The Evolution of Emerging Media

Emerging media.

It’s a term that some people may not know, others may not understand or is used by the masses interchangeably with phrases like “new media” or “digital media.” Over the course of the next nine weeks I’ll have this type of media on my mind (along with 16 of my classmates in our IMC Emerging Media & the Market course through WVU). I’ll share information, news, videos, pictures, etc. about how this medium is influencing today’s society and I encourage you to join in the conversation.

So what comes to your mind when you hear or read the term emerging media? One of the first things that pops into your head might be the vast majority of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google + or YouTube, but emerging media stretches beyond that. This ever-changing form of media has allowed marketers and journalists to move away from more traditional media channels such as television, radio and print to more interactive digital channels. Other types of emerging media include podcasts, blogs, gaming, mobile, video streaming and geo-targeting.

Emerging media is an innovative and constantly evolving media that is only really bound by the creativity of those who produce it. The infographic below by CopyBlogger provides a historical road map of how the Internet has evolved socially.

History_of_social_mediaIn the Emerging Media Report, authors Jennifer Bott, Ray Montagno and Judy Lane define new or emerging media as technologies that mediate communication with four primary components:

1. Communication is structured by the technologies present

2. Networks exist that connect individuals to other parties and information

3. Information or communication resources exist

4. Content is digitized

So why should you care about emerging media? Why does it matter? Simply put: emerging media is rapidly changing how we communicate with others. And the shift from traditional media to emerging media will only continue to grow — not just in the U.S., but globally. Blogger Marcello Mari provided a chart that tracked traditional vs. digital media consumption.

Blog-Infographics-aprilSome of the key findings show that:

  • In 5 of the 31 markets, users spend more time on average social networking than watching TV. These markets demonstrate the global opportunity of social media, with Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, UAE and Vietnam making up the top five.
  • In all markets except France, Germany and Netherlands Internet time via PC and mobile exceeds a combination of offline media, including TV, radio and press.

Try to remember that emerging media will happen whether we like it or not. Erik Qualman, a best selling author and speaker on digital leadership says, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media. The choice is how well we do it.” Watch his 2014 video on Socialnomics and how our world is changing.

 With all of this information at your fingertips don’t you think it’s important to be involved in an evolving media? To help you stay on top of the trends here are Ten Emerging Social Media Marketing Trends for 2014.


2 thoughts on “The Evolution of Emerging Media

  1. One interesting topic for me is how emerging media increasingly a place for people to receive news as opposed to traditional media sources. Just yesterday, I was at an event and wanted updates on the Little League World Series – our city’s team, the Jackie Robinson West team, was in the US final. The fastest way for me to get updates on the score was to refresh my Twitter feed and follow #JRW. While the Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media says that at this point social media at this point is mostly an additional way to get news, rather than a replacement source – – this will continue to evolve, and traditional media outlets will need to adapt social technology to get breaking news to consumers faster.


    • Heather, I agree with you. Having previously worked at newspaper for five years I hate to admit that news is much more accessible via multiple channels and even faster than in years past. Even news stations have become somewhat passe. I think most people heard about recent events like the Robin Williams death and the Ebola outbreaks via some sort of social networking site, and then possibly reading a newspaper or watching a TV newscast to get further information.

      Since a good portion of teenagers are the ones receiving and sharing “news” via social sites, one of the things I battle with is whether they are more knowledgeable about news. It’s not very common (even years ago) for teens to pick up a newspaper and read what was going on in the world, but with all these digital sources pushing the information to teens they are much more “in the know.” While there has been much debate about how the Internet can “dumb down teens” (see, for example, a recent Weird Al Yankovic video spoof on “Word Crimes” here:

      ) some people argue that social media is making youth more literate. Mashable reporter Mike Laurie [] argues that if children and teens don’t know what something is they can much more easily look it up online. Laurie states that a National Literacy Trust survey shows that children have become more literate because of the Internet.

      Liked by 1 person

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