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Traditional Media in the Digital Age
By: Dylan Meister

We live in an exciting age of digital media, where new technologies are appearing constantly and information of all kinds is stored and accessed in “the cloud,” or, to put it simply, on the Internet. Besides giving us new way to find and interact with our media, it offers many user benefits, like safety and protection (no discs to crack), accessibility (play your favorite song from any device), and “sharability” (let your friends enjoy it, too).

But there’s no denying the importance of traditional media in the fast-moving day and age of technology and digital information. Many people still attest to the superior sound quality of vinyl and compact discs, and for collectors, there’s simply no substitute for a disc box set complete with album artwork and tangible collector’s items.

Many people still enjoy listening to a classic CD audio book during the morning commute, or flipping through CD album artwork while listening to a favorite album. There’s also no denying the strong feeling of nostalgia that comes from looking at an old collection of CDs or DVDs that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Looking through old favorites takes you back to a different time and brings back old, sometimes-forgotten memories of friends and places from the past.

Besides the nostalgia factor, there’s still a strong existing market for traditional media. For starters, there is a tremendous segment of the population who lives behind the curve of cutting-edge technology and happily watches a DVD or listens to a CD, and probably will for quite some time. It’s a new and very different feeling to think about owning a song or movie that only exists digitally—a kind of information you own, but don’t have to hold in your hand. It’s simply not for everyone. At least, not yet.

There are still a great many markets and industries that depend on the consumption of media through traditional channels. Movies and CDs for consumers and collectors. Bestselling audio books for commuters and travelers. Lesson plans and curriculum resources for teachers. Sermons and teachings for church congregations.

The list goes on and on.

So, though the tide of new technologies and our ways of consuming them moves fast, it’s not necessarily a “get on board or get left behind” sort of deal. Traditional media—and the publishing and packaging needs that surround its production—holds onto a very important place in our lives. Count on it sticking around for a while.

Dylan Meister is senior copywriter for Univenture, www.univenture.com.

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