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July 24, 2011, 9:27 am UTC
New media, internet and mobile, today seems to be at loggerheads with traditional media – newspapers, radio and TV but they will eventually co-exist, as history has shown
The internet and mobile, or digital media as this newest of all media is termed, has eaten into the earnings of traditional media like news papers, TV and radio worldwide. The reason is not hard to figure. Web and mobile gives advertisers the opportunity to target a local audience, unlike the mass target of traditional media. This allows even small businesses with little money to get into the advertising bandwagon, unlike in the past. Does this mean that traditional media will be overshadowed by new media? Unlikely. The reasons are many.
What new media has done is allow a large number of small businesses who were not advertising because of the inability of traditional media to target specific groups and its high costs, to advertise for the first time. This began with Google AdSense and Google AdWords, that targeted audiences within specific geographic location and interests based on keywords. With the mobile, the analytics that was pioneered by Google bas been further fine-tuned and expanded from the technological point of view. Thus, what the new media has done is that they have ended up expanding the advertising market.
In terms of advertising, to put it very simply, there are two types. Those brands that need to reach out to a large number of audiences, and those that need to target specific groups as mentioned above. Thus while new media has taken over the latter, it is unlikely that they will attack the first group. Big brands would need the mass reach of traditional media and though they would get into the specific reach of new media as well, it is unlikely that it will impact traditional media to a great extent.
A report by Boston Consulting Group puts this into perspective when it states that: “digital advertising in the U.S. is expected to increase from $22 billion in 2010 to more than $40 billion in 2015, according to BIA/Kelsey, while traditional local advertising is expected to decline from $115 billion to $111 billion. Several trends are fueling the growth of digital marketing—most significantly, the rise of social networking as a commercial engine and the emergence of new local marketing applications.”
Thus, as you will notice, the rise in digital media is not proportionate to the fall in traditional media, thus giving credence to the fact stated above that new media is expanding the advertising market. This is, but good news for both brands and even traditional media as they expand their reach and foray into new media as well.
It will perhaps take another decade, as technologies and trends stabilize, and new media becomes as much a part of everyone’s life, as traditional media is today. The media equation would obviously change drastically and so will the delivery mechanisms. But the fears that new media would kill traditional media is totally baseless. One only has to look at the growth of radio that was expected to kill newspapers and later the rise of TV that was supposed to kill both newspapers and radio. But today, all three media co-exist. This is exactly what will happen with the internet and mobile, they will merge and co-exist with traditional media.
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