What is convergence, anyway? Are recent developments online, in broadcast, and with delivery systems a form of convergence or media shape-shifting?
People once talked about convergence almost as if a momentous day would come when all media would unite on one platform. It was debated whether (and when) that day would arrive, but implicit was convergence's advent as a singular, signal event.
It's now becoming clear the transition to a converged media environment will be a slow and sloppy one. Millions use the Internet and watch TV at the same time. Tens of thousands answer online polls during sporting events when prompted. Some markets have dozens of interactive TV experiments. Is this convergence?
Certainly, television is beginning to resemble the Internet with its pop-ups and banners, and online advertising uses new technologies to mimic television. Both are simultaneously affected by new usage patterns for which there seem to be no proven business model.
The media and advertising worlds are being buffeted by enormous changes. Witness the following:
Although the Internet is now being integrated into the media mix, it brings great changes to the way advertisers think about their audiences. Changes being wrought in other media will be no less disruptive. New technologies we haven't yet imagined are certain to appear.
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Jeffrey Graham is vice president of client development at Dynamic Logic, a company he joined in January of 2001. Dynamic Logic specializes in measuring the branding effectiveness of online marketing. Jeffrey has served as research director at two online advertising agencies, Blue Marble and NOVO, and has worked with clients such as General Motors, Procter & Gamble, and Continental Airlines. He has taught Internet Research at New York University and has a Masters degree in the subject.
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