Digital Era and the changes it brought.
"Sometimes so much change occurs that it leads to a "state change." Warming ice melts and becomes water. Water grows hotter until it changes into steam. The same kind of state change can happen with products, services, content, delivery, and even with customers and their expectations." Gyr, Friedman, and Gyr (n/d, page 01)
The birth of the Internet has brought many changes over the decades, and it changed the way media used to work as well as its audience. The change in the eras in media is not only a technological change. It brought enormous change in time, its people, and the mindset of its audience in terms of their expectations and needs. It brought various changes in how we connect and its value. As the era changes, the audience changes. The people who once upon a time were happy with their cassettes and some 7 to 8 songs they used to save now have gadgets in their pockets with thousands of songs and still want more. The same device now allows us to take pictures, make calls and do everything we ever imagined. The same audience who once had no control over their television program now carries their version of the media device. To support this theory, Anders hentai and Reza Tadayoni stated, "The Internet, however, is one of the most important technology platforms within the broader digital development, and it is unquestionably the most important common technological technology platform for the convergence between different kinds of communication and media industries. First and foremost, the Internet has proven to be a very efficient technology platform, e.g., in terms of reach, costs, and quality. For media and content industries, it provides a possibility for interactivity, which is a new development for the mass media that hitherto have been one-way media." Henten & Tadayoni (2008, page 45)
The digital era has brought power to its audience, we can now choose our television plan, we can skip that advertisement we don't want to see, or can put child locks for children. The power to control the media we watch in our homes gives us a sense of control. Television and digital media have also revolutionized how we see news. In this busy, scheduled life, we usually need more time to sit and watch the news or read it in the newspaper, so we got Applications on our smartphones or web portals of media channels. Anytime anywhere, the news is a thing now.
There was a time when there used to be a gap between the media platforms and their audiences, and maybe they were pretty comfortable with it, but the fact that the audience now is an integral part of the conversation and connection with media, its brand, and other media platforms signifies a tremendous digital revolution. The digital era has put these barriers down, providing its audience with a medium and power to rise as consumers.
Henry Jenkins stated, "The idea that fans are among the most active, creative, critically engaged, and socially connected consumers of popular culture, and that they represent the vanguard of a new relationship with mass media. Though marginal and largely invisible to the general public at the time, today, media producers and advertisers, not to mention researchers and fans, take for granted the idea that the success of a media franchise depends on fan investments and participation." Jenkins (1990, n/p)
The digital era provided us with a kind of intelligence like never before, non-direct correspondence, and a better economy in the Media sectors. It causes the development of traditional media as attributes of the innovation are joined that change utilization and design in light of the new mediums. As advanced innovation impacts broad communications, it likewise conveys social ramifications. New media innovation is advanced innovation connected to mass media and its audience. The Internet is new media innovation. So are satellite and link information transmission, computers help in the development of interactive media distribution, and even word preparation? Innovation changes how all media are created, dispersed, shown, and put away. Advanced media, when utilized accurately, can draw in buyers significantly more adequately than traditional media. This is because of a few components, including the intuitive idea of computerized, the focused-on nature of advanced, the social idea of advanced, and the medium's innate capacity to gauge engagement and not simply reach. It is difficult to tell when somebody drives past your board, regardless of whether they took any notice.
The digital era has changed the way of storytelling, there once was a time when the only stories we read were in paperback form. In 1887 when we first met detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Doctor Watson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation quickly captured readers' hearts and imagination. People loved Sherlock but the only way to meet him was to visit bookstores that might need a copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock. But now some 46 short stories and 4 Novels on Sherlock, we have seen numerous adaptions of Doyle's work, be it Television series or movies or the best digital copies of the books. In addition, we can now carry any book or story with us on our mobile devices. The heart of any storytelling is in motivation and imagination. In one of his articles, Lance Weiler stated that "somewhere along the way, the desire to commercialize stories gave birth to formats, running times, and platforms. As theatre owners realized that audiences considered the length of a film a measurement of quality, works with longer running times replaced short forms. Feature films meant that audiences could be charged higher ticket prices and distribution platforms were established to exploit the emerging opportunity. But the length of films hit a threshold as theatres implemented intermissions to account for the audiences' physical limitations." Weiler (2015).
