What is Media Convergence, its types & Importance

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Media convergence
  3. Types of media convergence
  4. Importance of media
  5. How Media Convergence affects Journalism
  6. Media convergence Policy
  7. Technological Convergence and Industry Mergers
  8. Social media
  9. Transmedia Storytelling
  10.  Media convergence in India
  1. Introduction: The traditional media and digital media have been transforming the lives of common people every day, by helping them decide small things like the warnings of cyclone, incidents, political turmoil and much more with minimal delay. Media converge is the phenomenon which has evolved with the interconnection of information and communication technologies, computer networks and media content. The 3Cs of media convergence are Computing, Communications, and Content. This is the result of the advent of internet and digitization of media content. The media converge has changed the established industry standards and enabled new form of communication.

According to the theory of media convergence there will be no need for having several types of technologies to access information. Products like television sets, computers, cameras, gps will become obselete, mobile phones will be able to perform all these functions with perfect efficiency.

media convergence
  • What is Media convergence: It has not been so long when people going on long leisure trips used to carry everything of use from cameras, to GPS devices and cash to purchase momentous. Similarly getting the latest news would require either the newspaper or television as a major source. Today only one smartphone performs all this function.Smartphones helps a user reach his destination using GPS, capture pictures as a camera, do only payments and read the latest news from the web. They have rendered so many devices useless cameras being one of them.  The process where some technologies have been completely lost in history while others have changed the way in which they are used is called media convergence.

According to a study by Sepideh Chakaveh and Manfred Bogen from Fraunhofer Institute IAIS, Schloss Birlinghoven, Sankt Augustin, Germany[1] media convergence is a theory in communications where every mass medium eventually merges to a point where they can become one medium due to the advent of new communication technologies.  The media convergence research theme normally refers to the entire production, distribution and use of process of future digital media services from contents production to service delivery through various channels such as mobile terminals, digital TV, or the internet.

Media convergence has helped in joining various distinct technologies in one. The outcome of this is a one big technology which has helped users performs mutifold functionalities. The three Cs [2] computing, communication, and content has been done through modern smartphones. mobile phone in a matter of seconds. Sources like social media sites and news websites provide news to users without delay. News apps on mobile phones also go a step further.

It has the ability to perform complex computing operations, like monitoring the stock market through a mobile app or change in foreign currency exchange. Similarly it allows us to communicate with far off users through communication means like video calling and text messaging. Content is another big area where smartphones have changed lives. Getting access to the latest news has become faster and more efficient than before. News which used to come from Television sets usually was delayed by hours and Newspaper would take atleast 24 hours to reach the citizens. They can now access news through their

They provide users custom news based on their likes and dislikes. Common people who have little or no knowledge of journalism have also become news creators. With the use of their mobile phone cameras they can record short clips, take pictures and tweet about it.  Communication and technology are two areas where convergence has become impactful.

On the one hand is technology like television sets which is a transmission system and a medium, it is used as a mode where users watch what is served by the service provider. On the other hand is internet where user has access to unlimited information and he can see what he wishes to. He has access to web content in form of multimedia pages with dynamic content. Social media content is very popular among users which focuses on user generated and managed content.

  • Types of media convergence: There are several types of convergences let us take a look at each one of them starting with the Technological convergence.
  • Technological Convergence: Technological convergence refers to the merging of technologies that were earlier inaccessible on a single device. These technologies which were unrelated are now integrated as one and unified. This is similar to the convergence of evolution in nature. For example ancestors of whales became more like a fish in their form and functionality. Although they are mammals they resemble a fish. The technological convergence is a cardinal example of how telephone, computers, radio and television have merged into a single device which is the modern smartphone.

This process of digitalization has allowed news agencies to become more productive and move from a production model to a which is constrained and highly dependent on the sales of newspaper, radio and transistors to a model which is far more independent. In today’s world same news is consumed across several channels giving a new perspective to every story.  Devices which allow people to access news have also evolved rapidly over the years. These smart devices will become more interactive and helpful to the people as the time progresses.

