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MBA dissertation

MBA dissertation



MBA Dissertation on Digital Convergence authored in 2010. ...

MBA Dissertation on Digital Convergence authored in 2010.

This Dissertation scored a distinction rank of 73%- one of the top marks in the University (in a class of 84 students)



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    MBA dissertation MBA dissertation Document Transcript

    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 099018609 University of Leicester 8/26/2010
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Digital Avatar- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Student Number: 099018609 August 2010Dissertation submitted to the University of Leicester in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Business Administration (MBA-Full Time) Sep 2009-2010MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 2
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence DIGITAL AVATAR- THE STRATEGIES FOR DIGITAL CONVERGENCE TABLE OF CONTENTS:CONTENT PAGE NUMBERCover page……….……………………………………………….……………………1Title Page………………………………………………………….……………………2Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………..3Acknowledgements ………………………………………..............................8Executive Summary………………………………………………..………………11Chapter 11.1 Introduction for dissertation………………………………………………..141.1.1 Scene Setting: The making of Digital Avatar……………………….…14MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 3
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence1.2 Changing Market Place………………………….................................151.3 Objective of the Research …………………………………………………..19Chapter 2……………………………………………………………………………202. Literature Review…………….……………………………………………………20 • 2.2.1 Literature Review on Digital Convergence…..…………………21 • 2.2.2 Literature Review on Strategy Perspective….…………………25 • 2.2.3 Literature Review on Strategic Alliances………..………………26 • 2.2.4Literature Review on Bundling…………………….………………34 • 2.2.5Literature Review on Integration Strategy………..……………43 • 2.2.6 Emerging Questions: Research Questions ………….…………49Chapter 3……………………………………………………………………………513. Research Methodology……….…………………….……………………………51Chapter 44. Data Analysis: Views on transformation of Digital Avatar………….....574.1 Data Analysis –Strategic Alliance……..……………………………………57 • 4.1.1 Strategic Alliances- Nature of strategic alliance..................59 • 4.1.2 Strategic Alliance & cross-media participation………………..71 • 4.1.3 Social Marketing due to Strategic Alliance……………………..78 • 4.1.4 Telcos seek a solution through Strategic Alliance…………….81MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 4
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence • 4.1.5 Conclusion………………………………………………….………...884.2 Data Analysis -Bundling Strategy………………………………………….89 • 4.2.1 Attractiveness of Bundling…………………………………………90 • 4.2.2 Bundling strategy to retain customer base………….………..98 • 4.2.3 Bundling eases audience hyper-targeting……………….……104 • 4.2.4 Conclusion……………………………………………………….….1074.3 Data Analysis -DigitalIntegration…………………………………………………………………………109 • 4.3.1 Integrate to create synergies……………………………………110 • 4.3.2 Organisational challenges with Integration Strategy……….120 • 4.3.3 Marketing Communication currently is disintegrated………122 • 4.3.4 Conclusion………………………………………….……………….127Chapter 5…………………………………………………...........................1285.1 Discussion: Analysing the transformation of Digital Avatar…………128 • 5.2 Discussion over critical review of Digital Convergence…….…129 • 5.3 Discussion over Bundling Strategy……………………………….130 • 5.4 Discussion over Strategic Alliance………………………………..137 • 5.5 Discussion over Integration Strategy…………………………….140 • 5.6 Conclusion of Discussion……………………………………………..144MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 5
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceChapter 6…………………………………………………………………………1476.1 Recommendations……………………………………………………………1476.2 Limitations of the research…………………………………………………1516.3 Conclusion of Dissertation: Digital Avatar transformed...………….153Chapter 7………………………………………………………………………….1567.1 Bibliography……………………………………………………..……………1567.2 Conferences attended………………………………………………………1827.3 References of Interviews.........................................................1837.4 List of Websites Accessed………………………………………………….185Chapter 88. Appendix………………………………………………………………………189Annexure 1: Contents of the DVD ………………………………………………….……189Annexure 2.1: Profile of 20 Senior Professionals interviewed………………1902.2 Complete set of questions………………………………………………………………2012.3 Sample of Consent Form…………………………………………………………………205MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 6
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence2.4 Consent Form……………………………………………………………………………………2072.5 Supplementary Charts……………………………………………………………………..2102.5. a) Thematic Chart for Strategic Alliance ………………………………………2102.5. b) Navigation Chart of key strategies ……………………………………………211END………………………………………………………………………………….212MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 7
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI am pleased to offer my sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude to mysupervisor, Professor Steve Brown for his constant support, guidance andmotivation to successfully complete the dissertation. I can‘t stop myselffrom saying that it would not have been possible without ProfessorBrown‘s dedicated mentoring and encouragement. Professor Brown‘svision, immaculate thought process greatly helped me refine my ideasand organize the emanating views into the carefully drafted dissertation.My sincere thanks to the module leaders, faculty and staff members ofthe School of Management, University of Leicester for imparting theirvaluable knowledge and extending their continued support to make thisyear an enlightening experience for me.I have always had a passion for communications industry and thank theopportunity to serve this industry for 7 years of my life, as a newspresenter and finance news journalist. Towards my contribution to theacademic world, I am highly obliged to present this dissertation to theMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 8
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceprestigious University of Leicester and thank the University for giving methis opportunity to gain knowledge and conduct this research. As aresponsible professional, I take the opportunity to state that I will beobliged to offer my contributions to the University of Leicester even in thefuture.I am highly obliged to the 20 Senior Professionals who have given metheir precious time and valuable information, without which thisdissertation would not have been successful. I hereby offer my gratitudeto: Andrew McGrath, Executive Director (Commercial), Virgin Media ;John Denton, Managing Editor, TV Platforms, BBC London; GiulianoStiglitz, CEO, Orange Advertising (USA) & Global Sales Director (UK),Orange-FT; Tim Hussain, Head of Mobile & Video Advertising, BSkyB; PaulCowan, VP, New Ventures, Syncapse Ltd.; Eric Elia, VP, TV Solutions,Brightcove Inc; Tom Weiss, CEO, TV Genius Ltd; Harry Strasser,Executive Partner - Digital Convergence and Innovation, Germany; PeterBrimacombe, Former Vice President- Strategy at Disney UK- now anindependent consultant, London; Penny Power, Director, Ecademy UK;Aaron Bogucki, Senior Digital Campaign Manager, Universal Music; AdamField, Head of Social Media, Media Contacts UK; Carolyn Morgan,Managing Consultant, Penmaen Media; Oli Shaw, Digital Director, Oli, UK;Triona Campbell, Company Director of CR Films Entertainment, Ireland;Paul Armstrong, Social Media Director, Kindred Agency Limited; CraigMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 9
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceElder, Online Communications Editor, Conservatives; Endaf Kerfoot,Thinker-in-Chief, Brand New Adventures UK; Jack Willis, AccountsManager, Marketing Grin, UK and Edmund Chambers, Key AccountsManager, Affiliate Window, UK.I offer my special thanks to the world of academia and the scholars whohave contributed to the fundamental research about digital convergenceand allied strategies that this dissertation has made an attempt toresearch. I also offer special thanks to my parents and sister Vartika fortheir constant support, guidance and encouragement.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 10
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe 21st century is fast integrating the world‘s media, telecommunicationsand information technology and online industries under a single platform.Globally the communications industry is undergoing a transformationowing to technological advancement and massive investment flows in theaforementioned four industries, leading to revolutionary changes in thedigital eco-system. This dissertation researches the digital convergencephenomenon that has been brought about by coming together (and clash)of the eco-systems of four industries- media, telecommunications,internet and technology. Such converging (and diverging) businessobjectives are building interesting scenarios where vicious competitionand intense inter-dependence are co-existing. In order to capitalizethe separate yet converging business interests, the digital convergenceMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 11
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceindustry calls for a strong strategic orientation to mentor the change. Thebiggest strategic issue concerning the Digital Convergenceindustry is the challenge to capitalise on the newly-emergingdistribution mechanisms of information flow. This dissertationanalyses the strategies to encash the potential benefits ofdistributing content across the multiple-platforms that has beencreated by the digital confluence of the four industries. The keystrategies responsible for bringing around the Digital Convergencetransformation are Strategic Alliance, Bundling and Integration and havebeen explored in this dissertation. Based on a qualitative researchmethodology, views from a carefully selected sample of 20 highly-influential professionals (media & communications industry) have beencompiled over in-depth interviews and data has been analysed usingthematic analysis. The dissertation observes that a creative combinationof the three strategies has a tremendous potential to lead the digitalconvergence industry towards creating converged communicationapplications that can transform human lives. Though in the currentcircumstances, issues over digital rights, existence of a standard metricfor performance evaluation, skilled talent to meet the burgeoning demandand user-privacy concerns still remain unanswered. But, once thesebarriers are crossed, digital convergence can have a powerful impact onthe way the world communicates and interacts. To a consumer, digitalconvergence would mean an enhanced digital experience, easierMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 12
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceapplications and convenient multiple-access to information. Convergencetranscends the geographical and physical barriers of providing informationto innovate services and applications to a point where almosteverything - and everyone - is connected.Such is the impact ofdigital convergence that its omnipresence reaches the user attheir point of location. CHAPTER 1MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 13
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence INTRODUCTION 1.1 Scene Setting: The making of Digital AvatarComing together of media & entertainment, telecommunications andinformation technology (abbreviated as IT hereafter) and the online industriesare transforming the communications landscape by offering digitallyconverged solutions. Rapid technological advancement combined withmassive investments flows buoyed under deregulation and globalisationushered a revolution in the digital communications space. This strategictransformation called - Digital Convergence implies the blurring ofboundaries between the four industries. It offers easy-to-use, value-added digital solutions at cost-effective rates and faster pace, marking aparadigm shift towards a globallyintegrated digital omnipresence.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 14
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceThis strategic transformation is addressed in the title of the MBAdissertation as ‘Digital Avatar-The Strategies for DigitalConvergence’…..a transformation unfolding. ‘Avatar’ meaning‗metamorphose: transformation‘ (Collins English Gem Dictionary,1966:325). Avatar implies ‗transformation of a single soul‘, is originally aword from Sanskrit language and hails its origin to Hindu mythology. Butnow, the word ‘avatar’ has gained wide acceptance in English language.Evidence of a global familiarity to the word ‘avatar’ is well documented ina recent Hollywood movie (James Camerons science-fiction epic, 2010) bythe name ‘Avatar’ (2010). The Title of this dissertation hence implies‘avatar’ as transformation of traditional communication practices to itspresent form of converged digital version. Hence ‘Digital Avatar’ is thedissertation analysing the strategies for bringing about asuccessful and sustainable Digital Convergence. 1.2 Changing Market PlaceThe stages that have led to the transformation of digital convergencehave left an impact with the passing of each era of the time-line. Thefirst phase (1970s-1990s) of the current millennium affected traditionalprint business with the substantial growth of online applications, withadvertising revenues diverting to the emerging online players. Even theMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 15
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencewave of electronic commerce (e-commerce) applications hit the retail-sales inthe high-street stores. Traditional players like newspapers and magazinesstruggled to survive on subscription revenues amidst decreasingnewsprint demand. Among them, the only survivors were the specialistsegments- like financial news content, lifestyle magazines (example: finewine, fashion, travel et cetera). The second phase (mid-1990s) witnessed anexplosion of mobile communication. The online media continued to growin this time-period and did not much affect the television players.Currently, the third phase (year-2000 onwards) is transforming itselfboosted by high-speed net connected TV. It means a bright side forinternet and media content producers but pose a tough challenge to thecurrent distribution channels, namely telecom, satellite and cable carriersand the broadcasters.But interestingly, amidst this transformation, increased customer focusand value-addition remain the driving factors in the heart of digitalconvergence. Applications like smartphones, on-the-move communicationdevices have become digital life-lines (those which can be used without fixed-lines example: Apple iPad). Traditional newspapers and magazines continue tosee a dwindling growth unless they form strong strategic alliances withonline business models or are recognised as strong brands names likeForbes, Time etc. The transformation will mark some players emerging asmovers and shakers of the changing landscape, giving nervous times toMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 16
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencethe traditionally dominant players. The new dawn will see niche players(like Google and Facebook) who would completely change the rule of thegame-posing a stiff competition to the existing business models. There isa shift in the level playing field. Digital Convergence is paving way tointeresting business solutions to converge, compete and change thedigital eco-system. This calls for a strategic perspective to manage andmonetise the convergence. Hence, this dissertation critically analyses thethree key strategies- namely- strategic alliance, bundling and integrationthat are closely responsible in bringing about this digital transformation. Digital convergence will come with a lot of pride, discontent, politics, human emotions and a clash. A clash of titans of the four competing industries- media, internet, telecommunications (mobile) and technology (IT)- will be like strong tectonic plates colliding. Highly competitive digital world will give way to smart business solutions, innovative integration amidst the power struggle of colliding business interests over content and revenues. During this evolutionary phase, there is a constant battling on the level playing field with new entrants threatening existence of traditional old players or at times, the old playing joining hands with new-age business to promote mutual gains.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 17
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Digital Hot Spots of the World Source: 2009 World Factbook cited in World Digital Media Report (Deloitte and Touche, 2009) Description: This picture reflects the level of global participation over digital access. Countries like USA, UK, Canada and most parts of Europe are found to be most active participants. While, parts of Africa, Latin America, Vietnam et cetra are found to still catch up the connectivity to log on to the world of digital experience.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 18
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 1.3 Objective of the ResearchThis dissertation will critically analyse the strategies to build creativecombinations of competing digital technologies. Success in masteringdigital convergence can be gained by balancing the right strategies,maintaining high-standards of quality and using an effective pricingstrategy. The channels of distribution like- internet, mobile and mobileapplications, television, cable distributors have become significant playersin this emerging eco-system. But the most challenging strategic issue inthe evolving business model is the question of monetization of profitsover newly emerging distribution mechanisms.The transforming digitaleco-system is caught between questions over form of effective businessmodel, nature of agreement within business models, pricing strategy andevaluates the techniques for seeking cross-functional participation. Thisdissertation conducts a detailed evaluation of the strategies that can beMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 19
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceused by digital convergence industry to unleash an unprecedentedconsumer experience and monetise emerging business opportunities. CHAPTER 2 2. LITERATURE REVIEWThis part of the dissertation explores and empirical evidence based onpast literature to evaluate the applicability of the three key strategies –Strategic Alliance, Bundling and Integration, considered in thisresearch.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 20
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Organisation of Literature Review The literature review for this dissertation is discussed under the following categories: 2.2.1. Digital Convergence giving a Strategy Perspective and discussing Moore‘s Law 2.2.2. Strategic Alliance 2.2.3. Bundling Strategy 2.2.4. Integration Strategy 2.2.1 Literature Review on Digital ConvergenceThe convergence phenomenon is unification or coming together ofpreviously distinct products that employ digital technologies (Yoffie,1997:2). Digital Convergence is essentially a fusion of technologies suchas voice (and telephony features), data (and applications) video andonline that now share resources and interact with each other to createnew efficiencies. It is a process by which separate media becomedigitalized to be delivered via the global networks (European Commission,Green Paper, 1997). Popularly known as the ‗media convergence man‘,Henry Jenkins describes the present moment of digital convergence, as aRenaissance culture- one being transformed - for both better andworse - as the social, cultural, political, and legal institutions respond tothe media change (Jenkins, 2007). The process of digital convergenceinvolves flow of content across multiple media platforms, mainly due toMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 21
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencecooperation between multiple media industries targeting the mediaaudiences searching for varied entertainment experiences (Jenkins,2007:3). The information-age means blurring and redefinition of industryboundaries of the ‗new competitive landscape‘ (Bettis & Hitt, 1995;Porter, 2001; Sampler, 1998). Industry convergence ‗the converging oftwo or several hitherto separate industries‘ has tended to focus ondevelopments within the information technology, communications &media industries with further intensification of competition. Revolutionarychanges are taking shape and industry convergence owing to ‗digital‘convergence (Grant, 2008:209), (Yoffie, 1997; Lei, 2000; Stieglitz, 2003)cited in (Weaver, 2007:3). A strong driver for convergence is an‗electronic super-highway‘ that is beginning to bind together the globe asvoice, video and data converge, defining a new basket of digital,multimedia and interactive communication technologies (Negroponte,1995). The root causes for convergence are ‗innovation and competition‘brought about by digitization (Bernabo et al., 2009:3).Digitization compresses the information of bits and bytes (0s and 1s)that the computer can understand. Digital material can be reproduced atany resolution to offer unlimited bandwidth and storage.Digitization changes the distribution of intelligence and the transpositionof one medium to another so that information can be consumedMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 22
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencedifferently by different people at different times thus, empowering users(Negroponte, 1995:231-2). Digitization will increase dramatically witheach generation becoming more advanced [digitally] than the precedingone. Being digital is not about the future: "We are not waiting for anyinvention. It is here. It is now" summarises (Negroponte, 1995:231).Information and digital content being self-multiplicative avoidredistribution losses (Rowley, 2008). Operation within the existingcapacity can give rise to economies of scale in production in advertisingand distribution of information (James & Trautman, 1990:13).Digital Convergence is an outcome of a technological revolution, but itsimpact is both economical and social. The economics of DigitalConvergence is justified by the empirical observation underMoore’s Law. Moores Law says that component density andperformance of integrated circuits doubles every year. Under MooresLaw, prices of technology-based products fall by 30% every year andabout 50% in every two years (Moore, 1965). "Reduced cost is one of the big attractions of integrated electronics and the cost advantage continues to increase as the technology evolves toward the production of larger and larger circuit functions on a single semiconductor substance" (Moore, 1965:115). Depiction:Gordon Moore at Intels headquarters at Santa Clara, California Image Source: Associated Press (AP)MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 23
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceThis implies smart optimization, timely introduction of new processingtechniques, device structures and materials. Cost-benefits and qualityimprovements make digital convergence a strategically viablephenomenon (Sorensen et al., 2010:1). Moore‘s law has continuedunabated for 40 years (Thompson & Parthasarathy, 2006:21;Lundstrome, 2003). It is predicted that by year-2053, Moore’s Law willreach stunning new levels awakened by the progress on theDigital Convergence (Futuretimeline.net, 2010). However, Moore(2000) has pointed out that the rapid decrease in semiconductor andcomputer prices may reflect a decreasing marginal utility as technologyreaches redundancy very soon as higher versions of technologicalproducts soon replace the previous counterparts.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 24
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 2.2.2 Literature Review on Strategy PerspectiveStrategy is the art of creating value. Successful company‘s strategicanalysis is a value-creating system within which different economicactors-suppliers, business partners, allies, and customers-work togetherto co-produce value (Norman and Ramirez, 1993:65). Analysing thechanging digital space, Porter says, ‗Internet should be viewed as acomplement to, not a cannibal of, traditional ways of competing‘ (Porter2001,2). (Fransman, 2000), (Nyström & Hacklin, 2005) suggest thatconvergence will create new opportunities for both incumbents and newentrants in the firm of new technical possibilities and new marketopportunities. As indicated by (Grant, 2008) that ‗the greater the changein external environment, the more likely it is for the firm will depend onits internal resources and capabilities to create a secure foundation forlong term strategy‘. The unexplored potential in the complementaryfirms has been identified by (Brandenberger and Nalebuff, 1996:117),MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 25
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencedefining the room for profitable cooperation. It is not the size of thefirm‘s resource base but much depends on the firm‘s ability to leverageits resources effectively by the means of converging, balancing and co-opting (Prahalad & Hammel, 1990). Hence, in strategic decision-making,cohesive and integrated role of the firm make it better enabled tocompete (Kay, 1999). 2.2.3 Literature Review on Strategic AlliancesA strategic alliance is a business relationship in which two or morecompanies, work to achieve a collective advantage, attempt to integrateoperational functions, share risks, and align their corporate culturesMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 26
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence(Chan-Olmsted & Kang, 1998:34-5). Alliance may be in form of a simplelicensing agreement to a joint-marketing effort or joint-ventures.Companies are found to be interested in alliances to capitalize on differentexpertise, speed up a venture with combined resources and developeconomies of scope (Chan-Olmsted, 1998:35). Benefits of strategicalliances include conserving resources, sharing risk, reducing costs andimproving technological capabilities. Hence the rate of strategic allianceformation has increased radically (Dyer et al., 2001) cited in (Lee andDing, 2010:707).Networks formed by inter-firm alliances have received considerableattention from strategy and organization scholars. To better understandalliances, they are made to work in partnerships (Bleeke and Ernst,1992). Research on alliance outcomes has shown that preferred positionsin inter-organizational networks confer on firms such advantages ashigher innovation rates (Powell et al., 2005), lower financing costs (Uzzi &Gillespie, 2002), and higher performance (Baum et al.,2000; Burt, 1992).The relationship between network structure and advantage has prompteda large body of research on the patterns of alliance partner selection thatpropel network emergence (Gulati, 1995; Gulati & Garguilo, 1999) citedin (Baum et al., 2005). Much is now known about partner selectionMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 27
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencecriteria and collaboration build-up (Larson, 1992; Li & Rowley, 2002;Oxley, 1997; Simonin, 1997).Strategic Alliances for PartnershipsFor digital convergence to work effectively it has to transcend a widerange of networks, devices, applications and content to offer high-speedconnectivity whenever and wherever (Miner, Google: 2008) cited in(Deloitte Report, 2008:133). Albarran and Dimmick (1996) identified therecent trends of conglomeration and consolidation in the media industriesas seen in multinational media conglomerates like News Corporation,Time Warner and Viacom expanding horizontally, vertically and globally tomaximize their growth potentials. Rise of communication empires reflecthigh level of interest for strategic alliance (Picard, 1996). Suchorganisations form strategic alliance under strong leadership, visionarymentorship and high visibility under high uncertainty. Alliance results ingreater stability and risk-reduction. This phenomenon has been witnessedin growth of the broadcaster CNN (Chan-Olmsted, 1998:35). Presenting askill-based view of the firm, Prahalad and Hamel, (1990) assert that it ispossible to conceive of a firm as a portfolio of core competencies.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 28
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence For instance, Finnish handset leader Nokia employs strategic actions to build [collaborate on] a sustainable competitive advantage in an emerging market by taking advantage of the opportunities arising from the convergence of digital home technologies cited in (Bunduchi & Berar, 2007:102).One important way of navigating the value-chain isthroughpartnerships. Companies specializing in one phase of the valuechain partner with companies who are able to manage other parts of thevalue-chain. The operators create value in the convergence process byseeking the most profitable partners for developing products and services(Nyström and Hacklin, 2005). Porter (1980, 1985) describes the needs forcorporations to identify and exploit inter-relationships among relatedbusinesses to reduce costs or enhance differentiation. Pitofsky (1992,1996) stressed the importance of alliances in the new global technologicalinnovation market. The development of ownership integration acrossmedia industry boundaries is well documented in recent years (Chan-Olmsted, 1998:35).Strategic Alliance for Core-competence:Global competition highlights asymmetries in the skill endowments offirms. Collaboration may provide an opportunity for one partner toMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 29
