What was it about convergence?

Written on March 23, 2011 by Marta Domínguez in The Global Business of Technology

So much that we heard about choice of consumption of content regardless of the device and platforms in 2005 and following years, what has eventually been the benefit of it all? Don´t know? What did convergence meant in the first place?

Well, let´s do a quick recall. The promise of truly converge was to add value to traditional revenue streams. In any of these ways:

  • Choice of devices and personal screens. Ie. for TV watching, gaming, connecting, etc.
  • Pipes that support ever growing bandwidth services
  • Platforms that connect different devices. i.e. for entertainment, home security and monitoring.
  • TV on-demand viewing experiences in the living room where customers can navigate the content.

At Olswang they´ve been tracking the trends in technology, media and telecoms by analysing the effects in executives and consumers. Their last 2011 report provides interesting food for thought. My key headlines are these:

  • “All you can eat” service of digital music with no clear future for the music industry.
  • Digital publishing of books and news enthused by the opportunities of tablet devices (the iPad in particular).
  • Games accessible to more casual gamers through digital social networks and smartphones.

However, most consumers still prefer watching linear TV as opposed to video-on-demand (premium). And the war for personal screens as single or companion for content consumption is still in its infancy.

In summary, not much of adding up to traditional business. Or perhaps, it´s just to early to draw conclusions.

Digital Devices Convergence Report 2011//


Alberto Rey March 27, 2011 - 10:12 am

Hi, Marta

Just a side comment, but I do think it is early to judge

Neither in the cellular phone market nor in the tablet one have we still seen a mature product offer with well established standards which would allow content providers to work in a fully estandardized battlewar.

We are seeing fair attempts to establish value networks around the emerging platforms and formats (see flash as an example), and also huge differences on the compability of smartphone browsers (see blackberry vs safary as an example of this).

THis is, from mh perspective, preventing real estandardization of content platoforms from emerging, and therefore real convergence of contents into a single device from being possible as only a few players can fight for each device based market.

We may only see the actual benefits when a player holds more than 80% of the market being the de-facto standards or when none of them hold a really predominant position…. interesting times are still ahead as it seems.


Marta Domínguez April 15, 2011 - 11:08 am

Yet it seems the web/mobile based platforms are evolving more rapidly in the battle to pick a winner that leads the market than video-home services (on-demand TV) are… Maybe we should be talking about a two-pace convergence paths…

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