Is Traditional Media Dead?

traditional vs digital media

The decline of traditional media has always been a popular topic of discussion in the advertising world. Due to the continuous rise of digital media usage, there are those who proclaim that traditional advertising will eventually become obsolete.

Statistically, digital media advertising is overtaking traditional media at a faster rate than expected. According to Magna Global, 38% of global ad spending in 2015 was spent on TV, while about 32% was spent on digital. Other forms of traditional media made up the remaining 30% where newspaper ranked next, followed by out of home and radio, and then magazine. It is predicted that digital ad spending will overcome TV this 2017.

In the Philippines, internet penetration went up to 46% in 2016 from the previous 44% and almost half of Filipino internet users (49%) are found online every week. Maybe it’s true: the internet has taken over most of our lives. But, has the technological landscape really changed the way we communicate?

“New media simply provide different means for meeting basic human needs. “

-Nigel Hollis

Traditional media is not dead (yet), just evolving. According to Nigel Hollis, Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown, the things that we do on digital media have a traditional counterpart. He explained that, “New media simply provide different means for meeting basic human needs. “

For example, watching videos on Youtube is just like watching TV. Streaming music or podcasts is like tuning in on the radio. The search button is the encyclopedia and Yellow Pages combined. Interaction on social media is exactly like hanging out with friends. People are essentially doing what they have always been doing, albeit on a different platform.

The contrast between traditional media and digital media is not that stark. It is consumer lifestyle change molded by technology. However, it does not mean that digital is already the best tool for your audience. Digital media may offer premium media placement and touch points at a lower cost, but it can also lead to intrusiveness and make consumers shut them out entirely. Traditional media being the passive form of advertising may be effective for some type of products more than others. When it comes down to it, whether a brand chooses traditional or digital media highly depends on their target market’s demographic. And at the moment, traditional media remains to be a viable form of advertising for certain audiences.

Besides, it’s not always about the platform. Is your content good? Will you target audience notice it? These are also relevant questions you should be asking. Advertising isn’t all media placement, but also content creation. You have to know where your audience is AND grab their attention. Who knows, a combination of both media may be more effective for your brand than relying on just one. The most important takeaway here is to research, research, and research some more. No matter the medium, good audience knowledge and analysis bears most effective ad campaigns. Do this, and you will know that no one can really predict if or when traditional media will die. So don’t count it out just yet!