Don’t know something? Google it.
Looking for something? Google it.
So what even is media convergence?
It seems as though everything we do nowadays is connected to something else. We read the news on our mobiles in 140 characters or less as we simultaneously watch the latest Netflix series and beg for sponsorship on Patreon so we never have to work a real day in our lives. Sure, we never got hoverboards or flying cars that turn into briefcases, but the future has certainly changed how we interact with the world. Humanity now exists online, like a low-res Matrix sequel we feel the need to plug in to follow our impact on the zeitgeist.
A political discussion show like Q&A allows viewers to interact with politicians from the safety of their couch, commenting on the content of the various opinions presented and discussing the implications of policy proposals in real time. The convergence of television and Twitter is helping some to vote with their smartphones.
Of course, the ABC isn’t alone in embracing the produsers of the 21st century. Others have realised the benefits of engaging directly with their viewers and live-tweeters. The presenters of reality shows such as The Bachelor and House Rules will tweet at viewers who are watching and tweeting. 2015 saw the Australian launch of Gogglebox, a TV show about watching other people watch TV shows, like a Twitter stream come to life. Many programs now carry a hashtag in the corner of the screen, a few will display a live stream of select tweets sent in, and some political commentators will even discuss the tweets that were sent in a week prior.
Media content has shifted from where it once was. Some magazines and newspapers carry QR codes, encouraging readers to learn more about the article they’re reading. Advertisers partner with Shazam to onsell products after their 20 seconds are over. TV shows include exclusive online content for those who want a more immersive experience.
Companies such as Sysomos monitor and analyse social media to help create targeted advertising and rapid responses to whatever may by trending.
As we’ve given ourselves over to our online masters, we’ve created new avenues for marketing to infest our lives, ultimately converging at a point of total saturation, where the shorthand for “to look up or research online” is Google.