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceinternalize the skills of the other and thus improve its position both withinand without the alliance (Hamel, 1991:83). Hamel, points out that corecompetencies and value-creating disciplines are not distributed equallyamong firms. Core-competencies are built through a process ofcontinuous improvement and enhancement. A company that failed toinvest in core competence building will find it very difficult to enter inemerging markets (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990:15), (Prahalad, 2006).Competition is not only contributing to digital convergence but is alsopaving way for formation of strategic alliances. Such affiliations enablefirms to exploit core competencies while taking advantage ofsynergies with other companies (Bernabo et al., 2009). Companies areunder the pressure of responding to increasingly technical demands,network relationship management, that are virtually impossible toaccomplish as a single entity. Hence, engaging in an alliance, they give achance for another party to help shoulder the burden (financially and/ortechnologically) and allow a company to remain competitive (Bernabo etal., 2009). (Mello, 2003:3) says if the biggest pitfall to growth isthe failure to define a core business, the next biggest is thepremature abandonment of a core business. Hamel supports theemphasis on core competencies and suggests that inter-firmcompetition, as opposed to inter-product competition, is essentiallyconcerned with the acquisition of skills (Hamel, 1991:84). However,MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 30
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencealliances must be carefully struck as there is uncertainty over futureknowledge requirements and where new products offer early-moveradvantages (Grant & Baden-Fuller, 2004:65). A change in strategicpriorities may suddenly make a partnership much more or much less vitalfor one of the partners (Franko, 1971), (Harrigan, 1985).Strategic Alliance for cost-optimization:Alliances can avoid many of the costs associated with knowledgetransactions across markets. However, it is observed that alliances limitopportunism by converting single period into multi-period games andfostering investments in trust (Gulati, 1995; Ring and Van de Ven, 1992;Simonin, 1997; Teece, 1992) cited in (Grant & Baden-Fuller, 2004:65).Effective strategic alliances overcome the problems of under-utilizedknowledge arising from incongruent product and knowledge domains.Strategic Alliances and ownership concern Strategic alliances are more efficient than internalization within a single firm in integrating and utilizing knowledge. The advantages of alliances are especially apparent under conditions of uncertainty and early mover advantages cited in (Grant and Baden-Fuller, 2004:65).MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 31
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceAfter Telecommunications Act (1996), many media andtelecommunications companies have formed strategic partners inpreparation for the showdown in an integrated global informationmarketplace (Chan-Olmsted, 1998:34). Globalization has been widelycredited for provoking a shift to collaborative strategies (Ghemawat,Porter and Rawlinson, 1986; Hergert and Morris, 1988; Ohmae, 1989;Perlmutter and Heenan, 1986). Bargaining power at any point in timewithin an alliance is, ceteris paribus, a function of who needs whom themost. This, in turn, is a function of the perceived strategic importance ofthe alliance to each partner and the attractiveness to each partner ofalternatives to collaboration (Hamel, 1991:86).Although alliance break-ups and member withdrawal are also common,running as high as 50 percent in some industries (Broschak, 2004:608;Burt, 2000; Podolny & Page, 1998) but an understanding of them is basicto the development of realistic and informative models of alliancebehaviour and network dynamics (Kogut, 1989) cited in (Greve et.al,2010:302-5). An ‘embeddedness’ perspective (Granovetter, 1985), inwhich alliances are viewed as economic transactions that occur in a socialcontext, is also common. Previous studies have suggested that partnerselection favours formation of alliances with firms that are relationally‗embedded‘ through prior direct ties and structurally ‗embedded‘ thoughnetwork connections to common third partners (Gulati & Gargiulo, 1999;MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 32
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergencePodolny, 1994) cited in (Greve et al., 2010). This is not surprising, giventhe role of social interaction among partner firms in alliances in thedevelopment of the trust and cohesion are necessary for mutuallybeneficial inter-firm relationships (Larson, 1992; Li & Rowley, 1999;Mohr & Spekman, 1994; Ring & Van de Ven, 1992; Seabright, et al.,1992) cited in (Greve et al., 2010:302-5). Strategic alliance is better thanmerger and acquisitions as the industry prefers to have flexible and agilealliances (Kasama, NIFTY Corp., 2008) cited in (Deloitte Report,2008:106) & (Alaxender, 2001:482).But, its hard to escape the conclusion that the companies that aremaking most money are those that maintain a close guard. Cueing fromexamples from Apple Inc. and its applications, it is probably a goodstrategy to choose selective openness. As, Economist (May, 2010)looks at Microsoft, Apple and Google about the future of cloud computingwhere the three companies compete and collaborate when it suits theirbusiness objectives. The companies that will strive and in the future thosethat are most open to collaboration, and collaborative innovation(Tapscott, 2010). Openness through innovation across corporateboundaries is a result yielding strategy (Friedman, 2007), (Tapscott,2007).MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 33
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 2.2.4 Literature Review on Bundling StrategyBundling can be defined as a typical pricing strategy to offer two or moreproducts (goods or services) that are available for purchase as one singleproduct (Guiltinan, 1987; Gaeth et al., 1990 and Semonin, 1995). Productbundling has attracted increasing interest from researchers mainly withinthe fields of economics and marketing. Bundling is seen as a devicefor leveraging market power from one good to another (Whinston,1990) cited in (Saligner, 1995:85). It helps in reducing competitionthrough differentiation (Carbajo et al., 1990; Chen, 1997).Cost-saving aspect under bundling makes it a profitable strategy wellapplicable to most telecommunications companies product/service offerscutting across voice, video or internet access. Product bundling strategyinvolves retailing several identical products in a single package at areduced unit price (Adams & Yellen, 1976). Bundling can also becategorized as pure or mixed, with pure bundling referring to bundlesMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 34
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencewhere the individual products cannot be purchased individually and mixedbundling referring to bundles where the individual products can bepurchased both as single products and also as part of the product bundle(Adams and Yellen, 1976).Adams and Yellen (1976) argue that mixed bundling at least weaklydominates pure bundling. (McAfee et al., 1989) suggest that while mixedbundling virtually always strictly dominates pure bundling, the optimalbundle price is sometimes greater than the sum of the prices of theindividual goods cited in (Saligner, 1995:86). Schmalensee (1984) wasone of the first authors who discussed bundling in a context thatfits the characteristics of e-commerce, described the phenomenonof heterogeneous buyers’ taste in a monopolistic market. Heassumes the marginal-utility for the second (reproduced) good to be zerofor all buyers. Study by Bakos & Brynjolfsson (1996, 1997, and 2000)analyzed why information goods can be sold with higher profits asbundles. Companies build customer-experience around the productby bundling-strategy as a means of selling potentially separablecomponents to customers, as integrated system or ‘bundle’,usually by collaborating with their B2B partners (Porter,1985:425). Core-product and services are sold as a bundle (example:Software-hardware maintenance package). This implies, marketers shouldcombine sales-leadership and deliver specialized-service.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 35
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence For example: Ericsson collaborated with Vodafone to create highly customized solutions for commercializing the new generation 3-G mobile system technologies offering convergence-benefits to consumers (Davis et al., 2007:186).Bundling as a profit Strategy: Paid content on the web advanced only from the year-2000 but compelled the academic thinking to analyze the effect of competition on bundling strategies of firms that sell information goods.Bundling entails cost savings, product complementariness, enlarged scopeof profitability, high costs and positive correlation of valuations (Salinger,1995) and creates entry-deterrence (Nalebuff, 1999). Complementors(example: Microsoft and Intel) increase the value of each others offerings andthe size of the total market. However, discord can develop in many areas,such as pricing, technology, standards, and control of the market, both interms of which company has the most influence over customers andwhich one gets the biggest slice of the pie. The issue of pricingperfectly captures this tension in a bundled offer. Ideally, thepricing will be pegged higher than complementor’s price. The firststep in managing relationships with complementor‘s is ‗to develop a deepMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 36
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceunderstanding of their economics, strategies and goals, their existingcapabilities, their incentives for cooperation, and any potential areas ofconflict, then, to gain an upper-hand‘ (Yoffie & Kwak, 2006:88-98). Now-a-days, unbundling strategies are moving towards quadruple play by incorporating mobile on top of home wire-line products. For example: NTL-Telewest in the UK bought Virgin to develop a new quadruple play company called Virgin Media. The advantage of ‘unbundled’ sales is the vendor’s ability to obtain the highest price for each component product from individual buyers, whereas bundling can increase sellers profit by extracting more consumer surplus by reducing the heterogeneity in buyers’ reservation prices (Adams and Yellen 1976; Schmalensee, 1984) cited in (Häubl, 2010:110-115).On contrary, (Ware & Dippon, 2010:54-64) analyse that communicationsnetwork are subject to unbundling at different levels for different services.Assessing the cost-benefit of unbundling is complicated because ofconvergence and competition among the video, wireless and telephoneproviders. While, bundled products/services marketers aim for cost-effectiveness and strive for better control over their promotional toolset(Silva-Risso et al., 1999) cited in (Foubert et al., 2010:880),(Stremerschand Tellis, 2002; Hanson and Martin, 1990). Unbundling of networks canadd disincentive to investment in new infrastructures when it may beMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 37
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencecheaper to make use of regulated access to the existing national telecomsnetwork (European Union, Green Paper, 2007).Another stream of analyses has focused on how bundling affectscompetition. Economists such as Schmalensee (1984), McAfee et al.(1989), Saligner (1995) and Armstrong (1996) demonstrate that bundlingmay lead to effective price differentiation. Bundling can also act as amechanism of market foreclosure, creating concern of anti-competitivebehaviours cited in (Foubert et.al, 2010:880).Information goods are presumed to have very low marginal costs. Chae(1992) has analyzed a subscription TV market where bundle is used dueto economies of scope in distribution technology, pricing and productiondecisions of a supplier. Bakos and Brynjolfsson (1999) have discussed thepricing and profits when marginal costs are negligible and customers haveidentically distributed valuations. They have shown that pure bundling oflarge numbers of goods is optimal. Chung and Sirbu (1999) establishedthat mixed bundling is the dominant strategy. Wu et al. (2008) solved thecustomized bundle pricing problem in which consumers are allowed tochoose up to N goods from a larger pool of J goods by considering thetrade-off between offering more choices and incurring greater menu cost.Fana et al. (2009) analyzed the bundling of a software product with adelivery and maintenance service cited in (Yang, 2010:473).MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 38
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceLack of Standard MetricAnother important yet unexplored area of pricing for digital content is thelack of standard metric to evaluate financial performance of digitalcontent. Distorted revenues, costs and share prices have been matchedby the unreliability of the financial metrics that companies have adopted.The executives of companies conducting business over the Internet have,conveniently, downplayed traditional measures of profitability andeconomic value.Instead, they [executives of internet companies] have emphasized expansivedefinitions of revenue, numbers of customers that might somedaycorrelate with revenue [such as numbers of unique users (reach), numbers of sitevisitors, or click-through rates]. Creative accounting approaches have alsomultiplied. Indeed, the internet has given rise to an array of newperformance metrics that have only a loose relationship to economicvalue, such as pro forma measures of income that remove ‗non-recurring‘costs like acquisitions (Porter, 2003:4).‘The dubious connection between reported metrics and actual profitabilityhas only served the confusing signals about what has been working in themarketplace. The fact that those metrics have been taken seriously by thestock market has muddied the waters even further. For all these reasons,the true financial performance of many internet-relatedMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 39
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencebusinesses is even worse than has been stated’ (Porter, 2001:5).However, (Bennison, 2009) points out that Google Analytics is a softwaretool to measure the success of your digital marketing has been availablefor a few years since the advent of Google Analytics is free to set up.[Analytics software measures the website‘s performance]. But this maynot be successful in evaluating true-economic value of digital content(Bennison, 2009).Freemium Model The internet customer is accustomed to free information. (Swatman et al., 2006:64)Some of the new-age thinkers researched the significance of Freemiumstrategy to target the paid user of content. In a ‗Freemium‘(free+premium) model, products/services are offered in free basic andpaid premium versions (Andersen, 2009b). The word freemium is created by combining the two aspects of the business model: free and premium (Heires, 2006:36). Freemium model works by offering basic web services like basic digital content in a downloadable format for free while charging a premium for advanced or special features.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 40
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceThe business model has gained popularity with Web 2.0 companies and ispopular for making advertising revenues by targeting the potential paidcustomer (Heires, 2006:36). The freemium model is especially relevant inthe case of digital media (internet) companies, where the creation ofrevenue streams is often most perplexing because of customerexpectations that basic services should be free.Digital content measures include straight usage statistics, the ImpactFactor, the Eigen factor and newer metrics that begin to take into accountthe linkages and interdependencies that characterize modern,interdisciplinary research. Though in the 1980s, Ives et al., (1983), Davis(1989), Baroudi and Orlikowski (1988) and Doll & Torkzadeh (1988)developed a number of general-purpose measures of success ofinformation systems. However, these measures are too general purposefor benchmarking. In addition, ‗they all focus on benefits from the pointof view of individual users as stakeholders, not management‘ cited in(Shang, 2000:1).Bundling occurs often where there is a strong and large-scale changeagenda, through peer pressure scope for providing cheaper alternativeswith limited resources (Willcocks & Oshri, 2009). Bundling strategy beinga pricing strategy usually comes under the regulation scanner. The mostnotable contributions to the literature exploring the regulation of amonopolist that screens its consumers include Sherman & Visscher (1982)MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 41
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceand Srinagesh (1986) who examine the effects of rate-of-returnregulation on two-part tariffs and Besanko et al. (1987, 1988), who studythe regulation of a quality- differentiated monopolist. However, Bakos andBrynjolfsson (2000) showed a non-monopolistic environment ofcompetition for information goods.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 42
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 2.2.5 Literature Review on Integration StrategyVertical integration refers to a firm‘s ownership of vertically relatedactivities (Grant, 2008:350). The assumption behind theory of verticalintegration is reduction in transaction cost and attainment of marketshare by taking over the competitors (Ahn & Litman, 1997:13). It isuseful to concentrate on the core-competencies to help the firm assembleits news production and broadcast capabilities to experience a bettervertical integration of its resources. This move will also create barriers toentry for the firm (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990).Benefit of Integration:Empirical evidence on market dominance has been established byintegrating advantages and challengesof one player that are bredinto that of the other to create increasing market integration as studiedMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 43
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceby (Veugelers et. al, 2001; Rondi et al.,2003; Rondi and Vannoni, 2005,DeVoldere et al., 2004) cited in (Belderbos et al.,2009). Past studiessuggest that vertical integration is a way of increasing a firms value-added margins for a particular chain of processing from ultra rawmaterials to ultimate consumers. Research by (Arrow, 1975; Coase,1937; Williamson (1969, 1971, & 1975) noted integration economiesgained from shared facilities, information, or other resources cited in(Harrigan, 1985). Adelman (1949), Bork (1954), and Kaserman (1978)recognized the market power conveyed by this strategy, but the analysesthey employed in studying it were static (Harrigan, 1985:398). The aim ofan integration strategy is to accomplish a commanding position withinall stages of the value-chain to secure the largest possible marketdomination for the players involved. Porter suggests the other way toachieve advantage is strategic positioning—doing things differently fromcompetitors, in a way that delivers a unique type of value to customers.This can mean offering a different set of features, a different array ofservices, or different logistical arrangements. It creates operationalefficiency advantages. Operational effectiveness can take myriad forms,including better technologies, superior inputs, better-trained people, or amore effective management structure (Porter, 2001:10).Every economic revolution redefines the roles and relationships on whichofferings are based. This was true during the industrial revolution whenMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 44
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencetechnological breakthroughs in the application of energy to useful workmade possible the factory system with its highly specialised division oflabour (Norman & Ramírez, 1993:2). As an outcome, integration resultsin creating more value per person (customer, supplier and employee) andin securing greater total profit from and for its financial and humanresources than all but a handful of other companies in any consumerindustry (Norman & Ramírez, 1993:4). The result is an integratedbusiness system that invents value by matching the various capabilities ofparticipants more efficiently than was ever the case in the past (Normanand Ramírez, 1993:4). The availability of digital information highways, incommerce will give consumers fast and increased access to a vastselection of goods and will also cause an evolution from retail channels toelectronic markets. The virtual products offered will be ordered on-screenand delivered direct to the home (Magretta, 1998; Ghosh, 1998) cited in(Wirtzab, 1999:19).The change from an industrial to an information society connected therewith will above all else be affected by the dynamics of technologicaldevelopments (Wirtzab, 1999). This change has been bolstered by birth ofinternet. The internet came as a strong force. This disruptive force brokedown the concentration of power from the hands of a few, to the hands ofmany. Andersen (2009a:3) asserts, ‗there have never been a morecompetitive market than the Internet, and every day the marginal cost ofMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 45
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencedigital information is drastically reducing‘. In most upstreamtelecommunications markets, incumbents are subject to a number ofobligations, including a requirement not to engage in ‗undue‘ price andnon-price discrimination. However, enforcement of non-pricediscrimination is inherently difficult. In light of this, considerable academicliterature has focused on the ability and incentives of a verticallyintegrated operator to engage in non-price discrimination. By puttingdownstream rivals at a disadvantage, a vertically integrated operator isable to capture a higher share of the downstream profits (Crocioni, 2007:464). Further, (Yoffie, 1997) predicts that consumer multi-media industrywill change from three vertical businesses to five horizontal segments andsuggests that content providers are in the strongest position to prosper,while hardware companies face limited prospects. New informationtechnologies are divisive in allowing such a flexible, adaptive model toactually work (Castell, 2000:177). Digital technology allowed thepackaging of all kinds of messages including sound, images & data- anetwork was formed that was able to communicate its nodes withoutusing control centres (Castell, 2000:45).Lack of vertical integration may lead to a reduction in quality(Economides, 1996:22). By 2011, the world will witness truly interactivetelevision that will interface consumers, communications, content andcommerce into a seamlessly flow to and from other devices (Friedman,MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 46
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence2010). With vertical integration one can be an efficient producer. Butvirtual integration makes one efficient and responsive to change at thesame time (Dell, 1998) cited in (Magretta, 1998:7). More opportunitiesalso mean more uncertainty and greater risk. Forecasts based onprojections from the past become unreliable. Factors that have alwaysseemed peripheral turn out to be key drivers of change in a companyskey markets. Invaders from previously unrelated sectors change the rulesof the game overnight (Normann and Ramírez, 1993:65-8).Economides & Woroch (1992) find that vertical disintegration is notdesirable for the firm that offers end-to-end service. Once disintegrated,its constituent parts realize lower total profits (Economides, 1996:22).The lessons of networks can be applied to industries where verticalrelations play a crucial role; conversely, the economic and legal learningdeveloped in the analysis of vertically-related industries can be applied tonetwork industries (Economides, 1996:4). In so in a competitiveenvironment, strategy is no longer a matter of positioning a fixed set ofactivities along a value chain. Increasingly, successful companies do notjust add value, they reinvent it. Their focus of strategic analysis is not thecompany or even the industry but the value-creating system itself, withinwhich different economic actors - suppliers, business partners, allies,customers work together to co-produce value (Prahalad, 2008) cited in(Leavy, 2008). Their key strategic task is the reconfiguration of roles andMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 47
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencerelationships among this constellation of actors in order to mobilize thecreation of value in new forms and by new players. And their underlyingstrategic goal is to create an ever-improving fit between competenciesand customers. To put it another way, successful companies conceive ofstrategy as systematic social innovation: the continuous redesign ofcomplex business systems (Prahalad, 2008).The literature review has identified some gaps. Despite theenthusiasm building around digital convergence, significant factors likeregulation, standards, nature of business model, changing customerrequirements and management of dynamism in the industry remainignored. Little attention has been paid to the true total costs forconvergence were looming indirect costs may threaten to overpower thebenefits of cost reductions attained under Moore‘s law. It calls for astandard metric of evaluation of real-growth in the digital convergenceindustry. This real-growth parameter would remain unaffected by the un-real digital exuberance. This dissertation has made an attempt to analysethese issues in the Data Analysis section.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 48
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Strategic Alliance Bundling Integration 2.2.6 Emerging QuestionsBased on the critical review of the empirical study of the phenomenon ofdigital convergence and strategies to compete in the converging market,a series of unanswered questions have sparked up. The greatest concernfor the digital convergence industry is the search for a strategicmentorship to suggest ways to monetise the benefits of the comingtogether of multiple-channels of distribution. It calls for a tremendouschange on the strategic canvas by companies seeking competentalliances, opting for a competitive pricing strategy to value real-growthand integration of the multiple platforms, currently working in silos.Hence, the major questions that structure the article and the theorymaking process are:MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 49
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Main questions for research Strategic Alliance: In the face of digitally changing ecosystem, does the strategic alliance help the companies to evolve more competent in the digital interface? Bundling: Does the pricing strategy of bundling emerge out successful to the players of the digital era? How do you see the relevance of unbundled content being priced? Integration: How can companies efficiently integrate heterogeneous applications with so many businesses so as to be mutually benefiting all business capacities? What are the strategic implications of such a business process for today‘s managers who are setting the scene for digital convergence to unleash its potential?MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 50
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence CHAPTER 3 3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGYThis part of the dissertation emphasises on the research methodologyemployed for this dissertation. The dissertation is based on a qualitativeresearch methodology followed by a thematic analysis of the datacollected. Qualitative approaches are incredibly diverse, complex andnuanced (Holloway and Todres, 2003), (Argyris et al., 1985) cited inBryman and Bell (2007:428) and thematic analysis is seen as afoundational method for qualitative analysis (Braun et al., 2006:78).Thematic analysis is firmly compatible with both essentialist andconstructionist paradigms within psychology (Braun et al., 2006:78).Theinterviews conducted are an account of in-depth perspective on thequestions that emanate from the critical review of past studies evaluatedin the literature review. Thematic analysis is a method for identifying,analysing and reporting patterns (themes). Thematic analysis organizesand describes the data set in (rich) detail (Braun et al., 2006:79).The focus of the dissertation is to analyze the real problems within thedigital convergence industry and weigh them against the strategies thatare reflective of the most recent changes in the digital landscape. It aimsat suggesting a practical solution that can prove beneficial to the digitallyconverging industry. The dissertation is based on strong theoreticalMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 51
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencefoundations of strategic management and aims to arrive at findings thathave practical implications Bryman and Bell (2007:428). The objective ofthis dissertation is to seek effective digital strategies that can offer acompetitive edge to a company in this industry.Why qualitative research methodology?This dissertation research hasbeen conducted using the qualitative research methodology as theobjective of the research is to capture the emerging views from thecarefully selected group of interviewees. The author chose a qualitativeresearch method as it facilitates theoretical mapping of views and extractthe emerging thinking from the data into meaningful information.Qualitative research also potentially enhances managerial knowledge byproviding best-practice information as most participants have expressedtheir practical experience in the digital interface.Why Interviews? The ethnographic interview is a commonly usedinterviewing process employed by research-clinicians (Kuehl & Newfield,1991). It gives an opportunity to emerging ideas to be identified inobservable patterns. It is here that role of thematic analysis is broughtinto view. Thematic analysis focuses on identifiable themes and patternsof living and/or behaviour. The interview can be a combination of closedended and open-ended questions (Bryman & Bell, 2007:213). Further, ithas been highly advantageous to conduct the interviews from thecarefully selected set of respondents as the interviewees are highly-placedMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 52