Not only do modern smart devices measure vitals like heartbeat, number of steps taken, and more they also help you in case of emergency sending out messages to the loved ones when needed. [3]

The new technological advancements are converted into public demand which media is obliged to meet. Print media has adapted to this change in technology as well the transition has been accepted by nearly every media house from print to audiovisual media. This does not mean that the print media is entirely closed but they are now working in harmony. New content management systems have been devised which allow the spread of content across various channels. Similarly the working environments have changed editorial teams which were previously separate from each other are merged together information sharing has become much easier. If a story has already been done by some journalist information can be retrieved with a few searches and mouse clicks allowing the new story to be more indepth on any topic. Technology has sparked the change from analog journalism to digital journalism which includes the print, radio, television and digital media.

media convergence

There are five elements of technology convergence [4] which are 1) Technology: it is common for technologies that look different to blur their differences as time passes. Mobile phone and television were thought to be between business and consumer software and services.  But with time the line diminished, technology tends to move from a large number of specific tools to a small set of flexible tools which perform a variety of actions. 4) Robots and machines: Robots and machines are completely different electronic gadgets which perform diverse functions like packaging in a production company, assembling a car. But with the advancements in technology they are merging as one. Machines in our cars are becoming more intelligent as the robots. Taking decisions like when to run the wipers and turn on the head lights are some of the features which modern cars automatically perform. 5) Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality which can be viewed as the convergence of real life and digital programming. Modern games and 3D movies allow users to immerse themselves into a virtual environment which is very much realistic. completely different devices until recent years. They both now allow users to connect to wifi. Access rich multimedia based apps and information. Smart TVs can play games, music news and even take commands through microphones. Similarly smartphones allow users to listen to latest news, stock market details and events across the world. 2) Media and Content: Television and internet services which were once considered to be different from each other are now merging. It is likely that multimedia content like music, videos games and movies will converge to a point where it is hard to differentiate between them. A good example is where music always comes with an interactive video that will be like a game.  3) Service Applications: Earlier in the 90s there was a vast difference

The history of technological convergence takes us back to the 1990s. Communication networks which were designed to carry out different types of information, earlier these communication networks used to carry mainly voice data. Later came in the television sets, radio and broadcasting networks which had passive audience. The convergence in telecommunication industry has allowed information transfer in various forms which includes video, data, and voice. Modern 4th generation and 5th generation communication technology allow high end video and voice calling between two users sitting miles away from each other. Telecommunication has changed the world from information scarcity to limitless possibilities. The historical roots of convergence can be traced back to the advent of mobile telephones and internet when the people gained access to the internet through dialup systems.  There are several advantages and drawbacks of technological convergence. On the one hand the technological convergence has simplified the production of media content. Nearly everyone can now become a content creator with a smart phone and internet connection. This has accelerated the distribution of information as well and reduced the cost involved in it. Sites like Instagram which mainly focus on photography are the platforms where users can click a picture and share it with the world. They are circulated around the world with seconds. The need for film processing and printing has been completely eliminated.  Sharing images can be easily done through smart devices and internet. Technological convergence has allowed electronic data transmission which has replaced the physical transportation of material goods. On the other hand if we look at the drawbacks of technological convergence we find that not everyone has the skills to employ them especially the elder generation which is not habitual of using the modern gadgets may feel left out. Also some of these modern devices are not very affordable which creates a divide between haves and have-nots. Privacy has become a big issue in the digital era. One cannot be sure when he is under

a CCTV surveillance or in a picture of any stranger. Similarly information shared over the internet is easily leaked and there is no one to be held responsible for. Data breaches by cyber attackers have left users in mistrust. Even big online websites like Facebook are not safe. One such example is the data breach of Zynga in September 2019 where more than 218 million accounts were compromised and their personal information was at stake [5].

b. Economic convergence: Economic strategy of media convergence is also known as media consolidation, media concentration or economic convergence. It is said to be the product of three elements, the first being digitization, second is corporate corporation and the third being government deregulation. This also allows the content carriage companies for example cable and satellite distributors to own content producers. Some small countries with low economy have shown trends of convergence and are growing at a much rapid rate compared to developed countries. GDP of such countries have increased at a rate of 2.7% per year in 1990s and 2.3% per year in 2000 to 2008 in high income countries like United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and other European countries. [6]The fast growth club of countries includes China, India, Ireland, Jordan, Laos, and Cambodia etc. These countries have averaged a GDP growth which is atleast 5% per year. Since the economic growth of these countries has exceeded the average of the world’s high economies we can say that the countries may converge with high-income countries.

