Types of Media


Types of Media

The term media, which literally means the plural of medium, refers to the informal communication channels via which disseminate information, entertainment, news, videos, music, films, etc. The media has developed over the years to become a major tool for businesses, organizations and individuals to communicate with their target audiences. It is often described as a means to convey messages to a wide audience in a quick time span. These messages are then picked up by others who might be interested in the content. Media can be either print, broadcasting, cinema or television, but is usually associated more with visual forms.

Print media enjoys high selectivity, and therefore offers a high return on investment (ROI). Large corporations invest heavily in advertising in print to market their products and services, whereas small companies rely more on advertising on television. Television advertising, although considered a cost effective medium for marketing, does not tend to reach the targeted audience. Print media have a lower ROI because of the high degree of inattentiveness by television viewers.

Medias are generally categorized as digital, film, television, print, audio-visual, publishing, arts and sciences. Digital media are mainly electronic books, audio visual media such as films and videos, computer-animated and computer generated media. Film and television are the most dominant mediums of mass communication, and have the highest daily viewers rates. Print media are declining in popularity for several reasons such as the decline in the value of the print dollar, high costs of production, the increase of online content, the predominance of non-mainstream media sources and the lack of high returns on investment due to high distribution and marketing costs. Online media has significantly reduced distribution costs because of lower production cost, and its increasing popularity.

The advantages of digital and print media are that they offer multiple means of delivery, and can reach targeted audiences. Print media tends to be more advantageous because it is faster to consume than video and computer-generated ad message on the other hand. It is cheaper and reaches a wider audience compared to radio and TV. However, the major disadvantage of this type of media is that it is not seen regularly.

The two major forms of media are TV and radio, which can be broadly categorized as mass communication, a medium that reaches the human communication. Television shows, variety and news programs on radio, etc. are the different types of media. Radio can be further subdivided into entertainment programs (for instance, variety, radio games), news, sports, music, and music channels (which include talk stations). On the other hand, the print media include news papers, magazines and journals.

The disadvantages of the above media include: expensive to produce, long duration of exposure, not easily read, and usually not considered as direct advertising. However, print media provides greater visibility and influence over wider population compared to electronic media, television or radio. It can be accessed on desktop, laptops, mobile phones, public address systems, etc. TV and radio can be viewed only by the relevant viewers in specific locations. Print media also requires a larger distribution network compared to other types of media. The electronic media such as the television, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc.