Online Entertainment


The Converged Media Road to Success

With the introduction of advanced smartphones, e-readers and tablets, it’s hardly surprising that consumption of online content has grown exponentially. This has caused turmoil within the media industry. Traditional advertising revenues are declining as new marketing options are emerging. Print media and newspaper subscriber bases and readership are eroding, while the competition for online viewership is increasing. The need for adoption of social media and delivery to multiple mobile devices is increasingly becoming essential for retaining and attracting new customers.

In this rapidly changing environment, media organizations are being forced to reevaluate their strategies for media convergence. Companies are taking a holistic approach to branding and delivering content to various platforms such as televisions, Internet, mobile devices, social media sites, print and other channels.

Managing and reusing content has become essential for making the user experience consistent and seamless. For example, content that is being displayed on the television channels need to be simultaneously transmitted on websites. Conversely, user-generated content on social media sites should be displayed on television channels. This mishmash of different types of content and different types of delivery channels has caused many interdependencies and integration challenges for media organizations.

For successful engagement with the audience, it is imperative that different components of business applications are integrated across media channels to have a complete convergence experience. At the same time, organizations need to take into consideration the impact of handling multiple content formats into their information architecture. While business needs are changing quite rapidly, it is imperative that the supporting information architecture is designed with flexibility and some degree of future proof-ability to minimize total cost of ownership of such convergence applications.

Multichannel Publishing

Since media organizations need to maintain multiple channels, the content that gets published across these channels should be consistent and be managed together. The Enterprise Content Management system (including video and rich media management) needs to be robust and scalable to effectively support the publication of content across multiple channels — including on the mobile Web, on different mobile applications such as iPhone apps, Android apps, etc., and on print channels, as well as integrate with third-party video feed and video distribution services.

This ensures that the content is managed in a single repository, while getting published across multiple channels. Organizations are strongly advised to consider several technical solutions available in the market that enables them to abstract the technical challenges (e.g. browser properties, rendering, etc.) of publishing content to diverse devices.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization plays a major role in driving traffic to the website. The site should be optimized not only for its own content, but also for the content published on various other channels.

Tools that can monitor the websites to track various SEO aspects, such as broken links, keywords, metadata information, etc., can play an important role in improving the site results.

As mobile Web portals gain more prominence, SEO for mobile portals will gain importance.

Social Media

Integration of social media tools within media portals can not only improve stickiness to the site, but also help increase readership.

A comprehensive social media strategy enables customers, as well as employees, to interact with each other using Web 2.0 tools, integrated with internal and external portals.

Several of the tools available in the market have matured exponentially in terms of their architecture, security and “enterprise friendliness,” making it easy to integrate with existing enterprise applications.

Globalization and Localization

Web portals should enable users to view local content that is being shared across various channels. For example, a French ad/video on television needs to be appropriately displayed on the “France” country website — not an English version.

Making sure that the search engines provide support for multiple languages is also key. At times, organizations may want to enable search of documents/Web pages in other languages, too. Make sure that translation architecture, defined for the global website, supports that.

This in-depth localization of portals through integration with relevant country-specific media servers ensures that content is customized to local users, thereby improving viewership.

As suggested earlier, it is extremely important to take into consideration the need to support multiple global languages in the information architecture so that future changes will not necessitate massive rewrites, which usually means higher costs.

Advanced Analytics

Media convergence requires tracking advanced analytics. Tracking campaigns that are spread across multiple channels is an essential part of it.

For example, tracking the site visits or site activity based on video displayed on television and correspondingly broadcasting relevant information on TV or on social media are use cases that are possible with the right media convergence solution implementation.

As media organizations look for ways to differentiate themselves, solutions like these help them to provide innovative products and solutions to their customers.

Video and Rich Media Management

An integrated video and rich media management is essential for media convergence. Integration with third-party video servers, as well as live video feed integration with Web portals, can provide multiple venues for customers to view the content.

Similarly, ad server integration with multiple delivery channels may be required as relevant advertisements are displayed to different users — based on their persona (on Web and mobile) and based on their location (on television).

The site should be flexible to accommodate frequent modifications/updates to suit the advertisers

Greater Effectiveness, More Revenue

As these various elements come together, convergence of media across various channels will become very effective and seamless. By ensuring advertisements are consistent, though in varied forms, organizations can increase their effectiveness, leading to increased ad revenue.

Convergence also helps better understand user base and capture trends that are currently unavailable or not measurable. This can provide valuable insights into user behavior and convert into new services, solutions and ideas.

