According to Henry Jenkins, media convergence is “...the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behaviour of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want.” (Jenkins 2006, p.18). This definition is much on par with the recent phenomenon of digital media convergence and its consequential effect on music video online.The phenomenon of digital media convergence has had notable implications for the world of music video online. It has changed the face of music video production and artistry and given rise to amateurship in digital media production. Perhaps more importantly, however, it has helped to ensure that the music video genre withstands new developments in digital media production and the decline of music video television. Hence, it aids music video in keeping with consumers’ expectations and wants in a period of strong digital media innovation and convergence.
Firstly, digital media convergence has changed the face of music video production and artistry, utilising the online sphere to not only change what is expected of music video artists, but how this content is accessed by consumers, “Convergence involves both a change in the way media is produced and a change in the way media is consumed (Jenkins 2006, p.25). Indeed, it could be said that digital media convergence has caused a paradigm shift within the music video realm.
In addition, digital media convergence has given rise to “prosumer” amateur and user-generated digital media production of music videos. Such music video production is “...highly improvised and deliberately filmed in the moment...this approach stands in opposition to the preferred industry practice of methodically planned and executed music video productions...” (Munt 2011,p.4). As posited by Alex Munt, this trend in production has been facilitated predominantly by the Internet and Web 2.0 technology which has allowed these amateur artists to create and generate their work in a more effective fashion (Munt 2011, p.2).
Such work was seen in OK Go’s 2006 music video, ‘Here it goes again’. The ‘lo-fi’ music video shows the four men running on treadmills and it is implied that they filmed the music video themselves. Despite the low-cost production in contrast to the likes of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, the film clip generated great viewer interest, with 14,458,966 viewers of the clip to date. Such success of an amateur, ‘lo-fi’ music video reinforces the positive implications of digital media convergence for the music video genre and online, “when people take media into their own hands, the results can be wonderfully creative…” (Jenkins 2006, p.25). This new model of media access and production in music video artistry would not exist if the phenomenon of digital media convergence had not taken place, “YouTube introduces a new model of media access and amateur historiography…realizes much of the Internet’s potential to circulate rare, ephemeral, and elusive texts.”(Hilderbrand 2007, p.39). Hence, the implications of digital media convergence have been significant for amateur music video producers and their endeavour into online music video participation.Finally, the phenomenon of digital media convergence has helped to ensure that the music video genre withstands new developments in digital media production and the decline of music video television. Moreover, it is important that music video producers stay in touch with consumers’ expectations and wants in a period of strong digital media innovation and convergence.
This can be seen with music television program, Rage, which is highly convergent. Not only does it have a commitment to both ‘lo-fi’ and ‘hi-fi’ music videos, but it has also converged from TV to online and more; there is a Rage app, Rage online, Rage radio and DVDs. Thus, Rage has responded to Australian consumers’ expectation for media to stay in touch with their lives, “[It] carries the promise of private and personalized viewing...” (Orgad 2009, p.200). Rage understands that in order to be successful in today’s modern music video environment, one must be convergent and responsive to consumers. Moreover, as stated by Munt, this convergence from TV to online, as done by Rage, represents a revival of music video (Munt 2011, p.1).To conclude, the phenomenon of digital media convergence has had strong implications for music video online. Through a study of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, OK Go’s ‘Here it Goes Again’ and Rage, one can see that it has altered the face of music video production and artistry and given rise to the “prosumer” in digital media production. It has also helped to ensure that the music video genre withstands new developments in digital media production and the delcline of music video television. Hence, it aids music video in keeping with consumers’ expectations and wants in a period of strong digital media innovation and convergence.
- Hilderbrand, L 2007, ‘YouTube: Where Cultural Memory and Copyright Converge’, Film Quarterly, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 48-57.
- Jenkins, H 2006, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, New York University Press.
- Michael Jackson – Thriller (Short Version), online video, viewed 30 August 2012, < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V90AmXnguw>
- Munt, A 2011 ‘New directions in music video: Vincent Moon and the ‘ascetic aesthetic’, ASPERA: New Screens, New Producers, New Learning, April 2011, pp.1-8.
- OK Go, OK Go – Here it Goes Again, online video, viewed 30 August 2012, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RA >
- Orgad, S 2009 'Mobile TV: Old and new in the construction of an emergent technology' Convergence, vol. 15 no. 2 pp. 197-214.
- Powers, A 2009, ‘Ann Powers on Michael Jackson: A performer who kept transcending boundaries’, Los Angeles Times, The L.A. Times Music Blog, viewed 26 August 2012, < http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/06/michael-jackson-a-performer-who-kept-transcending-boundaries.html>
- Rage 2010, Rage Online, Rage Logo < http://www.abc.net.au/rage/about/>