Question 5 on revision sheet: The importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences

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Question 5 on revision sheet: The importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences.

  • Learning outcome: Understand how new technologies can combine to produce, market, distribute and exhibit a film successfully.

At the end of this PowerPoint you will be able to answer:

  • 1. how do new technologies combine to produce films?
  • 2. how do new technologies combine to market film successfully?
  • do new technologies combine to distribute and exhibit films?

The importance of convergence to the audience and institution

  • What does convergence mean and why is it important?
  • When two or more technologies come together to create a new technology.
  • Audiences: Everything in one product.
  • Institutions: Audiences tied to one product.


  • Convergence is an Important term usually comes up in the exam
  • Definition: Convergence means coming together.
  • There are two types of convergence: Technological convergence and Institutional convergence
  • New technologies and convergence: A TV is are no longer just a TV’s but now is enabled with other new technology i.e. it may have an inbuilt DVD player, Freeview, or cable to download and watch films. Some will even have the internet built in which means streaming more films, catching up with friends.
  • Convergence of new technologies has a knock on effect on they way we receive the media. For example a phones can contain both a video recorder, sound recording, video player, web browsers etc. This means that you can now capture a piece of footage edit it, then upload it with another new technology like the internet and then distribution your footage via a social networking site or through YouTube.
  • Phones are not longer just for ringing people, new technology has converged and now contains different technologies i.e. sat nav, mp4, camera etc.
  • Look at your phone how much technology does this contain?

Technological Convergence

  • Convergence is the process by which a range of media platforms are integrated within a single piece of media technology.
  • For example the new X Box 360 is a games console, a DVD player, an internet modem.
  • The iphone is a phone, a camera, a video camera, an mp3 player, an FM radio, a games console, a web browser, a palmtop computer.
  • This demonstrates ‘convergence’ of a wide range of technologies.
  • Media institutions recognise that audiences enjoy using converged technology, want to consume media in a variety of different ways (including ‘on the go’) and provide short form content for downloading eg video clips, trailers, music videos, jingles, wallpapers, music tracks etc
  • The possibility of such media converging makes it possible for the media to diversify. Newspapers like the Sun are now available online, people can now write on the Sun’s blog, news can be updated instantly. Movies can be streamed on the internet, the films can now be in your home. The key point is media is becoming interactive and operating on multiple platforms with the audience. On demand, BBCI player are products of demand. ASDA being 24 hours is a product of our demand.
  • CONVERGENCE=change
  • Media is not about single entities operating alone
  • In a nearby future we can assume that media will move freely across different ... Media will In a nearby future we can assume that media will move freely across different technological platforms and across different media formats. Media in this sense appear more as a liquid than solids.” Mikael Wiberg, 2007, 63 “
  • Convergence and synergy are interlinked, because as the media convergence it makes it possible for the institutions to promote and distribute their products. Look at Youtube owned by Google, how they promote Google Chrome.
  • Institutional convergence:
  • Technological convergence production
  • Danny Boyle director of Slumdog Millionaire talking about Slumdog and technology used in the film

New technologies convergence distribution

  • By convergence we mean the trend for different technologies for the delivery of content to start to resemble one another. For example, television sets will increasingly resemble computers while computers will increasingly resemble televisions; both will be used to download moving images from the internet, and eventually the distinction between the separate technologies are likely to be erased. Such convergence has already lead to the development of services, such as video-on-demand, which can be delivered by a variety of different devices. These services can broadly be grouped under the heading digital media. Such convergence has been made possible as a result of the evolution of digital technology
  • . The Television, Radio and Newspapers are the worlds main mediums in accessing news and entertainment. Now, all 3 mediums have converged into one and people all over the world now can read news on the internet. They can also watch videos, Television Shows, listen to music, download and upload pictures, music and videos. Now one doesn't have to wait until the next day to hear the latest in news, fashion and music. The internet is so easy to access that should anything happen, it would be displayed to the whole world within minutes.

How do new technologies combine to produce, distribute and exhibition?

