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Real Threats to Traditional TV’ most disruptions come from the internet and that users multitask across various screens at the same time, simultaneously. Consider


1.what is the nature of the new digital media networks we and so many other developed and developing nations are now building and utilizing; and (2) for whom?

Communication Research Practices

The contemporary world of communication has changed tremendous since the emergence of digital media in the arena of information sharing and storage. The new development in the technology has also contributed exponentially in the emergence of digital media platform. As a result, the traditional media communications has been adversely affected in terms of numbers of users which has on the decline consecutively for the last decades since inception of digital media. The media which have been affected by the current media trends are televisions, radios, and telegram which unlike digital media lack dynamic connectedness and coordination to each other. The digital media on the other hand has made connections and coordination easier by the use of specially made software and computers. This technology has made the digital media be mobile using computing devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, palmtops; this is according to Vernallis, Herzog & Richardson, (2013). Digital media platforms has suited well to the modern users with its easy usability and other useful utilities that make communication and information sharing convenient, fast, easy, effective, better experience. It is at the heart of this paper to establish the nature of the modern media, explore the convergence of media concepts, and the cultural shift attributed to digital media. The paper also explains how digital media has brought about marginalization of the conservative groups in the society and those not able to access it.

According to reports published on the use and accessibility of new digital media, it is indicated that the frequency of accessing and using new technologies increases compared to the traditional media forms. Different descriptions exist about the concept on new digital media. However, there are some common factors in all these descriptions about the nature of new digital media networks and their impacts on the modern life (Miler, 2011). One of these factors is the issue of convergence of media forms. Convergence can be defined in relation to bits of media becoming “indifferentiable.” It occurs where media hybridizes and recombines to improve the media content. Media convergence makes a distinction between human body capacitating communication media in the flesh; the type of mass communication produced technically; technically created means of mass communication; and the digital technologies enabling individual interaction, one-to-many interaction and many-to-many interaction (Jensen, 2010). Convergence leads to changes in the models of media consumption because of availability and mobility of network-enabled digital devices, in conjunction with the increased ease and data transfer affordability, resulting into new digital media networks penetrating many parts of the current consumption of media, and a general life improvement (Webster, 2014)

Factors of New Digital Media Networks

Another factor is the change in producers and consumer’s relationship because of technological enhancements that facilitate making and distributing content and the concept of the distinction between interpersonal and mass communication (Miles, 2018). The organizational forms of production are key components that influence the ways of value creation in media production and consumption. The distinction between old media and new digital media mainly concerns the functional aspects of the technologies used in the two media eras. This entails the way users can adapt and engage in the many interactive functions of the digital media. The nature of the new digital media networks involves using such tools as behavioural targeting, asynchronous ads, contextual targeting, and advergaming, to capture the digital consumer. New digital media business models perceive freedom of choice and creativity that the individual user experiences as the core to their development. The new digital business model converts this freedom of choice and creativity is then converted into an economic value within the media companies (Bolin, 2011).

Miller (2011), in his writing on digital media, he observed how this media has contributed to making the world a digital community. With digital media, people are able to conveniently and affordably access the global audience. This development has built a consumer culture. To shape this consumer culture the users who in this case can be business owner or marketers, substitute traditional advertising to this more diverse media to enhance their products and services in the prospective global market. The ability to make numeric manipulations and modifications has made it possible to build dynamic contents by use software and programs. The modifications are therefore automated to utilize its capability for sharing to access broader audience (2011).

Accordingly, the modern media platform has utilized the audience creation tools which build sites traffic and attracting new users (Creeber, Martin, 2009). The tools have increased popularity especially due to customizations which provide user-generated contents in various media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Thus user are able to reinvent their media contents. Youtube has allowed live video streaming through the internet, which has contributed immensely to the diminishing use of traditional media forms like televisions. In fact, it has been established that the videos in Youtube and other user-created contents has become more popular than the mainstream traditional media contents.

New digital media networks allow for modularity. This is the notion of making larger units from smaller ones (Creeber, Martin, 2009). Modularity for digital media content entails expansion of distribution channels and geographically redefining market segments or on the basis of the product category. “Modularity is the notion that digital media is composed of independent parts that can be divided into smaller units that can remain separate” (Miles, 2018).  Therefore, modularity explains granularity, that is, the slightest unit within a system that has meaning attached to it.

Convergence of Media Forms

New digital media networks ensure consistency as the key to providing media streaming. There is buffering in the media player that allows for some variability through giving a local information cache. Variability ensures higher quality content, providing stronger backbone bandwidth in the internet network, and faster infrastructure connections in interest cloud and internet edge (Raybum, 2012). This further enhances the prosumer culture in the new digital media.

