What is convergence culture?
Naomi, Georgie, Hannah
• Where old and new media collide.
• Using new media devices for a range of new
and old media viewing.
Eg. Reading a book on a computer (ebooks)
Henry Jenkins argues that “old media[s] never die”.
Despite the fluctuation in the genre and
technologies of media, essentially “media
persists as layers within an ever more
complicated information and entertainment
system ... A medium’s content may shift, its
audience may change and its social status may
rise or fall, but once a medium establishes itself it
continues to be part of the media ecosystem”.
What does he mean?
What Jenkins is trying to say is that media does
not disappear, it changes and shifts into
different forms but essentially remains the
same. For example, ebooks could be classed
as a ‘new’ media, yet they are just a
regeneration of an old media which has been
around for many years. This may appeal to a
different audience, yet it is essentially still the
same medium as when it first began.
5 processes of convergence
“When words, images and sounds are transformed into digital
information, we expand the potential relationships between them
and enable them to flow across platforms.”
The digital age has provided many platforms for media to expand
across. A large example of this would be the internet, which has
allowed convergence of nearly all media forms such as Television
online; newspapers online; streaming radio online; films online and
- Sausages being cooked on a PS3
“The horizontal integration of the entertainment
industry. A company like AOL Time Warner now
controls interests in film, television, books,
games, the Web, music, real estate and countless
other sectors. The result has been the
restructuring of cultural production around
“synergies,” and thus the transmedia exploitation
of branded properties—Pokemon,Harry Potter,
Tomb Raider, Star Wars.”
What is he saying?
Essentially Jenkins is
acknowledging the way large
companies are exploiting the
development of both new and
old medias to their financial
advantage, making franchises
out of a particular brand and
branching out into other
medias. For example, Harry
Potter began as a book but has
since expanded into a
multimedia franchise including
films, toys, video games, sticker
books, posters and clothing.
Social or organic convergence
“Consumers’ multitasking strategies for navigating the new information
environment. Organic convergence is what occurs when a high
schooler is watching baseball on a big-screen television, listening to
techno on the stereo, wordprocessing a paper and writing e-mail to
his friends. It may occur inside or outside the box, but ultimately, it
occurs within the user’s cranium.”
This is also known as ‘media stacking’. This is getting more common in
modern lifestyles as we are constantly surrounded by easily
accessible media technologies, some of which are often essential to
our daily routine – for example the internet is often used for studying
which can be used whilst watching TV or listening to the radio.
“The explosion of new forms of creativity at the intersections of
various media technologies, industries and consumers. Media
convergence fosters a new participatory folk culture by giving
average people the tools to archive, annotate, appropriate
and recirculate content. Shrewd companies tap this culture to
foster consumer loyalty and generate low-cost content.
Media convergence also encourages transmedia storytelling,
the development of content across multiple channels. As
producers more fully exploit organic convergence, storytellers
will use each channel to communicate different kinds and
levels of narrative information, using each medium to do
what it does best.”
What is he saying?
Some types of new media can be altered by average people. For
example; homemade trailers and other content on youtube;
wikipedia articles that are open to create and edit to the public;
edited pictures can easily be hosted and shared on facebook and
flickr; bands can upload their own songs and share them on sites
such as myspace.
Production companies can now use any given media to their own
advantage and make the audience feel like they are part of the
process. This generates more interest in products such as films,
music albums etc. For example a new film can be advertised over
most media forms, tv/radio/newspaper/internet/cinema
The level of integration and interactivity media now has in modern
lives means that media can in fact change the way we live and view
“The cultural hybridity that results from the international circulation of
media content. In music, the world-music movement produces
some of the most interesting contemporary sounds, and in cinema,
the global circulation of Asian popular cinema profoundly shapes
Hollywood entertainment. These new forms reflect the experience
of being a citizen of the ‘global village.’”
With the new advancements in media technology it has become much
simpler to view media from around the globe. Whereas before it
would have been necessary to physically travel to a certain country
to view their culture, with the use of the internet this is now
possible in a few clicks.
The growth of media has begun a transformation of life as we know it. We
are now more connected with each other and the world then ever before,
which will have a huge impact on our day to day lives.
“The digital renaissance will be the
best of times and the worst of times,
but a new cultural order will emerge from it.