Convergence confusion

Convergence confusion
SHARE
THIS



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

Starts At 60 Makes Two Executive Appointments
  • Media

Starts At 60 Makes Two Executive Appointments

Mature-age media platform Starts at 60 has welcomed two new leaders to its executive team as it looks to scale up and broaden its commercialisation. Amena Reza (pictured above, right) moves into the role of chief operating officer. She was formerly the managing director of ML Design, and is a chartered accountant and a non-executive […]

HubSpot Creates ‘Marketing Hub Starter’ For Small Businesses
  • Marketing
  • Technology

HubSpot Creates ‘Marketing Hub Starter’ For Small Businesses

Marketing software player HubSpot has launched Marketing Hub Starter, a new software offering that aims to give growing teams the tools they need to start marketing right. This new tier of HubSpot’s platform is designed with small businesses in mind, consolidating the capabilities of existing disparate marketing tools into one platform and offering an affordable […]

Market Research Industry Cracks Down On Shonky Behaviour With New Digital Platform
  • Marketing

Market Research Industry Cracks Down On Shonky Behaviour With New Digital Platform

The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) has launched a digital platform to highlight fake or illegitimate research activities to the public. ‘Phish of the Day’ enables AMSRO members, as well as the general public, to report any scams or non-genuine market and social research activities to the association. These might include telemarketing […]

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency

Swimming pool electricity retailer Pooled Energy has appointed Magnum & Co and sister agency The Wired Agency to its roster, following a competitive pitch. Magnum & Co will handle Pooled Energy’s social media and PR, while The Wired Agency has been appointed to manage the company’s search and display advertising. Both agencies will collaborate with […]

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad

Think masculinity means drinking a case without chundering? Well, rediscover it (& possibly yourself) with this top ad.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program

Advertising and marketing network WPP AUNZ has joined the Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program as part of its commitment to a diverse workforce, and the creation of opportunities that inspire excellence. As part of the program, WPP AUNZ has welcomed its first three interns: Abi-Leigh Dillon (WPP AUNZ), Amy Mccutcheon (MediaCom) and Jacinta Evans (Ogilvy), […]

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree
  • Advertising

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree

Taboo has gone a hiring spree. And when it comes to sprees, that's far better than a shooting one or a farting one.

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop
  • Marketing

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop

Sadly, M&C Saatchi's 1440 is no more. And chances of it being reborn as 1550 not looking much chop either.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine