Thursday, August 30, 2012

42911729 Assessment 1


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, 2003).

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 & Young, 2012).
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, pp 48-57
·         Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. Introduction. pp. 18. New York University Press. 
·         Lister, Martin, 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 Media Convergence: Networked Digital Media in Everday Life, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
·         O'Neil, Patrick (22 April 2012). "She made Gotye somebody we all know". The Age (Fairfax Media). Accessed 21August 2012.
·         Orgad, Shani (2009) 'Mobile TV : Old and new in the construction of an emergent technology' Convergence, vol 15 no 2 pp 197 - 214 Accessed 26 August 2012

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