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Digital media means any communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded
machine-readable data Machine-readable data, or computer-readable data, is data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of values of qualitative property, qualitative or quantity, ...
formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, listened to, and preserved on a digital electronics device. ''Digital'' can be defined as any data represented by a series of digits, while ''media'' refers to methods of broadcasting or communicating these information. Together, ''digital media'' refers to mediums of digitized information broadcast to us through a screen and/or a speaker. This also includes text, audio, video, and graphics that are transmitted over the internet for viewing or listening to on the internet. In 2020, digital media platforms, such as
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
,
Vimeo Vimeo, Inc. () is an American video hosting, sharing, and services platform provider headquartered in New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from , or NYC for short, is the in the United States. With a 2020 ...

Vimeo
, and
Twitch Twitch may refer to: Physiology * Muscle contraction ** Convulsion, rapid and repeated muscle contraction and relaxation ** Fasciculation, a small, local, involuntary muscle contraction ** Myoclonic twitch, a jerk usually caused by sudden muscle c ...
accounted for viewership rates of 27.9 billion hours in 2020.


Digital media

Examples of digital media include
software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level lang ...

software
,
digital images Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology a ...
,
digital video Digital video is an electronic representation of moving visual images (video) in the form of encoded digital data. This is in contrast to analog video, which represents moving visual images in the form of analog signals. Digital video comprises ...
,
video games#REDIRECT Video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device ...

video games
,
web pages A web page (or webpage) is a hypertext File:Douglas Engelbart in 2008.jpg, Douglas Engelbart in 2009, at the 40th anniversary celebrations of "The Mother of All Demos" in San Francisco, a 90-minute 1968 presentation of the NLS (computer sy ...
and
websites A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are wikipedia.org, google.com, and amazon.com. All ...
,
social media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) ...

social media
,
digital data Digital data, in information theory and information systems, is information represented as a string of discrete symbols each of which can take on one of only a finite number of values from some alphabet, such as letters or digit (unit), digits. A ...
and
databases A database is an organized collection of data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature ...
,
digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital audio, the sound wave of the audio signal is typically encoded as numerical Sampling (signal processing), s ...
such as
MP3 MP3 (formally MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a coding format for digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital a ...

MP3
,
electronic document An electronic document is any electronic media content (other than computer program In imperative programming In computer science, imperative programming is a programming paradigm that uses Statement (computer science), statements that change a ...
s and
electronic books#REDIRECT E-book An electronic book, also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book publication made available in Digital data, digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers or other electronic de ...
. Digital media often contrasts with
print media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication Mass communication is the process of imparting and exchanging information Information can be thought of as the resolution ...
, such as printed books, newspapers and magazines, and other traditional or analog media, such as
photographic film Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent coated on one side with a containing microscopically small light-sensitive crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of the crystals determine the sensitivity, contrast, and of the ...
, audio tapes or
video tapes Videotape is magnetic tape Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin, magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film Plastic film is a thin continuous polymeric material. Thicker plastic material ...
. Digital media has had a significantly broad and complex impact on society and culture. Combined with the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
and
personal computing File:Crystal Project computer.png, upright=0.9, An artist's depiction of a 2000s-era desktop-style personal computer, which includes a metal case with the computing components, a display monitor and a keyboard (mouse not shown) A personal com ...
, digital media has caused
disruptive innovation In business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a business ...
in publishing, journalism, public relations, entertainment, education, commerce and politics. Digital media has also posed new challenges to
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
and intellectual property laws, fostering an
open content
open content
movement in which content creators voluntarily give up some or all of their legal rights to their work. The ubiquity of digital media and its effects on society suggest that we are at the start of a new era in industrial history, called the
Information Age#REDIRECT Information Age The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a historical periodHuman history is commonly divided into three main Era, eras — Ancient history, Ancient, Post-classical history, ...
, perhaps leading to a
paperless society A paperless society is a society in which paper communication (written documents, mail, letters, etc.) is replaced by electronic communication and storage. The concept originated by Frederick Wilfrid LancasterFrederick Wilfrid ("Wilf") Lancaster (S ...
in which all media are produced and consumed on computers. However, challenges to a digital transition remain, including outdated copyright laws,
censorship Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments ...

censorship
, the digital divide, and the spectre of a
digital dark age The digital dark age is a lack of historical information in the digital age as a direct result of outdated file formats, software, or hardware that becomes corrupt, scarce, or inaccessible as technologies evolve and data decay. Future generations ...
, in which older media becomes inaccessible to new or upgraded information systems. Digital media has a significant, wide-ranging and complex impact on society and culture.


