Converging Technology is the combination of two or more medias into a single device. In the past, devices were created for individual tasks, for example a Sony Walkman was created to play music on the go, whilst a desktop computer was needed to keep up to date with emails. Now both of these things, and many more, can be done on one advice – for example a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
This has created both a threat to creative media companies and an opportunity. Netflix are a streaming service which puts films, series, documentaries and exclusive content onto the subscribed device enabling on dean viewing, often on the go. Netflix are a great example of a creative media service capitalising on the opportunities Converging Technology presents as they were initially a DVD subscription service like Film4 or Blockbusters. Blockbusters continued to focus on the hire and rental of physical media such as DVDs and VHS but disappeared from the high street as consumer behaviour changed in favour of on-demand streaming services. Netflix are now a household name and the world’s 10th-largest internet company by revenue*.
The Music Industry has also been affected by Converging Technologies, especially over the past 10 years where the rise of file based media over physical CDs. Streaming services such as Spotify now offer an unlimited selection of music available to livestream or listen to offline, for phones, tablets and computers, depending on a user’s subscription. Spotify also work with other music apps like Shazam to create playlists and artist pages which link directly from other advertisement medias, such as using QR codes in print adverts or inviting users to Shazam a tune in order to see a full playlist. This is often done with TV series’s too, where a channel such as Channel 4 will create extra content for fans of the show (such as Skins) and create playlists and soundtracks exclusively available on Spotify.