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencesenior professionals from the media and communications industry. Theserespondents represent the decision-makers across the four industries thatreflect the theme of digital convergence across- Media,Telecommunications, Internet and Information Technology. Further, therespondents have been interviewed in-detail over a fairly well distributedtime frame over each of the questions asked by the author. It has been acommendable opportunity for the author to use the seven-years of richwork-experience as a broadcast media journalist into the art ofinterviewing & analysing and interpreting the emerging patterns.Face-to-face interview gives the freedom to the interviewer to encouragethe interviewee to respond and develop a comfort level with the questionsput up. Further, the author‘s personal experience in interviewing is theimportance of eye-contact in face-to-face interview. Hence, based on thevalidity of importance of capturing emerging thinking from the data-setad based on strong background of professional experience, thisdissertation has chosen Qualitative Research Methodology: Semi-structured interviews using a standardized interview protocol for eachinterview would be conducted with focus groups. The semi-structuredinterviewees, in this dissertation analysis will be the senior/managers indigital media, communications, and telecommunication, entertainment &IT industries. The above mentioned industries are rapidly witnessing aMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 53
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencedigital transformation and hence are expected to be a part of close reviewof this study.The candidates were first emailed a copy of the dissertation synopses,complete set of questions and the consent form at least 2-4 weeks aheadof the interview. They were requested for a convenient time of 45-60minutes for conducting the in-depth interview. A total of 20 in-depthinterviews (face-to-face and a few over Skype call) were conducted. Theaverage duration of an interview was 30-50 min to 85-90 minutes. Only 2interviews are on specific questions and range for 10 minutes. Allinterviews have been recorded on a digital voice recorder (OlympusVN5500PC) and professionally transcribed for the total duration. (Alltranscripts are attached in Appendix).Research Setting:This dissertation is a reflection of the most dominantfactors for changes in digital landscape in advanced, emerging anddeveloping markets for digital content. The data is collected from well-established players that represent the largest companies in the 4-industry confluence. Most of the data is collected from companies based in London (UK). But there are highly valuable contributions of views from industry leaders from Cambridge (MA), Toronto, Germany and Dublin.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 54
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceData Collection- The data had been collected from highly-crediblesources by conducting in-depth interviews of 20 of the responsibly placed,senior professionals (media & communications industry) between June2010 and July 2010. The objective of the interviews has been to capturethe views on research questions from the sample that reflects thediversity of experience in witnessing, managing and deciding the future ofdigital convergence. Apart from the interviews, a wide range of journals,publications, reports, trend have been referred. Apart from them, theauthor has attended 3 Conferences on digital media (between March-July2010) at London. This has been useful to gain meaningful insights intothe latest indications in order to throw a deeper analysis over thisdissertation. Selection of the topic of digital convergence also finds areflection into the minute observation of changing trends, gained over 7years of work-experience into the media industry. The areas covered inthe interviews include verbal-discussion on the firms perspectives ontechnology evolution in the digital convergence industry, major driversand barriers to the adoption of digital technologies, impact of competitionand detailed focus on the 3 strategies explored in this dissertationData Analysis-The data has been analysed using thematic analysisprocess where key patterns have been categorised under– strategicalliance, bundling and integration. The data analysis involves a rich inter-weaving of emerging perspectives of the interviewees who maintainMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 55
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceinfluential positions in their organisations and are at the helm of decision-making and retain powerful positions in their respective organisations.The emerging thinking is summarised by extracting details of informationthat run across the data and not within each participant. Data Analysis Data Collection 20 Qualitative In-depth interviews Data Immersion Identification of common themes, Data Reduction patters, emerging thinking from the interviews Data Processing Identification of Strategic Alliance, Bundling and Integration to be Analysis propelling forces to drive the Digital Ecosystem Systematic Data Collection Flowchart (Created by the author)MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 56
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence CHAPTER 4MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 57
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.1 Expert’s Views on transformation of Digital AvatarDigital convergence is what has emerged from the pace of technologicalchanges in the era of technological dynamism. This convergence issustained by the fundamental co-existence of the three strategies- strategicalliance, bundling and integration (vertical and horizontal), interplaying to makedigital convergence a reality. This part of the dissertation captures theemerging picture that emanates from the data collected, defining theprominent trends attained from the set of interviews over the next-generation strategy canvas.This part of the dissertation conducts a thematic analysis to capture theemerging picture that emanates from the data collected from 14 (out oftotal of 20) senior media professionals who have been interviewed by theauthor during qualitative data-collection stage. The objective of this stageof the dissertation is to capture the common positions, points ofdifferences by cross-linking the thoughts of participants. Adoption ofstrategic alliance as a strategic management tool has been supported by14 participants. The seven major themes arising emphasise that strategicalliance helps in content sharing by developing smart partnership,achieves core-competence and cost-optimisation and balance of powerrelations under strategic alliance that lead into mutually beneficialrelationships. It leads to achieve cross-media integration, pursue socialMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 58
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencemarketing and such alliances are proving to save the telecommunicationcompanies to adopt lucrative business models for revenue-growth. 4.1.1 Understanding the nature of strategic alliance:Why Strategic Alliance? Strategic alliance has been successful inimproving revenue models of cash-starved traditional media &telecommunications companies and results in funding cross-mediaadvertising. Companies can focus on core-competence of their specificareas and merge the specialities together under strategic alliance, toprovide an enhanced consumer experience. Under the current scenario,the traditional media companies have been losing advertisement revenuesto the digital space and telecommunication companies are hit by revenuesdiverting to new-age internet companies. Music industry is dented by freeonline music and cross-media advertising has not been well understoodby new-age advertisers.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 59
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence For example, Endaf Kerfoot, Thinker-in-Chief, Brand New Adventures UK says, ―Companies like BBC or CNN don‘t have to go back and re-engineer all content. They find it convenient to apply a protocol to all of that content which basically automatically optimizes that content on a device like say iPad. That is again in Apple‘s interest as well because the more content people can access via the iPad, the more successful the iPad will be‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 29,2010 (Time:2-3pm) at Earl‘s Court office, LondonApple‘s iPad is a revolutionary device combining the benefits of web,email, photos and videos that sold about 3 million sets in 80-90 dayssince its launch in April 2010. Further media barons CNN or BBC areincreasingly generating content for mobile phones to harness theconvenience of cost-reduction. So, it gives rise to a set of contentproducers aligning with high-tech device providers to lead way to a digitalexperience for the users. As Endaf Kerfoot points out, strategicalliance involves ease of sharing content. This implies a commercialrelationship that works on mutual benefits for each of the competingindustries. Co-existing in atmosphere of strategic alliance also helps thecompany‘s focus on their core competence areas. For instance, thecontent owners (like CNN) can partner with distribution networks (likeVirgin Media) to make the content available to the consumer. AndrewMcGrath, Executive Director (Commercial), Virgin Media supportsMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 60
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencethe view that with strategic alliances, the companies can focus on theirarea of core competence. Andrew McGrath says, ―What we want to be is really good at what we‘re good at and because we‘re the best at what we do. We want to work with really good systems integrators, combine ourselves and we do that just through commercial arrangement and mutual interest for each organization‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 22,2010 (Time:4-5pm) at Virgin Media‘s office, Covent Garden, LondonIt can be inferred that companies supporting strategic alliances, resistbeing system integrators. They find solutions workable with mutuallybeneficial commercial agreements rather than complex strategicagreements and avoid complicated equity-partnerships. Under StrategicAlliance, the unique selling propositions of both assigned entities areclearly maintained by pursuing a clear understanding of what thecustomers requirement are to identify partners and also the alliance onewants to work with. This materialises in providing converged solution fromthe two or more companies that work for the customer. It is worthobserving the rising votes to strategic alliance due to the inherent criticalelement called core-competence. [Sofia’s Diary is an ‗interactive media soap inwhich teenagers can make decisions about Sofia‘s life (Cinekid, 2006)].MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 61
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Director of this popular soap- Sophia‘s Diary, Triona Campbell, Director, CR Films (London and Dublin) agrees with Andrew McGrath that strategic alliance strengthens the ability of the company to focus on core-competence. Triona says, ―we are being more independent on our core-content by working in partnership with others‖. Source: (Face to face) Skype Video Call interview from Dublin studio conducted on July 5, 2010 (Time: 1-2 PM)Focus on core-competence promotes bottom-up efficiency for firmsentering into strategic alliances. It is worth noting the fact that since2010, cable giant Virgin Media UK is working on offering high-bandwidthproduct of 400 Mbps that has been made possible by striking a strategicalliance by piling in more capabilities around the information technologypartners rather than just the telecommunications allies. Combinedcapabilities of two organisations are addressed through workingin commercial relationships with other organizations andconcentrating on core-competence.An observation of underlying importance is that, while some participantshave expressed strong views on focus on core-competence as a crucialfactor for strategic alliance to exist, there are some thinkers in theindustry who differ in their opinions. Influenced by the dynamic changesin the digital eco-system, these participants insist that strategic alliance isMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 62
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencean outcome of smart-partnership ties between two companies orindustries. Harry Strasser, Executive Partner, Digital Convergence and Innovation, Germany says, ―I strongly believe in smart partnership to be the right way. It can be in form of strategic alliances. It can be seen in this era where internet is a strong driver, internet solutions applications have come about as a stronger driver to fix telecommunication‖. Source:Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Germany on July 20, 2010 (Time:12-1 pm)This implies that as the digital convergence is changing the digital eco-system, there are new forms of alliances teaming up where theconverging industry offers smart solutions to the customer. It is worthnoting that strategic alliances have been existing in the industrial eco-system, but in the dynamic world, partnership implies smart-customisedand personalised solutions that are far more customer oriented comparedto the contemporary offer a decade ago. It is interesting to observe someof the participants differ in their positions on smart partnership ties. Itcan be inferred from a different position taken up by one of theparticipants. Oli Shaw, Director, Oli UK resists the smart partnershipdebate by highlighting the imposed form of strategic alliance.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 63
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Oli Shaw insists that, at times ―strategic alliances are mere collaborations to serve a legal mandate amongst viciously competitive companies. So, it is only in such situations that the competing industries enter into a strategic collaboration due to serve a legal mandate. For instance, BSkyB legally had to give up some of its channels to be broadcasted on Virgin platform…otherwise they would have to make a large amount of fines‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 2,2010 (Time:2:30-4pm) Old Street Station, LondonSo, alliance may as well be a form of imposed relationship rather than amutual agreement. Tim Hussain, Head of Mobile & Video Advertising, BSkyB (London) differs from Oli shaw by saying that a legal mandate is only a regulatory requirement and can‘t be called a strategically allied solution. Tim asserts, ―I would not call this a strategic alliance, it is a mere arrangement to fulfil regulatory implications imposed by industry regulator, Ofcom‖. [Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for communications industries in the UK]. Source:Personal Interview conducted on July 28, 2010 (Time:2-3 pm) at Sky‘s Office, Old Street, LondonInterestingly, the following opinion from BBC brings the observation backto square-one. It has to be noted that strong waves of dynamism haveMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 64
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencemade BBC change from the earlier concept of partnership to that ofstrategic alliances. John Denton, Managing Editor (TV Platforms), BBC London believes, ―BBC has been very big in the last two years talking about partnerships. But there is a reason we‘ve got why the word partnerships isn‘t used quite a lot, because there is a lot of change, digital is affecting old business models, no one is entirely sure what is going to come out later. And with lots of hopes, and lots of plans and projections, but no one is entirely sure. So in that kind of a framework, where uncertainty ranges, I think people start to look to share the burden, share the pain. Thats why I feel strategic alliances are really important at the moment. People can‘t do it all on their own, people are nervous about investing huge sums of money and going down a path that then maybe the wrong one. So, I guess strategic alliances does a couple of things, it helps you get together as a team to do a bigger project, but it also means if you can convince someone to join that team, then hopefully it‘s a good idea!‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 14,2010(Time: 10-11am) at BBC White City,LondonSuch alliances foster emphasis on research and development, create anddistribute clever interactive applicationsfor the 3-screen approach - TV,mobile and the internet, (referred to as multi-casting). So, informationMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 65
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencebecomes quickly available to the mass audience. Strategic alliance isencouraging the content king, BBC to seek commercial partners whowould invest in software and hardware and share the content. BBCCanvas is the latest example in this respect. Further, JohnDentonbelieves, strategic alliance supports Moores law which says thatprocessing power doubles every 18 months over constant costs. John says, ―we all come to get new partnerships because no one entirely sure, but there is a lot of hope that we are right‖. Source:Personal Interview conducted on July 14,2010 (Time:10-11 am) at BBC White City, LondonJohn predicts another round of strategic alliance- would be with theGovernment of United Kingdom to partner in investment for BBC. Forpursuing UK government‘s ambitious-project of establishing ‗DigitalBritain‘ by 2012, the public service broadcaster, BBC seeks strategicalliance with the government for project-funding. John Denton says, ―if you [UK government] want Digital Britain by 2012, you got to help us [financially]. So that, BBC will roll up public service money to try and help other companies understand the difficulties and try and come up with some solutions and so we have to work together to solve it‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 14, 2010 (Time: 10-11 am) at BBC White City office, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 66
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceAn emerging thinking over the forms of strategic alliance emanating inthe digitally converging landscape point to a significant observation thatdraws attention towards the balance of power positions maintained bythe (converging and competing) industries. Such a balance of powerposition decides the level-playing field for the four converging yetcompeting digital convergence industries namely- TV, Web,mobile and technology. As Peter Brimacombe, Former VP, Disney World, says, ―It‘s whether you get those kind of the balance of power in the value chain and you find the one bigger player can extract value from others that people start thinking that they will need to integrate in order to protect their market position‖. Source: (Face to face) Skype Video Call interview conducted on July 23, 2010 (Time: 10:30-11:30 am) from Peter‘s office, LondonThis observation indicates the stiff-competition that can be expectedwithin the industry players. Supporting Peter‘s notion of balance of power,Tim Hussain, Head of Mobile and Video Advertising, Sky (London)expresses alliances coming in way with strong internet companies, likeGoogle. But expressing fear of losing ownership, Tim asserts thatstrategic alliances may have to be carefully plotted.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 67
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Tim says, ―..at the same time they[Google] are trying to be a competitor but they also need our content. But we have to be careful else, we‘ll start to lose that ownership of relationship. Further... we may not have the ability to pull back as quick from that relationship. So we have to be very careful..‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 28, 2010 (Time: 2-3 pm) at Sky‘s Office, Old Street, LondonThis view makes a strong suggestion that strategic alliances will have tobe an outcome of well-balanced analysis of relationship outcomes.Monetary gains must spread equally to both alliances in the long runotherwise; alliances start to feel the displeasure of relationship. A deeperthought into the stiff-competition scenario expressed by PeterBrimacombe, reflects the divergences building up over the convergingand competing scenario. This means the industry players compete tobuild up their market shares using innovation and adaptation of dynamictechnologies. There is a room for strategic alliances for traditional printmedia players (newspapers and magazines), that are already suffering adownfall in their market shares due to strong displacement caused byonline media (free news and views available over the internet) . The plight oftraditional media players may continue as the life-cycle of this industry isunder attack by the new-internet stars.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 68
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Carolyn Morgan, Director, Penmaen Media predicts the slow death of traditional companies who fail to catch the verve of the smart, dynamic and young players (like Apple‘s iPad- launched on April 03, 2010 crossed over 10,000 subscriptions in mere 4 months). Carolyn says, ―I think it‘s still in the smaller groups that provide more (niche) specialized content that will survive. …But there is going to be quite a lot of blood in the floor, and they will have to make their businesses smaller. They [traditional media players] will have to reduce the number of journalists, reduce their overheads‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 21, 2010 (Time: 11am-1pm) at Stamford, EnglandSo, unless the traditional players do not sign strategic alliancewith digital players, they may find survival getting harder. But it isobserved that while companies are trying new alternatives- print mediaaligning with online media, these strategies for Digital Convergence arestill not fully marketed to yield revenues. Eric Elia, Vice-President (TV Solutions), Brightcove Inc (Cambridge) believes, ―traditional print media companies trying a lot of different things by creating online versions of the content and using applications devices to to reach where the consumer is located‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Brightcove Office, Berkley, CA on July 12, 2010 (Time: 9-10 pm GMT)MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 69
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceViews indicate that when it difficult to innovate start-ups, companiesprefers to ally with existing small-scale specialised firms. As the start-upbusiness models are nimble and agile and can be easily mouldedaccording to business objectives. Hence, in most cases the purpose offormation of strategic alliance- that is competence benefits are observedto accrue to both parties involved. So, this part of Data Analysis summarises that traditional media companies can have better revenues and a longer survival if they form strategic alliances with emerging channels of distribution like the online players.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 70
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.1.2 Strategic Alliance and cross-media participationDigital Convergence still lacks the maturity on thinking about cross-mediaadvertising. Cross-media advertising means advertising the same productor service in several different types of channels offered by a single-company so as to target the same audience accessing content from TVand mobile, or on web and mobile than on TV alone. So, if an advertiserspend similar amount of money on TV, on mobile and web on the sameaudience‘s digital profile, they will be able to monetise better revenues. Triona Campbell, Director, CR Films (London and Dublin) says, ―with strategic alliance, you can have advertising that goes in all the platforms- media, mobile, internet and technology and not in just in two or three platforms….‖. Source: (Face-to-face) Skype Video Call interview from Dublin studio conducted on July 5,2010 (Time:1-2 PM)MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 71
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceThis process not only adds value to the communication chain but alsotransforms a uni-dimensional communication to multi-mediacommunication. It ultimately cuts down the costs and disseminatesinformation with a greater impact. The advertising world is still caught inthe traditional one-media thinking rather than cross-media thinking over-Web, TV and Mobile. So, digital media companies currently are strugglingto convince the advertisers. Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO Orange Advertising (USA) & Global Sales Director Orange UK notes that, ―advertisers don‘t see different technologies as just part of one big information flow that they just see different technologies in different platforms. So... they employ different media strategies to target TV watchers from mobile users‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1,2010 (Time:12-1 pm) at Orange FT office, Tottenham Court Road, LondonThis implies online advertising poses a challenge and needs deep thoughtover seeking cross-participation solution. Advertising media bases tend tobe very conservative.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 72
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Triona Campbell, Director, CR Films (London & Dublin) says, ―They[advertisers] buy by the number of eye-balls and the number of page impressions. They don‘t understand how it quantifies the digital content impact it to the people they‘re answering to‖. Cross-channel advertising has still a long way to go as Triona adds, ―the current system lacks a mechanism to quantify the product placement or judicial integration of content would benefit in terms of the number of consumers...We need something like Nelson‘s rating system for integration and product placement‖. Source: (Face-to-face) Skype Video Call interview from Dublin studio conducted on July 5,2010 (Time:1-2 PM)This means, quantifying the metric to an advertiser would make sense.Many other participants have converging views with Triona, expressingconcern over absence of a standard metric to measure DigitalConvergence impact by tracking digital footprints.Further, Digital convergence is creating platforms for music industry‘sapplications. Application devices are partnering with the music contentdevelopers. For instance, Apple motivates applications developers for theiPhone by yielding 70 percent of the revenues for them by partnering withmusic content provider like Universal Music.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 73
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Music content developer Aaron Bogucki, Senior Digital Campaign Manager, Universal Music, says strategic alliance ―promotes iTunes application and promotes deliveries to large-scale retails like HMV and Zavvi and Amazon‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 25,2010 (Time:11-12noon)at Earls Court, LondonUnder alliance with dedicated mobile teams, the music industry iswitnessing massive growth opportunities for mobile applications. Takingcue from the changing consumption pattern of the digital content, PaulCowan, Vice-President (New Ventures), Syncapse Ltd. (Toronto)predicts dramatic changes in the digital space to come about. Paul says, ―digital will cut into the traditional media space and …I think you are going to start to see more and more of the digital analytics and methodologies and pricing models [emphasis added] start to move their way into their traditional mediums‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Syncapse office, Toronto on June 29, 2010 (Time: 5-6 pm)But on issues over monetising the benefits of digital convergence,participants observe the need for data analytics and digital insights.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 74
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Adam Field recollects, ―some companies currently use proprietary analytics tool like (Artemis tool) that measures digital profiles to some extent and allows identification of different marketing mix... but it is not an adequate measure...‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 22, 2010 (Time: 10-11 am) at Covent Garden LondonGoogle Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics solution that givesrich insights into website traffic and improves marketing effectiveness.The model shows multi-media influence over how users rate it. Penny Power, Founder, Ecademy says, ―Though it [Google Analytics] is still a better solution.. it shows detailed user profiles ...anyone can find anything [details] about the company ...it is good for marketing... but still not an adequate tool.." Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 28, 2010 (Time: 12-1 pm) at Reading City officeHence, a dedicated system of digital data assessment to specificallymeasure the cross-media impact can be clearly observed to be the needof the hour. At the heart of cross-media advertising is the intention ofhaving a richer dialogue with new customers with use of smart tools andevaluators.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 75
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Paul Armstrong, Director (Digital Strategies), Kindred (London) says, ―Things really work when you marry that technology with hyper- targeting to encourage customer interaction. There is a need for right timing of the market and willingness of the alliances to mutually compete". Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 2,2010 (Time:5-6 pm) at Kindred Office,Goodge Street, LondonTrends indicate that internet and mobile text services remain the hotspots for businesses to monetise the digital convergence opportunity. ―Mobile is the hottest area of computer technology… the smartest developers are now writing applications (apps) for mobile…‖ (Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google Inc.) Source: Eric Schmidt Speaking at Key Note address at the Guardian Activate Summit, July 01, 2010, Kings Palace, London: Guardian.co.ukSo, to bring about strategic alliance in the digital hemisphere, there is aneed for willingness to mutually compete under cross-media participation.However, this willingness is caught within complicated legal issues overdigital rights management. This imposes an access control restriction overthe movement of content from one channel or device to the other flankedby regulatory management of digital access and copyright-protectionMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 76
