Traditional media, sometimes referred to as ‘mainstream media’ or ‘old media’, is a mass media, such as television, radio, newspapers or any sort of media where the information is filtered and interpreted by the media owner before it is transmitted to the public. A whole new generation of media based on computer technologies, emerged in the 1980s. These disparate forms of media, often called new media or digital media, have capabilities that differ significantly from the previous generation of mass media. New media can also be described as ‘interactive media’ or as a way of ‘interactive communication’. Digital media technologies provide citizens with the technical apparatus to do more than just receive information. New media is a user-active, multimedia, and digital communication environment. The differences between “new” and “old” media forms are rarely far from each other; they are related in many ways, new forms of communication have produce often in the social impact. Digital media provide resources and opportunities for new forms of social interaction and new ways of relating to, or even manipulating of time and space.
The changes taking place in the mass media environment is numerous which has changed the face of the mass media. Nowadays the world is moving rapidly towards digitalization; newspapers, magazines, movie theatres and radio are not as useable as they used to be. Newspapers have been declining in circulation and readership for some time. Television is changing from a five-network structure to cable and satellite system with more than 500 channels. Videocassette recorders make movies available for viewing at home and allow viewers to time-shift recorded television programs. Magazines are published through pages on the Internet and some of them through CD-ROMs. News is being placed by New News, which means that less people are seeking newspapers to get the information they need.
Traditional media need to find out a way to survive in this new digital influenced world, in order to still exist among people and not fade away. More people are driven towards the new media for instance you find more users of the web, Twitter, Facebook and Blogs than people using newspapers, magazines and televisions.
In 2002 the U.S. Television and radio audience ratings have been declining, in addition to movie ticket sales and newspapers/magazines also have been on a lower patch. While the number of Internet users from 2000 to 2005 rose up to 31% of the households.
Despite the challenges and creativity of the new media, people still can’t give away their use of the old media. New communication technologies have not replaced old technologies completely but caused the old technologies to take new roles. For example, television didn’t replace radio but instead led to new types of radio programming like talk shows, advertising and the use of digital music. Huge media companies like Disney has realized that they are at stake due to the fast movement towards digitalization and the new media, so Walt Disney Co’s ABC recently launched a web broadcast called ABC News Now which delivers news 24 hours a day on the internet and so did the CBS news network.
More than one mogul television networks are facing the threats of the new digital media, such as ABC, CBS, Fox and WB. Aside to the technological improvements of cable and satellite channels, there is the evolution of videogames, DVD, High-Definition TV, Tivo, satellite radio and the broad varieties of wireless technologies.
In 1978 study in the U.S showed that 90% of the households tuned in at prime time, but now it is less than 50%.
Traditional journalism has found itself competing with new media ‘s way of delivering news, which is less expensive and more accessible. Traditional media started losing audience share, newspaper companies are at risk especially with young readers collecting the news elsewhere, whether from “The Daily Show” which airs at prime time or from Google’s news websites. Newspapers are at most competition to deliver news in an easy-to-use format and in an entertaining yet informative way. They also need to catch up with the new high-tech ventures in order to reach those new digital audiences. Traditional media tried to meet up with new media with newspaper staff publishing blogs on the newspapers websites and later media companies encouraging independent bloggers by hiring them. Not only do newspaper companies felt the urge to post online the same stories that readers can see on the printed newspapers, but also reporters and journalists started creating their own blogs, giving readers the freedom to comment and give their own personal opinions. They also have given readers the opportunity to conduct and edit their own news, such as what CNN online website did with the application iReport.
New media acts as a huge threat to advertising; the 30minute- spot ad is unrecognizable to consumers due to Ad-skipping devices such as, TiVo, DVDs and DVRs. Advertisers started paying more money on ad campaigns in order to come up with creative ideas to prove that traditional advertising still catches the eye of the public. Advertisers can actually succeed now that their public have been narrowed, which gives them a more chance to reach their specific target audience. Instead of ads being geared to mass audiences, it’s tailored for a certain groups or individuals. Given the rise of digital technology, advertising started taking place much on the web or through e-mailing. Advertising agencies stopped using straight- forward ads and started seeking more creative ads to attract people and make them want to tune in, for example, Crispin (Advertising agency) helped Burger King stage a fight between two actors dressed as chickens, meant to symbolize two Tender-Crisp sandwiches the fast-food chain offered. The effort involved a Web site, ads showing things such as a weigh-in and, ultimately, an event on DirecTV. Some agencies started jamming their commercials between programs to attract more audience.
In the movie industry, customers who have once relied on movies for entertainment can choose from increasing varieties of alternatives from videogames to the Internet. That’s why the movie business has to keep on moving, evolving and changing for the public. So that theatres don’t become out of order and be replaced by home entertainment systems. Movie theatres started adding some frills, more luxury seated chairs, 3-D effects and serving more drinks and food. Right now movies are being released on DVD earlier than before, first a few weeks on theaters and then on pay-per-view television and a year after release it hits free television.
Traditional media’s presentational style has changed in response to the existence of competing new media. Traditional media is still continuing to play a major role in any media mix, as it is trying to reinvent itself over and over.