History

Codes and information by machines were first conceptualized by
Charles Babbage Charles Babbage (; 26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a subs ...

Charles Babbage
in the early 1800s. Babbage imagined that these codes would give him instructions for his Motor of Difference and Analytical Engine, machines that Babbage had designed to solve the problem of error in calculations. Between 1822 and 1823,
Ada Lovelace Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (''née__NOTOC__ A birth name is the name of the person given upon their birth. The term may be applied to the surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's ...

Ada Lovelace
, mathematics, wrote the first instructions for calculating numbers on Babbage engines. Lovelace's instructions are now believed to be the first computer program. Although the machines were designed to perform analysis tasks, Lovelace anticipated the possible social impact of computers and programming, writing. "For in the distribution and combination of truths and formulas of analysis, which may become easier and more quickly subjected to the mechanical combinations of the engine, the relationships and the nature of many subjects in which science necessarily relates in new subjects, and more deeply researched there are in all extensions of human power or additions to human knowledge, various collateral influences, in addition to the primary and primary object reached." Other old machine readable media include instructions for pianolas and
weaving Weaving is a method of textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheti ...

weaving
machines. It is estimated that in the year 1986 less than 1% of the world's media storage capacity was digital and in 2007 it was already 94%. especiall
Supporting online material
/ref> The year 2002 is assumed to be the year when human kind was able to store more information in digital than in analog media (the "beginning of the
digital age#REDIRECT Information Age The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a historical periodHuman history is commonly divided into three main Era, eras — Ancient history, Ancient, Post-classical history, ...
").


Digital computers

Though they used machine-readable media, Babbage's engines, player pianos, jacquard looms and many other early calculating machines were themselves analog computers, with physical, mechanical parts. The first truly digital media came into existence with the rise of
digital computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These ...
s. Digital computers use
binary code A binary code represents text Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theory), any object that can be read, including: **Religious text, a writing that a religious tradition considers to be sacred **Text, a verse or passage from script ...

binary code
and
Boolean logic In mathematics and mathematical logic, Boolean algebra is the branch of algebra in which the values of the variable (mathematics), variables are the truth values ''true'' and ''false'', usually denoted 1 and 0, respectively. Instead of elementary ...
to store and process information, allowing one machine in one configuration to perform many different tasks. The first modern, programmable, digital computers, the
Manchester Mark 1 The Manchester Mark 1 was one of the earliest stored-program computers, developed at the Victoria University of Manchester from the Manchester Baby (operational in June 1948). Work began in August 1948, and the first version was operational by ...
and the
EDSAC The Electronic delay storage automatic calculator (EDSAC) was an early British computer. Inspired by John von Neumann John von Neumann (; hu, Neumann János Lajos, ; December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957) was a Hungarian America ...
, were independently invented between 1948 and 1949. Though different in many ways from modern computers, these machines had digital software controlling their
logical operation In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, la ...
s. They were encoded in
binary Binary may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Binary number In mathematics and digital electronics, a binary number is a number expressed in the base-2 numeral system or binary numeral system, which uses only two symbols: ty ...

binary
, a system of ones and zeroes that are combined to make hundreds of characters. The 1s and 0s of binary are the "digits" of digital media. In 1959, the (MOSFET, or MOS transistor) was invented by
Mohamed Atalla Mohamed M. Atalla ( ar, محمد عطاالله; August 4, 1924 – December 30, 2009) was an Egyptian-American engineer, physical chemist Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic The macroscopic scale is the length scale on which ...
and
Dawon Kahng Dawon Kahng ( ko, 강대원; May 4, 1931 – May 13, 1992) was a Korean-American electrical engineer and inventor, known for his work in solid-state electronics Solid-state electronics means semiconductor A semiconductor material has an el ...