Several arguments suggest that the low economic countries have an upper hand in achieving greater work productivity and economic growth in future.

The first argument is based on diminishing marginal returns. According to the law of diminishing [7], the reduced amount of physical money will help in increasing the GDP per capita. For example raising the education level of the citizens in a country by two years from tenth grade to high school diploma gradually produces higher increase in output. Additional two year increase in education would increase output further but the marginal gain would be smaller [8].

Second argument states that low income countries may find it easier to improve their technologies than higher income countries. Higher income countries are entrusted with continually finding new technologies, whereas low income countries can often find ways of applying those technologies that have already been invented and well established. The popular economist Alexandar Gerschenkron called this phenomenon: “the advantage of backwardness” [9]. Although he literally did not mean that it was good to have a low standard of living. He wanted to say that the countries which have extra potential can catch up with the bigger players in the game of economics. Finally some optimists argue that many countries have observed the experience of growing nations and learned a lot from it and they say that once a country begins to enjoy the benefits of higher standards of living they are more likely to build and support market friendly institutions that help provide this standard of living.

package deals from a number of media platforms. Brand recognition and loyalty is improved with the help of cross promotion and cross platform selling. Same content can be used on various websites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. In the same way communication companies have formed a group of network which includes radio and television stations which allows them to use this to their advantage. Convergence can be seen as the next step in this process.

There are some drawbacks of economic convergence as for the society and economy as a whole. Being a part of country is poor does not guarantee that will be able to achieve a high GDP growth rate. Moses Abramovitz [10] a 20th-century American economist and professor emphasized on the need of social capabilities to benefit catch up growth. A country should be able to accept new technology for its benefit. It should be able to get capital from funders and participate in the global market. These prerequisites must be in place before any country can catch up with its competing nations. According to his theory technology is freely traded and available for developing countries who wish to grow.

There are advantages and drawbacks of economic convergence.  Corporate convergence can be highly beneficial for big companies as it reduces their cost of labour, material and management. They use the same media across various outlets. Advertisers can receive

c. Social or Organic convergence: is when someone who is watching a television show online while interacting with his friend over messages through a smart phone using a SMS or messaging app and also listening to a music background this natural outcome of the diverse media world. It is common for the young generation to be using multiple devices to be connected with the friends over WhatsApp and busy surfing the web on their laptop or playing a video game. Social media has become a prominent part of modern web. Every smart phone is pre-installed with social media apps like Facebook and Youtube these days. Allowing users to access latest news and connect with the rest of the world within seconds. Technology giants like Google and Facebook are trying to bring diverse informations on their platforms so that the user can have access to everything he wants on one platform. A good example is Google’s personalized homepage on a mobile phone which keeps track of user’s calendar, reminds him when an important meeting is or a bill is to be paid. It shares the latest news and also suggests articles from the web based on user’s likes and dislikes. Similarly Google’s YouTube platform allows users to listen to the latest songs, watch movies, TV shows and get the latest updates from around the world with live access to popular news channels. Facebook on the other hand connects users with their friends and circle. It allows also users to watch videos, share updates, watch live events, play games, buy online products and do a lot more. This is a convergence not just at the social level but also at the technological level. In economy the term convergence is referred to as the harmonization of income levels across various countries. However examining the social convergence is equally important as economic convergence.

d) Cultural convergence is another popular type of convergence where the cultures of various countries seem to unite. A good example of this can be the influence of English words like sorry and thank you in our daily routine which is accepted across the world as a word for apology and gesture respectively. Cultural influence has been popular with the advent of television and mobile phones. The people across the world like Anime [11], which is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from Japan. While its roots are in Japan it is accepted by people around the world. A large number of Americans love Japanese Anime much like people in other parts of the world love watching Hollywood movies and reading American comics. Another good example is English which is widely accepted as an international language for business and diplomacy. As more countries accepted the language pathways to new horizons opened and cultural convergence began. English movies, books and other popular culture became widespread.

