Thursday, August 30, 2012

42869013: Assessment One

Assessment One: Online Essay
Weighting: 20%
Due: Friday, 31st August, 5pm

Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to Music Video Online
As the world of technology progresses, so does digital media. The phenomenon now known as digital media convergence is unlike any other spectacle seen before it. To put it simply, media convergence can be described as “THE PROCESS WHEREBY NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE ACCOMMODATED BY EXISTING MEDIA AND COMMUNITCAION INDUSTRIES” (Dwyer, T. 2010. Media Convergence. P4). However, digital media convergence and the hype surrounding it is not simple. Dwyer states that it isn’t a linear or homogeneous process, but one that takes time and many different aspects to fully develop. 

 is an online video site that has taken the digital media world by storm. It has become “the go-to website for finding topical and obscure streaming video clips” (Hilderbrand, L. 2007. Film Quarterly Vol 61. P33). YouTube can be seen as the prime example of how far digital media has come, since the old days of ‘analogue media’. The traditional, analogue media had many issues that have been erased by the digital media convergence of today. Media used to be bound to only one material format, because each one required specialised equipment and physical resources to be produced. Also, content from different media sources could not easily be combined, which is why most industries specialised in only one particular type of media.  Localised distribution was also a concern, as long distance distribution raised huge costs, and long distance broadcasting involved much technological difficulty. 

The miracle of media convergence erased these issues completely! With digital convergence being one of the most defining trends of the modern media industry, the coming together of technology and ideas has greatly affected how contemporary media is created, distributed and consumed. YouTube has grasped this new digital convergence and used it to their advantage. YouTube is a San Bruno based company, which was created in 2005 by three former PayPal employees. It is a website with a sole focus of sharing videos, where users can upload, view and share clips. The site doesn’t only depend on its “Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, such as movie clips, TV clips and music videos” ( to run, but also the innumerable amateur content that gets uploaded every day, such as short original films, home made films and video blogging. The website, considered by Hilderbrand as “the medium of its moment” (Hilderbrand, L. 2007. Film Quarterly Vol 61. P33) is a never ending archive of a countless variety of clips, clips that are a convergence in itself with music/ sound and image being put together to create videos. YouTube, as a website, is proof of the digital media convergence of today, with the mediatization of the website itself showing how far digital media has come. 

This phenomenon, known as digital media convergence has come about due to a massive variety of factors. Jenkins writes that “none of us can know everything; each of us knows something; and we can put the pieces together if we pool our resources and combine our skills…convergence occurs only when people take media into their own hands” (Jenkins, H. 2006. Convergence Culture. P19). This quote summarizes how YouTube fits into the modern media convergence. Three men came up with an ingenious idea and literally took media into their own hands. Everything in society these days has moved online, such as advertising, reading, newspapers, and thanks to YouTube even music. The fact that all aspects of media are now mainly accessed through the World Wide Web brings forward the fact that the digital media convergence phenomenon is on its way to erasing olden day media completely. RAGE is an Australian all-night music program that has been around since 1987, and is the oldest music television program still in production since August of 2011 (  Being the last remaining music program of Australia, with the show getting less and less views each week, the program is proof of how media convergence has erased the need for “old” media. With sites such as YouTube giving you any clip you’ve ever wanted to watch available at any time, who needs TV, or the newspaper or the radio? This new participatory culture combined with the digital media convergence will eventually erase any olden day media, and replace it with more carefree and simple media. 

Does that mean the digital media convergence of today is a good thing, or bad? Jenkins states that the media environment is “being shaped by two seemingly contradictory trends” (Jenkins, H. 2004. The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence) which are basically that new media technology have led media to places no one thought it would ever go, but on the other hand there is an “alarming concentration of ownership”. Jenkins even brings forward the thoughts of Robert McChesney, Cass Sunstein, who worries that we are losing a sense of culture, Nick Gillespie, Mark Crispin, “who speaks of a ‘monoculture’”, all of whose thoughts seem to be rather negative. The thoughts of these many people bring forward the fact that it seems to be a personal matter whether or not the digital media convergence of the modern world is a good or bad thing for media. 

In summary, the phenomenon of digital media convergence is enormous. Media has come an extremely long way from the days of analogue media, where very little was possible. Whereas now, it is almost safe to say that anything is possible in today’s media. Having spoken about how YouTube has taken the media world by storm, making anything video related available and at the ready for watch, has barely let me scratch the surface of how far media has come. It is only one example of the phenomenon, along with social media, online newspapers and much more. In conclusion, it is a hazy and indefinite thing to say whether or not the digital media convergence of today will be a good or bad thing in the long run, because it is still happening. Media is changing all around us constantly, who knows what will come up next. 

This is a video that is restricted from being embedded on some websites, but it was really good so here is the link!


MAS110 Reader:
Dwyer, T. (2010). Media Convergence. McGraw Hill, Berkshire. Pp.1-23
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NY University Press. Pp.11-24
Hilderbrand, L. (2007). YouTube: Where Cultural Memory and Copyright Converge. Film Quarterly, Vol 61. Pp.48-57

Recommended Reading
Jenkins, Henry (2004), 'The cultural logic of media convergence', International Journal of Cultural Studies v1, pp. 33

Other Academic Readings
Book: Bruhn Jensen, K. (2009). Media Convergence: The Three Degrees of Network, Mass and Interpersonal Communication. Pp.5, 49-51, 57


ALICE GRACIE                     STUDENT NUMBER: 42869013

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