Dawon Kahng
at
Bell Labs Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named Bell Labs Innovations (1996–2007), AT&T Bell Laboratories (1984–1996) and Bell Telephone Laboratories (1925–1984)) is an American industrial research and scientific development company A company, ab ...
. It was the first truly compact
transistor upright=1.4, gate Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands of Java">Indonesia.html" ;"title="Candi bentar, a typical Indonesia">Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands o ...

transistor
that could be miniaturised and mass-produced for a wide range of uses. The MOSFET led to the development of
microprocessors A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single integrated circuit, or a small number of integrated circuits. The microprocessor contains the arithmetic, logic, and control circuitr ...
,
memory chip Semiconductor memory is a digital electronic semiconductor device A device is an that relies on the properties of a material (primarily , , and , as well as s) for its function. Semiconductor devices have replaced s in most application ...
s, and digital
telecommunication circuit A telecommunication circuit is a path in a telecommunications network A telecommunications network is a group of nodes In general, a node is a localized swelling (a "knot") or a point of intersection (a Vertex (graph theory), vertex). Node may ...
s. This led to the development of the
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
(PC) in the 1970s, and the beginning of the
microcomputer revolution The history of the personal computer as a mass-market consumer electronic device began with the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s. A personal computer is one intended for interactive individual use, as opposed to a mainframe computer where t ...
and the
Digital Revolution The Digital Revolution (also known as the Third Industrial Revolution) is the shift from mechanical and analogue electronic technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; ...
.


"As We May Think"

While digital media did not come into common use until the late 20th century, the ''conceptual'' foundation of digital media is traced to the work of scientist and engineer
Vannevar Bush Vannevar Bush ( ; March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, who during World War II, World War II headed the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), through which almo ...

Vannevar Bush
and his celebrated essay "
As We May Think "As We May Think" is a 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush Vannevar Bush ( ; March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, who during World War II headed the U.S. Office of Scientific Research ...
," published in ''
The Atlantic Monthly ''The Atlantic'' is an American magazine and multi-platform publisher. It was founded in 1857 in Boston, Massachusetts, as ''The Atlantic Monthly'', a literary and cultural magazine that published leading writers' commentary on education, the ...
'' in 1945. Bush envisioned a system of devices that could be used to help scientists, doctors, historians and others, store, analyze and communicate information. Calling this then-imaginary device a "
memex Memex is the name of the hypothetical electromechanical device that Vannevar Bush Vannevar Bush ( ; March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, who during World War II headed the U.S. ...

memex
", Bush wrote:
The owner of the memex, let us say, is interested in the origin and properties of the bow and arrow. Specifically he is studying why the short Turkish bow was apparently superior to the English long bow in the skirmishes of the Crusades. He has dozens of possibly pertinent books and articles in his memex. First he runs through an encyclopedia, finds an interesting but sketchy article, leaves it projected. Next, in a history, he finds another pertinent item, and ties the two together. Thus he goes, building a trail of many items. Occasionally he inserts a comment of his own, either linking it into the main trail or joining it by a side trail to a particular item. When it becomes evident that the elastic properties of available materials had a great deal to do with the bow, he branches off on a side trail which takes him through textbooks on elasticity and tables of physical constants. He inserts a page of longhand analysis of his own. Thus he builds a trail of his interest through the maze of materials available to him.
Bush hoped that the creation of this memex would be the work of scientists after World War II. Though the essay predated digital computers by several years, "As We May Think," anticipated the potential social and intellectual benefits of digital media and provided the conceptual framework for
digital scholarshipDigital scholarship is the use of digital evidence, methods of inquiry, research, publication and preservation to achieve scholarly and research goals. Digital scholarship can encompass both scholarly communication using digital media and research on ...
, the
World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnical systems (STS) in organizational development is an approach to complex organizational ...
,
wiki A wiki ( ) is a hypertext Hypertext is text displayed on a or other with references () to other text that the reader can immediately access. Hypertext documents are interconnected by hyperlinks, which are typically activated b ...

wiki
s and even
social media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) ...

social media
. It was recognized as a significant work even at the time of its publication.


