Is traditional media taking notice of new media?
Why is new media likely to grow at the expense of traditional media?
In this article I look at the key elements that I believe will lead to a rapid growth of new media in the next 10 years.
It’s nearly my second year anniversary of working in new media. Coming from a traditional media background I often enjoy the perspective I have, which allows me to draw on experience from either area.
I definitely feel that I am in the right place at the right time and after attending New Media Expo I came to the conclusion that traditional media may be fighting a losing battle.
New Media Will Always Have a Deeper Engagement
Top of my concerns for traditional media is that it will always lag behind new media when it comes to engagement.
Online communities are held together by people and relationships, and therefore by their nature they have much more to offer.
The smaller your audience, the easier it is to serve. This is just a matter of numbers. So with the large audiences of the mass media, there just cannot be that level of interaction or personal touch.
Operating in niches also means that this content is much more targeted at an individual’s needs and wants, and it has been sought out (rather than passively consumed).
New Media Fulfils the Human Need to be Heard
As humans we like to feel we are important. We want to be heard. Creating a platform gives anyone this opportunity, where previously this would not have been possible because control of the media was in the hands of the few.
Key influencers in new media are still seeing growth of their communities years after they started to build them. The more popular these influencers become the more their achievements will inspire others to begin their journeys.
New Media Connects the World
Traditional media has tended to operate in geographic areas of the world. For example, the BBC may have programming that is exported outside the UK but it’s biggest impact will always be on home territory.
New media, however, connects people around a niche, regardless of where they are. This is both exciting and a step forward: it brings us closer together by finding what we have in common.
New Media Platforms Can ‘Tip’ Overnight
I personally rate engagement over audience size but for those that see mass appeal as the ultimate goal, there is always that potential.
Built in the right way, content becomes a system through which people travel. So long as it delivers value and doesn’t date itself, there is the potential for very sudden growth.
We’ve seen how quickly a viral video can spread. In the same way a change in circumstances or the right publicity or just reaching a critical mass can quickly change the fortunes of a site (even if it has been struggling previously).
New Media Producers Instinctively Know What’s Important
Coming from a traditional media background I am constantly amazed how good people are at creating content. Perhaps we are all naturally gifted? Or maybe the online world attracts these people?!
Not only that but they take it one stage further and cut it back to the bare bones. Whereas traditional media may get caught up in quality and striving for perfection, new media producers keep focussed on what matters. Learning to publish consistently is as much a goal as gradually learning how to have more impact with each piece of content.
Traditional media is not going anywhere but I do wonder whether the balance is changing. Anyone who enjoys consuming podcasts, for example, will quickly discover there is not enough time in the day to keep up with as many people as we would like (even at x2!).
The internet has altered nearly every industry in the world and those changes are still going on. The media is far from exempt.
Are you spending more or less time consuming new media than you were 5 years ago?