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencecontrols. Digital rights management is globally used by companies such asSony, Amazon, Apple Inc., Microsoft, AOL and BBC. Eric Elia says, ―Digital Rights Management is an industry wide problem that adds to the inability of moving content from one device to another….‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Brightcove Office, Berkley, CA on July 12, 2010 (Time: 9-10 pm)This part of the data analysis section concludes that the industry isincreasingly realising the importance of cross-media participation, but thefull effect is restricted due to lack of a standard metric for performanceevaluation.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 77
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.1.3 Emergence of Social Marketing due to Strategic Alliance Advertisers seek viral marketingPower of social commerce and emergence of social marketing is becomingsignificant. But digital media companies are yet to tap into the possibilityof incentivising people (digital content user) and urge the users toindirectly add to company‘s cross-channel marketing. For instance, aFacebook user could be a significant contributor to virally propagating acompany‘s marketing message over the friend‘s list. Any user usually hasa friend‘s list of at least 100 contacts. Every marketer and advertiser isnow enthusiastic about access to the widely networked space created byemerging monopolies like Facebook and Google. Paul Cowan, Vice-President (New Ventures), Syncapse Ltd. (Toronto) says, ―I think the monopoly situation is an interesting one because we are going to have two monoliths being Google and Facebook that are going to be filling on absolutely massive amount of customer data‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Syncapse office, Toronto ;June 29, 2010 (Time: 5-6 pm)MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 78
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceIn a significant development, this dissertation observes Britain‘s largestpublic service broadcaster- BBC seeking strategic alliance with socialnetworking giant- Facebook to profit from social marketing.BBC is activelyconsidering strategic partnership with Facebook to harness the wide reachof the popular social networking site. At the same time, Facebook is keenabout the deal as the networking site values BBC‘s content. Newparadigms of alliances are being developed. John Denton shared hisexperience at BBC London where over a corporate presentation, socialnetworking leader Facebook has been expressing interest to Britain‘slargest broadcaster BBC for channelling their content via socialnetworking platforms. John Denton, Managing Editor (TV Platforms), BBC London expresses amazement, ―for the first time you can see how the plates are shifting!!... because previously even BBC would say we‘re a big broadcaster we‘ve got 97% of the audience watching any of our channels or listening to us, anyone time, blanket coverage, why would we need Facebook..?. But suddenly.. it’s a bit like who needs who the most. Facebook want our content and want to be able to channel our content. And we are thinking, oh my god! they’ve [Facebook] got 400 million, they’ve got an audience!!"…. .......(continued...) Source:Personal Interview conducted on July 14, 2010 (Time:10-11 am), BBC White City,LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 79
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence (cont.).....So it was a little like, how would you position yourself in that role.. And that is very much what is affecting…as the BBC is going to ask more about those questions, because it hasn‘t been successful at creating its own Facebook. We‘ve never really been good at software innovation, and even iPlayer a forward success is really just about distribution, cause we are broadcaster we kind of can‘t shake that (the software expertise)!‖. Source:Personal Interview conducted on July 14, 2010 (Time:10-11 am) at BBC White City,LondonBut, it is worth mentioning that some views do not suggest that socialmedia has helped their objectives. At most situations, demographicfactors need to be kept in mind before rolling out our online campaigns. Craig Elder, Digital Media Editor, Conservatives (London) says, ―social networking is not going to help us to reach as social networking takes in a very broad sphere of people but not all users are digital content consumers. We have observed a lot of conversation about the election going on, on Twitter and Facebook. But the fact is that… it is still a very niche audience…‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 29, 2010 (Time: 2-3 pm) Millbank Office, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 80
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceThe strength of emerging social networking fabric can‘t be ignored. It iseven more interesting to note that both digital and non-digital companiesare engaging in positioning themselves into the digital space to capturevisibility, customer attention, brand enhancement and ultimately, astronger market position but audience preference must be carefullyevaluated under a cost-benefit analysis before hitting on any cross-platform targeting plan. 4.1.4 Telecom companies seek a solution by Strategic AllianceDigital convergence has paved way for some new media players butcontinues to pose a threat to traditional survivors, like thetelecommunication companies that are struggling for revenue shares. Inthe changing digital landscape, the telecommunication companies arestruggling financially as most of the revenues are diverting to the internetcompanies. But many telecommunication companies are surviving thisMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 81
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencebattle through smart, cleverly chosen strategic alliances for contentsharing, voice and data convergence. It is observed that in the era whereinternet is a strong driver, internet solutions applications are posing atough challenge to the traditional telecommunication operators. But thetelecommunication companies are exploring opportunities on content-sharing space by the means of striking effective strategic alliances.Now, to understand the telecom story it isworth observing here thattelecommunications companies (likeVodafone, Orange, T-Mobile etc.) havebeen beaten up with revenue-flowsdiverting to internet companies (Google,Yahoo, Skype). It is surprising to observe that the application – interneton mobile handset actually uses the mobile company platform to deliverinternet experience to the user. But unfortunately, no revenue as perusage flows into mobile company‘s kitty. Instead all the revenue flows tothe internet companies.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 82
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Convergence industry‘s leading consultant, Harry Strasser, Executive Partner, Digital Convergence and Innovation (Germany) predicts, ―Telecom companies never will be able to come to the position they were in the past decade. Now its too late… now the telecom companies debate about net neutrality that these companies should give a part of their revenue streams..‖. Hence, strategic alliance still offers a partial breathing space to the traditional telcos. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Germany on July 20, 2010 (Time: 12 - 1 pm)The revenue divergence bleeds the telcos by repeating itself on mobileinternet side. As mobile internet traffic is getting massive and is comingthrough internet companies new generation internet players likeFacebook, MySpace etc. and other social networks offer solutions whereusers are connecting not only through the fixed PC but through theirmobile phone, to their Facebook account to watch YouTube and othervideos. Again this is financed through online channel with revenue flowinginto the internet companies.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 83
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Harry Strasser reiterates, ―telecom carriers have not learned their lessons and the latest trend as you might know is with applications where many developers are offering applications for mobile phones, for smart phones. But, this space is already taken up by companies like Apple‘s App Store and Google‘s Android App store. Telecommunication App (application) Stores however are trying now to chunk on this bandwagon example through the RIM App Store or Nokia Ovi App Store. But again, the revenues which are running through these App Stores are shared between the App Store owners and developers. So again, nothing goes to the carriers due to consumer preference for Apple and Google brands for applications". Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Germany on July 20, 2010 (Time: 12 - 1 pm)It is further realised that telecom companies lose battle on the Voice overinternet protocol (VoIP) front as well. VoIP kick-started on the fixedtelecommunication side and was initiated by Skype offering free VoIPsolution, without paying for normal telecommunication calls. Skype facedstrong opposition from telecom carriers, but was successful in makingmoney also through advertising. Again, this did not involve the carriers.Adding to the telcos woes, now VoIP applications are available overmobile phones, so revenues for internet companies.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 84
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Harry predicts, ―the next 2-3 years, will be of mainstream mobile applications where many users will download the applications in running Voice over IP calls and again this will impact the revenues of the carriers. If still the mobile voice calls are impacted by voice-over-IP calls, it will be a true challenge of survival for the carriers I believe‖. In the digitally converging space, the telecommunication companies are only left with the option of partnering with internet companies. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Germany on July 20, 2010 (Time: 12 - 1 pm)So, it can be noted that telecom operators bear the brunt, but cansave themselves by strategic alliances. The telecom operatorshave also been unable to successfully partner the growth of thisdigital convergence by creating the right play over the fixedtelecommunication. Fixed telecommunication is witnessing shrinkingmarket and revenues falling flat over the last couple of years and this aredue to advertising revenue diverting to online advertising. StrategicAlliance is paving way for compensating the shrinking revenues of thetraditional streams. It is interesting to observe, that global players (likeVodafone, Deutsche Telecom and the Telephonica group) with strongbrand image and those who develop smart partnering approach,responsive top-management may be in stronger position to survive thechallenges. It can be noted that such changes call for the topmanagement to initiate in their company culture, a deeper understandingof working with the internet companies. Even companies that own theirMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 85
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencetelecom, web, TV and broadband platforms are actively engaged inexternal alliances over content distribution benefiting the cost reductionadvantage. Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO Orange Advertising (USA) & Global Sales Director (UK), Orange-FT says ―We are an operator, but are thinking about media as we have access to huge audience. When consumers are buying service, we can also give them content on three different platforms. Through this, we effectively utilise our rights to football games, rights to movies etc. So this is a kind of a way of digital convergence and the alliance and saves costs as well…‖. Some companies still are considering integration for telecom and internet companies. Harry believes, ―it would have been wiser for a company like Vodafone to buy a Yahoo and integrate Yahoo in getting two internet competence and expertise or other internet players. But so far, their management have been too cautious and not willing‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010 (Time: 12-1 pm) at Orange FT office, Tottenham Court Road, London Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Germany July 20, 2010 (Time: 12 - 1 pm)This implies that, telecommunication companies have to learn the lessonsand management teams have to be receptive to changes. So rather indeveloping a completing app store, they (telecom companies) could try toMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 86
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencesmart partner with app store vendors and get their new approach to themarket. But strategic alliances must be carefully chosen as there havebeen unsuccessful alliances in the past. As Endaf Kerfoot adds, ―for instance, AOL Time Warner is considered one of the worst deals in the history of corporate America. This digital space deal destroyed tens of billions of dollars of shareholder value in Time Warner. Further, eBay buying Skype was another terrible deal. eBay is now desperate to get rid of Skype, because it just doesn‘t seem to work with the eBay brand‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 29, 2010(Time: 2-3pm) at Earl‘s Court office, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 87
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.1.5 Conclusion for Data Analysis on Strategic AlliancesFinal observations lay out that digital content users needs and demandsare fast rising up creating a pressure on companies to evolvepersonalised and customised products and services. So, this is putting apressure on specialization of the content. While at the same time, theindustry is experiencing massive convergence with the coming togetherof four industries- Media, Telecommunications, Web and Technology.Digitally converging eco-system is hence, fragmenting as quickly as itsconverging with the two forces playing against each other with equalconsistency. Therefore, it may be concluded that the emanating digitalecosystem will bring with it the fundamental complexities, however, astrategic perspective will give rise to benefits of competencies andcollaborations flow out both to consumers and industry players.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 88
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.2 Data Analysis on Bundling StrategyBundling strategy qualifies to be one of the micro-foundations of the"convergence" process in the IT industries and offers complementaryapproach to technological and regional economics (Blanc, 2001). Bundlingoffers competing solutions in packaged bundles to the users atdifferentiated prices. Price as per offer continues to be the dominatingfactor to package a bundle. While the bundled offer much depends on thetype of B2B and B2C market, the major practitioners of bundling strategyare the mobile telecom providers offering attractive internet purchaseoptions. Bundling strategies involve premium-services for bundles thatoffer the basic package for free but lot more services come with marginalextra payments.Bundling is one of the most powerful marketing tools that can disguiseproduct pricing approaches, add value to off-set price and is extensivelyMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 89
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceuseful to differentiate the products or services even in a saturatedmarket. So, bundling creates a revenue stream by cross-selling thebundle and creates an opportunity for product-extension. Bundlingstrategy can translate short-run benefits into long run benefits. Finally,strategic bundling and product extension can help the digital mediacompanies to attain competitive advantage. Another aspect of bundling iscompiling together lots of different types of content. This part of thedissertation presents the emerging thinking on bundling strategy of 17(out of a total of 20), highly-paced senior professionals (media &communications industry) who have been interviewed by the authorduring qualitative data-collection stage. Sustainability of a successfulbundling strategy has found support by 13 participants. This section ishighlighted three major emerging views supporting the effectiveness ofbundling strategy. These themes are- increased customer base due toproduct extension and possibility of hyper-targeting the customers toincrease business revenues. 4.2.1 Attractiveness of BundlingBundling is an attractive strategy from the consumer perspective, creatinga perception that the said offer is a discounted value deal and can bemonitored under a hassle-free single bill transaction. But from acompany‘s perspective, bundled offers may actually be more expensive tothe consumer‘s pockets, yet are marketed as money-saving deals offeringMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 90
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencea convenience purchase. For example, Sky TV bundles together 105channels and offers them as a bouquet to the consumer. So, theconsumer gets diverse package at the same time for one price.It is observed that bundling strategy is playing an important rolein business sustainability in telecommunications industry byencouraging product-extensions to the consumer. Solutions aremade available over intelligent devices like smart phones, PC, laptop, andnewer category devices like - Tablet PCs, iPads etc. Bundles are offered informs of subscription services, where for a premium service, the fullpackage is charged to the consumer. Harry Strasser, Executive Partner, Digital Convergence and Innovation, Germany weighs bundling as a successful strategy. Harry believes, ―in principle I think that [bundling] is definitely one option of a successful strategy. As a result of convergence between fixed and mobile communication with TV, there are triple-play solutions available‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Call interview from Germany on July 20, 2010 (Time:12-1 pm)It is worth realising that bundling strategy has not only fostered cost-optimisation, but also initiated joint billing systems over the bundled IPbased infrastructure, hence offering value-added converged solutions tothe users.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 91
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence For example, Endaf Kerfoot, Thinker-in-Chief, Brand New Adventures UK says, ―The economics of bundling strategy is great as far as I am concerned. … most mobile network operators in the UK and elsewhere are now rethinking and that their content-data offerings‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 29,2010 (Time:2-3 pm) at Earl‘s Court, LondonFrom the emanating views, it can be recognised that successful bundlingis advantageous to the user offering a single-bill at a competitive price.From a media standpoint, bundling is the only way that to drive increasedadoption and penetration of their services within the advertisingcommunity and drive long-term viability of their products and services.Carolyn Morgan, Managing Consultant, Penmaen Media whoconducted her consultancy assignment for ‗the Guardian‘ experienced theexperimentation on revenue model by bundling regular print-subscriberswith the growing magazine subscription packages. Carolyn says, ―news publishers engaged with alternative digital news dissemination formats over print and mobile in reader formats to monetize the online potential. Niche publishers offerd specialized bundled services to large-media houses. Remember..only clever bundling strategies work". Source:Personal Interview conducted on June 21, 2010 (Time: 11am-1pm) at Stamford, EnglandMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 92
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceAn important observation from the Spectator case study is decipheredand can be interpreted that bundling with digital content improved asection of non-digital sales. Carolyn remarks, ―Spectator newspaper experimented the bundling strategy of putting a version of that content on to the iPhone..and the model resulted in success and added a reasonable number of subscriptions due to the cheaper version of digital content‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 21, 2010 (Time: 11am-1pm) at Stamford, EnglandSurprisingly, it revealed that not only did the digital subscription increase,but the dying print sale also resumes sales due to Spectator‘s digitalbrand publicity.This dissertation notes that bundling is about engaging clevertactics to sell across different versions of the content and chargesthe customer as per the package offered. Users pay differentamounts of money for different packages of content. So, bundling iseffective in cross-media promotion and allows users to choose what theyare interested in. It also increases the life-cycles of traditional mediacompanies.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 93
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceBundling offers the ease of see, watch, surf the pool of content cuttingacross various content packages. At BBC, there is also bundling is seenover digital, online, TV and broadband space by simple yet smartpackaging of the offer bundle. John Denton, Managing Editor (TV Platforms), BBC London adds, ―Bundling is an interesting offer for us because we do it at such scale and some people saying to us, we can‘t actually technically take all your content due to cost pressures. So for us, BBC iPlayer has its content bundled on the number of hours, making it a bundle. This is due to our public service position where the whole range of content is counted. bundling for BBC is a bit different‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 14,2010 (Time:10-11am), BBC White City, LondonIt can be noted that another form of bundling also exists at BBC. Thiscomes in form of interactive television popularised by BBC Red Button. [BBC Red Button is the brand name for digital interactive television services provided by the BBC as depicted in the picture]. Image Source: www.google.co.ukMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 94
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Popularly addressed as BBC‘s Red Button man, John adds, ―We have also have bundled content on travel and children. So, there is a strange bond being developed with bundles service offer‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 14,2010 (Time:10-11am), BBC White City, LondonIt is important to realise an observation that bundling is finding animportant position in the strategy document of the non-commercial publicsector broadcaster- BBC, hence creating a consolidation of the offer. Butagain, it is a crucial point to observe that bundling is usually flanked bycompetition commission regulations. Peter Brimacombe, Former VP (Strategy), Disneyworld reminds that, ―BBC‘s initiatives under project Kangaroo were restricted under competition concerns for trying to put together lots of different TV channels through an online platform‖. Source: (Face to face) Skype Video Call interview conducted on July 23, 2010 (Time:10:30 -11:30 am) from Peter‘s office, LondonSo, revenue generation under the bundling strategy needs a carefulimplementation in certain cases. Bundling is a purely a commercialdecision and is swiftly gaining popularity over smart digital devicesengaging the user in a captivating digital experience. For example,devices like iPad and iPhone foster an easier ‗scroll-‘n-‗tap‘ mechanismMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 95
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceleaving an engrossing visual experience for customers. This is importantfor the marketing perspective on bundling. Adding a marketing perspective, Paul Cowan, Vice-President (New Ventures), Syncapse Ltd. (Toronto) thinks, ―Digital applications dictate on experiences and are becoming much more powerful with that…Its really kind of indicative of how organizations actually market the bundled applications.. and marketers like it because it generally gives them packages that have greater discounts, media companies that make their life easier from developing their overall program. Indeed, bundling is just a natural way for organizations to sell products in an easier fashion‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Syncapse office, Toronto on June 29, 2010 (Time: 5-6 pm)It can be concluded that beyond unleashing the digital experience,companies are designing smart marketing strategies to implement directrelationships with customers and engage with their customers on a one-to-one basis.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 96
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.2.2 Bundling Strategy retains customer baseIt is interesting to observe a strong contradiction to bundling, expressedby 5 participants. Oli Shaw acknowledges bundling strategy for customerretention but maintains that bundling is a necessary evil. Oli Shaw, Director, Oli UK says, ―bundling at times is more of a business headache for companies and just a strategy for retaining customers and locking them in. For example, mobile service provider, Orange makes much more money from mobile subscriptions rather than from a broadband subscription, Sky from the TV and Virgin from TV. So, bundling is not necessarily a positive retention method but undeniably embraces the customer‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 2, 2010 (Time: 2:30-4 pm) at Old Street Station office, LondonBundling does create managerial issues from the company‘s perspective.To a consumer, bundling creates a perception of a cheaper offer andleaves the customer with the convenience of a single-bill transaction togenerate brand loyalty for the customer. Bundling gives the experience ofcomplementariness of the product offer. For example, Orange telecomMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 97
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceoffers broadband and the mobile services; Sky offers the telephone,broadband and TV experience. Hence, from this observation, it can beinferred that bundling may be a necessary evil, but stands crucialfor customer retention. It is an essential observation that a fewparticipants maintain a different position on bundling and surprisinglyconsider that unbundling is actually a way to reach out to morecustomers. Peter Brimacome observes unbundling activities gaining influence and comments, ―the internet and open mobile platforms are developing as a real distribution channel for media owners and they are completely open and unbundled. I think that consumers want them to remain and will resist bundling in that space. I think that there are more direct ways of getting content in front of viewers through the internet and through iPlayer and through the on-demand services. So you‘ll continue to see a bit of unbundling that goes on there, rather than having to go to your SKYs, getting your TV, you can now -- the iPlayer offers a more compelling experience!‖. Source: (Face to face) Skype Video Call interview conducted on July 23, 2010 (Time: 10:30 -11:30 am) from Peter‘s office , LondonHere is an important observation that if an audience has missed watchinga show on the BBC, they can still go back to BBC iPlayer and tune in. So,that‘s a kind of (un)bundling service, which is acting on fragmenting theMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 98
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceindustry a bit as well, because content is diversified in more and moreplaces. Further, unbundling is expressed to be more convenient from alicence point of view. But Tim Hussain, Head of Mobile & Video Advertising, BSkyB (London) asserts, ―From a licence point of view unbundling is better, because unbundling allows a separate fee each time, but from a consumer expectation is that they view would we have this relationship with Sky and so therefore it should carry through. But we already have a premium pay pricing model where customers expect more and more applications for free. So really, it‘s a balancing act for us‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 28, 2010 (Time: 2-3 pm) at Sky‘s Office, Old Street, LondonIt is interesting to note that businesses with subscription model preferunbundled pricing but actually are practicing a bundling strategy due tothe competitive pressure to serve customers better. At times, withMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 99
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencebundled sales, issues over real-time billing are observed. Paul says, ―its [bundling] convenient, youve got one bill in one place. There is a benefit of aggregating your services. In one place you can see how much you are spending, you can manage the services better. But only when the fundamental problem of real-time billing is sorted out‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video-Call interview from Syncapse office, Toronto on June 29, 2010 (Time: 5-6 pm)But, to catch the market move, smart players like, Apple Inc apps shopscustomise a real-time billing for iTunes. Hence, bundling solves thefundamental problem of billing aggregation to be rated as an efficientstrategy. Paul Cowan considers this digital rights managment be a big challenge. Paul adds, ―Yeah, I think that the biggest challenge that media organization have been and the way they have been trying to bundle different services together is simply because of how they have actually adopt the pricing model from a digital standpoint‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Syncapse office, Toronto on June 29, 2010It can be observed that digital pricing mechanism lacking a measurablemetric continues to create evaluation problems in the industry. Marketershave to rely on traditional revenue streams to help drive profitability andMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 100
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceengage with digital interactions. It can be observed that lack of the metricis probably responsible for digital media companies facing lower digitalrevenue streams as the company‘s bottom-lines shrink. It can beobserved that the discontented feeling is due to lack of cross-media reach. From the mixed bag of views, it can be inferred that formost participants, bundling is not so candidly preferred, yet most widelypracticed pricing strategy. Many businesses like Sky are compelled to takeup a bundling in order to retain the customer base. But, digital rights,competitive pricing and real-time issues do hamper the success ofbundling strategy. It can however be inferred that in some of theconverged solutions like iPlayer, on-the-demand content et cetra, there isa move towards unbundling already happening in the digital eco-system.Many participants observe that innovation in online advertising is takingplace in the real sense. Content can be effectively marketed by bundlingthem. Triona and Eric believe that innovation brings difference and addsvalue to bundled options. But Adam Field points out that bundling is onlyeffective if the customer needs are deeply catered to and well understood.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 101
