Assessment 1 (Online Essay, 20%), due Friday
Week 5 (31 August), 5pm to Blogger 1000w
Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence:
Music Video Online
Are Music Videos still all the Rage?
Convergent media has brought together different media
formats, affecting related media industries – many of which have struggled to
adapt to its drastically changing environment. Digital media convergence can be
viewed as an onward and upwards progression for media production and dispersal.
This has instigated cultural change and the breaking down of barriers between
different forms of media (Dwyer, 2010). The music industry has experienced the
implications of changing technologies, struggling with the pressures of
marketing attractive and freely accessible content to consumers. While there
have been many facets of the music industry that have been challenged by
convergent media, music video in its traditional form has had significant
alterations concerning distribution and production.
Music video had emerged before MTV hits, the spectacle
created by music video had risen with the first convergent film of audio and
visual forms in 1927 with “The Jazz Singer”. The expectations for visual and
audio entertainment for public success of an artist created a new market for
music and film. The conveyance of emotion by the artist connected with
audiences and had created a new form of storytelling. This was a spectacle,
much like YouTube becoming viral, revolutionary and a phenomenon (Hilderbrand,
2007). In its present moment, the emergence of a new genre – “musicals” became
the platform for singers to crossover between music and film and become an
iconic brand, like Elvis Presley. Music video saw audiences experiencing
physical emotions from the songs being performed on screen and drew them into a
larger admiration for musical artistry.
More recent times have seen a shift from traditional
televised media to online media, rendering traditional music videos obselete.
YouTube expanded a cultural and technological development to a singer’s star
power. Audiences adopted the media form in a different way to its original
vision. Gotye’s ‘Somebody that I used to Know’ relied on recirculated
mainstream media, accelerating and creating an online community that is shared,
interactive and digital (Hilderbrand, 2007). The music video leaked onto
Australia radio station Take40 prior to its official online premiere, (O’Neil,
2012) which was on the 30July 2011 on music show Rage, it is currently sitting at
more than 300 Million hits on user-generated site, YouTube. The song
pioneered his career into the international spotlight, winning several ARIA
awards including Best Video and becoming the first Australian artist to have a number 1 Hit in the US. The media platform that YouTube brings is like no other,
bringing audience responses instantly and in words, or videos. “This
circulation of media content across different media systems…depends heavily on
consumers active participation...” (Jenkins, 2006, pp.68)YouTube has provided a route for fans or critics to express themselves in whichever way. Channel V hosts Danny Klayton and Jane Gazzo responded to Gotye’s video clip with a parody of the popular music video which received plenty of feedback itself and with its own copycats.
Music videos online have converged the media of the internet
and television to create a whole new type of media, similar to its music videos
of the past which differs and stands out in its own right. 'Welcome to
grassroots culture, where old and new media collide, where grassroots and
corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power
of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways' (Jenkins, 2006,18). The
world of online media, converging old media such as newspapers, television, radio
and magazines, has changed the way we want to consume and create media, fulfilling the new audiences that have been more fragmented and less confined by time and geography.
This idea of being able to consume content when we want is
well described by Ograd's statement on 'TV in your pocket:'The
concept of ‘TV in your pocket’ carries the promise of private and
personalized viewing – the idea that users will be able to access TV
content and consume it on their private personal screens, in an
environment that for them is most convenient, comfortable and relevant.'
(Ograd, 2009:201). Without this ability and idea to consume on the go, online
music video would never have evolved the way it did to the point it is today,
where anyone can pull out a phone and watch the same video that they can on
their computer, tablet or netbook. This new media of online music videos has
become decentralised and woven into the fabric of everyday life (Lister et al,
From the introduction of music videos to present, digital
convergence has changed the way we consume and produce media. When music videos
were first introduced into the public they were a way for bands and producers
to bring music to broader as well as also younger audiences. Australian band
ACDC in particular used live music videos to promote themselves and their music
through Molly Meldrum's Countdown between 1974 and '77 to national popularity.
Live music videos became popular broadcasts and drew in larger audiences which
in turn encouraged more music videos to be created, promoting both the music
and television media forms. Integrating the existing network of Youtube with
social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allows groups to function
around shared interests in their online communities. This consuming of media
creates interactions contributing to online status of artists (Meikle &
Converging from traditional televised broadcasts like on all
night music video program 'Rage', online music videos can be viewed whenever
and wherever you have an internet-connected and compatible device. This means
that there has been a rise in a new type of audience that is individualised and
culturally carrying expectations for excitement and the constant need for more.
Video broadcasting and the popularity of user-generated sites like YouTube have
influenced the development of guerrilla filming type locations, with minimal
budgets and with aesthetics which can still convey the artists’ presentation of
themselves and the song using lo-fi techniques. The freedom online music video
gives individuals trying to broaden their audiences are attractive for the
independent artists and for their online audiences.
Convergence was used for online music video to create a
“spectacle” for viewers, by using the extension of time and space in new media.
The decline of analogue and the rise of digital media has created the
phenomenon of online music, taking with it, excitement and convenience to the
new age. New media has opened pathways for artists through online music videos
and may still be progressing. Online music video could create more
opportunities for artists and maybe to the death of traditional television
music videos. Who knows where else music videos could go?
·Dwyer, T. (2010)
'Media Convergence' McGraw Hall, Berkshire, pp1-23
·Hilderbrand, L. (2007) 'Youtube: Where Cultural
Memory and Copyright
·Converge', Film Quarterly, Vol 61,
(2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. Introduction. pp.
18. New York University Press.
Dovey, Jon, Giddings, Seth. Grant, Iain. & Kelly, Kieran (2003) "New
Media: A Critical Introduction", London, Routledge
·Meikle, G &
Young, S (2012), Ch3 ‘From Broadcast to Social Media’ in MediaConvergence: Networked Digital Media in Everday Life,Palgrave