It has been over three decades since the internet first entered the world of pop culture, and while it has thrived, traditional media has floundered. What can modern media offer that old media simply cannot? Let’s take a look.

The Rise Of Online Entertainment

It was in 1984 that the world was first introduced to the internet. Still, despite how quickly everything online seems to move these days, it would be another decade before the internet really became a household amenity around the world. Even by 1993, there were only 130 websites available on the internet, but it was around this time that the evolution of online media really picked up. Over the next three years, more people began using the internet to read the news, research topics and communicate with other early adopters around the world. By 1998, there were over 100,000 websites available and the brand-new search platform Google was having to tackle an average of 9,800 search queries per day. In total, it’s estimated that there were 50 million internet users at this time, with the number steadily growing with every passing day.

By the turn of the millennium, it was clear that the internet was going to become an integral part of our everyday lives. In 2003, LinkedIn, the first of many big social media platforms that still reign supreme today, was launched, followed by Facebook in 2004, YouTube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006. Meanwhile, the world of mobile internet was also growing, with the first 3G network having been launched in 2001. By 2007, there was an estimated 295 million 3G network subscribers around the world, a number that exploded even further once 4G was released in 2009.

As the internet was adopted by more individuals, homes and businesses, it soon became clear that traditional media was going to suffer. This was particularly true of newspapers and magazines, as ad revenue between 2005 and 2009 alone dropped by 47%. It wasn’t long before television also began to feel the impact of the internet, with viewership by under 30s dropping by 14% and revenue shrinking by 36% between 2006 and 2012. All the while, the internet continued to flourish in 2012 with Facebook boasting 1 billion users, Google receiving 3 billion search queries per day and YouTube reporting more than 2 billion video views per day.

Clearly, traditional media had to adapt or die and fortunately many decided to make the leap into new media, setting up websites and blogs where news stories could be shared. In 2013, Pew Research Centre revealed that over 50% of respondents accessed the news via their smartphone, tablet or desktop, while 25% of young adults in the US found out about current events from social media sites. Television networks also attempted to create online presences during this time, creating catch-up services and social media platforms where fans could watch their favorite shows. However, when it comes to TV entertainment, no traditional broadcaster can compete with the likes of YouTube and, of course, Netflix.

Now, in 2018, it seems that there is no longer any doubt when it comes to whether the internet will surpass traditional media. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all traditional entertainment will disappear entirely. For example, some television shows such as Game of Thrones have managed to keep audiences coming back to traditional broadcasters, while we doubt people will completely stop listening to their car radios any time soon, even if streaming services like Spotify do continue to draw in audiences. Still, there’s no denying the possibility that, over time, traditional media will be lost to new media altogether.

Fees & Tribulations VS Free Trials

Back in the day, if you wanted to watch television, you had to purchase a TV along with any cable add-ons you wanted, then install it all, as well as a satellite dish. Then, maybe after about three hours of learning how it all works, you could watch your favourite show when it eventually came on. Now, if you want to watch pretty much anything you can go straight to YouTube and lose yourself for a day and a half watching everything about that show ever created.

As for more traditional TV experiences, Netflix has that corner of the market almost completely covered. Not only can you watch thousands of shows from your device of choice, but it is far less expensive than a television cable package. In fact, they even offer a one-month free trial to newcomers, so you can even get it for free.

Free trials and samples are something that many internet-based entertainment companies have latched on to over the years. This phenomenon is a particularly interesting result of just how popular the world wide web became, as while online brands may not have to compete with traditional media anymore, they certainly have to compete with each other. So, when Netflix moved into online streaming back in 2007, they offered free trials so that users weren’t spending anything just to try it out. Even now, newer companies like Spotify offer Premium membership trials at no extra cost to encourage new consumers to try their product.

One online industry that we are yet to cover that has also adopted this method is iGaming. While social media and streaming platforms were becoming more popular, so too was online gaming and specifically iGaming. Ever since the introduction of home computers, casino games have been entwined with the digital revolution with games like blackjack and solitaire coming pre-installed on most PCs. Now, there are literally thousands of online casinos, bingo sites and sportsbooks each with their own catalogue of casino games that you can access for free via trials. Some brands like 888casino will even give you free cash to play with, to ensure you get the most out of their site.

Considering how much we as humans value a bargain, it’s no surprise that the internet is beating traditional media when it comes to free trials alone. Of course, this isn’t the only thing the internet can offer than traditional media cannot.

More Variety At A Cheaper Price

As we mentioned above, the iGaming industry has a robust amount of games that can be played anytime, anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Of course, this massive amount of variety doesn’t apply just to online games but can actually be found in any online media genre. If you want to stream shows, you don’t just have to go to YouTube or Netflix. There are thousands of other options as well. You can even stream content in very particularly niches such as sewing or animation by visiting platforms like Twitch. As for news media, whether you want world coverage, local news or updates on what’s happening in Timbuktu, that information is easily accessible. Plus, most of the time whatever it is you want will be entirely free. Traditional newspapers and even television simply cannot compete with that level of variety, not without the help of the internet.

Constant Innovation

Really, the final nail in the coffin for traditional media lies somewhere in the future. There’s absolutely no doubt that the internet and all the tech surrounding it will continue to evolve, and as it does, the gaps between traditional and new media will only become more apparent. The quality of online streaming services will only improve as technology evolves, while we’re sure even more news outlets covering even smaller chunks of the world’s news will continue to appear. As for online gaming, there’s already a steady adoption rate for tech like virtual reality (VR) and it’s sister tech augmented reality (AR), plus live games are already taking over at online casinos and at sites like Twitch.

We’ll simply have to wait and see how the internet evolves over the coming decades, but we hope that instead of disappearing completely traditional media can learn to jump on the internet ship soon. What do you think the future holds? Let us know in the comments below.

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What started as a hobby has turned into so much more. The site has changed over the course of the years, but we just try to write about what we enjoy.