He also mentioned that "With the emergence of technology, the notion of formats, running times, and platforms established over 100 years ago are being challenged. As consumption habits shift to meet an on-demand culture, code, and story often clash. However, early efforts have resulted in business models merely emulating traditional ones. YouTube encourages the development of multi-channel networks, like Maker Studios, which attempt to churn out content while placing talent under restrictive contracts, similar to how the studios operated during the golden age of Hollywood. Meanwhile, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon double down on developing original content to boost subscriber bases to become the next HBO." Weiler (2015)
We have come a long way since 1887, and on the one hand, where the stories remain the same, the telling is changing. But, on the other hand, the audience has changed and adapted to all the development and new ways of storytelling, and we love it. The media industry has gone through a cycle from Television to VCR to DVR and almost everything in a cloud. With the power and control we as a media audience have, we become our storytellers.
Digital Era brought several changes in the field of Advertising, Marketing, and Social Media along with its Consumers. The key to Digitalization is their constant state of reinventing formats and methods. Digital Media isn't just another media, it is many mediums, and it sure is expanding. Digital Marketing and Advertising are championed by the number of likes on Facebook, the clicks on Google and various other websites, the daily changing set of rules, and the growing interaction of their audience and consumers. The digital era has given its audience the power to voice their opinions. If they don't like any product, they cannot only return or exchange it but can also put their disaffection towards the development in the form of reviews. I remember publishing my own Fiction Novel in 2016, and I didn't get any book tour or anything like that. My idea of marketing involved being as active on social media sites as possible. Be it Facebook, Amazon, Google, blogs and other websites, they have opened up new ways and stages for their audience. Digital Media threatens to become the most direct competitor to Television ever. On one hand where advertising on Television is a little beyond reach and expensive for people like me, Facebook has provided us with a platform to create and sell our own products. Today, the online worth of any consequence has become more prominent as a brand. A good communicator, planner, and somebody with good tactics in social media can create wonders, and this is the power the digital era has brought to its audience. The media audience today is very well aware of the power and how likes on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, and subscriptions on YouTube are extensions of traditional media platforms. Author Antony Young stated, "The evidence for the perpetual state of change of digital media marketing is plain. The Internet metamorphosed from essentially a direct response advertising medium of banners, email marketing, and search to what it has become today. It is preeminent as an e-commerce platform that considers the ubiquity of Amazon and eBay. It is social media facilitator on both PC and mobile devices." Young (2010, page 165)
One of the main reasons for the success of marketing on digital media is its audience. People want to hear from real people. The fact that digital media has direct communication and your voice is being listened to did impressive growth in marketing. People quickly highlight the difference between leading brands, especially in customer service. The one thing common between all media forms is that Good content is king. The clever insight, creativity and how different your content is from others make an impact. Digital Media has made the public more creative and efficient. In addition, the digital era has helped brands build a better and healthy relationship with their consumers with customer relationship management or CRM programs, which focus on building customer information databases and communication via SMS and emails.
Antony Young stated in his book on Brand media strategies that "ECRM has infiltrated Social Networks, forums, groups, and blogs. Just about every brand now has fan pages on Facebook and a Twitter address. Of course, not every brand has millions of fans or followers. The most important need for these sites is content. Whether created by the brand or fans, content needs to be useful, entertaining and regularly updated. The other important aspect is the recruitment of fans. I've seen fan sites that were heavily promoted through press releases, but they have only three hundred to four hundred fans, which for some companies is about the size of the marketing department! Promoting and recruiting fans is a must." Young (2010, page 184).
These theories about the digital era started with the invention of the Internet and the presentation of computers and mobile. The conclusion of this pattern and theories are the changes in the media audiences and digital media and the social effect of new media. The interchange and related recent advancements are alluded to as media unions. Fidler once said that "traditional forms of media change in response to emerging new media. New media improve upon or remedy prior technologies. Existing media are mixed and repurposed into new forms; media converge. Moreover, media development today is the convergence of different media industries and digital technology to produce multimedia." Fidler (2012, page 10)
This era is one of the most significant changes in Media Landscapes and their audience. An equalizing era where even for the time being, anyone can be a brand and its publisher. In this era, we can choose the media we want to consume—for example, Television channels and programs or YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon. We can opt for the content and pay for that only. Almost everything in this era is unbundled. We can download tracks instead of full albums and links to stories instead of newspapers. The media audience chooses what they can do online, engaging with their choice of brand like never before. They produce their content; the media audience can now be producers, advertisers, or anything they want to be.
For example, Author Dan Zarrella stated that "70% of consumers trust consumer opinions posted online, compared to 62% who trusts Tv ads, 60% who trusts newspaper ads" on a further note, Zarrella mentioned that " Users are already talking about your products, services, and brand online whether you're involved in the conversation or not, so you might as well join the discussion." Zarella (2009, page 131)
The media audience isn't switching their preferences from traditional to digital just for the sake of it. I know many who still prefer the old ways of media. The main reason is that the digital era has brought access to news and many choices, be it information or entertainment. As an audience, it is the growth of the community.