[11] Anime https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime

Culture share things with each other all the time, but this is the turning point in the world today. The more we interact with the more we get to know about other’s culture and become more alike. This is termed as cultural convergence.  Cultural convergence is the theory which states that two cultures will be more alike as the interactions between them increases.  Basically the more the two cultures connect with each other the more are the chances that they will adopt each other’s ideologies, behaviour, art, customs, fashion etc.

Cultural convergence is very much visible. While convergence towards the western values seems obvious many European countries have also been impacted by the culture of south Asia. The use of spices and flavours is very much evident in English speaking world. [12] Recipes have started to become spicier and people have started to like recipes like Chinese herbal tea and Ayurvedic medicine.

e) Global Convergence: Global convergence is the worldwide circulation of the content generated by media. It is a process of different cultures influencing each other despite the distances. In the era of technology when physical newspapers, television, radio and books have been taken over by internet and smartphones distribution of content has become a lot simpler. Users can have facility of language translation with the help of online tools allowing them to understand nearly everything said in a foreign language and help them dive deep inside the culture and history of other nation. Nigeria’s cinema industry which is called Nollywood [13] has taken its cues from India’s cinema industry called Bollywood which is in turn inspired from the Hollywood in the United States.

Cartoons like Tom and Jerry are popular on Arab countries satellite channels. [14] Popular American horror movies like The Ring and The Grudge are the remake of Japanese hits. The advantage of global convergence is the access to the wealth of cultural influence they bring along with it. On the other hand it has a downside as well. Too much influence may be a threat for country’s own culture. Cultural imperialism is the forceful or willingly acceptance of social or cultural values of different country or area. Cultural imperialism[15] can be a formal policy or can happen more quietly, it can be widespread through the influence of television shows, songs, movies and other cultural projects.

4. Importance of media:  With the development of modern technology we testimony the development of new media which has paved the path for digital computer. When cinema first appeared in our lives about a century ago, people realized for the first time the importance of new media revolution. Today web sites, computer games, digital images, videos and other forms of media have entered the new media age.

Media convergence has generated several beneficial opportunities for the creative industry.

They can now gather, generate and circulate information with ease and more cost effectiveness than before. One benefit that we can notice first hand is the convergence between traditional and digital sources that power our newspapers allowing it to provide more accurate and up to date information as their websites and social media platforms are frequently updated with the latest news. Any breaking news which is shared on their website is spread throughout the globe instantaneously. Media convergence also plays an important role in enlightening the readers with the new perspective of every story. After the embracement of technology by media houses readers were not restricted to one newspaper or news agency to show then what the journalist wanted to project on to them, the readers can now have their own opinion and discuss it with the other citizens who may have a diverse opinion on every topic.

Another key benefit that media convergence has allowed is to reach a broader audience with the same media message presented across different platforms to fit the need of various consumers. With the power of internet and smartphone technology users can now read the latest news while traveling and are not restricted to television sets or have to wait for the newspaper to reach their door the next day. Overall the media convergence has enabled readers to become more aware on any topic.  Audiences are now fragmenting into platforms which suit their needs and categories like certain users who are more interested in sports news will be shared more sports news, whereas those readers who are interested in politics, economy or some other topic are able to tune their mobile news apps to receive more news based on their likes.

Similarly younger generation which likes to be on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to access their daily dose of news is different from the older ones which prefer going to a news website to access their source of news.

Media convergence is cost effective than employing multiple employees specializing in one platform for example rather than having separate employees for TV and print now one person can do both the tasks and be more budget friendly to the media house. It is also extremely efficient and cost effective to use social media for promotion of content and interacting with readers for customer relationship management. Social media sites do not charge money to setup business pages on their website for example sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are free to users. Sharing breaking news, reporting live news and promotion of personal products is free from a business page

5. How Media Convergence affects Journalism: Initially the media houses reacted poorly to embracing technology. This led to the steep decline as they were unable to see the future and predict what was to come. Many newspaper and media houses thought that the new technology was a transient thing which would come and leave soon. Technology offered change but the change in the perception of consumers, advertisers and the news rooms was also a part of convergence.