Digital multimedia

Practical digital
multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different such as , , , , or into a single interactive presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media which featured little to no interaction fr ...

multimedia
distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects that generalize the classical notion of functions in mathematical analysis. Distr ...
and
streaming Streaming media is multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, or video into a single presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media, such as printed ...
was made possible by advances in
data compression In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electro ...
, due to the impractically high memory, storage and bandwidth requirements of uncompressed media. The most important compression technique is the
discrete cosine transform A discrete cosine transform (DCT) expresses a finite sequence of data points In statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics ...
(DCT), a
lossy compression In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data compression, data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represent the content. These techniques are used to r ...
algorithm that was first proposed as an
image compression Image compression is a type of data compression In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering subfield that focuses on analysing, modifying, and synthesizing signals such as audio signal processing, sound, image proc ...
technique by Nasir Ahmed at
Kansas State University Kansas State University (KSU, Kansas State, or K-State) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university with its main campus in Manhattan, Kansas. It was opened as the state's land-grant college in 1863 and ...
in 1972. The DCT algorithm was the basis for the first practical
video coding format A video coding format (or sometimes video compression format) is a content representation format for storage or transmission of digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Ha ...
,
H.261 H.261 is an ITU-T The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) coordinates standards for telecommunications and Information Communication Technology such as X.509 for cybersecurity, Y.3172 and Y.3173 for machine learning, and H.264/MP ...
, in 1988. It was followed by more DCT-based
video coding standards A video coding format (or sometimes video compression format) is a Content format, content representation format for storage or transmission of Digital data, digital video, video content (such as in a data file or Bitstream format, bitstream). It ...
, most notably the
MPEG The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is an alliance of working groups established jointly by International Organization for Standardization, ISO and International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC that sets standards for media coding, includ ...

MPEG
video formats from 1991 onwards. The
JPEG JPEG ( ) is a commonly used method of lossy compression In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represe ...

JPEG
image format Image file formats are standardized means of organizing and storing digital image A digital image is an image File:TEIDE.JPG, An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the Spac ...
, also based on the DCT algorithm, was introduced in 1992. The development of the
modified discrete cosine transform The modified discrete cosine transform (MDCT) is a transform based on the type-IV discrete cosine transform A discrete cosine transform (DCT) expresses a finite sequence of data points in terms of a sum of cosine In mathematics, the trigonom ...
(MDCT) algorithm led to the
MP3 MP3 (formally MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a coding format for digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital a ...

MP3
audio coding format An audio coding format (or sometimes audio compression format) is a content representation format for storage or transmission of digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal p ...
in 1994, and the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format in 1999.


Impact


The digital revolution

Since the 1960s, computing power and storage capacity have increased exponentially, largely as a result of
MOSFET scaling The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of insulated-gate field-effect transistor The field-effect trans ...
which enables
MOS transistor The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of insulated-gate field-effect transistor The field-effect trans ...
counts Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility ...
to increase at a rapid pace predicted by
Moore's law Moore's law is the observation that Transistor count, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit (IC) doubles about every two years. Moore's law is an observation and Forecasting, projection of a historical trend. Rather than a ph ...
.
Personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s and
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
s put the ability to access, modify, store and share digital media in the hands of billions of people. Many electronic devices, from
digital camera A digital camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behav ...

digital camera
s to s have the ability to create, transmit and view digital media. Combined with the
World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnical systems (STS) in organizational development is an approach to complex organizational ...
and the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
, digital media has transformed 21st century society in a way that is frequently compared to the cultural, economic and social impact of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in wate ...
. The change has been so rapid and so widespread that it has launched an economic transition from an industrial economy to an information-based economy, creating a new period in human history known as the
Information Age#REDIRECT Information Age The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a historical periodHuman history is commonly divided into three main Era, eras — Ancient history, Ancient, Post-classical history, ...
or the
digital revolution The Digital Revolution (also known as the Third Industrial Revolution) is the shift from mechanical and analogue electronic technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; ...
. The transition has created some uncertainty about definitions. Digital media,
new media New media are forms of media that are computational and rely on computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can p ...
,
multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different such as , , , , or into a single interactive presentation, in contrast to traditional mass media which featured little to no interaction fr ...