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence It is further important to note that to ensure transparency and have a clear understanding of different mediums to engage in ways of distribute cross-media content. Tom Weiss, CEO, TV Genius (UK) says, ―I mean as a whole mix involved isnt bad really. There a whole bunch of things that has to be in place. In terms of pricing, people are bundling in mobile or PC based services for free‖. Source:Skype call interview conducted on June 21,2010 (Time:3-4 pm) TV Genius studio, LondonMedia-content providers align themselves with handsets & devicescompanies to enable users to access their data and their content.However, the content bundling issue is stuck due to multiple-licenceconcerns for each medium responsible for increasing cost-burden.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 102
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO Orange Advertising (USA) & Global Sales Director Orange UK says, ―I think obviously now you have to pay a licence for web, a license for TV, and license for mobile, so, it adds to the cost…so I‘ll sit across, it would be ideal when the content provider will recognize, okay, what‘s your audience of 100 million people, I don‘t care from which platform they come from, here is the content. That‘s not happening, obviously and its making it a little bit complicated because then you have to buy an extra license for more than you think‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010 (Time: 12-1 pm) at Orange FT office, Tottenham Court Road, LondonIt can be noted that for the audience-driven commercial technology,decisions are levied upon based on user preferences. Companies ofteninvolve in cleverly playing around with the content to cut across variousnew deals. There is a lot of scope for data streaming through the mobile,web, and internet by way of bundled offer.So, it is summarised that bundling is still being used as a pricingstrategy in most cases. On the content side, bundling isreasonably a good strategy to enjoy cross-media participation,attain viewership, add brand recognition and improve visibility inconsumer’s minds. The only problem is the cost burden due tomultiple-licence issue.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 103
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.2.3 Bundling eases audience hyper-targetingIt can be observed that bundling promotes hyper-targeting and socialmedia has played an incremental role in hyper-targeting customers byusing bundled solutions. Bundling has a big impact on streamliningadvertising revenues. Thus, user involvement with the digital content maybe a crucial factor before hyper-targeting may be completely relied onover a digital platform. Some of the participants resonate that manymarketing solutions are still being achieved by bundling services and it isadopted for affiliate marketing solutions. Edmund Chambers, Key Accounts Manager, Affiliate Window UK says, ―bundling works especially well for affiliate marketing solutions as online selling pays different (bundles) commissions to people sending the products according to what they sell. For example, Sky is advertising on our network and then sales staff will get commission for the basic package, but I think you get more commission for the different packages that you get from Sky as well". Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010 (Time: 3-4 pm) at Olympia Conference Hall, LondonA good example of bundling is the traditional media bundling onlineservice offer as a strategy to increase subscriptions. Rupert Murdoch‘sbundling subscription strategy involved readers to subscribe to theMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 104
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencephysical newspaper. Once, they subscribe the physical newspaper, theyget free online access. Andrew McGrath, Executive Director (Commercial), Virgin Media adds, ―the one that has made the boldest move on this has been Murdoch with the times and Sunday times... and FT and moving to it paid model for accessing that online content... but there aren‘t many people who have that sort of capability to own the content". Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 22, 2010(Time: 4-5 pm) at Virgin Media‘s office, Covent Garden, LondonBundling of converging technology is going through a transition. Bundlingis seen in voice and data convergence, VoIP solutions, desktop videoconferencing and all that type of applications, they are still multiplecompeting technologies. Bundling applications may witnessstandardization of core applications and emphasis on ease of use.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 105
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Andrew summarises, ―If you have got to get beyond, the big change if the next five years is making it all much easier to use‖. So, as Virgin Media focuses on providing the best enabling technology with standardised core applications so as to provide the consumers, the ease of use and power of choice amongst the offered bundles. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 22, 2010(Time: 4-5 pm) at Virgin Media‘s office, Covent Garden, LondonIn the telecommunications case, bundling strategy may offer an unlimiteddata access but at a slightly higher, standard price. However, 1-5 percentof users are using the complete set of bundled solution. This merelyutilizes 50% of the bandwidth of mobile based networks and is beingconsumed by less than 5 percent of users in total. For instance, O2 beingthe first network companies in the UK to restrict subscription and offerunbundled solutions. This is an example of an unsatisfactory(un)bundled offer. But bundling has been successful in cinema ticketingprice strategy. For example, Cinema chain, Cineworld‘s Unlimited Card isa good example of bundling service. The offer allows the user to go to anyCineworld cinema house out of central London for mere for 13 poundsevery month. The user can enjoy the cinema experience for even fourtimes in a day at zero incremental cost, while, an unbundled offer wouldcost the user about 9 pounds just over a Friday evening. So, if workedout well, the economics of bundling is highly cost effective.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 106
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.2.4 ConclusionThe road to content-distribution is witnessing more and more optionsavailable. It can be observed that bundling is one of the ways of gettingthe content to the user. But much of profitability from bundling dependson the nature of business models adopted. So, digital mediacompanies have the power to exercise a balance between theeconomic-trade off from bundling and unbundling. Companieshave the choice to select the route that best fits the regulatoryrequirements. Further, the companies need to adapt bundling as asensible-pricing strategy and not a mere price-strategy as today‘sempowered consumer is highly price-conscious. Further, there is nodearth of differentiated products in the digital market place andMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 107
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceconsumers may change their choices over price-sensitive behaviourunless the brand value is the sole reason for their choice. So, effectivebundling of emerging new technology with apt strategy is expected tooffer a better consumer experience.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 108
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.3 DATA ANALYSIS –Digital Integration 4. Integration StrategyDigital convergence is changing the world of the media industry withadvertising revenues streaming into print media and TV, radio and theinternet. Growth of internet has boosted digital convergence by creatingintegrated platforms. Integration strategy is particularly useful for thoseplayers who build up this competence either in-house, organically or bygaining competence through joint-ventures or acquiring companies.However, there remains a problem of managing the diversity ofMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 109
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceapplications. With infrastructure capacities building up, integrationbetween telecom competence and IT competence is growing. Hence,companies are trying to use integration strategies by knowing theircustomers and understanding the allied business partners. This part ofthe dissertation presents the emerging thinking of 13 (out of total of 20),senior media professionals who have been interviewed by the authorduring qualitative data-collection stage. The three major themes identifiedin this section are employment of integration strategy to create inter-platform synergies, develop skill sets and achievement of integrated-marketing communications. These outcomes help in positioning in themind of the consumer and also harness better revenues for the company. 4.3.1 Integrate to create synergiesDigitally integrated marketing has resulted in sustained growth of 13%year-on-year growth in 2008-2009 which has shrunk only to 11% inrecession, reflecting an evidence of the importance of digital marketing(PricewaterhouseCoopers Report, 2009). Integrated use of multi-mediaapplications enable strong foundations for converging markets wheredigital media companies transform the way the world communicates. Aneffective integrated strategy is a sound tool to transform the businessoperations, gain competitive advantage and create future marketscenarios.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 110
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence To validate this point, Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO Orange Advertising (USA) & Global Sales Director, Orange-FT (UK) says, ―Well that‘s[integration] creating synergies and cost optimization because you don‘t have to rethink on entire content strategy for each platform. The main advantage of one content across three platforms are synergies and cost optimization. In demonstrating that, we can take you[the consumer] through different platforms with the same content and offer them a different experience each time. At the moment we are not trying to achieve consumer retention by this method, but are successfully achieving the objective of same content across the platforms‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010 (Time: 12-1 pm) at Orange FT office, Tottenham Court Road, LondonIt can be observed that companies try to optimize their platforms andintegrate it across the value-chain. In most cases, this not only improvescompany insight, but also provides more knowledge to the consumer tomake an informed decision after learning the necessary facts. It reducesswitching-costs to the consumer. Experts have been found to resonatewith the idea of value-addition.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 111
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Harry Strasser, Executive Partner - Digital Convergence and Innovation, Germany says, ―If we go to the media side, companies are still building up competence along the value chain in a vertical model and also acquiring some companies‖. Source:Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Germany on July 20, 2010 (Time:12-1 pm)For instance, large media players like News Corp have been acquiringcompanies along the value chain and expand their business model byintegrating partly start-up companies. So, integration is not only a crucialfactor for expansion, but much of it depends on company culturesupporting different kind of players in a vertically integrated growth. Itcan be noticed that with growing advertising market, integration gives alarger scope for TV, radio and print advertising streams to converge withinternet industries. Traditionally strong, print-media is found to beorganically integrating with the new internet portals to benefit from theopportunity of advertising so as to bolster their overall revenue streams.This indicates that integration is successful if it creates cross-channelsynergies. Public broadcaster and media giant BBC has beendemonstrated to benefit from integration strategy and is now foraying tocreate its own space on cloud computing. The BBC realises the potentialof integrating its content across video, audio or text or pictures, into oneoutput across different mediums.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 112
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence John Denton, Managing Director (TV Platforms), BBC London says, ―At BBC, we observe a confluence of driving the flow of metadata (loosely defined database). Metadata now allows us to try and track all content that works well with the large scale of operations we have here‖. Based on that, BBC is shaping creative content around different user experiences. John adds, ―we just launched a world cup on internet connected setup boxes which brings live broadcast. So you can be watching live broadcast on BBC1, press to get streamed assets and video that are offered to audience in integrated packages, say of 30 clips‖. [A metadata is a file name description about a text or image]. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 14,2010 (Time: 10-11 am), BBC White City, LondonFor BBC, integration implies getting all back-end systems to be workingtogether. Now, the BBC is building its own version of its cloud, where allthe technologies sits in this space and all content is available. John adds, ―We are now trying alternatives to integrate content across the mobile team and the TV platforms. We are also working at pumping out video with text and with titles to different TV platforms and recognize if they are different‖. Source:Personal Interview conducted on July 14, 2010 (Time:10-11 am), BBC White City, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 113
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceJohn summarises by his idea of next level of integration where hi-techdevices will rule the living room, where mobile phones would replace theTV remote controls. Successful integration strategy positions a companyat a commanding position on the value chain and helps to attain marketdominance. John Denton reflects back and says that he joined BBC due to his passion for interactive TV. John recollects, ―I came into the BBC specifically looking at interactive television..and got thrilled to know red-button being introduced at BBC. The interactive red button provides an extra content on demand…. So, I thought, Oh great, the BBC has got BBC online, has got BBC Mobile, and now it‘s got BBC Red Button. Earlier, at BBC, we had interactive TV, we have mobile, we have it online, but they never really talk to each other despite the fact that it was multi-platform ideas, 360 commissioning or multi-platform commissioning in place‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 14, 2010 (Time: 10-11 am) BBC White City, LondonThis leads to an important finding that companies have a great scope forattaining a level-playing field if they have the potential for convergeddigital content. It can be observed that the concept has now been putthrough the strategy document with BBC‘s trust called ‗Putting qualityfirst‘. Rightly, the satellite cable companies are pressing for integrationwith media content.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 114
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Tim Hussain, Head of Mobile and TV, Sky (London) observes integration cutting across media platforms. Tim says, ―The reason why telcos are trying to move (to media content) is because of the aspiration to be both. I believe they are trying to move away obviously it can mean just a pure telco technology company into more of a lifestyle consumer product. And that moves them out to their traditional competitors there into a new area. And so they cross over the fence into the media space...". So, the digital space is looking ahead to integration of expertise of the two worlds of content and telecommunication experience. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 28, 2010 (Time: 2-3 pm) at Sky‘s Office, Old Street, LondonHowever, Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO Orange Advertising (USA) & GlobalSales Director (UK), Orange-FT observes the biggest problem withintegration is the existence of a gap across the board and not justhardware or software. John adds, ―apart from the fundamental technicalities of integration, there is a perception and knowledge problem at client level. To some extent, this problem is even at the industry level. So we see too many interests and hidden agendas being pushed in different directions‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 14, 2010 (Time: 10-11 am) at BBC White City office, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 115
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceSo, it is worth noticing that it may be more useful to have anunderstanding and agreement to venture into digital integration. It can beobserved that digital integration would not be successful if corporationsand people work in isolated silos, rather, integration must start from anindividual level and sync well at the industry level. Online retailers areengaging in integrating offline and online content to target good coverageof stores and expanding cross-country going across the country. Edmund Chambers, Key Accounts Manager, Affiliate Window UK says, ―The companies advertise online and merge off-line store offers through something called ‗Reserve and Collect‘ to the website offering. Here the customer can reserve the product online and collect it when they pass by the store. This integration strategy advertises the product and also earns commission from getting people to go to the store to take their product as well‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010 (Time: 2-3 pm) at Olympia Conference HallFurther, from a business perspective, integration caters to augmentedmarketing. Digital integration makes augmented media a reality throughthe technology.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 116
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Jack Willis, Accounts Manager, Marketing Grin (UK) says, ―for example, you can download an app for your iPhone but you can set, as you do on Facebook, you set the profile settings. Now if you go to a meeting you can have a look at your phone or any augmented media and has a little camera and I‘ll flag up. So, The person you are having a meeting with and you will get little sort of thought levels above and which is a profile and you can click on it and read your CV perhaps or whatever he said and all this is coming into life‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010 (Time: 3-4 pm) at Olympia Conference HallSuch a closely monitored profiling will add to industry attractiveness, agift of digital integration. Further, Traditional media players like printmedia and publishers are observed to be actively integrating the printversions with digital formats and they tend to put it online for free, hopingfor advertisement revenues. Further, this is propelled by devices like iPadand iPhone readers that are offering converged solutions over mobileapps. Media companies are building businesses around free content.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 117
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Carolyn Morgan, Managing Consultant, Penmaen Media (UK) says, ―specialised content providers like niche magazines and finance newspapers still have an opportunity to digitalise and earn revenue from online subscriptions and advertisements‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 21, 2010 (Time: 11am-1pm) at Stamford, EnglandBut it can be seen that, much of integration depends on the discipline orgenre of the business. Paul Armstrong, Director (Digital Strategy), Kindred believes, ―It‘s less about verticalization and more about using the right tool for the right job at the right time. I think that‘s the massive opportunity with it‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 2, 2010 (Time: 5-6 pm) at Kindred Office, Goodge Street, LondonIt can be realised that integration is indeed a much smarter way ofworking. So these digital engagements work across numerous touchpoints. For instance, active engagement with social networking isintegrating business objectives with wide reached internet company suchas Facebook.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 118
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Paul Armstrong adds, ―if you are very clear on the insights over business objectives you will have real good strategy‖. It can be worth noting that much of integration also depends on human centric experience and complementariness of product. A good example to this is Apple, which is very human centric in terms of the experience and its offers complementariness of products. For example, the creative combination of iPod, a music player with iTunes, and a music organizer is a perfect complementary product offer...a well integrated package. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 2, 2010 (Time: 5-6 pm) at Kindred Office, Goodge Street, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 119
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence4.3.2 Organisational challenges with Integration Strategy: Multi-tasking skill-setsDigital Integration comes it at own costs and poses managerial challengesof multi-tasking the skill-sets. From the media content perspective, Carolyn Morgan believes, ―the editorial teams need to learn how to create content to pull up to different formats. So there‘s hardly writing for sort of to shorter formats and in creating audio, creating video if you are normally a print-journalists, just creating content that can be repackaged for lots of different, lots of different platforms. Something as a whole, as you should have skills for kind of, the journalists which means if in a media business point of view, they‘ve got to invest more money in training. Media professionals and journalists have got to be more flexible and multi-task themselves‖. Source:Personal Interview conducted on June 21,2010 (Time 11am-1pm) at Stamford, EnglandMost media companies are integrating in-house development teams or arelationship with competent technology companies. So, it can be realisedthat under integration strategy, the challenge is to blend the specializedand integrated skill sets in order to create a package that actually solvesthe client‘s problem and profit form innovation. It makes an importantobservation that multi-tasking would have to come about by motivatingthe employees, integrating the editorial and marketing teams to cater toMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 120
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencethe market needs. Further, companies integrate the marketing databasesusing digital profiles to cross-sell across different channels. This challengecontinues with online integrated advertising as well. Media companiesseek an intelligently designed integrated advertising campaign that cancommunicate across cross-media audience. So, from the point of view ofselling to advertisers, this is a struggle for lot of media businesses iswhere their sales teams have got a background in traditional print mediaunless the company masters the strategy of integration. Digitalconvergence industry realises that people need to think cross platform. Giuliano Stigtliz adds, ―The problem is that, the majority of the people in the industry don‘t think cross platforms…‖. So, think cross-platform to serve cross-platforms. Further, Carolyn Morgan adds, ―A bit of this initiation should come from company leadership and getting people to think differently‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010 (Time: 12-1 pm) at Orange FT office, Tottenham Court Road, London Source:Personal Interview conducted on June 21, 2010 (Time:11am-1pm) at Stamford, EnglandDuring the transition in converging platforms the organisationalchallenges are huge. Particularly, in the advertising and publishing,traditional media like print, the people have been associated withspecialised and disintegrated tasks like script writing or content displayMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 121
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceetc. So, convergence poses a brain challenge to impart training to staff tointegrate the specialised skill-sets across the digital space. 4.3.3 [Integrated] Marketing Communication currently is disintegratedDespite digital convergence being highly emphasised in corporateboardrooms, the industry realises that it‘s still a long way to go tomonetise the benefits of true convergence. Industry leaders raise concernabout failing to realise the commercial benefits of synergies betweendifferent tools in the digital space. Giuliano Stigtliz worries, ―We are seeing the commercial benefits of selling web advertising, mobile advertising and IPTV advertising. But all are separate and not integrate‖. The telecommunications industry is struggling to approach it all together. Giuliano adds, ―We understand the customer already and have potentials to track the audience. But, what we cannot do is monetize this knowledge yet. But there is scope to converge it all by the digital integration strategy as we are occupying quite a unique space being an operator or being a big web publisher and being a TV‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010 (Time: 12-1 pm) at Orange FT office, Tottenham Court Road, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 122
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceIt brings the existing gap in the digitally converging space that solutionsintegration has still not been achieved. But there is a good scope tobridge the gap across the board in technology and this urges the need towell integrate the hardware and software competence for targetingsolutions across different platforms. Integration across 360-degrees maybe catching the trend, but such integration still has a wide scope to takeoff. This strategy helps to monetize the revenue shares across sameaudience. Further, Carolyn Morgan observes the complications in the360 degree platform. Carolyn says, ―just see how complicated it is if somebody has subscribed to a mobile app, wants to change their want subscription. As an organisation, it may be difficult to be able to track all that‖. Source:Personal Interview conducted on June 21, 2010 (Time: 11am-1pm)at Stamford, EnglandSo, integration will initiate managing the data flow for marketing purposesand managing long run relationships with customers in a consistent way.Trends indicate that now at agencies, companies integrate with what theyare doing.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 123
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Adam Field, Head of Social Media, Media Contacts UK points, ―it is really important as an agency we start to think seriously about integration. For sustainability of the need for traditional media, radio, TV, newspapers and billboards, and there is a need to integrate them in an online environment‖. Companies are making that direct integrated link between something thats involving in a new digital road, something thats quite traditional in the media sense. Adam adds, ―In the online media, create dynamic micro-messaging and micro- targeting campaigns are making integration with that is quite interesting‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 22, 2010 (Time: 10-11 am) at Covent Garden office, London‘Spotify’ is a good example of integration of a music platform within asocial context. Some of the industry leaders still believe in maintainingcore-competence of providing the best enabling technology and callcontent producers to integrate with them for extending mutual benefits.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 124
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Andrew McGrath, Executive Director (Commercial), Virgin Media says, ―At Virgin Media, we try to integrate the content and distribute it across our platforms. Our approach is a bit different if you see it, we are going to provide the very best enabling technology‖. Source: Personal Interview conducted on June 22, 2010(Time: 4-5 pm) at Virgin Media‘s office, Covent Garden, LondonAndrew McGrath identifies fixed and mobile convergence as anotherarea for integration. As globally, mobile operators are facing an incrediblechallenge due to things like the iPhone and the iPlayer that will drive amassive increase in the bandwidth on the mobile networks against thecurrent arrangement of limited bandwidth capacity by utilisingtechnological synergies. The industry remains wary of poorly conceivedmodels of digital convergence result in unsuccessful businesses.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 125
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Eric Elia, Vice-President (TV Solutions), Brightcove Inc (Cambridge) says, ―We are seeing these integrations not turn out to be successful for the most part, and companies breaking up or spinning certain units out...there is definitely more revolution happening‖. Social commerce is incorporating many of the strategies screening the social marketing platforms. Eric adds, ―Many marketing companies are trying to gain from social presence of Facebook or Twitter. So, what we do is create platforms that will fit at global and seasonal levels‖. Source: Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Brightcove Office, Berkley, CA on July 12, 2010 (Time: 9-10 pm)Integration of social media is becoming more and more dominant indigital media. Marketers create tools in technology to better play theirmarketing programs at a - from a top level down approach. But on theother hand, it can be observed that instance of clever integration strategyis adopted by BBC in taking over Lonely Planet, a book publisher, whichhas a website. Lonely Planet has iPhone apps and offers downloading ofbook chapters. This is an example of integration of core content withcertain audience but it is producing content-output in lots of differentways.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 126
