What is Digital Media?
Digital media can be defined as communication that exists in a format computers can read, but that doesn’t really tell the story of how it has become integrated into our lives. Digital media is more than just reading a newspaper article online; it’s interacting with the story and forming communities around the news. The most successful communications professionals of tomorrow will need to know how to use emerging technologies to tell the stories that will change the world, so today’s communications students are intrinsically linked to digital media.
Digital Media and Advertising
Mobile, social media, even banners — advertising across online verticals is growing fast.1
Growth in Online Advertising Revenue, 2013-2014
Bar chart showing percentage growth among various ad formats from 2013 to 2014. Search: 6%; Mobile: 78%; Banner: 2%; Online classifieds: 19%; Lead generation: 12%; Rich media: 19%; and Sponsorships: 25%. Data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau
In contrast, print ad revenues have followed a decade-long decline. In 2013, newspaper ad revenues saw a drop by 8.3% from 2012, earning $17.3 Billion.2
And while print advertising remains more costly than digital, it reaches fewer people.
Beyond the statistics illustrating the rise of digital media advertising, emerging technologies can also allow ads to transcend to art. A recent Facebook app released by AMC to promote the final episodes of Mad Men, for example, is a coup on multiple (not to mention meta) levels.
Digital Media and Public Relations
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of public relations specialist will grow by 12% between 2012 and 2022 — but it stipulates that these new professionals will need to understand how public opinion is swayed by the Internet.4
A majority of surveyed Americans report that they feel better informed than they were five years ago thanks to the Internet and their cell phones.5
Social media in particular is seeing a rise in influence. The number of adults who are online and joining online communities is growing every year.6
Graph showing the percent of online adults who use the following social media websites in 2012, 2013 and 2014: Facebook: 61% in 2012, 71% in 2013 and 71% in 2014; LinkedIn: 20% in 2012, 22% in 2013 and 28% in 2014; Pinterest: 15% in 2012, 21% in 2013 and 28% in 2014; Instagram: 13% in 2012, 17% in 2013 and 26% in 2014; and Twitter: 16% in 2012, 18% in 2013 and 23% in 2014. Data from the Pew Research Center
Digital Media and Journalism
Digital media is also revolutionizing the Fourth Estate — the press. In fact, today more people than ever report that they are getting their news from the Internet rather than newspapers.7
Graph showing reported news sources in 2011 and 2013. Television: 66% in 2011 and 69% in 2013; Internet: 43% in 2011 and 50% in 2013; Newspaper: 31% in 2011 and 28% in 2013; and Radio: 19% in 2011 and 23% in 2013. Data from the Pew Research Center
Accordingly, native digital news organizations have expanded, and in 2013, both large and small outlets added full-time staff editorial positions.8
As journalists embrace the power of digital media, “data journalism” — reporting reflecting the importance of numerical information — is becoming more influential. Case in point: Statistician and writer Nate Silver was able to predict the 2012 U.S. presidential election down to the winner of each state.
Digital Media and Newhouse
Newhouse is leading media professionals into the digital revolution with Communications@Syracuse. Our Master of Science in Communications prepares the next generation of advertising executives, public relations managers and digital journalists to tell the stories that matter in the 21st century. To learn more, contact an admissions counselor at 844-797-2666 or email us.
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