The importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing.

Technological convergence refers to the process where new technology is moving towards single platforms delivering multiple media outputs that can be used to reach audiences, for example, a PS3’s primary function is video gaming but you can download and watch movies from on it and also watch catch up TV and music videos.

Convergent technology is technology that allows an audience to consume more than one type of media from a single platform.

Lots of aspects of the internet e.g. social networking, YouTube, online editions of newspapers and magazines are convergent but candidates cannot quote the internet as the sole aspect of their answer. Their answer needs to be linked into the media area they are talking about (Film, Music, Magazines, Newspapers, Radio, Video Games). E.g if they were talking about newspapers you could link in to their online editions and talk about how this differs from the traditional paper version and the opportunities it presents or if talking about film, candidates could, for example, point to facebook campaigns advertising a film or viral marketing spread via the internet.

Digital projection is convergent technology because films that are produced digitally have moved away from the physical film medium and can be supplied to theatres in digital format (lower costs for distribution versus higher start up costs for theatres switching to digital technology). As the film is in digital format there are also cost savings as potentially less work needs to be done on the film to get it onto Blu-Ray, DVD, internet trailers etc as no physical conversion needs to take place because the film is already in digital format.

Cross Media Convergence is really a Business Studies term and refers to companies coming together vertically or horizontally (or both). The example often cited in exams is of Working Title making use of its parent company(s) to gain access to bigger stars and a better distribution network for their films.


Synergy basically means working together to achieve an objective that couldn’t be achieved independently. Cross-media convergence can help with synergy if companies are wise enough to take advantage of the links they have forged. Disney is an obvious example of a synergistic company from the top down from Film Studio to Kids’ TV Channel (where it further plays and promotes its films) to the Disney Store (in the street and online) where your kids can pester you to buy all the merchandise and DVDs/CDs they’ve seen on the TV/Web or in the cinema.
Rob Carlton

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