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 4.3.4 ConclusionIntegration strategy pays digital media companies to retaining clients, winnew business and add value to the business proposition. Recent trendsindicate involvement of social media in proving to be a successfulintegrating factor. Integration of dying traditional media with digitalapplications creating online versions has come about as a survival factoras well. Digital Integration compels synergies of separate media platformsto promote converged business interests positively impacting the revenuestreams. However, challenges remain with integrating different skill-setsto have in-house quality employees well versed with both technology andcreativity to serve well the three screens- mobile, television and internet.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 127
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence CHAPTER 5 5. DISCUSSION 5.1 Analysing the transformation of Digital AvatarThis part of the dissertation discusses the emerging thinking from thequalitative data collected in light of the empirical evidence in the LiteratureReview. The emanating views are discussed in the context of phenomenon ofDigital Convergence lead by the strategy perspective of the digitalrenaissance and Moore‘s Law. The discussion focuses on the three mainresearch parameters - strategic alliance, bundling and integration. It isobserved that due to the digital convergence, there is a massive changehappening in the global media, communications and entertainment industry.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 128
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceThis change is celebrated by advantages of cohesive existence of four keyindustries- web, TV, media and information technology. But at the sametime, the landscape of business faces critical conditions due to clash ofmultiple-objectives of the four industries. The discussion section is organised as per the following: 5.2 Discussion over critical review of Digital Convergence 5.3 Discussion over Bundling Strategy 5.4 Discussion over Strategic Alliance 5.5 Discussion over Integration Strategy 5.2 Discussion over critical review of Digital ConvergenceDigital Convergence is the potential field for effective interplay of thethree strategies explored in this dissertation. The phenomenon of DigitalConvergence is driven by Moores law that acts as a roadmap for thecompetitiveness of the industry. Moore‘s law provides the guideline to theindustry to create a faster stream of faster, better, and cheaper high-technology products. The literature review acknowledges the influence ofMoore‘s Law of the current state of the industry. Empirical studies supportMoore‘s Law that technological performance will double every two years.During data analysis, the views by participants evaluate their practicalMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 129
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceexperience in the industry to confirming the existence of the impact ofMoore‘s Law. Hence, as observed in the Data Analysis, views ofsome of the industry leaders reflect an agreement with theliterature on empirical evidence of Moore’s law. The empirical studysuggests that moore‘s law will define the pace of changes in the digitalinterface. So, this discussion considers that empirical study is in line withresearch observation. The theory stands true to the actual phenomenonof digital convergence witnessed in the real world. 5.3 Discussion over Bundling Strategy One of the biggest issues that have been observed in the data analysis is the co-existence of strict divergence and strong preference for bundling as a successful strategy in the world of digital convergence.While some of the participants admit that they have to resort to bundling-strategy under competitive pressures, some call it a necessary evil.However, it is observed that most businesses are following a bundlingstrategy both for bundled-pricing and bundled-content. But a resistantview by some participants has brought to sharp notice that with digitalconvergence space evolving and may lead to unbundling for somesections. Further, it has been identified that there is a need for a betterMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 130
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencepricing mechanism to manage digital content still needs clearer strategyfrom price-implementation. Both Paul Cowan and John Denton haveemphasised on the need for a pricing model from a digital standpoint tomatch the need and growing scale of operations. This observation isanalysed against the literature review on bundling. The literature reviewemphasises that bundling strategy for price, tends to extract more moneyfrom consumers. Whereas, unbundling strategy is employed to obtain thehighest price for each component product from individual buyer. However,research scholars warn the businesses of the difficulty in evaluatingpricing of unbundled converged digital products. Sale of operations andinnovation can make bundling a responsive strategy. It can be inferred that as the empirical evidence offers a loose correlation between unbundling strategy and its success in most cases. However, some business-models that cater to the specialized segments (like iplayers, on- demand TV etc.) are likely to adopt an unbundled pricing strategy. But most business that cater to digital experience for mass-consumers may continue with bundling strategy due to pressure of competition. Moreover, the economics of bundling drives the companies to offer bundled solutions and this trend is likely to continue.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 131
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceHowever, this discussion would suggest that it may be advisable for thecompany to conduct cost-benefit analysis before adapting a bundled or anunbundled pricing strategy. This means, the company needs to wellunderstand the economics, goals, existing capacities and offer pricesbefore deciding the convergence partner. Though, bundling does promotecost-effectiveness. Literature suggests that bundling reduces serviceprovider‘s costs through simplified management and scale economies. So,with a combination of better pricing model with right bundling,organisations can achieve ambitious targets through risk-mitigation.Further literature suggests that as bundling where there is a strong andlarge-scale organisation. So, bundling will further create competitionthrough peer-pressure, resulting in cheaper alternatives with limitedresources. However, bundling is flanked by regulatory regulations asinferred from the views expressed Example: BBC‘s Kangroo bundled offerwas flanked by competition commission‘s regulatory guidelines.It can be summarised that for digital convergence, neither mandatorybundling nor mandatory unbundling would be successful, but rather thedecision would emerge from the factors like- price offer, costs, benefits,sustainability, business objectives. So, both bundling and unbundlingas a strategy can be interpreted to co-exist in the digitalconvergence space- giving space to mixed-bundling offers. Mixed-MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 132
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencebundling allows the consumers to purchase individual products as well asbundled products. Secondly, a gap has been identified between the current performance evaluator and desirable metric to measure digital convergence. The need for and ideal performance measure arises from the observation that the metric should have high correlation real economic growth, Views expressed by many participants have expressed a consistency f concern that the digital convergence industry is facing the problem of lack of a statistical tool to measure content.Empirical study by (Porter, 2001) says that the current metric forevaluation of digital performance has a lower correlation to real-growth.Hence, in a significant observation, this dissertation recognises a strongdichotomy between the existing evaluation and the real-growth indicatorthat should be in practice. This presents a wide disparity of thoughtsbetween the literature and actual experience of industry leaders. Theviews of the candidates reflect a tone of complain over absence of astandard metric to evaluate financial performance of the digital content.(Porter, 2001:4) lambasts the current practices of internet-basedcompanies discouraging them from continuing with the performanceindicators that is loosely correlated to the economic-value. Thisobservation reminds of the exuberant show of the dot-com companies inMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 133
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceyear-2000, soon after which what came blatantly was the dot-com burst.This discussion observes that there may be a serious need to developmore reliable and economic-value indicating performance measures forthe digital value evaluation. So, the author observes an immediate need of having in place a real- indicator for digital content and evaluates the true-performance. This could go a long way in saving the digital convergence industry from any unfortunate denting due to improper evaluators. The growth in the in industry will be large. So the more realistic it remains, the better will be its repercussions the multiple-stakeholder-consumers, investors, companies, suppliers, vendors, software providers, hardware providers et cetra of the four competing industries-Media, Telecommunications, Internet and the Information Technology.It further can be interpreted that absence of a real-indicator is the reasonfor failure of cross-media targeting mainly from advertising point of view.As the advertisers are wary of value of digital content potential and sofear investing their capital and trust, over a cross-media platform. Thiscould be the reason why integrated marketing communication has yet totake off in the digitally converging eco-system. So, there is a need for astatistical measure in the first place so as to set the stage forMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 134
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceeffective hyper-targeting.It may be noted that better measurementtools to evaluate website‘s performance (number of visitors, trafficsources, pages visited etc.) may be important for companies to find theircustomers. It would also help to measure the marketing attempt torespond to cross-media advertising rather than traditional advertisingover television, press and radio advertising. Further, literature can beexplored considering the impact on non-measurable scale on marketingprofitability. Some of this observation has been carried on by the authorover the ‗Recommendations‘ section of this Dissertation on Page Number149. Thirdly, based on the diversity of views expressed in the data, it has been observed that some participants (Endaf, Harry Strasser, John Denton) suggest that bundling is in principle a smart strategy and amidst challenges, bundling works in favor of customer retention and can work well with a freemium offer.Empirical evidence suggests that a seller‘s profit perspective is sometimesignored in a bundled offer. Studies by (Adams and Yellen, McAfee,McMillan) have shown that, optimal bundle price is sometimes greaterthan the sum of the prices of the individual goods. So, profit of the selleris reserved in a bundled offer. Hence, it can be interpreted that bundlingkeeps in mind the profit perspective for the seller. So, it may be inferredMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 135
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencethat the view of the participants interviewed is in line with the empiricalevidence on bundling. It gives a much clearer understanding reasons fordigital media companies to offer bundled packages of goods and services.Moreover, companies are giving out a free-offer (freemium offer) withtheir bundled packages. It is realised that an attractive pricing strategyimpacts marketing, financial and overall organizational strategy anddirectly impacts customer retention.The literature also reveals the existence of bundling strategy in a multi-product monopolist setting. But it is observed that digital convergence ischanging the face of the industry and so are the power-relations changingfrom a monopoly setting on to a competitive setting of many such playersoffering widely differentiated bundles. But, with the coming on internet, concentration of power has distributed into many hands. There is a call for a level playing field. So, further research can be carried out to capture the implications of bundling strategy in a non-monopoly setting. Hence, this dissertation indicates an area for future research that will give a better understanding about the limitations of practicing a bundling strategy in a digitally converging eco- system.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 136
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 5.4 Discussion over Strategic Alliance It emanates from the views expressed that with strategic alliances coming into existence, the companies can focus on core- competence.Evidence from the past literature suggests that companies have found tohave successful outcomes upon strategic alliance. Strategic Alliance hasbeen found to be effective in situations of divestment of ‗non-core‘activities where benefits of strategic alliances translate into conservingresources, sharing risk, reducing product development costs andimproving technological capabilities. As expressed by the participants,Andrew McGrath believes under the strategic alliance, firms canconcentrate on their area of core competence and Triona Campbell foundthis has been effective under her experience. So, it can be realised thatpast studies have not only respected the success of strategic alliances,but also support the focus on core competence to get better in mostcases, under strategic alliance. Past research suggests that strategicalliance adds a balanced scorecard in its approach by creatingorganisational learning and generating more awareness to resist marketturbulence or competitive threat. This is because, an alliance relationshippromotes a greater thinking as companies save the time of handling allMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 137
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceprocesses on their own and hence can dedicate a deeper understandingabout the business. Secondly, it is observed that strategic alliances lead to smart partnerships and cost-optimization. Participants have enthusiastically welcomed the idea of forming strategic alliances as they foster smart partnerships and thereby share the burden of risks, competitive pressure and enjoy cost optimization.Empirical evidence also says that alliances save costs associated withknowledge transactions across markets. So, the literature review providesa theoretical consistency over the views expressed. It is realised thatalliances of the form of smart partnerships are beneficial in treadingthrough uncertainty of the market. Rapid change in technology implies anuncertain climate for digital convergence. A change in strategic prioritiesmay suddenly make a partnership much more or much less vital for oneof the partners. Indeed, strategic alliances can help overcome theproblems of under-utilized knowledge arising from incongruent productand knowledge domains. With better enabled capacities and new learningstrategic alliances can greatly increase the speed with which a companycan access the new combinations of knowledge needed to bring newproducts to market.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 138
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Finally, it can be observed that under strategic alliances, a careful balance of power of the converging partners needs to be maintained.Interviewed participants have expressed that under strategic alliances,changes in balance of power have to be rightly maintained else, theremay be situations of losing ownership or alliance. It is asserted thatstrategic alliances may have to be carefully plotted. Empirical studies by(Hamel, 1991:86) suggest that strategic alliance has certain terms ofagreement, but bargaining power changes according to the businessobjective. So, it can be observed that a delicate balance of power rests in a strategic alliance. For instance, if IT players (IBM or Cisco) enter into a strategic alliance with the telecommunication industry (Ericsson, Nokia), it results in a change in the level playing field of all these players. It may be a good strategy to win new markets and generate new solutions, but it can pose enormous risks for traditional players that face the new threat of competition. But strategic alliance is useful in resolving some of the common problems of the industry-like licensing or digital rights management issues that are now being sorted out in a digitally converging marketplace.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 139
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 5.5 Discussion over Integration StrategyDigital convergence has opened the opportunity for a collection ofindustries to pool in their best known for resources and capabilities. It hasopened the door to much greater cohesion under integration of newerproducts and services to evolve across the digital media platforms. In an important observation attained from the data, it is realized that integration helps in creating synergies across the media platforms. Integration impacts the scale of operations and translates the capabilities across the value-chain into multiple use and benefits. The experiences industry professional have indicated integration as a massive capacity.Strong evidence from the literature on historical experience withintegration strategy is compared to the views expressed and conclusionsare drawn there upon. (Castells, 2000), (Yoffie, 1997) that integration isan adaptive strategy and allows flexibility and dynamism in theoperations. Literature suggests, as it can be further analysed thatintegration is a strategic positioning tool and places the players atcommanding roles, within all stages of the value chain, redefining theroles and responsibilities. The players can attain market dominance asintegration drastically reduces transaction costs.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 140
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceBased on the literary evidence of positive effects of integration, it can becompiled that integration can be the change factor to sustain thedevelopments in the digital eco-system. It creates seamless interplay ofcross-channel participation, cross-channel advertising as well asaugmented marketing. Synergies can be harnessed to achieve cross-media participation, 360-degree integration and cross-platformadvertising. For example, today, smart applications like Interactive Protocol TV (IPTV), broadband, wireless, WiMax, 3rd Generation (3G) or the latest 4th Generation Long Term Evolution (3G LTE) application are still working in silos with no cross-functionality. That could be the reason for them to be sold over disintegrated triple-play or quad-play packages So, integration strategy calls them to offer converges solutions.It is observed that integration can overcome some of the major hurdlesthe digital convergence industry is facing. It calls for inter-connectedstructures to enable the players to focus on core competence and partnerwith successful partners and work in synchronisation to achieve thedesired outcomes. Such synergies push down costs and make the playersstrong against competitive threats. As it is being realise that digitallyconvergent solutions across the four specific industries- Web, TV, mobileand technology can‘t come about without integration. It can beMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 141
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencesummarised that successful integration strategy positions a players in acompany at a commanding position on the value chain. What may beachieved at the end is better technology, superior inputs, better-trainedpeople, or a more effective management structure. So, it can be seen thatintegration caters to augmented marketing. Digital integration makesaugmented media a reality through the technology. Another attention-seeking issue that emerges from the data analysed is the importance of reorienting task-skills in a digitally converging world. Apart from specialized job-skills over digital content, the digital media management would demand the ability of multi-tasking of such specialized skills. This further needs to be translated into a change in mind-sets to think beyond a single platform.The emerging thinking suggests that in the fast-converging world, there isa rising need to motivate the in-house employees to be flexible andskilled in handling the issues and challenges of the digitally convergingworld. Participants have called for innovative thinking from the digitalmedia professionals and top-management teams to think across theplatforms.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 142
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceThe empirical evidence from the literature review suggests, thatoperational efficiency under integration would be highly demanded(Porter, 2001). The redefinition of the digital ecosystem explored by(Norman and Ramírez, 1993) suggests task-synergies would be offered informs of specialised skill sets delivering competing output. It is pointedout that integration promotes work-sharing, co-productive arrangements-bringing together multiple-skills to provide unprecedented consumer-experience. Integration results in creating more value per person(customer, supplier, and employee) and in securing greater total profitfrom and for its financial and human resources than all but a handful ofother companies in any consumer industry.The result is an integratedbusiness system that creates value by matching the various capabilities ofparticipants more efficiently and effectively than was ever the case in thepast to such levels of efficiency that can offer virtual products that isbeing ordered online to be delivered direct-at-home.Hence, past literature bears strong correlation to the view expressed bythe industry thinkers. This implies that the changing digital landscape willimpose managerial implications of handling specialized and multi-taskingskills. For example print-media journalist may be required to be wellversed with TV Presentation and even write interactive online scripts. Itcalls for the need of better grooming of multi-platform job skills. It can beinferred from the views and past literature that in order to move with theMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 143
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencedynamic challenges, the people leading and working in the digital mediaspace will have to be ready to embrace change and act strategically. Hence, this discussion implies that integration will impose behavioral challenges at three levels-within organization, inter-industry and consumer adaptation to innovation. Traditional structures of media business will have to align latest digital technologies and highly competitive skills, within the organization, innovation will be required. This will involve the managerial challenge of motivating different kind of employees of a company to participate and innovate their company from within the company, but costs of clashing views will be required to be tackled. 5.6 Conclusion of DiscussionWhat is emerging out of the discussion is that the digitally convergentcompany will have the benefits of core-competence through strategicalliance, have a better price-strategy in place, and imbibe on verticallyintegrated technology and skill-set on adequate application of the threestrategies discussed in this dissertation. It can be identified that bundlingmakes strategic and operational sense but a trade-off must be exercisedbetween offering a bundled or an unbundled package depending on thebusiness circumstances.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 144
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceSecondly, this dissertation reaches to a conclusion that in the timesahead, digitalized content will be available in two sets. The traditionalbundled or unbundled models will exist. But in order capture a largerconsumer base, they may align with a freemium offer. That is offering afree service for the targeted paid user. Digital content or product/servicewill exist in both differentiated and undifferentiated formats. Thedifferentiated content offered by premium products. People will beprepared to pay for thispremium content over whatever platform it mightbe. Secondly, undifferentiated or free content will exist to act as a tool togather advertising revenues.For example, Rupert Murdoch‘s pay wall model charges the reader forthe premium content offered by The Times. Such content would be avalue-added one with focus on high quality offer. It will open scope andcompetition battle for premium content producers for whom attainingthe brand position would be a compelling factor. On contrary, Googlenews is an undifferentiated content and will be available for free. Thefree content model is accessible by innumerable users and will bepassed on to readers for free. Such a model will be heavily dependenton advertisement revenues and will not build up brand positions amongcontent distributors.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 145
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceSmart partnerships in forms of strategic alliances will exist butthey may maintain selective openness based on the businessobjective. Strategic alliance will further nurture the companies formaintaining core competence. However, careful balance of power betweenthe entities will run across carefully protecting the ownership rights andintellectual property issues.Finally, the issue of transiting to the changes in the integratingmarketplace are a bit of challenge for organisations to embed them as asuccessful change management. Convergence will call for changes in theorganisational context. It implies changes in the in the traditional patternof running company to integrating new solutions and that too at a fastpace, so as to gain from timing the market appropriately. A lot ofemphasis on participation and innovation will need to be invoked. Eachorganisation will have to promote and encourage their own employees tocontribute to innovation and offer solution ideas. Good amount of trainingwill have to be imparted to encourage right ways of innovation. Large sizecompanies will have an opportunity to grow bigger. But, digitalconvergence gives an opportunity to small or medium sized smartcompanies to build up a strong market share and that too in acomparatively short span of time. So, companies need to have goodcompetent management team and commit to smart investmentstrategies.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 146
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence CHAPTER 6 6.1 RECOMMENDATIONSBased on a critical observation, this dissertation suggests somerecommendations that may be observed by the digital convergenceindustry and the world of academics.This dissertation stresses on such a research to be considered so as toavoid unreal growth of irrational exuberance from misleading the limpingglobal markets. As predicted, the digital market will grow multi-fold.So, it is highly essential for the growth to be real and not an outcomeof irrational exuberance. Lessons from past reveal that unfortunateevents such as the dot-com bubble burst (1995-2000s), global financialmeltdown (2008-9) have emanated due to improper evaluations ofgrowth performance. Such incidents have left behind a trail of painfulspill-over effects on the world.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 147
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence The dot-com boom of the 1995-2000‘s reminds of the over-dependence on un-real and speculative-growth indicators that ultimately left distressing repercussions leading to crash of the building exuberance. Similarly, if the digital convergence growth is not measured on real-growth indicators, it may be feared to lead into un-real digital-growth exuberance. By this, the author implies that if digital convergence growth is not measured on growth indicators that reflect real-growth, it may not give the accurate growth position of the industry. If the fundamentals of this growth-achievement are not sustainable, it could be feared to lead to a digital-exuberance crash.This finding can be considered to be of an alarming nature asmanagement of this digital growth story calls for immediate attention.This observation gains support from empirical study by (Porter, 2001: 4)in his Harvard Business Research study which suggests that a the existingfinancial performance indicators currently practiced in the industry do notfully correlate to their economic value. Thus, financial performance ofdigital potential needs to be related to its true economic value. At thesame time, this gap could be further investigated by research scholarsemphasising the nature, need, digital profiling of the key indicators. Theauthor suggests this could be investigated from a quantitative dataMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 148
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceanalysis point of view as it could be more relevant to establish ahypothesis based research. The following are the two Hypothesis suggested by this dissertation: Hypothesis 1: Is the existing metric a reflection of economic value of the performance of digital content? Hypothesis 2: Is the new metric a reflection of true economic value of digital content? These are some suggested research questions that may be useful to future researchers: 1. From the digital profile data (based on number of clicks, user profile, time-spent etc.), can a good performance indicator stand true to reflect economic-value of digital content? 2. How trustworthy are the current performance indicators-like- Google analytics, straight usage statistics, the Impact Factor, the Eigen factor and newer metrics. 3. What are the latest findings of the researchers towards having a comprehensive measure of performance indication? 4. Can the new metric (that may be getting developed at the moment) separate performance exuberance from real economic value?MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 149
