Digitization of information combined with increasing growth of electronic networks has created new opportunities in the media industry (Adams, 2013). Converged media is now a fundamental facet of life for a majority of citizens. With technological improvements in electronic devices and operations such as televisions, computers, tablets, mobile phones, and the internet, the audience has been treated with a better selection of media. This article focuses on legal, economic, and behavioural impacts of converged media.
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Some few decades ago, it was very expensive to set up a media firm. This situation was attributed to expensive media products, technology, and software. Compared to the past, the cost of setting up a media firm has significantly dropped. Converged media has reduced the cost of media products and software (Cianci, 2009).
In international media houses, several news crews are required in every medium such as radio, television, and newspapers. As a substitute of having a number of these crews, converged media operation makes use of a few individuals to come up with news for several mediums (Jaokar & Jacobs, 2009).
Through this, media houses can cut back on their operation cost and increase their revenues. Equally, through converged media the consumers benefit in a number of ways. Convergence has improved the quality of information delivered to the end user. Consequently, satisfaction of the consumers has been enhanced leading to a bigger audience (Evans, 2011).
With respect to the behavioural impacts, converged media has enhanced audience participation. Unlike in the past, the individuals can interact with media crews using phones or the internet (Grant & Wilkinson, 2009). This has revolutionized the way the audience feels about the media. Equally, converged media has enable users to download and share music files. Similarly, the users can share their experiences, photos, and network with others. Through this, they have become part of the media produce.
Despite the celebrated success of this development, it should be noted that it has resulted in numerous challenges. Currently, audiences are presented with too much information that they rarely have enough time to access them (Girard, 2011). Equally, the technology that supports the converged media changes rapidly. This implies that people have to adopt the emerging technologies more often. Individuals who do not adopt these changes, such as the old and illiterate people, will be disadvantaged.
For media regulators, convergence has resulted in numerous challenges. Media regulators have to redesign their regulatory structures to control this emerging sector (Booth, 2010). If they fail to do so, they risk being obsolete. In many countries, media regulators are yet to come up with a means of regulating converged media. In these countries, converged media has not been appropriately regulated because the sector is still at its infancy stage.
For instance, in the US the sector has raised numerous heated debates (Spigel & Olsson, 2004). Controversies exist over the categorization of some telecommunication services. In the UK, the government has come up with short and long-term ways of regulating this sector. The government has adjusted the existing media permits to make certain that the media adhere to the rules outlined in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.
As illustrated above, converged media has created new opportunities and challenges in the media industry. Therefore, media regulators must move with haste to ensure that appropriate regulations are formulated to control the sector.
Adams, B. (2013). Converged media: same content, different laws?. Strasbourg: European Audiovisual Observatory.
Booth, P. (2010). Digital fandom: new media studies. New York: Peter Lang.
Cianci, P. J. (2009). Technology and workflows for multiple channel content distribution infrastructure implementation strategies for converged production. Amsterdam: Focal.
Evans, E. (2011). Transmedia television audiences, new media, and daily life. New York: Routledge.
Girard, J. P. (2011). Social knowledge using social media to know what you know. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
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Grant, A. E., & Wilkinson, J. (2009). Understanding media convergence: the state of the field. New York: Oxford University Press.
Jaokar, A., & Jacobs, B. (2009). Social media marketing: how data analytics helps to monetize the user base in telecoms, social networks, media and advertising in a converged ecosystem. London: Futuretext Ltd.
Spigel, L., & Olsson, J. (2004). Television after TV: essays on a medium in transition. Durham: Duke University Press.