The social media dominance in the modern society is attributed by the changes in the digital media where users have access to limitless social networking sites and integration of media components in the network (Creeber, Martin, 2009). The modern programming has enabled interoperability of media sites through third-party programs, which were traditionally built independently. This functionality has enabled social media to go beyond normal websites operations by increasing interconnections within the media networks. The users of social media are able to interact and have dialogues about video streams on either YouTube or Facebook. The interactions are even more interesting than the program itself, thus giving social media preference over television.

The target group in the social media has become too critical to ignore. Social media contents are generated depending on the targeted groups among the users. The media servers store the contents shared by users and user data. Therefore it has become important to do content targeting depending on those data. It is also important in site traffic controls and content direction depending on the users (Raybum, 2012). Using this logic, social media has become convenient media for advertisers. The adverts use user data and online activities to generate content targeting in advertisements (Webster, 2014). The adverts are easily directed to appropriate users.

According to Creeber & Martin, 2009, “Sites like MySpace, Blogger or YouTube have changed the ways that users make use of the Internet and the World Wide Web.” These are some of the transformations in the New Media’s overall landscape. The development of new digital media and networks also causes a transformational effect on cost. The cost structures for digital media are different from analog and physical systems. Digital systems benefit from a continuing decline in costs due to the availability of networked mobile devices and lower data transfer rates thus drawing further attention from the traditional television media.

New Digital media networks allow for transcoding. Transcoding involves the conversion of an already converted signal into a new signal. It is an important process in the new digital media operation to ensure the availability of any media content to its target audience, since they may not have the capacity to use the information in the original form. Transcoding is achieved by decoding the information into an immediate context, then re-encoding into the required context (Ramzan, Zwol, Lee, Cluver & Hua, n.d). Digital media also brings revolution. This is the changing or converting of society along the digital media and computer networks lines. “Digital media revolution has led to in the transformation of old communication structures” (Krieger, Belliger, 2014). Transcoding ensures that digital media information is designed to meet the specifications of the target audience to ensure maximum and effective use of these networks.

Change in Producers and Consumer's Relationship

More so, in the new digital media networks, digital convergence and sound production incorporate the views of both the media practitioners and composers. Audio recording technologies allows for separation of image and sound (Vernallis, Herzog & Richardson, 2013). Therefore, the images and sounds used in digital media platforms could be edited to suit the needs of the target audience. For instance, media information meant for children could employ the use of cartoon images and child sounds.

Finally, new digital media networks support gaming and sports as well. Media sports are crucial evidence of a momentous historical transition in communication modes and systems, (Rowe, Hutchins, 2013). Moreover, multiplayer video games and esports have been facilitated by the Internet. This has further shifted the attention of the new generation from watching reality shows on Television, to watching each other playing games.

Conclusion

The increased use of new digital media has led to a movement away from the traditional kinds of media, by users shifting from the traditional television and mass media to new media networks. These networks allow for consumer made contents and increase in interconnectivity across various media and contents. Despite this increasing tendency, those members of the society members who are unable to access new digital media networks or have inadequate infrastructures and resources to access these networks may end up being marginalized and incapable of interacting with the current media environment in a similar manner to those who have enough infrastructures and facilities or the capabilities to access the new digital media networks.

References

Creeber, G., Martin, R., 2009, ‘Digital cultures,’ Maidenhead, Open University.

Jensen, K.B., 2010, ‘Media Convergence: The Three Degrees of Network, Mass, and Interpersonal Communication,’ Routledge Pub.

Krieger, D.J., Belliger, A., 2014, ‘Interpreting networks: hermeneutics, actor-network theory & new media’, Transcript Verlag.

Lannon, JM, Halpin, EF, 2013, Human rights and information communication technologies: trends and consequences of use’, IGI Global Pubns.

Miler, V, 2011, Understanding Digital Culture’, SAGE Publications. Available at https://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=689484 [Accessed 28th May 2018]

Miles, A, 2018, Digital Media and Documentary: Approaches’, Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlabk&db=nlabk&AN=1685753

Pewinternet.org., 2015, Available at https://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/06/teens-technology-and-friendship/ [Accessed on 28th May 2018]

Ramzan, N, Zwol, R, Lee, JS, Cluver, K & Hua, XS. (n.d.). ‘Social Media Retrieval,’ Springer Science & Business Media.

Raybum, D, 2012, ‘Streaming, and Digital Media: Understanding the Business and Technology,’ CRC Press.

Rennstich, JK, 2008, ‘The making of the digital world: the evolution of technological change and how it shaped our world,’ New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Rowe, D, Hutchins, B, 2013, ‘Digital Media Sport: Technology, Power, and Culture in the Network Society,’ Routledge Pub.

Vernallis, C, Herzog, A, Richardson, J, 2013, ‘The Oxford handbook of sound and image digital media.’ USA; OUP.

Wester, JG, 2014, ‘The marketplace of attention how audiences take shape in a digital age,’ Cambridge, mass, MIT Press.

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