Convergence Culture and Types of media

In the previous post, I have mentioned about how technological innovation specifically social media has significantly expand human capacity in delivering content and maximizing the impact of human activities. Today, I would like to explore deeper into three types of media which are Owned, Earned, and Paid media. Then, I will further look into the concept of Convergence Culture in which traditional and new media intersect.

In the era of digital, we are experiencing the rapid growth of Convergence culture where the old and new media meets. Cross media communication integrates information across different types of media in which consumers are encouraged to be interactive. The media can be internet, broadcast, TV, smartphone, newspaper, and etc. We are exposed to different kinds of cross-media distribution which given us the cross-media experience where we can easily consume and interact to particular events, stories, or news through various multiple medias simultaneously. Thus, we could say that new media that has become more and more involved in our daily lives did not overthrown traditional medias. We do not completely stop consuming information through TV, radio, or newspaper rather we adapt and combine the usage of each media according to its functions. Nevertheless, traditional media might not be the channel which individuals use as much as new media due to its limited capacity of interaction. The interactivity of new media led to a participatory media culture occurs between sender of the messages and receivers as well as among receiver themselves. The participatory experiences involved us as a part of the communications and making us feel more connected to the stories/events. Social media and digital technologies bring about new possibilities of engagement. As a media consumer, we are no longer passively receive information from media producers. We can now actively engage in the conversation, give comments, share and exchange ideas. Moreover, they are no longer a passive media consumer nor just an active consumer. Consumers are basically given the platform to produce their own contents as well. There is low barrier to expression and engagement while social connection is continually increasing. Barriers such money, expertize, time, and so forth become less significant to consumers. The creation of content no longer always requires number of high-cost equipment or number of people to put together different elements. Consumer does not have to be a professional computer programming or professional media producer to generate content on the internet. Internet that was an alternative to traditional media is now a primary channel which individuals go for when they need information. The circulation of information and ideas become shared knowledge on the internet where everybody can easily access. The collective intelligence emerges from the property of both consumers and producers. Through search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing or other web services like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter — communities are created and more information is passing and exchanging via these tools.


The use of internet and social media become extremely common among users. Users do not only use this platform to receive, share, create, or exchange ideas and information. As stated previously, there are communities emerge from such platform which individuals are drawn into the communities through different online media. The three types of media are Owned, Earned, and Paid media in which these three types are commonly combined to effectively reach to audience. There is not a clear-cut distinction among the three types and each one also affects one another in some ways. Thus, it is beneficial to understand the difference of each way as it could influence and contribute to different outcomes. These three elements are essential to user’s digital strategy for resources allocation and expansion of their brand/works. Thus, it significantly depends on the characteristics, purposes, and goals of the user to occupy one specific element or combine them. Firstly, Owned media is a kind of media that user has a complete control of the information creation such as your own website or blog, or social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. It is cost-efficient as user do not necessarily have to pay for the media which is an advantage. This marketing effort can widely reach to audience and users do not have to concern about unwanted ads display


In the opposite, Paid media is another way to spread your content through paid advertising that could effectively boost your visibility. Or, paying for influencers to share and publish your content to increase your recognition. Sponsored posts on social media, search engines suggestions, and banner advertisement are possibly the most common form of paid media. Users usually apply this strategy at the initial stages of building their brand/campaign to gain number of followers.


The two-online marketing efforts could reach to wide range of audience. Further, an effective use of owned media and paid media can further lead to Earned media on the internet that is a platform of connection and networks. Earned media consists of information, content, and conversation related to your brand that are shared and published by others. These shares and conversations are the results from both owned and paid media. The increase of visibility and reach of your brand via social media engagement drives the increase of earned media. A very common example of earned media is hashtag, organizations mostly engage individual through creating their own hashtag for certain activities. The strategy that is generally occupied to gain visibility initially is to use existing hashtags that are not too specific such as health, food, campaign, marathon, etc. Then, with an adequate number of followers and awareness, the organization would use their own hashtag.

Paid and owned media are the significant driving forces of earned media, hence relying on one specific marketing channel could be insufficient to gain follower and awareness of your brand, and most importantly, engagement. It is important to balance sources of marketing to efficiently reach to audience and avoid a decrease in popularity. Especially, increasing social media engagement primarily relied on earned media as it is the most credible and accessible. Combing each element would be the most effective digital media strategy to help you boots your presence in social media.

I would like to give an example of advocacy campaigns that successfully mobilizing supports and engagement through social media, specifically earned media. “Hashtag Killer” is an example of campaign which incredibly raise awareness and funds through social media to tackle developing countries on the issue of accessible clean drinking water. In 2012, the Water is Life campaign used a hashtag ‘#firstworldproblems’ that went viral on the internet to ironically complain about the issue. The hashtag was able to greatly increase engagement of a much larger audience at a relatively low cost.


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