Radio: The Underdog

As a nation we have access to so many different types of media, as a result of this many forms may get put to one side. One interesting part of this module for me was convergence, how year on year medias are coming together and producing something brand new. Radio is sometimes seen as a dying media, and many believe that it will not survive among the crowded media market. Radio out of all forms of media is considered to be one of the oldest yet most powerful forms, would it have come this far however without converging with all other media formats, who knows. As a radio student i obviously would argue no, it opens the minds eye and encourages imagination, there is something quintessentially personal about turning on the radio rather that staring mindlessly at a screen. Although looking at the statistics from RAJAR you can see that radio listening is on the rise year on year. Media forms are personal to all of us we sometimes represent ourselves by what station we tune in to, what television shows we watch or the papers we read. i would argue that radio is the most personal of all media; David Lloyd claims that a radio station defines a person’s identity audiences proudly say they are a listener of a certain show or station, ‘I am yet to hear anyone say proudly I’m a ITV listener, the specific radio relationship is a strong one.’ (Lloyd, 2015, p8.)

In 2016 radio covers all areas of the media, integrating with sites such as YouTube as well as the use of webcams becoming used more and more, along with that radio has large fan bases on social media posting photos and videos. The other main stage of convergence within radio was allowing listeners to tune in digitally useing their phones and laptops. The most exciting thing about convergence is we don’t know what to expect within the future the possibilities are endless.In years to come which form of media will die out and would they all still be around today if it weren’t for convergence?

 

 

Who doesn’t love a freebie?

Are there any loop holes though within this copyright legislation. There are a wide array of video and music content streaming services, the government try to cast a wide net across the web in order to monitor content however this is difficult to do. We live in hard economic times so when the option is given to us many opt for the free streaming even though we know in some cases the sites we are using are breaking copyright laws. I would argue that pirate content providers will always find a way to make their content accessible and, over the years the kind of content being uploaded to these pirate sites has improved now in high quality and in some cases on par with subscription services such as Netflix. By just typing the movie of preference into google within a few clicks you can be streaming it in HD so why pay £5.99 a month.

This isn’t just with streaming music and video this goes for software programmes too, many pirate sites offer free downloads of software that would normally cost the user hundreds of pounds. Even though we as media students should know the importance of making money within the industry, some still use free pirate sites over using subscription ones. Are we the ones showing little consideration for content providers as we like getting things for free so show little moral consideration?

Online Visibility: Are we the ones in control?

I’m visible  but does this make me vulnerable. Taking social networking sites for example many publish every significant detail of their lives. I always update my privacy settings making sure that only certain individuals can see my profiles. Aiming to work in the media industry there is a pressure to be on these sites, but to also make a good name for yourself so there is pressure to keep followers on twitter updated and seem like you are very much involved with social networking. I do not feel I am at risk being visible online, however I do feel a certain responsibility when making a post to be sure that’s its content meets a certain standard so nothing will be flagged or reported. Many believe that they have nothing to hide so therefore online visibility does not worry them. I believe this is not true, everyone acts differently when they are under surveillance. Even though i can control my privacy settings with governments watching it doesn’t mean i’m actually in control of my privacy.

I find it interesting how even today when we use our laptops or phones we don’t know whose watching. Who is really viewing our profiles and checking what we search online. Not sure if this provoking thought would make individuals think more about what they post online. An increasing number of federal agencies are employing sophisticated means to monitor use of social networking sites. In America alone six of these agencies are employed just to monitor social networking sites. With knowing this I feel that my privacy is being questioned I worry how much they know about me as an internet user and I’m sure the majority of the public also share this view. PC stands for personal computer but can we really call it that, when in some cases our private content is consistently being monitored.

(Photo: http://esl-bits.net/)

YouNow not YouTube.

YouNow is a site where you can watch and broadcast live stream videos, in a sense YouTube…but live. The site which is also available as an app is split up into streaming categories such as boys, girls, DJ, pets and more; this separation of different categories allows the user to find something that interests them fast, resulting in them finding a whole group of people who also share the same interest.

The Live aspect of YouNow is what makes it so appealing for users, unlike YouTube where you have to wait for content to be released and communication with the content provider is limited as comments get lost among the sea of other contributes; in YouNow they are there in the now. This means that responses are instant; song covers are always popular on YouTube well in YouNow even more so, uses get to put in song requests and have them performed instantly right in front of them. Another great point as well is that this sight is worldwide so there is always people broadcasting 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

On YouNow there is a huge sense of community anyone can log in for free and watch broadcasts or broadcast themselves. Although content goes out live contributors seem to be very open talking about rather serious and hard hitting topics, in some cases popular broadcasters have been talking openly about their battles with mental illness, see the chat box just fill with just a stream of commets full of support for the broadcaster or sharing similar experiences asking for advice. I feel it’s a rather heart warming community; no dislike buttons on an option to send a like, love or funny gifts; You can feel this community sense as soon as you open the site.

(https://www.younow.com/)

Audience Participation and YouTube.

YouTube is a great example of audience participation, the content on YouTube is made by the audience. Anyone can upload content onto the platform and have their say, as the site is not cut off to the wider community. The audience participation doesn’t stop just on the site however, many large you tubers have millions of followers on their social media networking sites too, this allows their ‘fans’ to have their say and participate in the conversation.

Many Content makers YouTube use audience participation in their favour. The more views and the larger the following the more money content makers can make, encouraging their audience to leave a comment and tweet them. As a result of the close communication between content maker and audience the videos that are uploaded are heavily influenced by what the audience want. This constant communication is something that a television network does not have, this is why I believe that YouTubers have an advantage. I would argue that in years to come YouTube will overlap with big production companies and as a result we wont be able to tell the difference between amateur and professional; we don’t need to wait for content to be produced, we can interact and have our say on the content we want.

Living our lives through our phones

In 2016 convergence is everywhere; smart phones in my opinion are the main driver of the convergent media sector. There are an estimated 40 million smartphone users worldwide and according to statistica.com this number will keep on rising. One of the top companies producing smartphones for the globe is apple, apple in my view forces consumers to converge to buying only apple products. This is because apple have designed all of their products to only be compatible with other apple products; as a result the apple has become a must for the consumer.

A large amount of the population now have virtual lives and spend he majority of their time looking down at the tiny computers in their pockets; but it’s much more than that. The reason this has happened is because application devices and messaging apps have forced us to live our lives through our phones; if we aren’t on WhatsApp or have a social media site at our fingertips we feel out of the loop. I would argue that in 2016 the majority of us are tied to our phones and as time goes on I think we will spend more time looking down and less time looking up and around at the world around us.  Do you agree?

Online Resource

A source that I believe is very useful for this module is a book written by Manuel Castells titled, ‘The Network Society from Knowledge to Policy.’ I have selected this book as gives an in depth insight into network society. There is also a very interesting chapter which talks about the myths associated with network society. Another very interesting point made in this book outlines that due to technological advances we in a sense worship the internet and technology. As a result of this ‘the digital divide increases social exclusion.’ Following on from the point made by castells are we worshipping technology and the internet as if it were some sort of higher force, due this I fell that many especially those who are excluded by the digital divide fear the power that technology has. Castells talks about how politics has had to evolve with technology, as politics is so largely dependent on public space of socialized communication he goes on to state; ‘the political process is transformed under the conditions of the culture of real virtuality.’ Overall i feel this text raises some interesting questions and definitely useful for those studying this module.

 

REFERENCE: http://www.umass.edu/digitalcenter/research/pdfs/JF_NetworkSociety.pdf