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Convergence

The transformation in the audiovisual media landscape has the potential for a new viewing experience for audiences and business opportunities for enterprises. It also poses many questions we seek answers to.

Convergence can be understood as the progressive merger of traditional broadcast and internet services. Internet content has entered the traditional TV screen which at the same time lost its role as unique possibility to consume audiovisual content at home. Viewing possibilities today extend from TV sets with added internet connectivity, through set-top boxes delivering video content 'over-the-top', to audiovisual media services provided via computers, tablets and other mobile devices.

 

 The lines are blurring quickly between the familiar twentieth century consumption patterns of linear broadcasting received by TV sets versus on-demand services delivered in computers.

Attention is no longer focused on one screen only. In parallel to watching TV, viewers use tablets or smartphones which can provide more information about the content watched, allow interaction with friends or with the TV programme itself through social networks. "Second screen" applications on these devices offer the prospect of "social TV" which delivers a more interactive experience for the consumer and also new revenue streams for the content provider. Many of today's devices not only facilitate consumption but give consumers an easy option to create their own content.

All these developments make convergence more and more visible in our daily lives. The Commission therefore adopted a Green Paper Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values 

A "A-Z" of useful terms is available here.