The Convergence of media technologies, media markets and media.
The most important feature of the nature of the media, having a serious impact on metaeconomic, their dependence on technological progress in the ICT sector. The last decade confirm that the traditionally receptive to technological progress and policy changes the market today are distinguished by a special dynamism. In the history of communication and media the speed at which the Internet has gained a mass audience, unprecedented. It took 38 years before the American radio audience has reached 50 million. TV went the same way for 14 years. The Internet took only four years to the number of users in the United States amounted to 50 million.
The combined effect of the progress of information and communication technologies for the media today it is still impossible to assess unambiguously. Obviously, the development of ICT means technological evolution of traditional media. For example, the transformation of cable networks in the independent sector of the media industry we have already seen that the birth of a new technology of distribution of TV signals has led to the emergence of a new form of television, offering viewers a new product and new services. A similar chain is built and when considering the speed of technological progress in other sectors of the media. Generally it can be represented as follows.
Processing izmenenijami structural changes in the media sector new products, new media services.
There is not yet a positive answer to the question whether technological progress, technological evolution at the same time and the technological revolution leading to the emergence of new economic structures and new practices of media. The experience of developed media markets in the United States, the Nordic countries, Japan does not give a definite answer to this question. Online media still does not represent a fundamentally new phenomenon – at least, not in terms of funding nor in terms of a market-based business models, which will be discussed below. The transition to digital technologies in the creation, dissemination and storage of information by itself does not lead to the emergence of new products and services in the media market, means that the development of numerous additional features. Media integration stimulated by the introduction of digital technologies lead to fundamentally new results, therefore, need to understand how pioneer are the implications of both processes for the media.
Modern ICT technology and create a single economic space in which to interact before the split of communications services and information products. The basis of the changes is the process of digitalization of transfer all forms of information in digital format. A single digital environment stimulates the convergence of technologies and industries.
The most important factor of transformation of modern society and the economic sphere become information and communication technology. As noted M. Castells, “it is necessary to consider the entire process of revolutionary technological updates in the General social context in which occurs the technological progress and which in turn defines it” . In modern society, the progress of technology leads to increased innovation, the time between making a discovery and its implementation is reduced, as a result, many areas are in the process of ongoing transformations.
Structural changes occurring in the media are based on several close in nature processes.
The first process is the digitalization (from the English term digitalisation – digitalisation), that is, the transfer of the media content in all its forms – text, graphic, audio – into digital format understood by the modern computers. Digitalisation makes possible enables the content to be easily “transported” on any channel of electronic communication. As a result of Internet from the network, just connecting the computers, turns in particular information and communication environment in which products due to its digital format are able to overcome the traditional “constraints” of old media. Neither the time required for distribution of publications nor the financial resources it takes, no space, limiting the spread of Newspapers, television or radio, are no longer obstacles for those who create the information, nor for those it consumes. Digitalisation, eliminating the distinction between media and equating their contents, paves the way and their convergence.
The second important process underlying the contemporary change of media is convergence. Increasingly, the term “convergence” is becoming a synonym of the main transformations in the media sphere. Special attention is given to this phenomenon in the ongoing transformation of the ICT sector, due to its diverse and, at first sight, unrelated effects. Convergence is a process that in the coming decades may completely change not only the structure of media systems in developed countries, but also the entire metaeconomic.
Convergence (from lat. converge – approach, converge), a term adopted in natural and social-political Sciences to refer to processes of convergence, vzaimoponimanie. In metaeconomic used to refer to integration of information and communication technology platforms (computers, TVs, phones), and they transmit content (information) products.
As you can see, the closest to the concept of media convergence the term is a fusion. Although in relation to the media industry it is often a question about the different processes, their essence is thus accurately communicated in this word. Convergence occurs simultaneously in different areas of media and at different levels, but the essence of the process is reduced to the phenomenon of merger, integration (Fig. 14.
Fig. 14. The scheme of convergence of technologies, industries, content.
At the technological level convergence is merging of technologies of dissemination and production of information which allows different media – cable or telephone networks, wireless satellite communication – to give the audience the same types of content. Based on technological media convergence, as already mentioned, is the process of translating content into digital form. In practice, this means that the printed word, color, sound and the moving image is stored by means of an infinite number of combinations of “0” and “1”. The digital format of the content allows for its spread in different forms regardless of the specific industry of media and technological platforms. The most important common feature to the present time remains “binding” of new media to the screen – whether TV screen, computer monitor or display window of a mobile phone. Technological convergence also implies that the most important characteristic of modern communication is becoming interactive. Another result of convergence is the increasing miniaturization of information and communication technology.
At the level of media industry convergence is that of the enterprise for the production of home electronics, computers, equipment for the telecommunications and audiovisual sectors entered a period of mergers. However, convergence is not so limited. The industry related to the production of the content that fills the telecommunications network and accept different technological terminals, increasingly integrated with the industries producing equipment for the media. The need to create content – a variety of types of digital content for new distribution channels, increased the importance of information and “image” of the industry. She explains the reasons for the emergence of new alliances between technological sectors and the sectors of printing, publishing, video and film industry. Thus creating a huge multinational company, which unites under one roof before the related sectors of the economy.
Among alliances, it is possible to allocate the horizontal, i.e. those in which the integration of the sectors offering similar telecommunications services. We are talking about the merger of the telecommunications and cable industry, the emergence of a unified cable-telecommunications and mobile communications sector. Vertical alliances are formed between companies operating in the field of new (digital, interactive) and the old (analog) media. The main proof of this trend is the creation of the world’s largest conglomerate AOL – Time Warner , bringing together the production of content (magazine enterprises, film studios) with the provider of Internet access (see Annex 2). Known and examples such as integration of the company Viacom , operator-distributor in the field of cable TV, and Paramount , are well known in the media studios and producer of the TV company. There is also the example of acquisitions of US West , American branch of the Bell companies and cable operators Wometco Cable and Georgia Cable largest manufacturer of television, video and film programs Time Warner to create interactive networks that distribute audiovisual services and video games.
Thus, a consequence of convergence at the economic level, becomes the birth of new enterprises, or media concerns. From newspaper barons – key representatives of media industry of the last century – the modern media is moving towards greater integration with the telecommunication sector, with the industry of household appliances and information technology, software industry, producing software for personal computers. The result is a new integrated market, where bonds are held together inseparably equipment manufacturing and maintenance, multimedia services, network maintenance and creation of software products.