Perils of Powerpoint by lonyoo

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									Conceptualising

Convergence
Guy Berger
2 October 2003

“Media convergence: world trends and options for Africa”.
Alphen Hotel, Cape Town. 1-4 October. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung,Rhodes University Sol Plaatje Media Leadership Institute

Coming up:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Origins Converging industries Device convergence Media sector convergence Implications for regulation Money and mergers Culture clashes Conclusion

1. ORIGINS  Africa needs more media!  Technological romanticism.  My mother-in-law:
 “Con virgins?”

 Learning about it …

Currency of a term:
 Arose with the rise of the Internet  A child of the 1990s  Celebrated as part of the Internet

Quest for a dot.com King:
       content, community, commerce, channel (portal), cybercity, carrier, community-created content?

Lord of the C-ings:  None of these “C‟s”  Too web-Centric!  Royal Person not online!

Governing Principle:
 Convergence rules across all media  The lesser “C‟s” are part of the royal family …  Can be found across all platforms  Eg. Newspapers – content, community,
commerce, channel, city, carrier, ccc

 Now: web needs to work with other media!

Rules of the reign:
 In time, web will win as its own cost centre  But, even then, co-operation will be the order required among all the dukes, barons, princes …. and even the princesses!  We will see the  of the crossmedia empire!

Concept:
Convergence means the coming together of formerly separate things. The complication is that it covers lots of processes …

Foundation & floors
Culture Finance Regulation Production+distrib Devices Media sector ICT sector Technology

Tech: Digitalisation
 History: analogue streams
 Sound, & AV hogging uninterrupted bandwidth & physical spaces  Linear text & image on printed pages.

 Now: from atoms to digital bits  Based on a binary principle:
 One‟s and zero‟s

Tech: Networks

 Conversion of bits into multiple formats  Compression  Packets  Signals

Tech: Carriers  Wires: copper, fibre optic  Wireless:
 Satellite, broadcast, GSM, 3G wifi

 Negroponte switch:

Bandwidth plays on …  What used to go by air …

And on …
 Now goes to ground (eg. cable tv)

And on …  What was sent via ground …

And on …  Now goes to air …

Tech: connections converge
 Not a seamless highway  Rather a patchwork  Interconnected technologies
- Hoogenboezen

 Incls convergence „tween fixed & mobile systems

(And with links to non-electronic media … like print, art, or word of mouth …)

Example
CT caller on cellphone
Served on Web

1

2
In Jhb, call 3 goes back on cellular, received by reporter

6

Bulletin 5 is stored on server

4a

Transmitted for SABC on a broadcast frequency

4b
Satellite report mixed into bulletin

Tech: Computing impact:
 When PCs met telcoms:
 From Wans & Lans to:  Internet: IP protocol
 Everything on IP (convergence!)  Data, audio, video, mac‟s, pc‟s

 When PCs met media:
    Newsgathering Editing Business management Output platform

Summing up:  The revolution of digital networking is profound  It is the foundation for what we now call “convergence”

2. INDUSTRY CONVERGENCE
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Origins Converging industries Device convergence Media sector convergence Implications for regulation Money and mergers Culture clashes Conclusion

Once upon a time

telcoms

IT

media

Computers infiltrate

telcoms

IT

media

Internet is born:
IT=ICT Internet

telcoms

media

What was designed as a voice network also carries data between computers

And media joins in …
ICT
internet

telcoms
1 to 1 comms

media
1 to many comms

Specifically new media
ICT new media: WWW telcoms media

Online papers & stations
ICT WWW print telcoms broadcast

Other new media exploited
WWW, email-newsletters, PDAs, phones, billboards. print broadcast

ICT

telcoms

Print & broadcast blur
ICT new media print telcoms broadcast

Dog and tail
    Which platform is primary in general? Web didn‟t kill old media. Who wags what? In the whole converged media pack, what platform is top dog?  In a given media company, what is the primary platform?

