Single and ready to mingle?
Perhaps, not you personally but your digital media platforms are.
Now that I think of it, media convergence is all around us. As technology and media platforms continue to develop (fast!), we all are slowly partaking in the act of convergence. We as fans are becoming producers, not just the CONsumers. Thus, the idea of ‘PROsumers’ is born (excuse the dramatics).
We basically want to watch, consume and engage where we want and on what platform we want it. It may sound somewhat childish but very innovative as we the viewers have gained a sense of power over what we’re absorbing. The audience participation and experience is completely altered.
For instance, where do you watch TV? Do you watch your favourite series or films on the TV itself or elsewhere? I ask these questions so you can determine whether you’re ‘fully converged’.
The entire dynamic of watching television has changed with the growth of Netflix (#BingeWatching). Netflix has allowed for the demand for more than the weekly release of an episode but rather an entire season. Fandom groups (the audience) are just as powerful as the networks themselves (the industries), they can dictate the future of a series. Through fan conventions (#ComicCon), fan fiction and fan art, the community simply develops further.
“Media convergence is more than simply a technological shift. Convergence alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences. Convergence refers to a process, but not an endpoint” (Jenkins, 2004).
Henry Jenkins refers to media convergence as a ‘process’, meaning it is just the beginning of this cultural expansion as technology is constantly changing. This contributes to how fans interact with what they’re watching. Simply, people have advanced their position as CONsumers to PROsumers with “…far more influence than ever before”.
An example, the cancellation of The Mindy Project on FOX. Despite FOX’s actions, it wasn’t the end for the beloved series as the internet went into a state of despair.
[@gabbishaw was distraught]
Through the fans’ support and general heartbreak, Hulu picked up The Mindy Project. This is just one example of the audience’s’ power to prevent a show from being cancelled. The streaming services now have the ability to save series from going into oblivion or enabling revivals to occur. I will always be grateful to Netflix for bringing Gilmore Girls back with a revival series (#ComingSoon).
Streaming services (Netflix, Stan, Hulu, Presto etc etc) provide a sense of mobility and convenience for all audience members with the added hope that they will ‘have your back’, so to speak, when large networks fall short.
PROsumers! PROsumers! PROsumers!
In a state of mingling, we can learn a thing or two *wink, wink*
Gunelius, S 2010, ‘The Shift from CONsumers to PROsumers’, Forbes, 3 July, viewed 31 March, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2010/07/03/the-shift-from-consumers-to-prosumers/#6d44fede543f>
Jenkins, H 2004, ‘The cultural logic of media convergence’, SAGE Publications, 7 December, viewed 31 March <https://www.sfu.ca/cmns/courses/2008/428/Readings/CMNS%20428%20(2008),
Mackie, D 2015, ‘The Mindy Project has been cancelled, and the Internet isn’t happy’, PEOPLE, 5 July, viewed 31 March < http://www.people.com/article/mindy-project-canceled-internet-fans-react >