace's video functionality, which uses similar technology. Such websites had a profound effect on the viewing of music videos; some artists began to see success as a result of videos seen mostly or entirely online. One astounding example was that of teen music sensation, Justin Bieber. Bieber, a Canadian singer/songwriter was discovered in 2008 by American talent manager Scooter Braun,[8] who came across Bieber's videos on YouTube and later became his manager. Part of his uncompromising musical success has been due to his use of YouTube. Bieber currently has the websites most viewed video, exceeding 774,000 hits.[9]
He has also the largest twitter and Facebook following of any male musician, exceeding over 100 million followers worldwide.
Undoubtedly, the Apple Corporation and YouTube owe each other a certain degree of credit for the success of the other. YouTube has been responsible for the success of many artists, which would have resulted in their success on Apple’s iTunes store. Apple has also developed such products as the iPod, iPad and iPhone, which allow customers to wirelessly view YouTube on the cleverly designed app. Both are incredible examples of how modern media has converged over a variety of mediums and platforms. Media convergence is an integral part of the evolution of media in the 21st century.

[1] Jenkins, Henry, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, pg 2
[2] Rheingold, Howard (2000) Smart Mobs: the next social revolution, Perseus, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp 157–82
[3] Dwyer, T. (2010) Media Convergence, McGraw Hill, Berksire, pp 1-23
[4] Henton, A. Tadayoni, R. (2008) ‘The impact of the internet on media technology, platforms and innovation pp 57
[5] FibreCulture Journal Issue 13: After Convergence - 
[6] "Apple Introduces iTunes — World’s Best and Easiest To Use Jukebox Software" (Press release). Apple Inc.. 2001-01-09. Retrieved 2008-04-20., at Apple's September 2010 "Music", iTunes 10 was announced.
[7] A Brief History of Apple's iTunes. Wall St. Cheat Sheet (2011-06-16)
[8] Collar, Matt; Leahey, Andrew. "allmusic ((( Justin Bieber > Overview )))". Macrovision Corporation.
[9] Montgomery, James (August 3, 2010). "Jared Leto 'Blown Away' By 30 Seconds To Mars' VMA Noms". MTV (MTV Networks)

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