Y/600/9039 – Converging Technologies


How is digital technology used in the creative media sector and what relationships has this created between different industries in the sector?


In the creative media sector, digital technology is a vital component in being able to function and improves productivity and efficiency in many areas. At the company I work for (a marketing company) we use digital technology in almost everything we do.


Looking at a typical project that we would undertake; the creation of a website, we use digital technology at most stages of development and production. To begin with clients are given a form created in Microsoft Word to assess their requirements for the website. From this we can begin to create wireframes either using Photoshop or a wireframing tool such as Sketchapp. These are then uploaded to our cloud storage and a link shared via email to the client for feedback. Using digital technology for these tasks allows us to produce and share them quickly and easily.


When building the site we use the WordPress CMS and a premade theme. This allows us to quickly create the website and add content without the need for excessive coding as the CMS and theme both provide a foundation to work from with the necessary features and code required already existing.


Once the website is completed we can use social media to promote it. Social media allows us to reach a wide range of people with ease so we don’t need to target the desired audience individually. We also sent out an email using Mailchimp which allows us to create a professional email and send it out to a mailing list incredibly easily.


The use of digital technology in the creative media sector has allowed collaboration between different industries to be achieved much more easily. It has also meant that there has been a merging of some of the services these industries offer due to the ease of access to the technology. For example, a web design company may previously have just designed the layouts and coded the website, whereas now, with digital photography and the availability to create professional imaging easily, they may be more involved in producing the content for the site as well.



What is meant by converging technology and what impact has it had on the workforce within your organisation/industry?


“Technological convergence is the tendency that as technology changes, different technological system sometimes evolve toward performing similar tasks. Digital convergence refers to the convergence of four industries into one conglomerate, ITTCE (Information Technologies, Telecommunication, Consumer Electronics, and Entertainment).



Media convergence is the interlinking of computing and other information technologies, media content, media companies and communication networks that have arisen as the result of the evolution and popularization of the Internet as well as the activities, products and services that have emerged in the digital media space.”




Converging technology is where separate technologies evolve to perform similar tasks as other technologies. A prime example being mobile phones, which besides their core function of voice calls and text messaging are now cameras, gaming devices, payment methods (e.g. Apple Pay), video players and basically a computer in your pocket.


The impact that technological convergence has had in my industry is substantial. With the improvements to smartphone cameras, a lot of content can be created and shared quickly without quality being a concern. Social Networks have also allowed us to created targeted advertising for a lower cost and with improved accuracy compared to traditional methods (printed ads, radio ads etc).



How has converging technology changed the expectations of audiences/consumers within a chosen creative media industry?


Looking at web design/development, one of the main changes in consumer expectations due to converging technology is the focus on mobile-friendly design. With more people accessing the internet from mobile devices (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/11/01/mobile-web-usage-overtakes-desktop-for-first-time/) there is a demand to make websites that work well on smaller screens and with touch input. Additionally, due to Social Media being such a widely used tool for organisations, there is a strong need for Social Network accounts to integrate with websites, be it by displaying posts from the Social Network on the website or by having new content from the site being automatically pushed to the social network accounts. There is also an expectation for websites to be full of high quality content, particularly high-res images and HD videos.



How have ideas for multi-platform content been used to reach new audiences/generate revenue?


A great example of how multi-platform content has been used is Lego. Lego has branched out from a physical toy and released a series of computer games, the more recent ones being tied into larger entities such a Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. By doing so they can introduce their product to fans of the other series as well as gamers. Additionally, Lego has created feature length films, most recently The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. Creating a successful film can be a huge revenue boost, and The Lego Movie generated over $450 million at the box office and a further $128 million from domestic video sales (http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/LEGO-Movie-The#tab=summary).


By expanding into different platforms, Lego has offered new ways to generate revenue and can reach audiences who may not typically be interested in their core product.



Describe examples of commissioning processes and funding opportunities in relation to converging technologies


It is much easier for new projects to find funding with the advent of crowdfunding organisations such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe. These crowdfunding companies allow a user to upload their pitch to the site, set a funding target, offer funding incentives etc. and then anyone can help fund it.


A prime example for the effectiveness of crowdfunding is the Pebble Smartwatch. The company failed to attract traditional investors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_(watch)#Funding) so turned to crowdfunding through Kickstarter. Their target was $100,000 and they offered the smartwatch to users who backed $115 (effectively pre-ordering the device at a discount). They achieved their goal in 2 hours, and went on to raise over $10million during the campaign.


Pebble researched other successful Kickstarters to build the most effective campaign, deeming a “video that had a personal pitch and talked directly to your customers and viewers was really important”. They also realised that the most important aspect to a Kickstarters success is how traffic is driven to the Kickstart page. In light of this, they target a number of relevant tech & gadget bloggers as well as teaming up with Engaget to promote the launch of the campaign.


The launch of the Kickstarter essentially went viral, reaching a wide audience and gaining massive exposure through online and social media.


For content creators who regularly release new content, e.g. Youtubers, websites like Patreon offer an opportunity for funding. Patreon is another crowdfunding solution, however it works on more of a subscription basis, with individuals pledging an amount on a monthly basis in return for extra content. Other methods to receive funding can be to include adverts on their content or to gain sponsorship.



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