Many of the media houses started offering free online access and reductions or elimination of traditional print editions. They however soon realized that the free news was not very important as nearly every news website is free now. Also entirely removing the print editions also left unwanted reactions from the users. According to recent data the 18-24 age group is reverting back to print sources [16]. Convergence is a planned integration of media rather than a chaotic integration of media.

Media convergence is composed of content, communications, distribution (cloud) and the consumer. Also the far reaching advertising model and the feature to get targeted audience at a far lower cost have helped the technological convergence take place with ease.

The conception of media convergence has been defined several ways but it was first proposed by Professor Paul of the University of Massachusetts.[17] He said that the convergence means that various media present a development trend which is multi-function integration.

Journalism is currently under a pressure due to the phenomenon of media convergence. Not only does media convergence redefine the tasks of journalists and newsrooms it also changes the business model of the media houses.  The web and related technologies have greatly influenced the way in which news is created, distributed and consumed in the modern times. Not only this it has greatly impacted the ways in which journalism education and how the ongoing training of news professionals is undertaken.  Many undergraduate programs are now grappling with the curriculum issues that were not there earlier, they are confused whether to immerse students in writing and reporting that spans across media platforms or cling to the traditional of dividing students into specialized journalistic tracks.

There are 5000 plus newspapers worldwide which are currently offering online editions [18].The internet is an essential source for scholars and students who are study journalism. Rather than buying 100s of books and papers from various shops now they can search the web and collect resources before writing any story or research paper.

There is no denying that internet has widely influenced the journalism the way it is perceived news travels at a much faster rate than before. People prefer micro blogging sites for accessing their opinions sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are the top choices among the users. [19]  

Internet has also influenced the news habits of the society, specially the younger generation which is more techs savvy. With catchy headlines and quick updates it is clearly a popular choice among the younger generation. The hyperlinking ability allows users to dwell deep into their topic of interest and satisfies the large news appetites of a user. News agencies which were earlier relying heavily on print subscribers and advertisers for revenue generation are now relying online advertisements, pay wall and subscription methods to keep the revenues flowing. The cost of journalists have been drastically reduced as the number of correspondents needed to cover a story are greatly lesser than before.[20]With the help of networked journalism newsrooms can cover far more stories with the help of public involvement in the news creation process than ever before. Crowd sourcing and public forums provide ample of news to the news rooms to create new stories every minute.  This has changed the news creation process from top down model to a more collaborative process.

6. Media Convergence Policy: Media convergence has brought new challenges for policy and policy makers. For most of 20th century content was acquired through physical books, newspapers, magazines, television, radio and video games. These different media types were regulated by various policies depending on who was the viewer. If the children were watching the cartoon shows on the television they were supposed to follow a certain policy for example less violence and adult scenes.  Similarly if there were comic books or video games they were bound to follow certain rules and policies and mention which age group these products were right for. Ratings were given to every such book or media content. [26]

In the 21st century the content and platforms have been separated there is little or no control of the government of across the world. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram are freely accessible by kids of all ages. They can read any content without restriction whether it is safe for them or not. This leads to exposure of the young generation to violence and unwanted messages from the web. Moreover users themselves are not just consumers of the content but also the content producers and distributors. Social media websites have given them the power to share their opinion. Since there is no restrictions or proper policies in place media convergence has left more responsibility on the parents to monitor and guide their kids on what they should watch and what they should not. As users become more in control of their own media environment younger generation are most vulnerable.

The work field of several big media organization has also expanded and diversified big technology companies like Apple Inc. who were known for Mac computers and Mobile phones, are now the biggest distributor of music in the world. [21] Similarly Google plays a key role in making both television and news content accessible to everyone around the world for free. Google’s popular website Youtube has several news channels streamed live on it. News channels like France24 run live telecast on Youtube for free. [22] Upholding the principles of media policy like ensuring diversity of ownership and regulating the content which is shared on such channels, deciding which content is safe for users based on community standards which vary from region to region and by various governments is something to be looked at during governing policy creation. Content shared should have age restrictions which are a major concern in the era of media convergence.