  • This is an important Youtube video for understanding how digital technology (technological convergence or simply 'convergence') is changing the ways in which films are being produced, distributed and consumed. The old 35mm films will end up in museums with cheaper digital downloads offering an immersive experience far greater than before on new digital screens in multiplexes. This short film features translated interviews with French and German film-makers and cinema owners but what is true of them is also relevant for us as our experience is going to be the same. Watch this as you will know how to discuss 'convergence' in the consumption/exhibition part of your essays and be able to discuss the changes that digital technology will bring about in cinemas and the benefits cinema-goers.

New technologies convergence in marketing.

  • New technologies are important for institutions as they allow media products new means to be produced i.e. through phones, but also to be both distributed and exhibited via the internet. However they also allow for films to be market via the internet and to target specific groups. Think how successful Facebook campaigns have been in promoting different things.

Examples convergence

  • Channel 4 has on demand and has offered the first series of lost free to download.
  • can combine to reach a target audience ‘The Boat that Rocked’ – soundtrack was advertised on
  • Vivendi own Universal and ‘This is England’ - Greenroom digital (marketing agency) approached to launch a ‘site take-over’ to market the film to target audience.
  • This is an example of both convergence and synergy because as technologies convergence companies use this to promote their own products through a proliferation of new technologies on offer to the audience.

Slumdog technological convergence

  • Technological convergence is present at each stage in the media and in this instance, the distribution part of the film industry. Here, "Tug" plays up its part in the use of search marketing for Pathe to publicise Slumdog Millionaire using online marketing on the Internet. For those researching case studies on this film and its institutions notice also how niche audiences were targeted: "Indian moviegoers and Danny Boyle enthusiasts".
  • Launching Pathe’s Slumdog Millionaire Using search marketing
  • Date Published: 07th May 2009 Problem • Pathe was launching a new independent movie in the UK: Slumdog Millionaire. • They wanted to use online marketing to build awareness with the public while also targeting niche audiences such as Indian movie goers and Danny  Boyle enthusiasts. • To support their above the line advertising, Pathe developed a suite of online marketing collateral including a viral, a widget and a trailer focused microsite • But how could Pathe cost effectively, gain an online share of voice in the competitive January release season, create engagement and drive traffic to their online assets? Solution Tug developed a PPC campaign on the major UK search engines targeting searchers interested in: Pathe, Bollywood, Danny Boyle, Slumdog, Indie movies and the like • Tug launched targeted banners across the Google Content network to build awareness of the film on a cost per click model. Eye balls were free. • Tug worked with Google to create click to play trailer ads. Pathe only paid when the surfer clicked through to the microsite. Banner and even trailer views were free! • Tug tested and improved ad copy weekly and included Bafta award and box office hit messaging when the movie met these milestones. • A tactical SEO programme was also put in place concentrating on the film name to ensure top positioning for the difficult to index, flash microsite.


  • Results • PPC drove over 75,000 new visitors to
  • • More than 21 Million ad impressions were served and viewed by targeted audiences – for free. On a blind network at £5 CPM that would have cost over£100K • 73,000 movie goers engaged with and viewed the video trailer • These terrific results cost a mere £13,000 in media spend over a 5 week burst. • Slumdog Millionaire smashed UK box office records and has won 7 Bafta awards and 8 oscars! • Tug are working on an integrated SEO & PPC template campaign structure for further Pathe film releases.

Vivendi Universal

  • Working Title films is owned by Universal films
  • Universal films is part of Vivendi Universal
  • Vivendi Universal is a giant name in the world of the privatised water industry all over the world, from Brazil to the UK
  • It also owns major phone companies in many countries
  • It also owns 60 publishing houses selling 80 million books a year / 40 million CD-ROMs a year

Vivendi Universal

  • Vivendi Universal own Cineplex and Odeon cinema chains- another distribution an marketing outlet
  • Also owns
  • Also owns Canal+ (French TV subscription channel) which has 14 million subscribers in 11 countries in Europe. Canal+ part finance Working Title Films productions.
  • Owns Universal records. (22% share of global market across 63 countries)

