Media Convergence According to Experts and Its Effect on the Audience

Media convergence, which we could understand as the ideal of the “all in one”, as defined by Macini, in relation to the unification of media in which content and technology merge. It is currently oriented to the presence of multimedia content, which combines image, sound, text – previously associated with different media -, in all possible technological devices, even incorporating interaction.

In general, media convergence is defined as the amalgamation of mass media with the currently developing digital technology. Various types of media, such as magazines, newspapers, radio, television are combined into one and the same platform. The convergence of media itself arises along with the development of technology, especially the shift of analog to digital technology. The internet with its various platforms has become a new lifestyle for people. Media convergence is able to combine the three ‘C’ elements which consist of  computing, communication  and  content. (Also read: Social Communication ) 

Media Convergence According to Experts

Along with the development of mass communication patterns, many studies have been conducted to capture this phenomenon, especially regarding media convergence. The definitions and explanations of media convergence have been given in by experts. Previously experts have pointed out the effect of the mass media. Here are some of the opinions of well-known experts on media convergence

  1. Media Convergence according to Henry Jenkins

In 2006, Henry Jenkins defined media convergence as the flow of content across multiple media platforms, industry collaboration with the media and media migration activities. This phenomenon occurs due to the emergence of digital technology and new media. (Also read: New Media Theory )

These two things allow the public to get information on several platforms at once. He also explained that media convergence also means the media’s ability to deliver various forms of content to the public. For example, a PC or laptop can now be used to get news information, watch movies, send e-mails, voice communications and more. This is an example of how one medium can be used for various activities including carrying out various kinds of information content. Jenkins said that media convergence would happen too much as technology and human lifestyles change. (Also read:  Mass Media Effect Theory )

Information will flow more quickly and flexibly with the convergence of media. With the convergence of technology, a single gadget is capable of doing many things such as making phone calls, sending emails, watching videos, reading books and more. This convergence also affects the economy of the society itself.

  1. Media Convergence According to Flaw

An expert named Flow formulated a theory of media convergence. According to him, media convergence consists of three important points, consisting of computing & information technology, communication networks,  and  digital content. This theory explains that media convergence is closely related to industrial changes, where the industry is becoming more dynamic and dependent on technology. These changes can be in the form of changes in information media, changes in how to communicate, changes in print media and changes in the use of digital media. (Also read:  Media Literacy )

Market participants will view media convergence as an opportunity to develop their products. Companies in the entertainment sector, for example, will try to integrate various kinds of content in their products and services. A television company, for example, may develop other products such as radio, website portals, video games and others. Media convergence and technology convergence are able to change a person’s lifestyle which later changes the way of thinking of industry players.

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Technology Convergence

As previously explained, media convergence has a strong relationship with technological convergence. According to Burnett and Marhsall , media convergence is the merging of the media, the telecommunications industry and all forms of communication media into digital form. They mentioned that media convergence is closely related to the digitization process. (Also read: The Role of Political Communication Media)

Other experts, namely Grand and Wilkinson, argue that media convergence has a major influence on two types of technology, namely digital technology and computer networks. The convergence of technology itself occurs due to several reasons. The main point in technological convergence is the change in technology from analog to digital. This analog to digital change is driven by several things, as follows:

  • There are advances in digital technology so that the costs required are getting cheaper.
  • The cost of building digital network infrastructure is lower.
  • Fast growing media. The media has also become more dynamic.
  • High user growth. As technology develops and information flows quickly, media use also increases. (Also read:  Mass Communication)

The four above are the main factors that drive the digitization process, especially in terms of media.

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New Media Emerging

The convergence of the media will of course have the effect of the emergence of new media. We know beforehand that the press plays an important role in society as stated in the  theory of the press . Conventional media such as newspapers and magazines must see opportunities to develop their business along with the development of digital technology. Media industry players see that their presence in the digital world will enhance their business. (Also read:  Ethnography of Communication )

Media convergence enables integration in the media industry in the form of print media, broadcast media and internet / digital media. This integration has the ability to deliver content that is faster, more diverse and dynamic.

Conventional media is what then develops itself into digital media. This media diversification led to the emergence of new media. There are many examples of media converging such as Time, Liputan 6, Kompas, Media Indonesia, Trax FM and many others. This section will be explained further in the next section (Also read:  Internet as a Communication Media )

One of the new media used by the wider community is applications on  smartphones or tablets. News applications, for example, are able to provide a faster flow of information delivery to the public. This also encourages media actors to work more dynamically and real-time. With the ease of access to news, the public certainly demands  faster news updates  according to developments in the field. This is what is often referred to as online journalism. The new online type of media is often able to provide fast but less accurate news. Due to the demands of time, editor functions are minimal in this new media.

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Effects of Media Convergence

The presence of media convergence certainly has positive and negative impacts on the industry and the general public. The following are the positive impacts that media convergence can have

  • Improve access to information. With the online platform, it is now easier for people to access news and other content on the internet. This is very useful for those who find it difficult to get print media, TV or radio channels due to geographical constraints.
  • Make a variety of choices. Media convergence also encourages new media and more diverse content. This gives users flexibility in accessing information using the platform they prefer. (Also read:  Communication Science Job Prospects)
  • Delivery of information faster and  real time.
  • Increase job opportunities in the field of information technology. (Also read:  Modern Communication Media)
  • Increase ease of access to content and information. With media convergence, people are able to get more than one type of content from the same media.
  • Interactive communication. With media convergence, users can be more active in providing comments and suggestions on the information and content provided.

Although it has many advantages, media convergence also has several negative impacts, as follows:

  • Decline in the print media industry. With online media with easier access, print media such as newspapers or magazines have begun to be abandoned by their customers. (Also read:  Social Media Effects)
  • Loss of a job. Referring to the first point, the decline in the print media industry can have an impact on the loss of jobs for people in print media.
  • Reliance on digital technology. The existence of media convergence has also changed people’s lifestyles to become increasingly dependent on  gadgets. Easy access to information has the opportunity to make users lazier. (Also read:  The Influence of Social Media )

Examples of Media Convergence

There are many examples of media convergence that have occurred both internationally and in Indonesia. Here is an example of quite popular media convergence.

Kompas is one of the most influential media in Indonesia. Previously, Kompas was present in the form of printed media in the form of newspapers published daily. Along with the development of technology, Kompas made media convergence by launching the news portal. This portal provides faster, real-time and varied news.

Compass readers who previously had to buy newspapers can now access information via the internet. The news content displayed becomes more diverse to target a wider market. Apart from the news portal, Kompas also provides a digital version of the Kompas newspaper in the form of the Kompas newspaper. This allows daily subscribers of Kompas newspaper to still be able to access news through laptops, smartphones, tablets and other gadgets.


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