7. Technological Convergence and Industry Mergers: The technological aspect of media convergence is the most readily understood. The smart devices like smart phones, laptops, smart televisions become more capable of providing user’s access to the World Wide Web a through easy to use interface. These were earlier tied to device specific platforms like newspaper, radio sets, televisions, cinema and magazines.

Those things have now changed and a diverse array of content is now streamed through one device. Media organizations have developed a cross-media content strategy which is not restricted to text and images but also makes use of podcasts, videos, graphs, etc.

These developments have changed journalism and helped it reach new heights. The thin line between who is a journalist and who is not has been diminished. Terms like citizen journalism where citizens share news of their local area on their social media handles and networked journalism where the amateur journalists share their stories with a news agency or journalist to help him complete a story have come up. According to journalism professor Jane Singer once [23] journalism was thought to be a closed newspaper story is now an open text where with an ongoing existence.

Technological convergence has been met by industry convergence and consolidation which have given rise to big digital media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube. In the year 90s and early 2000s the technology industry saw some of the biggest mergers in the media companies [24]. America Online Inc. was acquired by Time Warner Inc. on January 10, 2000 this deal was worth over $112 billion. Similarly Comcast merged with AT&T broadband unit in the December, 2001 this was a $52 billion deal.

The mergers made sense in the late 90s according to the logic of synergies, as the cross platform media entities were greater than the sum of component parts. This allowed the bigger companies to diversify their functionalities and reach a broader audience also making profits. Doing a fresh start in these fields would require a lot of time and effort also there was a chance of failure which these big companies had avoided by merging with other media players. Although not all mergers resulted in a profit after the 200 NASDAQ crash it was apparent that cultural differences between these merged entities would be hard to overcome in running a business. Mergers like the AOL–Time Warner ended up in a failure. By the time AOL was quietly spun off its market value had declined to a fraction of what it was earlier expected to be. Similarly Myspace a social media network was acquired by News Corporation for $580 million and later sold off for $35 million. [25]

8. Social Media: Social mediais a key driver of the convergent media sector. Social media enables web users to connect with other users who are online from around the world. People started using social media sites to find friends and connect with family members who are far away. Sites like Facebook gained popular and became the giants in the industry with over 2.50 billion active users world wild as of December 2019. [26] Leading search sites like Google also tried to enter this market with websites like Orkut and Google Plus unfortunately both its projects succumbed to the competition and closed after some years. Currently Youtube which is a video-sharing website by Google is the sole survivor in the social media front for Google. [27]

While the internet was there way before the social media sites arrived it was not until the advent of Web 2.0 sites [28] that users were allowed to become content producers. It was called the participatory and social web as it emphasized on user generated content. Websites like blogger.com, tumblr.com allowed users to share their views by writing online blogs which were free of cost. The Web 2.0 sites were user focused and decentralized and changed over time as users modified them through their participation. Now even the news websites allow users to comment on their stories and leave a feedback.

Social media sites have seen growth by several folds on their platforms. Websites like Twitter which is popularly used to keep track of the new happenings around the world, to Youtube for live news, television shows and videos and Facebook for connecting with friends and discussing various political and non-political topics have completely enthralled the internet users. Nearly everyone is available or is using atleast one of these sites [29]. Some of the latest smartphones have pre-installed apps with Youtube and Facebook in them.

According to the American media scholar Howard Rheingold [30] there are three core characteristics of social media. First being the content production part where everyone can participate and make it possible in the network to produce, distribute and consume content that too free of cost. Rheingold said that, “The relationship between the various sectors of mass communication including the broadcasters, audience and media producers as we know will radically change in the 20th century.” Second the power of social media resides in the connection among users. The more a connection a user has the more influential he is. Big celebrities like Vin Diesel have over 95 Million followers as of August 2020 [31]. This allows them to spread messages to far more users than a normal user with less number of followers. Big brands try to cash on this and connect with these users for promotion of their products. Third the social media allows users to interact with each other at scales and speeds which were not possible earlier. Messages are not restricted to text messages; users can now chat live through video. Share their live location with friends over GPS and do a group discussion as well.  The most important shift that came with the convergence and social media is the rise of user-generated content where the users have changed from audience to participants.

