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“Convergence Culture maps a new territory: where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways.”[1]

 

Bart Gorissen

3 Cats Media (London/Amsterdam)

legal & commercial consultancy for the

media & digital industries, supporting disruptive technology & innovation

https://3cats.nl https://3cats.uk 

LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bart-jan-gorissen/35/863/31a

 

Early 2006, I relocated myself from good old Amsterdam to vibrant and adolescent Melbourne. Having worked for 10 years as an intellectual property, media and technology lawyer in private practice, and in-house at then Endemol International, new adventures were waiting. I started a postgraduate Master of Laws studies at Melbourne University. Key to choosing this university: I had spotted the Arts Faculty offering the subject “Media Convergence & Digital Culture”, which explored the thinking underlying digital media & cyber culture. It very much appealed to me having served as Endemol’s dedicated (as it was then called) “Interactive TV” legal eagle. I went eating out (from the Law Faculty). They did not fully appreciate it, however I did, even 15 years later! Content, digital innovation & disruption is in my DNA, and I always get very passionate talking about it. Feel free to pause me when I go in overdrive again.

 

Those were the very early days when the eyeballs (and ears) started spreading over the many platforms that are now available. It was a slow start: from “I can rip, mix and burn” on p2p sites, to “pick and mix” in the first iTunes store, and the rise of user generated content. Sensing this shift towards “spreadable media”[2] being in the air, I was eager to understand what patterns underly digital media and convergence culture, what would drive future media consumption and production. How would these massive changes not only impact the TV industries, but the media industries in general. The writings were on the wall. BIG! I aspired to crack the 21st century formula! Or was I just gazing in the crystal bowl and trying to read the tea leaves?

 

I definitely foresaw that content would be planted across multiple (digital) platforms in the future, offering many opportunities for content creators and producers. Although I got caught out by the speed of light with which this was going to happen. Fast forward to present day. Having continued working in the media industries, the rise of new digital channels and platforms can be pretty overwhelming. The  main challenge: how to keep the eyeballs glued for more than 5 minutes in a media environment that is increasingly in flux.

 

The rise of the streamers, while initially seen as a threat, has created many opportunities for content creators and producers alike. On-demand viewing, and as a result the demand for content, has been nothing less than booming. The sky is the limit. Not only for the much-lauded scripted shows. Increasingly, entertainment formulas are making their way: from “Queer Eye…” and “Too Hot To Handle” on Netflix to Facebook “game-ifying” content with “Confetti”( https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=345708159280121)  and Fremantle UK’s digital label Shotglass producing 3 series of “Eating with my Ex” for digital channel BBC3, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E94jy7CDRJ8 Moreover, a lot of shows that would never ever get commissioned by the traditional broadcasters, come to live  on the streamers! Have a look at “Bonding”, for example https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7718088/

 

With new platforms launching on a daily basis, and audiences around the world increasingly glued to their multiple screens, a near unsatiable demand for content has arisen. A brave new world has opened up for content creators and producers as a result. The Dutch production company NewBe, for example, now produces most of its content for streaming platforms. Go West, East, and global, friends, and jump onto the many opportunities offered!

 

 

[1] https://nyupress.org/9780814742952/convergence-culture/ Henry Jenkins book “Convergence Culture. Where Old and New Media Collide” has been one of my new media bibles for a long time and an inspiration for this blogpost

[2] https://nyupress.org/9780814743508/spreadable-media/