UNDERSTANDING MEDIA CONVERGENCE
In this paper, I am going to focus on defining and explaining what he meant by media convergence. I will also use a case study to illustrate the convergence with a particular focus on three cardinal concepts in his work; participatory culture, collective intelligence and transmedia storytelling. My chosen case study is a large entertainment tool, the apple watch. Jenkin’s terms apply to my topic in the sense that the Apple watch is a departure from the traditional role of a wristband. An Apple watch is a device in the category of smartwatches that is a product of Apple Inc. The young people inform the trends in the media industry, and the industry has to adjust in a manner that responds to their likings.
Thus is to say convergence is shaped by the desires of the media moguls to expand their influence across many platforms and the wants of their audiences who the media owners depend on. The consumers dictate the media they want, how, when and where they want it and the format in which they prefer. The various media competitors are also a source of convergence in the sense that they try to outdo each other to gain a competitive edge over their rivals. In the case of the Apple watch, Apple had grappled with the increase in demand for smartwatches in the market. Economic Convergence: Apple, aware of its prowess and reputation among customers seeks to not only retain its worldwide market but also expand it.
The most critical factor that has aided its cells is the widely believed perception that no one can manufacture anything with the scale and precision of Apple. For this, the company aims at raising its prices since they know their customers are never in doubt of the quality and durability of their products. The Apple watch retails at $349, way too expensive than its competitors; G-Shock and Rolex. The secret is that Apple does not focus on the number of people who buy the watch but on the amount of revenue it can generate regarding sales. ” The article described participatory culture as one with low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creation and sharing of one’s views with others, which has some informal mentorship of the novices by experts, where members believe their contribution matters and one in which members feel a social connection with other people.
Therefore, it is prudent to note that convergence does not occur with media appliances (gadgets that disseminate information), but it happens in people’s minds as they interact with and make contributions to the content that has been generated (Jenkins, 2006). Participatory culture in the case of the Apple watch can be understood from the perspective of the release of the product and the aftermath of the release, that is customer feedback. The Apple watch had been long advertised by the company, and the consumers had high expectations not only on the fantastic performance but also they were eager too to have a wearable device that they can use beyond the normal function of a wristwatch. The customers lined up to witness the release and grab pieces of the revolutionary that had been anticipated by all and sundry.
COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE Collective Intelligence emanates from the obvious fact that none of us can have all the knowledge about all things in their heads at the same time. It is because of our current culture of information overload, and individuals learn and store information that is of value to them or that which appeals to them in a certain way. In this way, we can engage in conversations with our peers and friends and exchange information and ideas that we know and possess what they also do. Collective intelligence, therefore, provides a means of enlightening each other on life issues. What this means is that consumption has become a collective process (Jenkins, 2006). The manner in which they are also selected is another factor of concern.
All in all, through these programs, people’s individual views are gathered and a collective conclusion is drawn reflecting the opinions held by a majority of the participants (Rawassizadeh, Price & Petre, 2015). A good example of how collective intelligence has affected the Apple watch is in the manner in which Circle Back, Inc. reacted to customer related concerns on the contacts features of the Apple watch. Circle Back Inc. A transmedia would come up with stories across multiple forms of media to be able to deliver unique content of stories in each channel which are not only intertwined but are also in narrative synchronisation with each other. Transmedia storytelling can be used as a means to set up an entertainment brand that will capture the attention of audiences globally, readers and users on multiple platforms (Jenkins, 2006).
Transmedia storytelling, therefore, implies the process where integral elements of a fiction get systematically dispersed across a myriad of platforms and channels for the intention of bettering the entertainment experience. Each medium across which these stories transcend has a contribution towards the outcome of the story. It represents what media industry players refer to as "synergy”, that is the economics of media consolidation. It was a story that captured the market. Apple has always managed to establish their developments as a work in progress that keeps their market anticipating the next product regarding its features and complexity. To them and their customers, this is a journey they are travelling together, and the destination does not seem to be I sight a factor that asserts their loyalty.
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