9. Transmedia Storytelling: This aspect of media convergence refers to the product of media, where industries have expanded and overlapped. Rather than sending out media through one medium it is sent out across various channels at once. According to author Henry Jenkins transmedia storytelling is a technique of narrating a single story or a narrative across various platforms and formats using the current digital technology. [32] According to him the consumers of media should actively participate this could be in a form a film or comics encouraging users to consume the information in a more interactive way. A single story may span across video games, comic books, movies and even television shows. One such good example is of The Terminator franchise which was created in the year 1984.

It initially started with a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger then it expanded to comic books, video games, television and even web series. [33]

Although it is intimately connected to various brands and franchises which are spread across the media it simply does not refer to as an adaptation of one platform from another. Some well-known franchises are Star Wars, Harry Potter, Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck etc. Transmedia storytelling has been a source of revenue for various media corporations allowing it to reach new audiences and selling more products. If a user is interested in reading novels he may be inclined to reading Harry Potter novels rather than playing its video game or if he prefers watching movies and collecting toys these franchises offer everything of that sort.  Transmedia storytelling is a lot older than then the modern internet although the media convergence has greatly expanded its reach.

10. Media convergence in India: Media convergence has not only impacted the United States, Europe and other developed nations but country like India has also seen a major drift in adapting to the digitalization of content. According to stats India is the second largest newspaper market in the world with over 17,573 newspapers and 1,00,666 periodicals registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India.[34] Researchers are trying to explore how the dimensions of convergence is posing a threat to old media and emerging as an alternative media. Print and television media in India has its own history at one point it allowed the readers from across the rural parts of India to gather the latest happenings in the nation and around them on the part it was used for advertising. Similarly government controlled television channels like Doordarshan allowed viewers to watch movies, news and television shows free of cost. Until 1991 there was only 1 television channel after which a number of private channels came in. By the year 2010 there were around 600 channels which had grown to 800 in 2012. [35]

Many Voices, One World and other reports conducted by UNESCO to address the disparity of communication between the first world and third world countries, India was among the developing countries which needed attention. A Balance of Payments crisis in 1991 that brought India to the brink of bankruptcy ushered in the age of economic reforms. The telecommunications and Information Technology sector was the biggest beneficiaries of these reforms. This increased the sales of computers in the country and allowed technology to reach to the larger audience in India.   

According to estimates there were more than 300 million internet users in India in 2015. [36] Not only have the urban population been exposed to the internet but the affordable services allowed rural parts of India to access the web from the mobile devices as well. The number of internet users in rural India had jumped from 12.1 million in December, 2010 to 24 million in December, 2012 which is a rise of nearly 50%. This helped to increase the literacy rate of the rural population in India. They were now able to get information at a much faster rate than before. Information related to sports, politics, farming, weather, government funds and every topic which was of interest to them. Infact the penetration of internet in rural areas helped to double literacy rate. [37] This increased literacy rate has helped the media houses to present their work in form websites, newspapers, radio, video and other formats.  The major television news channels and media houses in India have an online presence as well, both in local languages and English. Some of the popular names in this are The Times of India, The Hindu, The Tribune, NDTV, Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Aaj Tak. [38] Some of these news agencies have already started to multiply their presence on various platform including social media sites like Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Convergence newsroom offers more opportunities to public and offers reports and editors integrated tools to tell a story. Thus convergence has given new terms to citizen and alternative journalism. Internet has been more successful in attracting the younger generation than the older one. The three characteristics which helped it grow are 1) News arrives continuously and can be access from anywhere, anytime. One does not have to wait for a news programme to be aired a newspaper to be shipped at their doorstep 2) The choice of news which a user can get online is far greater than a print media and traditional broadcast which is one of the reasons which has led to the downfall of the latter. 3) Most online news is free whereas the traditional media has to be paid.

 Conclusion: One way of understanding media convergence is the amalgamation of old and new forms of media. This can be explained by comparing newspapers and televisions with smart devices and internet. The transition from the analogue technology to digital technology is the heart of media convergence debate. On the one side it has allowed users to take the driver’s seat and decide what they wish to read, learn and acquire on the other side it is largely unmanaged and has been the source of fake news and data theft.  Accepting the new technology is the only way for traditional media to survive in the world of internet. Convergence initiates competition among various entities to survive. 

