Digital Opinion South Africa

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

The symbiosis of traditional and digital media

The digital transformation talks have passed the stage of introduction to normality. In the past five years, the most talked-about subject in all sectors of the business has been digital transformation.

The phrase digital transformation has been used loosely here. It encompasses many pockets including digital communications to media channels. However, here, will are focusing on digital transformation in terms of media channels. The transformation from traditional media to digital channels.

The impact of Covid on the media

The media landscape have had their fair share of disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The print media was, even before the pandemic, declining compared to other media channels. On the sharp contrary, digital media channels have seen a great uptake and usage.

This was not just incidental, to say the least. Before the pandemic, as mentioned at the beginning, digital transformation discussions were already in motion across all sectors. So when the pandemic hit, everyone had to adapt or perish. Digital media become the leader of the pack. More sectors started using digital channels for communications and advertising and marketing instead of the traditional media channels.

Maybe the media is evolving

Looking at the digital transformation from the media perspective. It bags the question of whether its penetration in the media landscape is transformational or evolutional? The media landscape at the moment is predominantly constituted by digital channels whether you talk audio, video, text, etc - and it is apparent that these channels have evolved due to digital media adoption across the landscape.

Today, radio stations also have podcast channels that bring in a new cohort of listeners as well as churning new paths for significant advertising opportunities. While podcasting as a separate entity is maintaining sustainable growth as a viable media. As for television, the SVOD - subscription-video-on-demand, and streaming-video-on-demand have revolutionised the distribution of content. It's predicted that SVOD subscribers will explode from 199m to 307m by 2025.

There is no way that we can talk about digital transformation without mentioning social media and digital channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok. One of my predictions this year is that TikTok will see a gradual decline in the number of app downloads - few people will download the app. I know this sounds like myopic thinking given the astronomical success that this app has seen in the past two years. For the first time, TikTok has surpassed the gigantic Meta in the most downloaded App for the year 2020/22. I digress. The point is that social media platforms have become part of our lives thus have cemented in the media mix.

In conclusion, we should look at the media landscape as an evolving entity instead of a fixed one. Thus, start to appreciate these new media instead of antagonizing them, thus, embracing each aspect of the evolution process.

About Rirhandzu Shingwenyana

Rirhandzu Shingwenyana is a marketing, advertising and communications professional with experience in account management, social media and digital marketing campaign management.

Let's do Biz