Friday, August 31, 2012


Assessment 1 Digital Media Convergence
Max Chen

Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to one of the following: Advertising & New Media or Music Video Online.

Case Study: Gangnam Style
 ‘Media Convergence is the process whereby new technologies are accommodated by existing media and communication industries and cultures.’ Dwyer states this term as the adaption and merging together of media. 

Gangnam Style by Psy is the latest music video sensation which has gotten viral globally. As of this essay, the video has climbed to 78Million Views on YouTube and rising every single day by an average of 2.5 million views. This is a staggering amount considering this video is not even in English, yet it has been a hit in none Korean speaking countries such as America and causing chain reactions of other user submitted videos such as flash mobs and multiple parodies all over the world. 
"The original MV of Gangnam Style by Psy"

The rise in popularity of Gangnam style has been due to many factors.
One of the phenomenon associated with the viral spread is the rapid sharing available for the music video, Dwyer mentions ‘the ability of consumers to obtain multiple services on a single platform or obtain any given service on multiple platforms or devices.’ Gangnam Style music video (M/V) is available to view across media platforms. Although it is mainly streamed on YouTube, the video has be covered on CNN in America, broadcasted on Radio on Nova 96.9, tweeted on twitter by multiple celebrities and shared via multiple social media networks. 

 ‘Gangnam Style’ was never intended for audiences out of Korea. None English viewers have no idea what the Rapper Psy is singing about but from translations we find that behind the catchy dance beat the lyrics have a greater meaning. There is  a subtle message about wealth, class, and value in South Korean society. Rapper Psy's lyrics revealed a hidden message aimed to satire to the huge wealth inequality in Korea, the excessive consumption and pointing out the ridiculousness of the materialism surrounding many Koreans.

 For Audiences that are none Korean, YouTube members comments the music as absolutely 'random', some say unexpected, fresh and so bad that it is good. Gangnam Style is so different to traditional music videos it has create a whole new category from itself. Online bloggers joked that Psy is the love child of Kim Jong Il and Lady Gaga and is hooked by the original yet simple dance style.


Hilderbrand,L comments on the fact YouTube videos are popular via word of mouth- which in internet era is email links, blogs etc.
Dwyer mentions 'The rising popularity of social networking sites...... allowing multitasking of interaction.'
The huge success of this Music Video was explained by Psy as the 'tidal wave of tweets' on tweeter and mass public sharing on social networks.
The American rapper T-Pain was retweeted 2,400 times when he wrote "Words cannot even describe how amazing this video is."Other celebrities and fans include Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Vanessa Hudgens. To further promote the video fans have created Facebook pages and groups and even organised flash mobs of the Music.

 Tweets by celebrities

 Flash mob in Sydney's Martin Place, Gangnam Style has captivated many around the world.

Mundy, J suggest that the interest in popular music has given new ways of thinking to popular culture.
Gangnam Style have evolved to far more than just a catchy music video. The term 'Gangnam Style' is now linked by many to phases to suggest doing things completely "different". Gangnam Style dance moves are the current trend with multiple parodies, flash mobs, tutorial on YouTube, with some Nightclubs featuring Gangnam Style as an event.


From all the examples listed the viral success of gangnam style can be attributed to new technologies, youtube, itunes and the streaming of online Music Videos. The ability to share the video is emphasized by Hilderbrand, L "people like to share experiences." Experiences such as reaction video to first watching Gangnam style, Parodies / copying the dance moves, attending Psy's live concert, taking part in flash mobs are all ways everyone and interact and be part of the Gangnam Style frenzy.
Gangnam style certainly reflects a different, exciting culture and flashy dance moves that challenges what people expect in normal music videos.

Oppa Gangnam Style

Reading from the MAS110 Unit Reader
·         Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture, New York, New York University Press. 

Recommended  reading list
·         Hilderbrand, L. (2007) 'Youtube: Where Cultural Memory and Copyright Converge', Film Quarterly, Vol 61. 

Additional Sources
·         Mundy, J (1999) ‘Popular Music On Screen: From Hollywood Musical to Music Video’ Manchester University
        Fisher, M (Aug 23 2012): Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea's Music Video Sensation
·         Original Music Video
·         Parodies
·         Reaction videos
·         Flash Mobs

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