Jack Shanahan: 41202228
Digital convergence media is one of the most influential trends within society. The phenomenon of media convergence can be defined as the process of new technologies merging with existing media (Dwyer, 2010, 2). Through this process old media is transformed into new digital format as a method of enhancing the viewing experience. This essay will discuss the impact of media convergence through analysing the music video industry.
The effects of digital media convergence over the past two decades has re shaped the music video industry. Todays music video industry is shaped by the modern day consumer who demands entertainment in fast, convenient doses throughout the entire duration of the day. The industry's ability to adapt to these changes have been made possible by developments in portable web browsing devices and software programmes such as youtube, mediafire and vimeo.
The creation of such programs has spawned a resurgence of the music video industry. Despite these new and interactive distribution channels the industry has still had to re think the way they produce music videos.
Driven by digital media convergence in this new era of music video creation the phenomena of participatory media also known as User Generated Content has been born. The birth of participatory media is the result of a cultural shift which focused on literacy from individual expression to community involvement (Murygesan, S. 2007). This cultural shift can be linked to the growth in new digital technologies such as youtube, cheap digital cameras and social networking sites. The developments in these technologies allows individuals to creatively express themselves within the mass media environment. In doing so the borders that existed between the filmmaker, artist and the consumer have been blurred (Barker, D. 2010).
Participatory media encourages the individual to express themselves by drawing from inspiration material. Youtube sensation Keenan Cahill is a an example of how participatory media is used within music videos. The video posted by Cahill created using only a laptop has since August 2010 generated 43,077,607 views. Cahill video suggest that media convergence is the result of people taking media into their own hands. Entertainment is no long just a diversion designed to provide amusement or pleasure (Singhal, A 1999) . Within the digital convergence culture it involved the life's of those who consume it it and as a result they to become phenomena within society (Jenkins, H. 2006) .
This boom in user created content has resulted in a huge increase in the amount of content that exists on the web. Today amateur generated content far out weighs the number of professionally produced videos (Sexton, J. 2007). To cut through this noise music video creatives have had to come up with new innovative methods to gain attention. Both Lo fi and hybrid music video are examples of new music video styles that attempt to do this.
Lo-fi production used in professional music videos is a technique used to give a movie a home made feeling. The artists puts large emphasise on the concept of the video rather than the video equipment and used in the production (Barker, D. 2010). The purpose of this is spark a viral effect where viewers are compelled to pass the video on through mediums such as social network sites or email chains (Vega, T. 2011).
The video "Ok Go" directed by James Frost is an example of a film which uses this lo-fi techniques. The video uses a one take method in conjunction with a clever concepted dance routine rather than a large budget to gain attention. Since its release on the web during February 2009 the film has gone viral and has now been streamed 6,757,472 times. It is extremely difficult to determine which videos have the capabilities to become a viral sensation. Without the effects of digital convergence media music videos would no longer have the ability to gain this level of attention in a mass media environment (Kulash, D.2010)
M.I.A - BORN FREE VIDEO OFFICIAL (real and... by elnino
Romain Gravas in juxtaposition to Frost uses high end production techniques in his music video titled "Born Free" yet questions society's social agenda as a method of gaining attention from a mass audience. His video utilises the internet as a distribution network. Due to the controversial nature of the film the band MIA would never have been able to air this on television. Digital media convergence allows the artist to express themselves in a unrestricted matter. The convergence of media formats has resulted in the creation of a more innovative and creative space for music videos to exist within.
This new digital era has not only changed the way video content is created and consumed it has also manipulated the the way we view subject matter. Hybrid media is today commonly used in music videos. An example of this is seen in Geoff Mcfetridge video "Plaid." The video is a parametric mix between creative outlets such as architecture and music videos. Using programs such as after effects the live action space is blended with the virtual space creating a paranormal effect. In using multiple mediums the viewing experience is enhanced and the artist is able to brake free from the classical MTV performance based music video. (Manovich, L. 2007)
Through analysing the recent trends in music videos it it clear that digital media convergence has become a huge phenomenon within the world of music videos.
It has morphed the way we create, produce, record and consume music videos. Today music videos exist in a high challenging technological world where creativity, personalisation and individuality set the standards for excellence. In this new environment it is clear that as a result of media convergence culture the industry is no longer driven by the demands of record labels and television stations. Rather it is driven by the individual.
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(1) - Murygesan, S. (2007) Understanding web 2.0, Inspec, Vol 9, pp 24-41
(2) - Barker, D. (2010) Internet Saved the Video Star: The Renaissance of the Music Video, in Metro Magazine, Vol 160, pp 142-144
(3) - Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture: Where New and Old Media Collide, New York University Press, pp 16-17.
(4) - Sexton, J. (2007). Music, Sound and multimedia: from the live to the virtual, Edinburgh University Press Ltd, pp. 8-20.
(5) - Vega, T "Tech Talk Podcast: Viral Marketing," March 23, 2011: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/tech-talk-podcast-viral-marketing/
(6) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm_n3hg-Gbg&feature=related
(7) - Kulash, D. (2010) "Whose tube" New York Times, May 13 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/20/opinion/20kulash.html
(8) - Manovich, L. (2007), "Understanding Hybrid Media", Animated Paintings (San Diego: San Diego Museum of Art
(9) - Singhal, Al (1999) "Entertainment: a communication strategy for social change," Lawrence Erlbaum (1999) pg 181
(10) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sS0fkADJH8
(11) - http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3