Media convergence with film denotes the coming together of earlier diverse cinema, information, and communication platforms and technologies through computerized networking and digitization. It led to the merging of content, computing, and communication processes as a direct result of digitization and increased popularity of the Internet (Song 116). The five crucial processes of media convergence and film include technological, industrial, social, textual, and political dimensions. In media convergence and film, there has been the transformation of established services, work processes, and industries, over and above the facilitation of completely new varieties of content.
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The technological phase of media convergence with film has been highly and easily understood. The emergence of the World Wide Web, tablet computers, and smartphones, among other digital gadgets, has made millions of people around the world simply access multimedia content and film. Attributable to a broad scope of information currently being accessed through a single gadget, organizations have started formulating cross-media content and film.
News companies are not presenting a single form of print, audio, or visual content anymore (Murschetz 75). Films such as The Matrix and Star Wars are also available in the form of books, cartoons, and video games hence allowing expansion of a single concept instead of creating many new ideas. Most companies have now generated portals where content can be accessed in the form of print, video, or pictures, in addition to creating links to pertinent resources, online availability, social media platforms, and chances for users to contribute through comments or calls.
Technological advancements have given rise to the industrial dimension in media convergence in relation to the film. Industrial consolidation has led to the creation of massive digital media players. Around 2000, big companies strived to expand their interests around media platforms through such practices as a merger, for example, between Viacom and CBS in 2000 and involving NBC and Universal in 2004. Moreover, established media companies started taking over new ones, for instance, News Corporation acquired Intermix Media Inc. in 2005. After recently acquiring the 21st-century FOX, Disney will now manage titles such as Avatar and other Marvel films (Flores 59).
Though mergers were reasonable around 2000 in line with the sense of synergies, following the splitting of the technology bubble, it became evident that cultural diversities between companies were more intricate to conquer than it was initially believed (Spilioti 197). For instance, the merger between America On Line and Time Warner was only short-lived. By the moment America On-Line reemerged as a separate entity in 2009, it was worth just a proportion of the 350 billion dollars that was its value during the merger in 2001. Furthermore, News Corporation only obtained 35 million dollars after selling off MySpace in 2011 despite having incurred a cost of 580 million dollars in its acquirement in 2005.
The emergence of the social dimension has been a novel approach in media convergence with film. This dimension has resulted in the surfacing of new services, technologies, and online sites that allow users to communicate with another user or a group (Xiong and Zhang 93).
Though the Internet has always enabled people to take part in the media sector not merely as consumers but producers as well, the social facet only thrived in the 2000s after the emergence of Web 2.0 platforms that endeavored to be user-friendly, are decentralized, and advance over time with continued improvement. Attributable to sites such as Lovefilm, YouTube, and Netflix, people may now watch the film of their choice any time, either cheaply or at no cost. Social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and WhatsApp, to mention a few. Their growth has been exceptional. For instance, after its launch in 2006, Facebook already had more than one billion active users by 2012.
Under the textual dimension, professional media has connected with convergence and film through such approaches as storytelling, where stories are passed across numerous sites. Though the textual dimension is strongly linked to franchises and businesses undertaken by corporations such as Harry Potter and Star Wars, it does not only entail switching over content from one site to a different one. It has been established that storytelling across different platforms is a unique narrative formation that enlarges through numerous languages, visual and verbal methods, and media, for example, film, TV, and video games (Spilioti 197).
Hundreds of YouTube channels now allow the uploading of film trailers, which is a form of easy marketing. Through trailers, a film attracts a large audience as information regarding thrilling movies is also shared on other sites. Even with transmedia storytelling acting as a source of brand expansion for numerous companies and increasing their profitability attributable to the attraction of new audiences and the creation of more products, it also operates as a way of engaging fans with specific content as they compose rich and intricate narratives about it.
Under the political dimension, the impact of media convergence in relation to the film includes the generation of methods for the dual flow of information such as North-South and South-South. From a democratic stand, media has created platforms for the expansion of the public sphere over and above social and political mobilization. Media has become powerful in influencing public view and agenda, as well as supporting good governance through checking responsibility and transparency.
The rise of political cinema has facilitated the creation of films that do not hide their stance in politics. Films and media platforms have constantly been associated with political support, linkage, parties, and campaigns according to the inclinations of their owners (Murschetz 82). This has promoted media subjectivity, with movies, television, and newspapers being increasingly employed for political campaigns instead of serving public purposes on neutral grounds. Film production companies and media owners should avoid taking political sides on their platforms to avoid clashing the intended public support, stance, and independence.
In the process of media convergence and film, there have been increasing challenges for policies. In the twentieth century, the content was issued through different platforms such as radio, TV, cinema, video games, magazines, and newspapers, which had varying rates of regulation. In the 21st century, media content has shifted from being confined in earlier established sites to present availability in digital types across numerous gadgets.
Furthermore, users are not merely consuming content but also progressively distributing and producing it (Xiong and Zhang 93). Policy changes have enabled alterations in aesthetics, creation, exhibition, circulation, and reaction to films. Settings, where media and film regulations, policies, and practices are undertaken, have been radically changing as users easily manage their environments and become conversant with convergent technologies.
Media convergence with film has progressively facilitated the merging of content, computing, and communication practices as a direct result of the digitization and augmented popularity of the Internet. The five fundamental processes of media convergence in relation to film encompass the social, technological, textual, industrial, and political dimensions.
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Media convergence and film have enhanced the transformation of established services, work progressions, and industries, in addition to facilitating the expansion of entirely new assortments of content. In the course of media convergence and film, there have been rising issues for policies. Settings where media directives, policies, and practices are carried out have been drastically changing as users easily deal with their environments and become acquainted with convergent technologies.
Flores, Alberto. “All Together Now.” Film Comment, vol. 55, no. 2, 2019, pp. 58-61.
Murschetz, Paul. “Connected Television: Media Convergence, Industry Structure, and Corporate Strategies.” Annals of the International Communication Association, vol. 40, no. 1, 2016, pp. 69-93.
Song, Minho. “Digital Media Convergence and Interactivity in Film Narrative.” The Journal of the Korea Contents Association, vol. 15, no. 1, 2015, pp. 114-122.
Spilioti, Tereza. “Media Convergence and Publicness: Towards a Modular and Iterative Approach to Online Research Ethics.” Applied Linguistics Review, vol. 8, no. 2-3, 2017, pp. 191-212.
Xiong, Hui, and Jian Zhang. “How Local Journalists Interpret and Evaluate Media Convergence: An Empirical Study of Journalists from Four Press Groups in Fujian.” International Communication Gazette, vol. 80, no. 1, 2018, pp. 87-115.