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 5. Does the finding differ from academic literature that dismisses the fact that existing evaluators are anywhere consistent to true value? 6. As digitally converging market is an emerging market, a study can be done specifically on monitoring performance indicators for emerging markets.So, the author observes an immediate need of having in place areal-indicator for digital content and evaluates the true-performance. This could go a long way in saving the digitalconvergence industry from any unfortunate denting due toimproper evaluators. The growth in the industry will be large. So themore realistic it remains, the better will be its repercussions the multiple-stakeholders- consumers, investors, companies, suppliers, vendors,software providers, hardware providers etc.- of the four competingindustries- Media, Telecommunications, Internet and the InformationTechnology.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 150
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence This realisation is like the tip of the iceberg to foreseeable but real problem for future. The author urges this observation to be treated with immediate effect so to have the real-growth picture, before the news stories on ‗digital convergence bubble burst‘ or ‗good-bye digital exuberance‘ make headlines on daily newspapers, through TV into our living rooms or click on the internet. This observation emerges out of a comparison of the empirical evidence in the literature review with emerging thinking of participants. Based on this understanding and analysis of outcomes of un-real growth, this dissertation realises that if powered by unreal growth, digital burst could be a reality if not handled well. 6.2 Limitations of the researchDigital Convergence is all pervasive. The applications are vast and mayhave industry-specific trends. This dissertation has captured some of themost remarkable trends that capture the convergence effect in 4 keyMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 151
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceindustries namely- Media, Telecom, Internet and Information Technology.However, there are specific industries like – online book publishing, smallscale business networks, online charity institutions, online educationindustry that may have a different approach towards the markets.Further, areas of national defence, satellite communication forsurveillance, weather monitoring, data monitoring of the governments,use of digital content on clinical and health industry may have moreprotected and conservative approach. The strategies explored in thisdissertation may not apply to such specific industries. It has been beyondthe scope of this dissertation to address the typical scenarios in typicalcases.It can be observed that importance of digital convergence and itsapplications is growing massively around the world. But it is realised thatthere still exists a digital divide based on the net- penetration, impact andgrowth of Digital convergence. For example, in UK, USA, China, Korea thedigital convergence is at its full boom, but countries like-Vietnam, parts ofNigeria may still be affected with lack of digital interface. This dissertationis however in line with advanced, emerging and developing markets fordigital content. Further, this dissertation is an academic paper and effectsof digital convergence on industries related to gambling, adult content,black-economy stand beyond the scope of this research document.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 152
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 6.3 Conclusion of Dissertation: Digital Avatar transformed…There will be challenges opening up galore as the 4 titans of the industrythat compete to converge. This research has made an attempt to explorethe strategies involved in digital convergence. What may be essential tonote is that organisations will have to be receptive to the changes in thedigital landscape to take the opportunities and challenges thrown open.The top-management teams in the organisation may need to constantlyrevalue the strategic alliances, bundling strategy and integration effectsto maintain the pace of desired changes. Innovation may be encouragedto emanate from multi-levels in organisation. This means the companieswill have to motivate and encourage their employees to think aboutadding value to their tasks. At the same time, the employees will have tobe trained to render cross-media functioning. The next era will beearmarked with even more competition, further indulgence in price-cutsand product differentiation. So, to the digital media companies have to bewell prepared and equipped adapting a forward-thinking approach toposition themselves in the minds of the consumer. The age will be of easyMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 153
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceapplication solutions and greater consumer engagement.As the digitalconvergence industry witnesses a new boom, a right balance of thestrategies explored in this dissertation may prove beneficial to witnessmulti-platform interaction of the channels of distribution. This could createfurther clarification to the current challenge of monetization of profits forthe digital convergence companies. Further, the empirical evidence andthe analysis suggest that the integrated approach, well balanced withstrategic partnership could have a cost-optimizing effect on the industry.Consciousness in the industry to create a new metric for measuringperformance could provide an opportunity to weigh, balance and improvethe real growth in digital performance. The new digitized world couldwitness more of cloud computing, social media applications in businessalliance, growth of mobile application economy. On the applications side,further efficiency can look upon smart-home applications, security andimproved surveillance equipments, and advanced forms of navigation –for all forms of transport. Even digital devices would witness a high levelof improved application with touch screen television, high-definition TV,out of home digital applications; digital billboard advertising could be on arise with software being used as a service application.However, in this transforming landscape, inter-industry clash will growdenser with integration amidst fundamental changes brought by strategicchanges. The digital convergence space will promote open innovation asMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 154
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencethere could be more integration happening between web (internet) andTV. Mobile and Internet at the moment are fighting a bitter battle asrevenue streams are diverting to internet companies. Internet connectedTV will pose fresh challenges to the existing players in the current decade.Internet companies like Google will get Android applications on the TV byforming strategic alliance with technology providers like Intel and Sony. As the digital story unfolds to a new dawn, it will engross the curious users with a captivating digitalized experience that will ensemble everyone to watch the new ‘Digital Avatar- The Strategies for Digital Convergence’.....a transformation realised.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 155
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    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceHerzhoff, J., Elaluf-Calderwood, S. and Sørensen, C. (2010)‗Convergence, Conflicts, and Control Points: A Systems-TheoreticalAnalysis of Mobile VoIP in the UK‘ presented in Proceedings of joint 9thInternational Conference on Mobile Business (ICMB 2010) and 9th GlobalMobility Roundtable (GMR 2010), AthensHertz, S. (1996) ‗The Dynamics of International Strategic Alliances: AStudy of Freight Transport Companies‘ International Studies ofManagement & Organization 26:104-130Himanen, P. (2001) The Hacker Ethic New York: Random HouseHung-Wen, L. and Jhy-Hong, D. (2010) The effects of e-business on theperformance of strategic alliances Total Quality Management & BusinessExcellence 21(7):707-724Jackson, P. (2009) ‗Strategy Lecture‘ Lecture 5, University of Leicester,LeicesterJenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New MediaCollide New York: New York University PressKaluza, B., Blecker, T. and Bischof, C. (1999) ‗Implications of DigitalConvergence on Strategic Management‘ in Dahiya, S.B. (eds.) TheCurrent State of Economic Science, Rohtak: Spellbound Publications, pp.2223-2249MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 169
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceKärrberg, P. & Liebenau, J (2006) ‗IT and Telecoms Convergence: MobileService Delivery in the EU and Japan‘ presented at the Global MobilityRoundtable, HelsinkiKay, J. (1999) ‗Mastering Strategy: Based Strategy‘ Financial Times 27thSeptember, pp.1Kollmann, T. and Häsel, M. (2006) Cross-channel cooperation: thebundling of online and offline business models Germany:WiesbadenKoomey, J., Berard, S., Sanchez, M. and Wong, H. (2010) ‗Implications ofHistorical Trends in the Electrical Efficiency of Computing‘ IEEE Annals ofthe History of Computing IEEE computer Society Digital Library availableon http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MAHC.2010.28(accessed26.07.10)Koomey, J. G., Belady, C., Patterson, M., Lange, K. and Santos, A. (2009)‗Assessing Trends Over time in performance, costs and energy use forservers‘ Final report to Microsoft Corporation and Intel CorporationKotabe, M. and Swan, K.S. (1995) ‗The role of strategic alliances in high-technology new product development‘ Strategic Management Journal16:621-636Kotler, P. (1992) Marketing Management 11th Edition, New Jersey:Prentice HallMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 170
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceKotler, P. & Zaltman, G. (1996) ‗Social Marketing: an approach to plannedSocial Change‘ Social Marketing Quarterly 3(3&4):7-20Küng, L., Kröll, A., Ripken, B. and Walker, M. (1999) ‗Impact of theDigital Revolution on the Media and Communications Industries‘ ThePublic 6(3):29-48Laffont, J. and Tirole, J. (2002) Competition in Telecommunications,Massachusetts: MIT PressLeavy, B. (2008) ‗Prahalad‘s new value creation formula: N=1, R=G‘Strategy & Leadership 36:6Lind, J. (2007) ‗The Convergence between the PDA and the Mobile Phone‘In Beyond Mobility (eds.) P. Andersson, U. Essler, and B. T. Malmö,Sweden: pp.269-297Longstaff, P.H. (2001) New Ways to Think About the Visions calledConvergence: A Guide for Business and Public Policy Research forHarvard University pp.1-82Lorde, T., Francis, B., Iyare, S., Lacorbiniere, J. and Alleyne, A.(2010)Investigating the competitiveness of agri-food industries in the OECSsub-region In Generating innovative solutions to recurring problems inthe global business environment: A multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinaryMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 171
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceapproach to formulating and maintaining competitive organisationaledge,New York: Global Business and Technology Association pp.450-460Lundstrom, M. (2003) ‗Moore‘s law forever‘ Science 299:210–211Magretta, J. (1998) ‗The power of virtual integration: an interview withDell Computer‘s Michael‘ Harvard Business Review 76(2):72-85McKnight, L. W. and Bailey, J. P. (1997) Internet Economics Cambridge:MIT PressMcLuhan, M. (1994) Understanding Media: The Extensions of ManCambridge, MA: MIT PressMeade, L.M., Liles, D.H., Sarkis, J. (1997) ‗Justifying strategic alliancesand partnering: a Prerequisite for Virtual Enterprising‘ Omega 25(1):29-42Melesko, S. (2004)‗Vertical Integration and Excess Capacity: InvestmentPolicies and Decisions by Swedish Regional Newspapers‘ Journal of MediaEconomics 77(4):295-308Mello, A. (2003) ‗Creative Destruction or Concentrating on the Core:Which Is the Right Path to Growth?‘Harvard Management Update HarvardBusiness school PublicationMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 172
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceMintzberg, H. (1978) Patterns in strategy formulation‘ ManagementScience 24(9):934-948Moore, G. (1965) ‗Cramming more components onto integrated circuits‘Electronics 35:114-117Mueller, M. L. (1999) Digital Convergence and Its Consequences TheEconomics And Politics Of The New Media 6(3):11-28Mowery, D. C. & Oxley, B. S. (1996) ‗Strategic alliances and inter-firmknowledge transfer‘ Strategic Management Journal 17(Special Issue:Knowledge and the Firm):77-91Nalebuff, B. J. (2002) ‗Bundling and the GE-Honeywell Merger‘ WorkingPaper Series ES Economics/Strategy Yale School of Management WorkingPaper # 22Nalebuff, B. J. and Brandenburger, A. M. (1993) ‗Co-opetition:Competitive and cooperative business strategies for the digital economy‘Strategy & Leadership 25(6):28 – 35Negroponte, N. (1995) Being Digital New York: Vintage BooksNicolett, S. (2008) ‗Principal consultant‘ Ovum S/Thought LeadershipPiece 4(2)MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 173
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceNicoletti, S. (2008) ‗Digital Convergence: What are the challenges for thefuture S/Thought Leadership Piece‘ Ovum4 (2)Normann, R. and Ramirez, R. (1993) ‗From value chain to valueconstellation: Designing interactive Strategy‘ Harvard Business Review71(4):65–77Nystrom, A. and Hacklin, F. (2005) ‗Operator Value-Creation throughTechnological Convergence: The Case of VoIP‘ International Journal ofTechnology Management 45(3-4):244-266Olson, A. (2001) Alliance Building in the Information and OnlineDatabase‘ Libraries and the Academy 1(4):481-507Okoli, C. (2002) ‗Industries, information, and the Internet: AnInformation-Oriented Perspective of Industries‘ Sprouts: Working Paperson Information Systems, 2(20) available on http://sprouts.aisnet.org/2-20 (accessed 10.08.10)Parsons, P.R. and Frieden, R.M. (1998) The Cable and Satellite IndustriesBoston: Allyn and BaconPapandrea, F., Stoeckl, N. and Daly, A. (2001) ‗Impact of Bundling ofTelecommunications Services on Consumers‘ The Communication andMedia Policy Institute University of Canberra Working Paper, MarchMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 174
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergencePapazafeiropoulou, A., Pouloudi, A. and Doukidis, G. (2002) ‗A frameworkfor best practices in electronic commerce awareness creation‘ BusinessProcess Management Journal 8(3):233 – 244Parkhe, A. (1993) ‗Strategic alliance structuring: A game theoretic andtransaction cost examination of inter-firm cooperation‘ Academy ofManagement Journal 36(4): 794-829Patrick, B. (2001) ‗TV, PC, or Mobile? Future Media for Consumer e-Commerce‘ Business Strategy Review 12(1):35-42Porter, M.E. (1980) Competitive Strategy New York: Free PressPorter, M. (1985) Competitive Advantage: Creating and sustainingsuperior performance New York: Free PressPorter, M. and Millar, V.E. (1985) ‗How information gives you competitiveadvantage‘ Harvard Business Review 63(4):149-160Porter, M. (1990) The Competitive Advantage of Nations New York: FreePressPorter, M. (2001) Strategy and the Internet Harvard business reviewPress, Cambridge, MAMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 175
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergencePopkowski, L., Peter T.L., Häubl, G. (2010) ‗To Bundle or Not to Bundle:Determinants of the Profitability of Multi-Item Auctions‘ Journal ofMarketing 74(4): 110-124Prahalad, C. K. & Hamel, G. (1990) ‗The Core Competence of theCorporation‘ Harvard Business Review 68(3):79-91Prahalad, C.K. and Hamel, G. (1990) ‗The Core Competence of theCorporation‘ Harvard Business Review 1990:2-15Prahalad, C.K and Krishnan, M.S (2008) The New Age of Innovation:Driving Cocreated Value Through Global Networks New York: McGraw HillPricewaterhouseCoopers Media Trends Report (2010) How to stay intouch with tomorrow’s consumer-Entertainment & Media Outlook towards2011 Available online at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/1027829/PwC-Entertainment-Media-Outlook-2011 accessed (01.08.10) abbreviated at(PwC Report, 2010)Rowley, J. (2008) Understanding digital content marketing Journal ofMarketing Management 24(5):517 — 540Rubin, A. and Bantz, C.R. (1989) ‗Uses and Gratifications of VideocassetteRecorders‘ in J. L. Salinger, M.A. (1995) Graphical Analysis of BundlingThe Journal of Business 68(1): 85-98MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 176
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceSalvaggio and J. Bryant (2000) Media Use in the Information Age:Emerging Patterns of Adoption and Consumer Use New Jersey: Hillsdalepp.181-195Schmidt, E. (2010) Key note speech, Guardian Activate Summit, 2010)-July 01, 2010 Kings Palace, London, Available online athttp://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jul/02/activate-eric-schmidt-google- (accessed 10.08.10)Schmidt, S. (2008) ‗The Coming Convergence: Surprising Ways DiverseTechnologies Interact to Shape Our World and Change the Future‘ NewYork, Amherst: Prometheus BooksScott E. T. and Parthasarathy, S. (2006) Moore‘s law: the future of Simicroelectronics Materials Today 9(6): 20-25Silverthorne, S. (2006) ‗Developing a Strategy for Digital Convergence‘Harvard Business School Lessons from the Classroom, Published: July 17Shang, S. (2001) ‗Comprehensive Framework for Classifying the Benefitsof ERP Systems‘ presented at Americas Conference Department ofInformation Systems, Department of Information Systems, The Universityof Melbourne, MarchShapiro, C. and Varian, H. (1999) Information Rules: A Strategic Guide tothe Network Economy Boston: Harvard Business School PressMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 177
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceShort, S. (2007) ‗Digital convergence: strategies for growth: Data frominteractive media and new distribution channels is crucial for productdevelopment and marketing‘ Teradata Magazine-December Availableonline athttp://www.teradata.com/tdmo/v07n04/Features/DigitalConvergence.aspx (accessed 12.07.10)Shy, O. (2001) The Economics of Network Industries New York:Cambridge University PressSilverman, D. J. (2006) Interpreting qualitative data London: SageSilverthorne, S. (2006) ‗Developing a Strategy for Digital Convergence‘Harvard Business School Working Knowledge July 17, pp. 1-2Singh, N., Bartikowski, B. & Dwivedi, Y. (2009) ‗Global megatrends andthe web: convergence of globalization, networks‘ ACM SIGMIS Database40(4):14-27Stahl, F., Schïfrac, M. and Wolfgang, M. (2004) Strategies for Selling PaidContent on Newspaper and Magazine Web Sites: An Empirical Analysis ofBundling and Splitting of News and Magazine Articles InternationalJournal on Media Management 6(1): 59-66MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 178
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceStephen, L. (2004) ‗Fuzzy Market Structure and Differentiation‘ in Picard,Robert G. (eds.) Strategic Responses to Media Market Changes Jonkoping,Sweden: Jonkoping International Business School pp. 83-95Stremersch, S. and Tellis, G.J. (2002) ‗Strategic Bundling of Products andPrices: A New Synthesis for Marketing‘ Journal of Marketing 66:55-72Swatman, P., Krueger, C., Beek, K. (2006) The changing digital contentlandscape: An evaluation of e-business model development in Europeanonline news and music Internet Research 16(1):53 - 80Thirumalai, S. (1997) ‗E-Convergence: A Review‘ of Competing in the Ageof Digital Convergence Boston, MA: Harvard Business School PressThompson, S. E. and Parthasarathy, S. (2006) ‗Moores law: the future ofSi microelectronics‘ Materials Today 9(6)Tilson, D., Lyytinen, K. & Sørensen, C. (2010) ‗Desperately Seeking theInfrastructure in IS Research: Conceptualization of ―Digital Convergence‖as the Co-evolution of Social and Technical Infrastructures‘ in 43rd HawaiiInternational Conference on System Science (HICSS 43), KauaiTodreas, T. M. (1999) Value Creation and Branding in Television’s DigitalAge Westport, CT: Quorum BooksMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 179
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceTwist, J. (2005) Law that has driven digital life: The Impact of MooresLaw BBC News 18 April available online athttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4449711.stm (accessed 15.07.10)Varian, H. R. (1995) ‗Pricing information goods’ Paper presented at theProceedings of Scholarship in the New Information EnvironmentSymposium, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MAVarian, H. R. (2001) ‗Economics of information technology’ accessedonline on April 23, 2010 Available online atwww.sims.berkeley.edu/~hal/Papers/mattioli/mattioli.pdf (accessed21.07.10)Wäppling, A., Strugnell, C. and Farley, H. (2010) ‗Product bundlingstrategies in Swedish markets: links to business orientation and perceivedeffects on consumer influence‘ International Journal of Consumer Studies34(1):19-27Ware, H. and Dippon, C.M. (2010) Wholesale unbundling and intermodalcompetition Telecommunications Policy 34:54–64Weaver, B. (2007) Research proposal Industry convergence Papersubmitted to the 19th NFF Conference The Institute of EconomicResearch, Bergen, 9-11 AugustMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 180
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceWebster, J. (1986) Audience Behaviour in the New Media EnvironmentJournal of Communication 36(3):77-91World Factbook (2009) World Digital Media Report Deloitte and Touche,2009 Available athttp://www.deloitte.com/view/en_GX/global/industries/technology-media-telecommunications/df11f15355101210VgnVCM100000ba42f00aRCRD.htm(accessed 08.08.10)Wren, M. (2003) Conference Computing - An evaluation of the rise ofinteractive sport on Digital TV unpublished School of Electronic andComputer Science student work, University of Southampton HampshireWolcott, H. F. (1994) Transforming Qualitative Data: Description, Analysisand Interpretation Sage: Thousand Oaks, CAWillcocks, L. and Oshri, I. (2009) ‗To bundle or not to bundle? Effectivedecision-making for business and IT services‘ The Outsourcing Unit(2009) Accenture Report (2009)Wirtzab, B.W. (1999) ‗Convergence processes, value constellations andintegration strategies in the multimedia business‘ International Journal onMedia Management 1(1):14-22Yoffie, D.B. (1997) Competing in the age of digital convergenceBoston/MA: Harvard Business School Press, pp. 159-200MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 181
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceYoffie, D.B. and Kwak, M. (2002) ‗Judo Strategy: 10 Techniques forBeating a Stronger Opponent‘ Business Strategy Review 13(1):20-30Yoffie, D.B. (1997) ‗CHESS and competing in the age of digitalconvergence‘ Boston, MA: Harvard Business School PressZook, C. and Allen, J. (2001) Profit from the core: growth strategy in anera of turbulence Harvard Business School Press pp.195 7.2 Conferences attended in London for Dissertation Research Social media Forum March (15-16, 2010), Olympia Exhibition centre, London Internet World 2010 (April 27-28, 2010), Olympia conference centre, London Digital Marketing Show (June 29, 30, 2010); Grand Hall, Olympia, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 182
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 7.3 References of In-depth Interviews 1. Armstrong, P. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on July 2, 2010‘ (Time: 5-6 pm) at Kindred Office, Goodge Street, London 2. Bogucki, A. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on June 25, 2010‘ (Time: 11-12 noon) at Earls Court, London 3. Brimacombe, P. (2010) ‗Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview conducted on July 23, 2010‘ (Time: 10:30 -11:30 am) from Peter‘s office 4. Campbell, T. (2010) ‗Face- to-face Skype Video Call interview from Dublin studio conducted on July 5, 2010‘ (Time: 1-2 PM) 5. Chambers, E. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010‘ (Time: 3-4 pm) at Olympia Conference Hall, London 6. Cowan, P. (2010) ‗Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Syncapse office, Toronto on June 29, 2010‘ (Time: 5-6 pm) 7. Denton, J. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on July 14, 2010‘ (Time: 10-11 am) at BBC White City office, London 8. Elder, C. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on June 29, 2010‘ (Time: 2-3 pm) at Millbank Office, London 9. Elia, E. (2010) Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Brightcove Office, Berkley, CA on July 12, 2010 (Time: 9-10 pm) 10. Field, A. (2010) ‘Personal Interview conducted on June 22, 2010‘ (Time: 10-11 am) at Covent Garden office, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 183
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 11. Hussain, T. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on July 28, 2010‘ (Time: 2-3 pm) at Sky‘s Office, Old Street, London12. 12. Kerfoot, E. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on June 29, 2010‘ (Time: 2-3 pm) at Earl‘s Court office, London 13. McGrath, A. (2010) ‘Personal Interview conducted on June 22, 2010‘ (Time: 4-5 pm) at Virgin Media‘s office, Covent Garden, London 14. Morgan, C. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on June 21, 2010‘ (Time: 11am-1pm) at Stamford, England 15. Stiglitz, G. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010‘ (Time: 12-1 pm) at Orange FT office, Tottenham Court Road, London 16. Power, P. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on June 28, 2010‘ (Time: 12-1 pm) at Reading City office 17.Shaw, O. (2010) ‗Personal Interview conducted on July 2, 2010‘ (Time: 2:30-4 pm) at Old Street Station office, London 18. Strasser, H. (2010) ‗Face-to-face Skype Video Call interview from Germany on July 20, 2010‘ (Time: 12-1 pm) 19. Weiss, T. (2010) ‗Skype call interview conducted on June 21, 2010‘ (Time: 3-4 pm) from TV Genius studio, London 20. Willis, J. (2010)‘Personal Interview conducted on July 1, 2010‘ (Time: 2- 3 pm) at Olympia Conference Hall, LondonMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 184
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 7.4 List of Websites Accessedhttp://www.emcp.com/intro_pc/reading7.html accessed on July10, 2010http://www.koreaninsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/k-55.jpgaccessed on July 10, 2010http://www.teradata.com/tdmo/v07n04/Features/DigitalConvergence.aspx accessed on July 10, 2010Intels information page on Moores Law – With link to Moores original1965 paperIntel press kit released for Moores Laws 40th anniversary, with a[ftp://download.intel.com/pressroom/images/events/moores_law_40th/Moores_Law_Original_Graph.jpg 1965 sketch] by MooreIBM Research Demonstrates Path for Extending Current Chip-MakingTechnique – Press release from IBM on new technique for creating linepatterns, 20 February, 2006Definition of broadband access used here: 150 kbits/s or above offered byISP.http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/technology/pdf/digital-convergence-ma.pdf PWC Report 2010MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 185
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencehttp://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eeurope/i2010/docs/studies/interactive_content_ec2006_final_report.pdf (accessed on July 11, 2010)http://www.futuretimeline.net/21stcentury/2020-2029.htmWebsites visited: For the research purpose, the following websites havebeen visited multiple numbers of times between March – August 2010Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_convergenceLinkedin http://www.linkedin.com/nhome/Virgin Media http://www.virginmedia.com/BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/Syncapse http://www.syncapse.com/CR Films http://crfilms.net/Brightcove http://www.brightcove.com/en/Conservatives http://craigelder.co.uk/Orange FT http://www.orange.com/en_EN/Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/activateSocial Media Forum http://www.socialmedia-forum.com/MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 186
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceTV Genius http://www.tvgenius.net/Google Images http://www.google.co.uk/imghp?hl=en&tab=wiSellingpix.com http://www.dreamstime.com/sellingpix_infoGettyimages http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/?language=en-GB&location=GBRPenmaen Media http://econsultancy.com/directories/members/carolyn-morganMedia Contacts UK http://www.media-contacts.co.uk/DigitalConvergence.eu http://www.digitalconvergence.eu/Disney UK http://home.disney.co.uk/Ecademy UK http://www.ecademy.com/Universal Music http://www.universalmusic.com/Kindred Agency Limited http://www.kindredagency.com/Marketing Grin, UK http://www.marketinggrin.com/Affiliate Window UK http://www.affiliatewindow.com/BBC Press office Website:www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/01_january/07/grandstand_new_look.shtmlBBC Interactive Sport:www.bbc.co.uk/sportMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 187
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencehttp://www.futuretimeline.net/21stcentury/2020-2029.htm accessed onAugust 11, 2010BSkyB Corporate Websitewww.sky.comwww.skysports.com/skysports/homewww.wotsat.comMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 188
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence CHAPTER 8 APPENDIXAnnexure 1: Contents of DVD 8.1 CONTENTS OF THE DVD (DVD enclosed in the back pocked of this spiral binding) Here is a list of the enclosures contained in the compiled DVD: 1. A soft-copy of the full-length Dissertation 2. Audio Files of all the 20-candidates 3. Complete set of questions asked 4. Log-Sheet of the interviews to highlight audio-file number and interview quotation details 5. Full Length Professional transcription of all the 20 candidates 6. Professional Profiles of the interviewees detailing the Date, Time and Venue of each of the interviews. 7. Complete Set of the scanned copy of Consent Forms signed by the interviewees in the order of interviews taken.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 189
