Convergence really means the success of broadband

James Myring

With convergence, in theory we can perform similar activities through a range of different platforms. Consumers can now ...

  • watch TV, listen to the radio, and make phone calls via broadband

  • watch TV and access the internet on their mobile phones

  • access the internet and listen to the radio through their digital TV.

However not all of the new convergence technologies will succeed and flourish. Generally the winners so far look to be technologies such as internet TV and VoIP which are based on broadband internet access.

The strength of the broadband-based convergence technologies becomes apparent when we compare internet TV with mobile TV. Internet TV is making the transition from occasional, experimental use to a technology that is being used regularly and habitually by a substantial number of users. The key to the success of internet TV is apparent from some of the reasons for watching given by users – for example: 'More variety of shows than on television' and 'It lets me see the American shows before they come out in the UK' are typical of reasons given. Crucially internet TV is offering something above and beyond traditional TV. Given the popularity of downloading first music and now films via the internet, there is every reason to predict that watching TV online will grow rapidly in importance.