Media Convergence Adapt or Fall Into Extinction

This morning I was catching up on stocks particularly Google’s seeing that it’s resting at $1,150 while just a year ago it was seemingly leveling around $650. I keep thinking Ads, blogs, search engines and more news companies are adopting and contributing to Google’s search engines golden pot at the end of their rainbow. The media convergence is in effect.

Around every corner there’s always a doomsday scenario about who will survive the new internet medium of the written word to mass media. Would we be reading books anymore and why when we can watch film, worried those concerned in the 1920’s and when TV came along in the 50’s we almost thought for sure the radio was a goner. Just the other day I was thinking what to do with all those old books, videos, CD’s, cassettes and buried somewhere within them a few Kiss 8-tracks and vinyl records much less where to play any of them. Why not just throw them all out or use them for an all out art project because I can simply use Apps like Pandora, iTunes, Netflix, or Google Play to listen to all my media.

That’s not to say that the new medium is having troubles as well adapting. Netflix just a year ago was on the verge of loosing ground because one of its major movie contributors was pulling out. Instead Netflix began creating shows on its own and the other day had several nominations at the Golden Globes. Netflix survived.

The Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy and four years later was purchased, with the approval of The Federal Communications Commission, to banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Oaktree Capital Management LP and Angelo, Gordon & Co. enabling it to divide ownership of its 23 television stations and newspaper as well as it’s more than 50 websites. The Tribune Co. has emerged powerfully competent now as a multimedia company and has adapted well to the changing times. And they too have an App to download these days.

It’s hard to predict whether or not technology will alter the written word. I personally welcome it because it makes my life just that much easier to manage. I wake up asking Siri what the weather is, look for the latest headlines, catch up on news through various websites and news apps like AP News. Throughout the day I check my personal status and contribute a blog or idea to the mass media hoping to see it go viral. At the end of the day I’m catching up on the digital versions of books I buy at the request of my kids while they read them on their own devices.

It’s both incredible and intriguing that an individual is able to receive the technological word all the way from across the world now in real-time. Making it that much easier to consume as well as realize that our world is that much smaller. Small enough to fit into my portable device.

The competition is fierce these days, in which the small guy like never even published a word on paper has become a huge success drawing in followers in groves adapting to the blog style along side of the major media infrastructures like New York Times. Its adapt or fall into extinction. Media convergence isn’t an evil vampire sucking up all the infrastructures of the past, but instead allowing them to change and become more in touch with its consumers. Whether or not the typed word will go away at the moment sounds more like another doomsday prophecy. I believe that the basic human nature of mass media is more likely to converge, adapt and survive.


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