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Annexure 2 Annexure 2.1 Profile of 20 Senior Professionals interviewed1.Andrew McGrath, Executive Director (Commercial- Strategy and Operations), Virgin Media UK Face to face interview: June 22, 2010; Time: 4-5 pm; Venue: Virgin Media Office, Covent Garden, London; File name VN550054, Duration of Interview: 43min: 25secAndrew‘s responsible for strategy, marketing, business transformationand technical/commercial support. He spent 12 years at Cable & Wireless,latterly as head of their Service Provider Division. At Verizon he was Headof Marketing and Strategy functions for EMEA, while his early careerincludes stints at both Olivetti Systems & Networks and the OracleCorporation. In addition to an Engineering degree from Surrey University,Andrew has an MBA from London Business School.2. John Denton, Managing Editor, TV Platforms, BBC London Face–to-face interview: July 14, 10-11 am, Venue: Discussion Room, BBC White City, London; File Name: VN550079, Duration of interview 57:14 min John is sets strategic direction and management of theBBCs red button services across existing digital TV platforms andMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 190
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergenceincreasingly focussed on new platforms such as Freesat, IPTV and ondemand services. John managed BBC iPlayer on TV (Virgin); Sport Multi-screen for Beijing Olympics and initial deployment in support of UKsDigital Switch Over. He looks at IP TV platforms and convergingtechnologies to find way into the Living room! John is a 2:1 Film andTheatre Studies/ Computer Studies from The University of Kent3. Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO Orange Advertising (USA) & Global Sales Director (UK), Orange-FT Face–to-face interview: July 1, 12-1 pm, Venue: Orange FT Office, Tottenham Court Road, London; File Name: VN550068, Duration of interview 51:12 minCurrently Global Sales Director at Orange Advertising Network (FranceTelecom), Giuliano is overseeing international sales, global mediaagencies and major clients, as well as working with the sales teamslocally to improve performance focusing on focusing on complex multi-country deals. He served Metro International as Vice-President Sales forMetro International the world‘s largest global newspaper, in this positionhe managed over €120m of sales. Giuliano worked in strategy at DaimlerChrysler (now Daimler). He attended Henley Management School in 2008.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 191
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence5. Tim Hussain, Head of Mobile & Video Advertising, BSkyB(London) Face–to-face interview: July 28, 2-3 pm; Venue: BSkyB studio, Buckingham Palace Road, London; File Name: VN550089, Duration of interview 39:00 min Tim is a respected senior professional with over 10years digital experience across online and mobile, and considerablesuccess running sales, business development, and product operationsacross Global businesses. He heralded European business lead foracquisition of Third Screen Media (mobile advertising platform andnetwork), and pan-EU lead for integration of new business unit into AOLEurope. He established BSkyB‘s mobile advertising department andsuccessfully launched their first offering to the market in November 2008,to a very positive response. Honours and Awards: (2006) AOL Nomineefor Media Week‘s 30 under 30 media awards5.Paul Cowan, VP, New Ventures, Syncapse Ltd. (Face to face) Skype Video Call interview from Syncapse office, Toronto, June 29, 5-6 pm; File Name: VN550062, Duration of interview: 34:45 minA brand strategist and integrated communications specialist, Paul Cowanis dedicated to creating innovative and creative marketing programs toMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 192
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencedrive business results. Paul is fully immersed in the digital world and hasa keen ability to explain complex ideas in plain English. He has embracedtechnologies like social media, mobile, gaming, and alternativeentertainment - and understands the marketing challenges and issuesthese tools should be utilized to overcome. Paul accomplished BA Politicsand Philosophy from The University of Western Ontario. Honours andAwards: Order of Omega (international honorary society)6.Eric Elia, VP, TV Solutions, Brightcove Inc, Skype call interview from Berkley, CA, July 12, 9-10 pm; File Name: VN550076, Duration of interview 32:30 minEric holds over ten years of experience in multimedia authoring andinteractive video products, tools and services including encoding, search,custom player development, content distribution networks andtechnologies, and asset management. He is a specialist inconceptualization and realization of easy-to-use interactive mediaapplications and services for mass market and manages large and diverseproduct, software and interactive media development teams.Brightcove is a Cambridge, MA based company that produces an OnlineVideo Platform (OVP). In 2009, it received Streaming Media ReadersMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 193
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceChoice Award, CSI Product Award. In 2010, it was named in Lead411sList of Hottest Boston Companies.7.Tom Weiss, CEO, TV Genius Ltd Skype call interview: TV Genius studio, June 21, 3-4 pm; File Name: VN550050, Duration of interview 25 min Tom Weiss was Vice President Key Service Introductions atT-Mobile until August 2005, and was responsible for the launch of T-Mobile premium services across Europe, including T-Mobile EURO2004campaign. Prior to T-Mobile, Tom was a key figure in the development ofthe Content Management industry and developed online strategies for anumber of UK organisations. He is lives in London with his wife Jane.‗Mobile Strategies‘ is his first book.8.Harry Strasser, Executive Partner - Digital Convergence and Innovation, Germany (Face to face) Skype Video Call interview from Germany: July 20, 12 noon-1 pm; File Name: VN550082-83, Duration of interview 1 hr: 33 sec.Harry Strasser is a proven technology business leader in the TIMES*industries, and an international expert in digital convergence andinnovation. He has spent 15 years in senior executive positions at majorMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 194
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergencehigh-tech companies in telecommunications, IT, consumer electronics,and gained extensive management and industry expertise in devices,applications, services, infrastructure and latest Internet Web 2.0developments. Harry now acts as executive partner and active boardmember for trendsetting start-up companies and advises seniormanagement of the TIMES* industries on value creation and businesstransformation through digital convergence and innovation.He is a multilingual German, based in Munich, holds an MBA from CityUniversity, Washington USA, and attended management courses atStanford University USA, Harvard University USA and INSEAD France.*TIMES: Telecommunication, IT/Internet, Media, Electronics, and Services9. Peter Brimacombe, Former Vice President- Strategy at DisneyUK now an independent consultant, London(Face to face) Skype Video Call interview: July 23, 2010; Time: 10:30 -11:30am; Audio File Name: VN550083, Duration of Interview: 38 minPeter held the position of Vice President Corporate Strategy and BusinessDevelopment EMEA at The Walt Disney Company, now an independentmedia consultant in London. At The Walt Disney Company, Petermanaged Business Development and Investor Relations, was Director atMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 195
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceJetix Europe and headed as Business Development Director at Fox KidsEurope prior to his position of Senior Strategy Executive at RTL Group.Peter attended the University of Oxford and is an MBA from INSEAD(France)10. Penny Power, Founder, Ecademy UK Face–to-face interview: July 28, 12-1 pm, Venue: Ecademy, Reading city, England (UK); File Name: VN550068, Duration of interview 51:12 minIn 1998, Penny created Ecademy to support Micro Business ownersaround the world expanding into over 230 countries and have developeda community that is the best in the world. She believes in power of Socialnetworking and considers great opportunity in building brand by creatingcollaborative opportunities to compete globally in a low cost, high visibilityworld.11. Aaron Bogucki, Senior Digital Campaign Manager, UniversalMusic Face–to-face interview: June 25, 11-12 noon, Venue: Universal Music Studio, Earls Court,MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 196
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceLondon; File Name: VN550056, Duration of interview 27 minUniversal Music Group (UMG) is the largest business group and family ofrecord labels in the recording industry. It is the largest of the "big four"record companies by its commanding market share and its multitude ofglobal operations. Universal Music Group is a wholly owned subsidiary ofinternational French media conglomerate Vivendi.12. Adam Field, Head of Social Media, Media Contacts UK Face-to-face interview: June 22, 10-11 am; Venue: Meeting Room, Media Contacts office, Covent Garden, London; File Name: VN550051, Duration of interview 27:13 minAdam Field is Head of Social Media at Media Contacts He worked as SalesPlanner at Facebook, Account Executive at Neo@Ogilvy and was AccountExec at Saatchi & Saatchi. Adam attended University of the Arts London,Queen Elizabeth Boys School and Middlesex UniversityMedia Contacts is the global interactive media network of Havas Digital -the interactive division of Havas Media. MC provides data driven mediasolutions across all interactive channels: digital, direct response,relationship based media.13. Carolyn Morgan, ManaginConsultant, Penmaen MediaMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 197
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Face–to-face interview: June 21, 11-1 pm; Venue: Office of Penmaen Media, Stamford office, England; File Name: VN550047, Duration of interview 1:13:45Carolyn Morgan is a Strategist and New Business Development in print,events and digital media. She is the Director at Specialist Media Show andOwner at Penmaen Media. Her Key skills are growing media brands,launching digital businesses from media brands and making transactionshappen. She has an extremely strong strategic vision, while prepared totake calculated risks, create new businesses and conclude partnershipsand acquisitions. She is a senior director with a track record of P&Lgrowth and experience of a broad range of media - online, magazines,events & TV. She is an experienced business consultant with particularexpertise in media. Carolyn attended University of Oxford for BA Honours,Mathematics, 1983 — 1986.14. Oli Shaw, Digital Director, Oli, UK Face–to-face interview: July 2, 2:30 -4 pm, Venue: Old Street, London; File Name: VN550070-71, Duration of interview: 42:15 + 11:25 = 53:40 minMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 198
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceOli Shaw is a purveyor of fine strategy, ideas and direction since 1998. Hehas broad creative skills with set expertise in human centred approachand execution. Oli is a specialist in insights, strategy and ideas - withexperience that traverses marketing, digital brand positioning and thedesign of digital products & services. He combines a range ofperspectives; part anthropologist, part strategist and part creative, intoan individual approach to projects. Oli attended Staffordshire Universityfor 1st Design: Multimedia Graphics (1996 – 2000).15. Triona Campbell, Company Director of CR Films Entertainment,Ireland | Media Production (Face to face) Skype Video Call interview from Dublin studio, July 5, 1-2 PM; File Name: VN550074, Duration of Interview: 30 minWinner of the Kidscreen award for Best Tween/Teen One-Off, Special orTV Movie 2010; Nominee for best Children‘s / Youth series, Irish Film &Television Awards 2009 & 2010; CR Entertainment Ltd, 87 Waterloo Road,Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.16. Paul Armstrong, Social Media Director, Kindred Agency Limited Face–to-face interview: July 2, 5-6 pm, Venue: Meeting Room, Kindred office (Goodge Street,London); File name: VN550073, Duration of Interview: 24 minMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 199
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergencePaul consults with cross-functional teams who are seeking ways tointegrate social media within their programs; provide guidance, expertadvice and a strategy. Augment, broaden and grow Kindreds use of socialmedia as a communications channel with clients, partners and press.He empowers Kindred employees to integrate digital strategies into theirmarketing plans and objectives with new social media tools, overseesusage of those tools, and offers expert guidance on best practices andrules of engagement. His role is to establish a strategy for participation invarious social sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Linkedin. Hehas been keen on broadening Kindreds digital footprint on these sites bybringing new ideas to Kindreds social media program.17. Craig Elder, Online Communications Editor, Conservatives Face–to-face interview: June 29, 2-3 pm, Venue: Millbank office, London; File name: VN550061, Duration ofInterview: 30 minCraig is the online Communities Editor for the Conservatives. He isinterested in UK politics, social media, open data, Scottish football,Android apps & Spotify playlists.18. Endaf Kerfoot, Thinker-in-Chief, Brand New Adventures UKMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 200
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceFace–to-face interview: June 29, 2-3 pm, Venue: Earls Court, London; FileName: VN550053-54, Duration of Interview: 22:33 + 60 min= 1 hr 22 minEndaf is a terrific blend between business smarts, customer and industryempathy and a real understanding for whats fair and reasonable frompersonal interactions to board level. He has worked in the events industrynow for over four years with specialisation in Content Management,Digital Asset Management, Marketing Resource Management, SocialMedia, Sales, Marketing Operations, Business Development, Rich Media,and Digital Marketing. Endaf attended University of Oxford for BA(Honours) Modern Languages (French & German). Activities andSocieties: Rowing - Gold Medal in UK National Schools Regatta,Nottingham.19. Jack Willis, Accounts Manager, Marketing Grin, UK Face–to-face interview: July 1, 2-3 pm, Venue: Grand Hall, London Olympia Centre, London; File Name: VN550065, Duration of Interview: 8 minMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 201
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceJack Willis is a specialist at Search Engine Optimisation, Pay per Clickmanagement, Online Reputation Management, Email Marketing, Affiliatemarketing and social media and Online PR. He is managing a team ofaccount executives who manage client‘s digital marketing campaigns.Jack attended the University of Southampton for BSc-Geology.20. Edmund Chambers, Key Accounts Manager, Affiliate Window UK Face–to-face interview: July1, 3-4 pm; Venue: Grand Hall, London Olympia Centre, London; FileName: VN550066, Duration of Interview: 9 minAffiliate Marketing is a merchant in an online retail space with atransactional website where you can buy products or services. Anaffiliate is an online publisher or partner who has access to traffic.Affiliates are traditionally website owners who can send traffic, via links toyour site. They do this on the basis that any sales generated from thistraffic will earn them an agreed commission. This reward model iscommonly known as Cost Per Action (CPA) and is more transparent andaccountable than the older Cost Per Click (CPC) model. Annexure 8.2.2 Complete Set of QuestionsMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 202
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence MBA Dissertation-Qualitative Research Questions Digital Convergence: Creative combination of Strategies and Marketing Scene Setting: Introduction about your jobs and responsibilities, years of association 1. I am interested in researching about Digital Convergence.... I understand you/your company has been involved with digital convergence… Could you tell me about your current role in the organisation and a little bit about your responsibilities? 2. How many years have you been working on Digital Convergence? Or can you tell me how long you have been involved with digital convergence issues… 3. Ok... in the past 5 years- what do you think has changed in terms of how digital convergence is being done? Role of Strategic Alliances: 4. Thinking about strategic alliances, what do you think is the role of strategic alliance in doing Digital Convergence? How important are strategic alliances in doing digital convergence? I was thinking of 2 types of digital convergence: Of that between different industries- B2B Of that between different mediums- between different information flows 5. How do you think it works in terms of impact market share? Is it just about market share? Obstacles to successful strategic alliance 6. Still thinking of strategic alliances...what are the obstacles to successful strategic alliance? I was thinking of licensing or policy issue…do you think that comes in the way to success?MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 203
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Implication of Digital Convergence 7. From your perspective, do you think there is too much inter-industry convergence? Or is it too less? What about the issue of single-point dependence that happens due to digital convergence? 8. What are the initiatives you/your company have taken to overcome the obstacles of convergence? What do you personally think of bundling strategies, when it comes to digital convergence strategies? Does Bundling work? Does it work better with integration? 9. Do you think companies can do more when it comes to bundling strategies? In general, is there more what you could do? What more can be done? 10. One of the obstacles is horizontal and vertical integration around there new kind of technologies. What are the challenges to horizontal and vertical convergence? How do you manage integration issues in your organisation? 11. Obviously convergence calls for strategic changes…What do you think are the major changes you have to go through? Do you think it is same for every player? 12. How do you think about it in context to your organisation? 13. What are the types of strategic changes that you have had to think about in the process? To what extent other companies have to face similar challenges or are these changes specific to your organisation? 14. You are a long term player in this field. Now new technology means new entrants. How do you as an established company respond to threat of competition from new entrants? (Or if you are a new entrant, how do you sail the existing competition in the market place?) Major Challenges faced 15. I am interested in your perspective about the current regulatory and policy environment. What do you see as major challenges you had to respond to in current policy and regulatory environment? What are the major changes you had to respond to? 16. Technological advancements bring a lot of opportunities, but also introduce challenges. What are the key issues you see with convergence-based services? Future Outlook 17. From your perspective what is the future of digital convergence in 5 years time? How can a healthy balance in digital convergence be achieved?MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 204
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Creative combination of strategies 18. Some people talk about a combination of strategic alliance, bundling and integration as an answer to the emerging issues with digital convergence. Do you think that works in the current perspective? 19. Can there be a war like scene between powerful companies like Google and Apple? 20. What are the surprising trends or findings according to your analysis? Annexure 8.2.3: Sample of Consent Letter Dissertation Participation Consent - Information LetterDear _____________________This letter seeks your participation in for my MBA Dissertation coursework whichis a part of my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) course at University ofLeicester. This dissertation will study areas related to strategies and marketingof Digital Convergence from a business perspective. The discussions will be sothat I can:-Successfully research on my MBA Dissertation on Digital Convergence-Gain knowledge of present day convergence strategies-I also hope to learn more about the topic area and develop my analytical skills.Participation in this study is entirely voluntary. It will involve an interview ofapproximately 30 minutes in length to take place at_________________________on _____________________as previouslyarranged and questions given in advance.MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 205
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceYou may decide not to answer any of the interview questions if you wish. Youmay also decide to withdraw from this study at any time by advising 099018609.I may ask for clarification of some points some time after the interview, but asan academic research, you will not be obliged in any way to clarify or participatefurther.If you request, the information you provide can considered confidential, exceptthat with your permission anonymised quotes may be used. If you requestconfidentiality, beyond anonymised quotes, information you provide will betreated only as a source of background research, alongside book and web-basedresearch.If you request, your name or any other personal identifying information will notappear in the course project paper resulting from this study; neither will therebe anything to identify your place of work or the business.Notes collected during this study will be retained for the rest of the 2009-10academic years in a secure location and then destroyed upon successfulattainment of my degree. The information gained from this interview will only beused for the above objectives, will not be used for any other purpose and will notbe recorded in excess of what is required.Even though I may present the study findings to University of Leicester, only thecourse supervisor and I will have access to the interview data itself. It is also toclarify that there are no known or anticipated risks to you as a participant in thisdissertation research participation.If you have any questions regarding this study or would like additionalinformation please feel free to ask me before, during, or after the interview.I can assure you that this dissertation research and questions asked have beenreviewed and approved by my course supervisor. I highly regard yourcooperation. Thank you for your time and assistance in participating in thisdissertation.Yours Sincerely,099018609 Annexure 2.4: CONSENT FORMMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 206
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital ConvergenceI have read the information presented in the information letter about the MBAdissertation study being conducted by 099018609 for Masters in BusinessAdministration Dissertation coursework at University of Leicester, UnitedKingdom.I have had the opportunity to answer to questions asked by 099018609and havefaced no issues on answering them. I have been able to address theperspectives that can provide valuable information to the dissertation study.I am also aware that excerpts from the interview may be included in the courseproject paper to come from this research. Quotations will / will not be keptanonymous. I do/do not give permission for my identity to be revealed inresearch reports.I was also informed that I may withdraw my consent at any time by advising thestudent researcher- 099018609.With full knowledge of all foregoing, I agree to participate in this study.Participant Name: ___________________________________________Participant Signature: ___________________________________________Participant‘s Name of Company: ____________________________________Participant‘s Designation: _________________________________________Interviewer Name: _099018609_Interviewer Signature: ____________________________ Annexure 2.5: Log SheetThis is the log-sheet for the quotations used in the dissertation. It gives a detailed a account oftime code in/out with respect to the issue addressed by the participant.Time Code is abbreviated as TC. 1. Endaf Kerfoot, File Name: VN550053On ―content sharing‖ TC In: 07:00 --- TC Out: 09:30On ―strategic alliances…and mobile applications‖ TC In: 15:00--- TC Out: 19:00MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 207
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 2. Andrew McGrath File name: VN550052On ―system integrator‖ TC in 14:30- TC out: 18:00On ―boldest move‖ TC in- 6:00- TC out- 8:00 3. Triona Campbell File Name: VN5500111On ―core-competence‖ TC in: 06:00- TC out: 09:00 4. Harry Strasser File Name: VN 550082on ―changing company culture‖ TC in:08:00- TC out: 11:00 5. Oli Shaw File Name: VN550070On ―business headache..‖ TC in: 15:00- TC out: 20:00 6. Tim Hussain File Name: VN550089On ―content bundling‖ TC in: 10:00- TC out: 15:00 7. John Denton File Name: VN550079On ―strategic alliance, 3 screen and cost optimization‖ TC in: 22:00—TC out: 27:00 8. Peter Brimacombe VN550083On ―unbundling‖ TC in:14:00- TC out: 18:00 9. John Denton File Name: VN550079On ―Strategic alliance, and clever interaction, multicasting‖ TC In: 37:00- TC out: 44:00On ―…transformation and commercialization of interests‖ TC in: 25:00-TC out: 30:00 10. Guiliano Stiglitz File Name:VN550068On ―strategic alliance‖ TC in: 13:00----TC out: 17:00On ―bundling and cross-platform integration‖ TC in: 29:00---3300On ―not being able to monetize knowledge & lack of standard metric: TC in: 36:00- TC out:40:00MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 208
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence 11. Eric Elia .. File Name: VN550076On ―strategic alliances‖ TC in: 16:00- TC out: 22:00 12. Edmund Chambers File Name: VN550066On ―new applications..‖ TC in: 03:00-TC out: 6:00 13. Jack Willis VN550065on ―augmented marketing …‖ 04:00-08:00 14. Paul Cowan VN550062On ―bundling and strategic alliance‖ TC in: 13:00---TC out: 16:00 15. Craig Elder VN550061On ―impact of social networking not always effective‖ TC in: 05:00 --TC out: 9:00 16. Aaron Bogcuki VN550056 12:00---15:00On ―strategic alliance‖ TC in: 22:56---TC out: 27:00 17. Carolyn Morgan File Name: VN 550047On ―clever strategic alliances‖ TC in: 24:00---TC out: 28:00 18. Paul Armstrong File Name: VN550073On ―integration, working together and strategic alliance‖ TC in: 05:00---TC out: 09:00 19. Tom Weiss File Name: VN50050On ―Digital Integration and strength of TV technology‖ TC in: 19:00 ---TC out: 22:00 20. Adam Field File Name: VN550051On ―integration strategy‖ TC in: 11:00---TC out: 15:00 Annexure 2.6: SUPPLEMENTRY CHARTS a) Thematic Chart for Strategic Alliances b) Navigation Chart for the 3 StrategiesMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 209
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Giuliano Stiglitz, Orange FT, “…cross Research Parameter platform participation…” Endaf Kerfoot, Brand New Adventures Strategic Alliance “…ease of content sharing…” Paul Cowen, Syncapse (Toronto) “…lack of Andrew McGrath, standard metric…” Virgin Media “…focus Peter Brimacombe, on core Formerly with Disney competence…” World “…balance of power…” Triona Campbell, CR Films “…bottom-up Harry Strasser, Digital efficiency…content Convergence sharing” Consultant “…smart John Denton, BBC partnerships…” “…share the burden..share the pain…” Navigation Chart of the key strategies- the making of ‘Digital Avatar’MBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 210
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence Research Parameter Data Analysis Literature Review Discussion Strategic Alliance Gomes-Casseres, 1996 confirms overall (Yoffie, 1997) new competitive “…core competence…” Andrew McGrath landscape (Hamel, 1991: 84), needs balancing act (Mello,2003:3), (Bunduchi & more understanding Berar, 2007: 102-114), (Park objectives of allies et al., 2004) et cetra “ …smart Harry Strasser partnerships…smart (Chan-Olmsted, 1998: 35), new combinations of applications…” (Hamel, 1991:86), Grant, knowledge and skills 2008:209), (Norman and overall beneficial, Peter Brimacombe, Ramirez, 1993:65), (Nyström selective openness Tim Hussain and Hacklin, 2005). “…careful balance of change in the level power…” playing field, (Hamel,1991:84), (Jenkins, concern over ownership 2007), (Bettis and Hitt, 1995; can jointly solve Sampler, 1998) common issues like licensing overall confirms to be an effective strategy Bundling (Kaluza et al., 1999) cited in (Hacklin and Nyström, 2005); Mixed reactions, “…bundled or unbundled..” Peter Brimacombe, (Brandenberger & Nalebuff); no common answer Oli shaw, Tim Hussain (Nalebuff, 1999). usability of pricing “…freemium pricing…” (Wäppling et.al, 2010:18) specific to business 1996:117); (Porter 2001, 2), cases, Day & Schoemaker, 2000; can promote cost “…lack of performance Paul Cowan, John Denton, (Guiltinan, 1987; Gaeth et effectiveness metric…” Giuliano Stiglitz, al., 1990), (Saligner,1995:85) Triona Campbell Serious issue No real growth indicator This dissertation identifies need for a metric to calculate real- growth Integration (Negroponte, 1995), (Lee, seamless interface 2003: 24-29). (Porter, 2001: between consumers, “…creating 10), (Wirtzab, 1999:20), commerce, content synergies…..think cross- Giuliano Stiglitz (Norman and Ramírez, communications and platform” 1993:2). Albarran and cross-platform Dimmick (1996) advertising …impact the scale… social John Denton (Bernabo et al. 2009). 360 degree approach media enters… (Prahalad & Hammel, 1990) redefinition of landscape (Friedman, 2007) ;(Tapscott, integrated marketing 2007). communication, operational efficiency Carolyn Morgan cost optimization “…reorienting task- (Magretta, 1998; Ghosh, skills…..demand for highly 1998) as cited in (Wirtzab; promotes work-sharing competitive dynamic 1999:19 demand for highly skills…” competitive skill-sets This dissertation identifies the behavioural challenges and need for highly competitive skillsMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 211
    • DIGITAL AVATAR- The Strategies for Digital Convergence ENDMBA Dissertation by Student no. 099018609 Page 212