What is emerging media?

The term “emerging media” can be one of the most difficult concepts to define. It is most commonly used to describe new technologies that are currently developing or have be recently developed that can transform the way we communicate in society. Over two decades ago, W. Russell Neuman, a Professor of Media Technology, argued in the American Journal of Business that emerging media will alter the influence of distance; increase the volume and speed of communication; enable interactive communications; and permit the merging of media forms. Looking closely at today’s emerging media, Neuman’s predictions were validated.

Emerging media matters because it revolutionizes our society. As Neuman forecasted, distance is no longer an issue in communicating with one another. We can Skype with others from across the world in real time. Messages can be sent and received in a millisecond and new technologies such as augmented reality are giving us new ways of interacting with the world.

The biggest influence from emerging media is the birth of social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and others have had the most impact in transforming the way we connect with others both socially and in business. According to The Social Media Revolution, emerging media is able to reach 50 million users is less time in comparison to legacy media:

  • Radio – 38 years
  • Television -13 years
  • Internet – 4 years
  • iPod – 3 years
  • Facebook – added over 200 million users in less than one year

Check out the impact of emerging media below: