Convergence confusion

Convergence confusion
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

Multiple platforms and devices mean we are all multi-screening with a vengeance. This fragmentation of our media was the first challenge. The new challenge is convergence, as Lucy Clark learns

First it was ‘fragmentation’. Now it’s ‘convergence’. It’s enough to bemuse even the technologically savviest of us. But, are they just two sides of the same digital coin?

Ever since the birth of digital, the advertising and media industries have grappled with fragmentation. No longer was mass media controlling what we watch and read.

Suddenly, there was a whole spectrum of digital channels fighting for our attention, distracting us from sitting through the TV ads or from reading a newspaper – in paper form – from cover to cover.

Fragmentation and multi-screening has long been accepted and dealt with. Now, however, the focus is on bringing it together to deliver audiences deeper advertising content; content that they enjoy and want to engage with.

Convergence refers to the bringing together of the multiple screens with which we engage at any one time, creating linked-up and seamless experiences. While devices have fragmented, convergence is about bringing them back together.

The benefits of convergence stretch from brands to consumers. There are huge benefits to brands – not least much stronger relationships with consumers.

But there are still huge challenges in enabling convergence to happen, especially when it comes to calculating its value and to the digital capabilities out there.

Advertising challenges

According to Matt Von der Muhll, country director of video advertising marketplace SpotXchange, it’s early days for convergence and “there is still a minefield of untapped opportunities” for mobile and digital advertising.

“Between 2008 and 2011, mobile ad spending increased sevenfold, and within the last year alone spending has nearly doubled – but still only 11% of the general online advertising dollars are spent on mobile advertising,” he says.

Von der Muhll says challenges include a lack of common standards on different screens, making it difficult to produce a single ad that works across platforms. On top of this, low CPMs discourage sellers from providing advertising inventory, and few publishers are currently using technology that helps integrate video into mobile.

“At present, it seems that both industries are at a standoff: advertisers are slow to invest in the mobile platform unless they know their content will get eyeballs, whilst publishers need to justify developing new technologies through significant demand from advertisers,” Von der Muhll concludes. “The sooner advertisers can adjust and take advantage of multi-screen advertising, the quicker the industry will adapt, in turn providing greater opportunities.”

Carolyn Bollaci, regional vice president of digital ad platform MediaMind, which recently rebranded as DG, suggests another issue is the current lack of currency for buying online advertising. Online does not yet have an equivalent of TARPs (Target Audience Rating Points), which assesses a commercial’s audience.

“Forever and a day, online has been trying to work out a currency that is similar to TARPs,” she says. “DG has looked at it holistically, as we don’t think one has to sacrifice the other. There is too much invested in TV and it’s not going away any time soon. We believe if we have one platform that can book and deliver TV, online, mobile and display, we will win. It’s definitely something clients are asking for. As media gets more and more complicated, we need to pull it back and simplify it.”

Converging for the consumer

Convergence isn’t just about making things simpler for advertisers. Consumers benefit too – and they expect to.

“Consumers are now adept at media multitasking,” says Rebecca Haagsma, director of convergence at Mi9.

“They expect to be able to consume content anytime, anywhere. This opens up huge opportunities for publishers and brands to weave their stories across multiple screens and platforms.”

Viacom managing director, David Lynn, believes convergence is the most natural way for consumers to engage with content.

Lynn, managing director in the UK, Australia, Central and Eastern Europe and executive vice president of international content distribution for the media company, says: “Our consumers are growing up in a converging environment. We see online apps and mobile as a natural extension of TV.”

He explains that convergence leads to better relationships with audiences: “It gives us much deeper engagement and interaction with our consumers. One of the amazing things we can do online and with social media is that the audience can continue to have a relationship with a show while it’s not on air. It’s a much more ongoing, fluid and dynamic relationship.”

Mark Frain, national sales director of the Multi Channel Network, agrees that “convergence is really about bringing life to the powerful medium of television”.

“All the research we’ve seen overseas and locally demonstrates that additional devices continue to strengthen television as a medium,” says Frain. “Convergence adds impact to a multi-channel campaign.

“Convergence is about embracing multiple devices so viewers can have access to quality content that’s relevant to their viewing interests and community groups in addition to their first viewing experience.”

But Haagsma stresses that content should not just be replicated across devices.

“Instead of duplicating content, the best marketers are complementing and optimising the message depending on the screen and purpose, providing an enhanced and rewarding experience for consumers.”

She said Mi9 is currently working on the “converged” experience of the 2013 Logie Awards, incorporating TV, digital and print.

“Consumers will be rewarded for engaging with the Logies across additional mediums,” she says. “TV will be the live, in the moment experience, which will be enhanced if a viewer researched the nominees before the event, votes on ‘best dressed’ via Jump-In during the broadcast, then buys the magazine for a sit-back recap of the night.

“From each medium, the consumer is getting a different piece of the story, creating an immersive Logies experience.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]