Why is Digital Media Growing as Traditional Media Fades to The Background?
May 28, 2015
Traditional media is often thought of as radio, television, and print. From newspapers and magazines to major TV networks, traditional media is highly visible and its rule goes back decades. In the past few years, though, digital media has been gathering its followers to make a try for the throne. And with the decline of traditional media it looks like the digital upstarts might just become the new, dominant force. Why is digital media growing as traditional media fades to the background?
Several reasons, actually. They include...
Perhaps the biggest reason for the growth of digital media is that it's more accessible than ever before. In the 1990s a lot of households had radios and television sets, but by comparison only a few of them had computers that could go online. Today with mobile technology, high-speed Internet, and fast access to any form of digital media from streaming video to instant music available at the touch of a button (typically from your phone) it makes sense that digital media is growing more popular.
According to this source, one of the major advantages that digital media has over traditional media is its cost. In the past you had to buy a subscription to a magazine or newspaper, or you had to pay for cable or satellite service (radio is still free to listen to, as long as you've got a receiver). Today if you want to read a blog, watch streaming video, or listen to music from a digital source then you can typically do it for free. Even if there is a cost (as you find with Netflix or with services like Audible), that cost is typically much less than what traditional media charges.
Speed and Strength
These two features are intertwined. Traditional media tends to be slower than digital media. Even radio and television stations, which can instantly broadcast updates to their viewers, tend to have less speed than digital media does. Additionally, traditional media is still limited by who can see it. A local radio station can warn those in the area of tornadoes, but that's about as far as it goes. Digital media has a global reach, and it can spread like wildfire until even those on the other side of the world have heard about the tornado in question.
Will Traditional Media Evolve?
There have been many members of traditional media's old guard who are trying to transition to digital media. Corporations like Fox make sure they have online news pages and streaming video for viewers, and radio stations make sure they have online streaming for those who want to listen but who are far outside of their usual signal range. By creating a digital footprint older outlets can have one foot in each world, giving them the ability to step one way or the other no matter which form of media becomes more dominant.
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