Media convergence

Convergence in the context of media refers to the technology driven unification of different media channels.

For many years different media were clearly separated: broadcast TV, broadcast radio, newspapers, books, video and film, recorded music etc.

The internet and other digital methods of distribution have changed this. A digital connection or physical medium can carry any type of content. Video can be distributed on a mobile phone network or music over the internet.

This not only means that different types of media are converging, but also that media and telecoms are converging.

In addition to convergence at the distribution level there are areas in which the same content can be re-packaged across media: for example, computer games and films use the same content in different ways. This also creates powerful marketing synergies.

Convergence is part of a much broader change in the media that is being brought about by new technology. Although this has not happened as fast or as profitably as many hoped during the dotcom boom, changes are nonetheless happening.

From an investment point of view the key consequence is the potential impact of the change on established media companies revenue streams.