Summing up:
 Telcoms and IT industry create Internet  Media industry joins the party, mainly with Internet, but also other new ICTs.  Lines within the media industry itself start to blur

3. DEVICE CONVERGENCE
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Origins Converging industries Device convergence Media sector convergence Implications for regulation Money and mergers Culture clashes Conclusion

On the consumption side
 Questions:
 Top connected device: PC or TV? Lean forward or back?  Convergence of Cellphone & Laptop/PDA?  True multi-media converges text, audio, etc?  Will it be “killer app”, killing off mono-media?

 Answers:
 Devices multi-functional  Divergence survives

There will still be times when:
 Solo sound is sought after,  It will be most efficient to communicate with text & still pictures,  Couch potatoes want to experience unidirectional AV content

Difference …
 Content may arrive on handhelds, electronic paper, smart TV, PC, phone, fridge, car, clothing …  It may ride on wired or wireless signals

Difference …
 New stuff will still fullfil classic functions of radio, TV, print  But: content will be convertible between text, sound, & language  And: Some content will be blended as multi-media, & the whole greater than the sum of parts  Plus: Much will be interactive.

Movable feast
 Devices will offer fixed and mobile access.  We are heading for any content, any time, any place … at any price.  Ubiquity and speed of info will be hallmarks of Info Society.

Summing up:
 Convergence does not annihilate devices/platforms,  But it does command us to co-operate.
 Old – Old  Old – New  New – Old  Producers - Consumers

 Multiple platforming ahead.

4. MEDIA CONVERGENCE
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Origins Converging industries Device convergence Media sector convergence Implications for regulation Money and mergers Culture clashes Conclusion

The making of media …

 Media as a sector:
 Distribution convergence:
Content re-purposing

 Production convergence:
Database publishing Multi-skilling Archiving

Organisational: 1
Setting up separate newsops in offspring web & other platforms

radio

magazines television newspapers

Organisational 2
Bringing 'em back home: converging newsrooms

radio magazines television newspapers

Organisational 3
Fusion: converging companies; integrated newsroom
web radio

cms
television newspapers magazines

Summing up:
 Level one: Media sector sharing content across platforms.  Level two: Media sector sharing production across platforms – with increasing integration of newsrooms.  Level three: Converged ownership?

5. IMPACT ON REGULATION
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Origins Converging industries Device convergence Media sector convergence Implications for regulation Money and mergers Culture clashes Conclusion

Who may do what, and how

print

ICT

telcoms

broadcast

Regulatory convergence: back then …

IBA

Satra

telcoms

broadcast

Regulatory convergence: now …

Icasa

telcoms

broadcast

Regulatory convergence: tomorrow?
Icasa

telcoms

broadcast

Complications:
 Producers:
 need licence to broadcast on Internet?  Via Wifi spectrum?  Offshore originators?

 Consumers:
 Need to pay TV licence when downloading via PC or when receiving on cellphone?

 Cross-ownership? Foreign ownership?

Legacy regulation
 Broadcast signals not yet digital
 “Scarce resource rationale”

 Classic regulations:
 Moral acceptability (censorship)  Legality (IPR, security, libel)  Social issues (local content, etc.)
- Content Commission, DoC Colloquium

Tech Neutral regulation?
 Should non-broadcast channels attract:
 Local content obligations?  Universal access?  Language mix requirements?  Electoral balance?

 Or should it be specific providers (eg. SABC, community broadcasters) who have conditions, irrespective of channel?

Regulate the regulatable?
 250 000 movies, 11m web pages  heavy touch vs light touch
 notification  monopoly, tariffs

 penetration & scale  joint regulation, self-regulation  active vs passive (fetch vs push)

SA: new licence categories
 Network facility provider:
 cables, transmitters, satellites.

 Network service provider:
 bandwidth, broadcasting.

 Application service provider:
 telephony.

 Content applications provider:
 various broadcasters.

