This past Wednesday, I gave a presentation on convergence in the U.S. and how it has affected media markets. I started by looking at the four functions of media which include surveillance, interpretation, values transmission/socialization, and entertainment. I chose to focus my presentation on what I thought was a great example of convergence, the iPod. The book defines convergence as the integration of mass media, computers, and telecommunications. However, we discussed that convergence is not limited to the integration of those things but it is also the convergence of different cultures, different generations, institutions and corporations. We discussed how convergence has become the new norm in our day and age and we later heard from another classmate who talked about convergence and the XBOX.
After talking about convergence, I informed the class what this is doing to old media markets such as the bankruptcy of three of the largest box office chains and the decline in effective advertising causing a rise in product placement. These are due to the rise in downloadable TV shows and movies right on one’s computer. This convenience is discouraging individuals from traveling to the box office and watching TV shows fully because now they can simply download and watch without the hassle of movie theater crowds and commercials.
I chose to talk about the iPod specifically because I felt that it was an idea of convergence that most people in the class could relate to because most people our age either own or have encountered an mp3 player and since the iPod is the most well known, it was the player I chose to use as my example. Not only does this product converge music, games, pictures, TV, and movies all onto one product, but it also brought about new media markets such as the downloadable TV and movie market and a new market for podcasts.
This case study opened my eyes to just how popular the iPod really is and how successful things like podcasts and downloadable TV shows and movies have been. I was also very interested in my classmates’ presentations about blogs and convergence with the XBOX. Each presentation gave a different perspective on the chapter and gave great examples from the material in the book.