As we advance through digital age, the role of convergence has become far greater than we could ever have imagined. It has provided us with a more efficient and effective way to create, communicate and distribute content with all most endless possibilities.
The term “convergence describes the flow of content across multiple media technologies” (2006, pg.1). Generically speaking, Jenkins describes convergence as a place “where new and old media collide” (2006, pg.2). Digital convergence is seeing a shift in the way we value digital content. It is powering social evolution, aiding creativity and the idea of a “read-write” (Lessig, 2007) culture and most importantly, creating technologies that have the ability to change the world.
Convergence allows audiences to play a significant role in the creation of digital content. The audience is transformed into an integral part of the technology and the catalyst for a more dynamic media platform. As a music producer convergence has not only enhanced my tools for creativity, it has created an economically sound way to deliver content.
Considering SoundCloud, convergence removes the monolithic structures of music distribution replacing it with a dialogic structure that allows the consumer to be apart of the collaborative production process, distribution and consumption of media content. In-tern this creates active communities that facilitates social awareness. This is terribly problematic for industries as convergence negates the need for gatekeepers and control. For decades, electronic music was known as an expensive art form but the door is now open to “academics and professionals, hobbyists and chancers” (Battle, 2012). This is no longer a point of difference with the help of convergence.
“In a world where media is global, social, ubiquitous and cheap” the ability for users to publish their ideas has never been more efficient. Convergence makes things easier. Audiences can create, share and communicate together on a global scale without the negative limitations of inflated costs of production and control from industries.
Because the power of convergence creates a participatory culture, we must consider the role of the user and the advantages and disadvantages of digital media. We must also examine to which extent social networking sites have enhanced the ‘‘do-it-yourself attitude to music promotion and distribution” (Paschal, pg. 13, 2011).
Oasis front man Noel Gallagher believes that the way we consume media has changed profoundly. We no longer consume content on physical mediums such as compact disks (random) or vinyl (sequential) and instead, prefer the convenience of digital downloads (hypertext).
As a lover of music I for one would would argue that there is still a place for each medium, it just dependant on the attitudes of the audience. For those who love the nostalgic value of dropping a their favourite vinyl onto a turntable or others who simply prefer online music streaming services such as Spotify, there is a medium for every audience.
Battle L, (2012) “The Shape of Sounds to come”, The Financial Times Limited, London
Jenkins, H. (2006). “Worship at the altar of convergence”: A new paradigm for understanding media change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press
Lessig , 2007, The Law is Strangling Creativity – TED, accessed 22/05/2012, http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_lessig_says_the_law_is_strangling_creativity.html
Paschal P, Rogers, J, (2011) “Social networks, legal innovations and the “new” music industry”, info, Vol. 13 Issue: 6, pg.13, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Convergence – Music – Amazingness
2nd Year Media & Communication & Commerce Student @UOW
Majoring in Digital Communication & Marketing