Summing up:
 A single regulator  Practicalities and complexities  Regulating channel use, or users  Degrees and forms of regulation  Licencing providers to do infrastructure, services, applications, content.

6. MONEY & MERGERS
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Origins Converging industries Device convergence Media sector convergence Implications for regulation Money and mergers Culture clashes Conclusion

$ makes the world go round

“The mere fact that convergence is a technical possibility does not explain why convergence is taking place now” - Hoogenboezem

Economic drivers
 Produce once, publish thrice …
 Content is costly to produce  Cheap to reproduce electronically  Repurpose for different platforms.

 Background of:
 Fragmentation of audiences  Increased competition for advertising  Global and niche opportunities

Digital economics
 Advertising drawing Editorial closer  E-commerce convergence  Subscription, pay-per-view  Customisation  Data-mining  Cross-promotion & branding

Convergence is …
“the progressive integration of the value chains of the information and content industries … into a single market & value chain … based on the use of distributed digital technology”
- Sameer Sharma

Value chain elements:
1. Content (origination, production) 2. Services/applics (content packaging and design) 3. Transmission/delivery (eg. satellite, cable, mobile, wireless, broadband) 4. Consumer devices (eg. decoder, tv, pc, mobile, pda) – Nolo Letele

Value chain today:

 Old:
Content creators + owners  Platform owners  Audience  Ads/Subs

Tomorrow: overturned?
 At present, SABC pays Sentech to deliver its broadcast. In future, Sentech may pay SABC for the content it seeks to deliver.  At present, Johnnic pays Telkom for bandwidth to deliver Internet content to customers. In future, Telkom‟s rival may seek to pay Johnnic for the content.

Content folk in new food chain:
 New (channels & carriers dominate):  Platform   Content creators + owners   Audience  New (disintermediation):  Advertisers  Audience  New (consumers becomes producers):  Audience  Platform

Summing up:
 Value chain is changing  New revenue streams emerging  More platforms  More producers, incl audience  More competition

7. CULTURE vs CONVERGENCE
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Origins Converging industries Device convergence Media sector convergence Implications for regulation Money and mergers Culture clashes Conclusion

The people factor …
 “The technical demands of convergence – establishing central news hubs – is the easy part.” Ciara Ryan  Architecture, training, social mix  Leadership.

8. CONCLUSION
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Origins Converging industries Device convergence Media sector convergence Implications for regulation Money and mergers Culture clashes Conclusion

Promises, promises …

 Hype:
Interactivity Synergies Multimedia skilling Digital utopia

Finding hope
 Industrial level:
 New and NB economic sector

 Globalisation level:
 International markets, incl diaspora

 Access:
 Increased media density

Caution
“Incumbents benefit most from convergence, because they can can leverage power and also cross subsidise.” - Talaat Laham
OR

Are big players too entrenched and slow to capitalise effectively?

Advice
“Convergence is a threat and an opportunity. The challenge to the content developer is to reach consumers through as many channels as possible, at reasonable cost.” - Connie Molusi

Summing up
 Digitalisation & networks  Convergence of industries  Device convergence  Media sector convergence  Regulatory implications  Changing value chain  Culture question

Take away thoughts:
 Convergence calls for scenario thinking.  “We overestimate the changes that will occur in 2 years, but we under-estimate those in 10”. - Pete Rinearson

Take away thoughts:
 Our business is not just to report change, but to manage it as well.  Stand-alone media will not make it.  The name of the new game is convergence – let it begin with cooperation & alliances.

Step forward: King (or Queen) convergence

Take a bow!

Extra reading:
Berger, G. 2001. Configuring Convergence.
http://journ.ru.ac.za/staff/guy/fulltext/nrfboo8kisbn.doc

Dept of Communications. 2003.
http://www.doc.gov.za/Convergence/convcol.html

Negroponte, N. 1995. Being Digital. New York:
Alfred A Knopf


								
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