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Dying Channels Evolve

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When the “social media revolution” began, we were told that the old channels were dying. Print, TV, Events were all being rendered redundant, we were told, by this new kid on the block. We were told precisely the same thing* when TV was invented, that it would kill radio.

We’ve been waiting for over 50 years now for Radio to die and it doesn’t show any sign of dying. In fact it’s evolving.

Utilising social media as an enabler, podcasts are essentially an easily distributed form of radio. You can stream thousands of stations from all around the world. If I want to listen to a Venezulian Talk Show, I can probably find a service to do just that.

Social Media has allowed us to interact with these old forms of media more than ever before. Reviews, discussion forums, twitter conversations, if anything Social Media has created a strong interactive glue between old channels.

It allows us to join media up where before they were siloed.

A recent study by We Are Social, compared Facebook with TV to show TV attention is dying. Well, fair enough. With more channels vying for our attention, we’re going to redistribute the way we consume media. The thing is, an awful lot of people view TV with Facebook open on a laptop or mobile device. I know I consume an awful lot of TV with Twitter open on my iPhone, merrily tweeting away a compelling cultural commentary as some idiot bounces off a big ball on Total Wipeout. Second screen interaction is enhancing, not removing the TV experience.

We’re attracted to this glue as it responds to what we say and do, but a lot of what we talk about and refer to (albeit in a non-professional capacity) is still Offline media.

Yes, nothing works the way it did before social media came along, but it’s evolving to work in harmony with it. Integrated campaigns are becoming the norm whereas before it was either offline or online.

A lot is said about the death of Print or TV especially, but this constant speculation about their health is driving innovation in both channels. We’re unlikely to ever see a full demise of either. The effectiveness of both as standalone channels will probably continue to tail off a little, but at the same time history has taught us there’s room out there for more than one way of consuming media, and there’s plenty of us out there to consume it.

*Well I wasn’t, but I wasn’t around then to be told really.

Addendum

Yesterday Russell Buckley declared QR Codes are dead so we expect to see a lot of innovation in the QR code sector now.

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