Has Economical Convergence Gone too Far?

Their are five main types of convergence, and although all are interesting in different ways I personally found economical convergence to be one of the biggest influences on the media industry.
Economical convergence is the opportunity for companies to widen their product across different platforms, an opportunity to deviate from their norm. A fantastic example of this is Star Wars, originally just films but it has since moved onto; comics, books, TV, and merchandise. But is this too much? Will there ever be an end to the different platforms, or will it continue to grow, finding more and more ways to exploit a product for all its worth. But is this just flogging a dead horse?
With all these different options for the audience does one small enjoyment quickly slip into an obsession, to collect and know all the different forms that are out there! And once you’ve hooked people there becomes an enormous demand for more. There are so many platforms to work across, soon companies will start to make things up – a lovely example from Star Wars again, with endorsing Max Factor for their Star Wars mascara. Ridiculous idea, but it sold and that’s what mattered.
What do you think about economical convergence, when does it all become too much?

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4 Comments

  1. I don’t think its too much. It’s a lot of course but if someone is happier with Darth Vader on their mascara I don’t see why that’s a problem. I think these obsessions start with the original movies, books and their content. Thus, the fact that they are able to spread and sell merchandise is because the original content became so popular. It never starts the other way around. People don’t start liking a movie because of the connected merchandise. They might watch it because of its popularity and fame but that won’t make them like it. I think convergence simply allows people to surround themselves with products that are connected to movies, books or characters they like and I don’t think thats necessarily a bad thing.

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  2. I think that economical convergence is very important step for the development of new ways to sell products. I am studying PR and Advertising and I would say that from this point of view, I love it! it allows you to be creative and come up with new strategies. However, it has a ‘dark side’, too. You should be aware what is happening all the time on every social platform, in order to keep up with the business and follow the trends and public’s reactions.

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  3. I think economical convergence is definitely on another level now. Your example of Star Wars has definitely reached an extreme level. And the fact is that the sequences has been out for decades, but somehow it doesn’t seem to stop. The amount of production and brand advertising could make you lose a sense of reality and that sounds threatening. Well, at least I believe in this.

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  4. It’s not too much unfortunately, companies survive creating new needs that people has to stick to. This has always been and it is right now. Economic convergence is this, find a trend, create something that is linked to it (even pointless or useless) and market it spreading obsessive messages. Companies want money, of course, and the easiest and economical way to reach this point is to exploit mindless people obsession/trend following.
    We have the choice to stop this never ending merchandising pushing process.

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