Companies which specialized in a certain field are now looking towards new horizons exploring previously unknown spaces. In case of Apple, Google and Microsoft who have actively adapted to convergence strategy based on diversification of their activities. From being a technology giant to being the largest distributor of music Apple is one such example.

The future researches should analyze the impact of convergence in various forms like technological, cultural, industrial and organizational). Some of the questions to be answered are how will social networks affect the roles and positions of the big players. Now the world is moving towards cloud computing will it strengthen social network activities. As media sharing has become easy huge chunks of data is shared across devices infrastructure to handle such sets of data requires most of the convergent players to build a cloud infrastructure. The future of convergence is yet to be seen.


[1] Media Convergence, an Introduction https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-540-73110-8_88.pdf

[2] Media convergence https://www.britannica.com/topic/media-convergence

[3] Wearable Technology https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wearable_technology

[4] Technological Convergence https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_convergence#Elements_of_Technology_Convergence

[5] The 15 biggest data breaches of the 21st century https://www.csoonline.com/article/2130877/the-biggest-data-breaches-of-the-21st-century.html

[6] Economic convergence https://opentextbc.ca/principlesofeconomics/chapter/20-4-economic-convergence/#Table_20_05 

[7] Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/lawofdiminishingmarginalreturn.asp

[8] Equity and Quality in Education https://www.oecd.org/education/school/50293148.pdf

[9] Economic Freedom and the Advantages of Backwardness https://www.cato.org/publications/economic-development-bulletin/economic-freedom-advantages-backwardness

[10] Beyond Miracle and Malaise. Social Capability in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal during the Development Era 1930–1980 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12116-019-09283-4

[12] Spice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spice

[13] Nollywood https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nollywood

[14] Why Tom & Jerry continues to strike a chord with Arab audiences https://www.arabnews.com/node/1675161/lifestyle

[15] Cultural imperialism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_imperialism

[16] Executive Summary and Key Findings of the 2020 Report http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/survey/2020/overview-key-findings-2020/

[17] Media Convergence Puts Program in Demand https://news.tulane.edu/news/media-convergence-puts-program-demand

[18] The Week https://www.magzter.com/

[19] Most visited websites https://ahrefs.com/blog/most-visited-websites/

[20] U.S. newspapers have shed half of their newsroom employees since 2008 https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/20/u-s-newsroom-employment-has-dropped-by-a-quarter-since-2008/

[21] Apple Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc

[22] France 24 Live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUnJzFT2i84

[23] Media Convergence https://www.britannica.com/topic/media-convergence

[24] The five biggest media mergers of all time https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/the-five-biggest-media-mergers-of-all-time

 [25] News Corporation Sells MySpace for $35 Million https://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/news-corp-sells-myspace-to-specific-media-for-35-million/

[26] Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results https://s21.q4cdn.com/399680738/files/doc_financials/2019/q4/FB-12.31.2019-Exhibit-99.1-r61_final.pdf

[27] Google+, Orkut, hi5: Social Networks That Failed To Make It Big https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/google-orkut-hi5-social-networks-that-failed-to-make-it-big/goodbye-google/slideshow/68700637.cms

[28] What Is Web 2.0 https://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

[29] Social media – Statistics & Facts https://www.statista.com/topics/1164/social-networks/

[30] In the late 1990s all these mergers made sense https://www.coursehero.com/file/p6dkpc3v/In-the-late-1990s-all-these-mergers-made-sense-according-to-the-logic-of/

[31] Vin Diesel https://www.facebook.com/VinDiesel

[32] Transmedia Storytelling https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmedia_storytelling

[33] Terminator (franchise) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminator_(franchise)

[34] Registrar of Newspapers for India https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Registrar_of_Newspapers_for_India

[35] Cable in India http://eprints.manipal.edu/141096/1/Asia13.pdf

[36] Internet usage in India – statistics & facts https://www.statista.com/topics/2157/internet-usage-in-india/

[37] Census of India 2011 Rural Urban Distribution of Population – Page9  https://censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/paper2/data_files/india/Rural_Urban_2011.pdf

[38] Indian news websites https://blog.feedspot.com/indian_news_websites/