Maintaining a single repository of content also helps substantially reduce operational costs, while improving viewership.

Media organizations that adopt convergence as part of their future road map stand a better chance of success than the ones that do not.

Srinivas Kandikonda is senior director and head of the global ECM practice at Virtusa, an IT services company that offers a broad spectrum of business consulting and outsourcing services.


  • "This ensures that the content is managed in a single repository" . . .sounds like Rupert wanting to control everything again.

    Having spent 34 years in prepress, agonizing over the steady decline in Advertising and readership, was an exercise in futility.

    Advertising revenue was largely Print, TV & Radio with minor participation from signage & theater slides, long before the web matured small publications, community radio and junk mail were gathering momentum.

    Because my living depended on the media as we then knew it, the last thing I wanted was change.

    Now I see the changes both inevitable and good, prepress had to be cleaned up Computers did that.

    There had to be attrition in Editorial the world was becoming "wired" and the greenies were beginning to look like they had a point.

    It’s difficult to use recycled paper for Web fed presses the longer fiber wood pulp is better in virgin pulp, trees have to come down if you want your newspapers.

    The big edition large circulation papers were using up forests at a rate of football fields per edition.

    Now happily retired I AM AM azed at the ease and economy of both advertising and buying over the net.

    I AM now sure that Google is the most important milestone in the history of the media, both electronic and print, and will only become greater.

    Companies with their collective heads in the sand, like Microsoft and News limited will only be found in eHistory books (Gee I might have coined a new word there), maybe not new but these final words are "half of the things we will be spending our money on five years from now, have NOT been invented yet".

    I’d love to know who wrote those words just as I would love to be a young person involved in what’s to come.


  • YES SRINIVAS… is true!

    Your summary accurately shapes our immediately converging communications environment. People everywhere anxiously await each new connection one-media-to-another. Seamlessly connected and rich with, what YOU may need, THEY may need and WE ALL may need or want. Thank you for the colorful portrait!

    Now Mr. Kandikonda, let’s believe all is well in the converged world. We accept change and improvement as continuous (kaizen,) welcome and necessary. We are painfully aware that in some parts of the world ‘the on-ramp’ to "THE INFORMATION SUPER-HIGHWAY" is not ubiquitous. No….it is limited to those who can afford it and in some cases limited to those who are even aware of choice.

    Yet, we are fully aware of it’s ability to further shrink the world, bring us together, let us share opportunity, risk and reward. Let us further share responsibility, lend a hand and become aware of others around the globe. As you have so eloquently shown us it is there for us to use, to share – to have and to hold… is opportunity unlimited to connect to our fellow man and aid in the elimination poverty, improve health and welfare, extend our very lives through connected global medical research, educate, communicate, entertain and much more.

    IF….IF and only IF

    Now I ask your participation in the important discussions around opportunity, availability and inevitable efforts at content and media control.

    Please consider and comment on what is going on between end-users (customers) and the delivery systems (carriers) that are in the end the single most important part of the system. Without a connection that works in a way that is profitable for the carrier yes, but also, realistically affordable for all customers there is a disconnect – a fail-point that forces the system to fail.

    Build a LIBRARY without doors and see how active it is.

    Build a movie theater with one door for those who will pay more for the privilege of being on-time for the start of the feature film AND another for everyone else to come in 25 minutes late at a reduced price. See the outcome……

    Content providers and carriers are shaping discussions around business models, available bandwidth, infrastructure capitol investments, content margins or lack of margin, choosing content, added customer counts and the burdens they bring (what?!,) data caps/buckets and minimal megabit delivery by carriers to end-users. Right….these are led by carriers intending to ensure that their content delivery system – the pipe – is maximized for revenue and in their control without intervention. Wherever possible, carriers (the customers’ sole link to the future) want to create content or charge for content to ensure that they have a piece of the pie. AT&T, Orange, etal immediately making changes to LIMIT use and reshape revenue per user to a higher plateau with retraction of "all-you-can-eat" bandwidth plans to introduce caps and buckets.

    They say NO….they say they are trying to stay in business, trying to be profitable to their ownership and their stockholders….I know differently of course, but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the outcome for all. TWENTY-EIGHT (28) years as a pioneer in convergence as an executive, early innovator and activist in legislation for "Triple-Play" and "Quad-Play" in Wireless, CATV, Internet, Telephony and VoIP on multi-mode devices, multi-mode networks and multi-mode platforms has created not just an appetite for the future, but an informed and if not selfish then somewhat of a puritan’s view good what can be and of the responsibility of ALTRUISM.


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