Vivendi Universal

  • Can produce their own tv shows and films at Universal Studios
  • Have exclusive distribution rights of Working Title films and soundtracks
  • Can distribute, market and exhibit films they own through their own 13 cable channels, eg Chiller channel for horror films, Movies 24 in UK and Canal+ in Europe
  • Can market and exhibit content through their tv channels and entertainment parks
  • They can distribute their content through their partnership with Apple via i-tunes

  • Vivendi Universal own
  • They can use this as a platform to distribute Universal owned content
  • They can also use the as a platform for advertising content and can sell advertising space to other related companies eg CBS have links to their film sites
  • Therefore the company benefit from audiences owning converged technology such as a video-ipod as this is where they will download and exhibit their content

Vivendi Universal

  • As a company they have..
  • Have integrated film, music, web and distribution technology into the company, including owning big stakes in cables and wires that deliver these services.
  • Therefore they are vertically integrated because they own all the different companies involved in film, from production to distribution to exhibition.
  • They are also horizontally integrated because they have all the expertise for producing media content under one roof – films, tv, magazines, books, music, games thus being able to produce all the related media content for one film under the same roof (see synergy)

Why is this important to Working Title Films?

  • Points to think about…
  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Exhibition
  • Merchandising – increase profits

Fans and convergence and exchange

  • Fans are using digital technology is increasingly important for modern action-adventure movies. The new Sherlock Holmes film uses digital effects to evoke Victorian London as an evolving city. Here, someone from Russia has digital technology to edit and create a series of images from "Avatar" with several songs from the film's soundtrack; they have also used digital technology and the Net to upload this on YouTube for others to see and comment on. This is a good example of exchange -the creative work of members of the public and unintended by the film-makers and distributors. The comments and probable answering videos may lead to endless exchange. To see comments on YouTube simply click on the image. By today it had more than 35000 views!

Why is convergence so important?

  • But technological convergence itself is only a means to an end; what is being changed is both the economics and culture of the moving image, including film. The debate about the impact of convergence has important consequences not just for the film industry and film culture, but for the way in which we all as citizens reflect ourselves to ourselves and to others

2. Why is it important for (a) consumers (b) citizens, (c) the economy as a whole?

  • (a) For consumers, convergence helps to ensure greater price transparency as regards watching films in different media and makes accessing those films more convenient.
  • (b) Convergence presents citizens with the potential to choose from and access a far wider and more diverse range of films in different media.
  • (c) For the UK economy convergence represents an opportunity to build on its competitive strengths internationally in respect of creative talent and content creation and thereby to enhance growth and productivity and to develop skills.
  • For the film industry it presents opportunities to reach wider audiences. But it also presents large challenges in respect of rights, windows and financing models, most particularly for independently-produced British films


  • 2Oth Century Fox is owned by News Corps who produce, distribution and can market films. They are vertically integrated and also own Myspace, The Sun ,The Times and most importantly BSKYB, where most of these films are exhibited both through Sky and also through pay per view box office.
  • Think about how Avatar could have been promoted through all of these check this out.


  • Synergy
  • A Definition:
  • Synergy (from the Greek syn-ergos, συνεργός meaning working together) is the term used to describe a situation where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final outcome. Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • It’s the ‘strategy of synchronising and actively forging connections between directly related areas of entertainment’.
  • New Technologies support this process – web, dvd, downloading. Media institution exploit various platforms to sell various products related to one film (e.g. film and soundtrack and video game).
  • Symbiosis is the linking up of various companies to make profits from one product

An example of synergy from Disney

  • CD
  • Game
  • DVD
  • Outlets
  • An example of synergy from Working Title Films….
  • DVD
  • Sound Track


  • This is when different companies work together to promote a range of related products. Eg High School Musical the film will enable spin-offs like Happy Meals, Easter Eggs, bedlinen, toy characters etc and the distributor will agree licensing deals for companies to make and sell this merchandising. A % of the profits will go back to the distributor
  • Walt Disney pioneered symbiosis marketing techniques in the 1930s by granting dozens of firms the right to use his Mickey Mouse character in products and ads, and continued to market Disney media through licensing arrangements.
  • These products can help advertise the film itself and thus help to increase the film's sales. For example, the Spider-Man films had toys of ‘webshooters’ and figures of the characters made, CD soundtracks, video games, DVD’s and other merchandising.

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