Traditional Mediums Hold Strong amid Changing Media Industry
By: Nathaniel Brown
Digital media consumption is at an all-time high. Podcasts, Video blogs, Social Media Apps, Youtube videos, and a surplus of new mediums allow media outlets to continuously churn out content. Combined with the increase in digital avenues is the looming presence of smartphones. Consumers are able to access digital content at any time using any means necessary. However, even with the explosion of digital content, traditional vehicles of media consumption – such as broadcast radio and television – aren’t going away without a fight.
It’s no secret that younger generations are gravitating toward newer forms of digital entertainment, but television still has a tight grasp on older demographics. In 2016, individuals between the ages of fifty and sixty-five watched roughly 40 to 50 hours of television per week. Broadcast radio has persevered as well. Many individuals state that one of their primary means of discovering new music is through traditional radio. Others say they use traditional radio as a way of gathering news and information. Political pundits – like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh – each have a devoted congregation of daily listeners. Furthermore, from a local standpoint, sports talk radio still dominates the Nielsen ratings in Boston and the surrounding areas.
Even though television and radio continue to amass viewers and listeners respectively, all is not as peachy as it seems. These industries – specifically radio – have already started to modify how their content is absorbed. For example, radio stations have stopped investing in broadcast towers and transmitters. Instead, they have begun the process of streaming content over the Internet. Additionally, television networks like CBS, NBC, and FOX are discussing possible commercial modifications. with the National Football League in order to reclaim television viewers after several years of controversy.
As a fan of both digital and traditional media entertainment, I hope that television and radio broadcasts continue to thrive. Digital media is absolutely the medium of the future, but I think all mediums provide different methods of absorbing content. Television allows you to see something right as soon as it happens. Radio, when it’s done well, blends storytelling and word choice into an intricate art form. And finally, digital entertainment combines aspects of traditional broadcasting with technological advancements to create an entirely new consumer experience. Ideally, these forms of entertainment will coexist peacefully for the foreseeable future.