multimedia
, and similar terms all have a relationship to both the engineering innovations and cultural impact of digital media. The blending of digital media with other media, and with cultural and social factors, is sometimes known as new media or "the new media." Similarly, digital media seems to demand a new set of communications skills, called
transliteracy Transliteracy is "a fluidity of movement across a range of technologies, media and contexts" (Sukovic, 2016). It is an ability to use diverse techniques to collaborate across different social groups. Transliteracy combines a range of capabilities r ...
,
media literacy Media literacy consists of practices that allow people to access, critically evaluate, and create or manipulate media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** A ...
, or
digital literacyDigital literacy refers to an individual's ability to find, evaluate, and clearly communicate information through typing and other media on various digital platforms. It is evaluated by an individual's grammar, composition, typing skills and ability ...
. These skills include not only the ability to read and write—traditional
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
—but the ability to navigate the Internet, evaluate sources, and create digital content. The idea that we are moving toward a fully digital, paperless society is accompanied by the fear that we may soon—or currently—be facing a
digital dark age The digital dark age is a lack of historical information in the digital age as a direct result of outdated file formats, software, or hardware that becomes corrupt, scarce, or inaccessible as technologies evolve and data decay. Future generations ...
, in which older media are no longer accessible on modern devices or using modern methods of scholarship. Digital media has a significant, wide-ranging and complex effect on society and culture. A senior engineer at
Motorola Motorola, Inc. () was an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational sta ...

Motorola
named Martin Cooper was the first person to make a phone call on April 3, 1973. He decided the first phone call should be to a rival telecommunications company saying "I'm speaking via a mobile phone". However the first commercial mobile phone was released in 1983 by
Motorola Motorola, Inc. () was an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational sta ...

Motorola
. In the early 1990s Nokia came into succession, with their
Nokia 1011 The Nokia 1011 (NHE-2X5, NHE-2XN) is the first mass-produced GSM GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) is a European standard for mobile devices. GSM may also refer to: Education * GSM London, a higher education provider * Guildhall Sch ...

Nokia 1011
being the first mass-produced mobile phone. The
Nokia Nokia Corporation (natively Nokia Oyj, referred to as Nokia; stylized as NOKIA) is a Finnish multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational for ...

Nokia
Communicator 9000 became the first smartphone as it was inputed with an
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
24 MHz CPU and had 8 MB of RAM. Smartphone users have increased by a lot over the years currently the highest countries with users include China with over 850 million users, India with over 350 million users, and in third place The United States with about 260 million users as of 2019. While
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
and
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch; the t ...

iOS
both dominate the smartphone market. A study By
Gartner Gartner, Inc, officially known as Gartner, is a Stamford, Connecticut Stamford () is a city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is the second-most populous city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Fairfield County and Connecticut (behind B ...

Gartner
found that in 2016 about 88% of the worldwide smartphones were Android while iOS had a market share of about 12%. About 85% of the mobile market revenue came from the mobile games. The impact of the digital revolution can also be assessed by exploring the amount of worldwide mobile smart device users there are. This can be split into 2 categories; smart phone users and smart tablet users. Worldwide there are currently 2.32 billion
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
users across the world. This figure is to exceed 2.87 billion by 2020. Smart tablet users reached a total of 1 billion in 2015, 15% of the world's population. The statistics evidence the impact of digital media communications today. What is also of relevance is the fact that the numbers of smart device users is rising rapidly yet the amount of functional uses increase daily. A smartphone or tablet can be used for hundreds of daily needs. There are currently over 1 million apps on the Apple App store. These are all opportunities for
digital marketing Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services. Its development during th ...
efforts. A smartphone user is impacted with digital advertising every second they open their Apple or Android device. This further evidences the digital revolution and the impact of revolution. This has resulted in a total of 13 billion dollars being paid out to the various app developers over the years. This growth has fueled the development of millions of software applications. Most of these apps are able to generate income via in app advertising. Gross revenue for 2020 is projected to be about $189 million.


Disruption in industry

Compared with
print media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication Mass communication is the process of imparting and exchanging information Information can be thought of as the resolution ...
, the
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement fo ...
, and other analog technologies, digital media are easy to copy, store, share and modify. This quality of digital media has led to significant changes in many industries, especially journalism, publishing, education, entertainment, and the music business. The overall effect of these changes is so far-reaching that it is difficult to quantify. For example, in movie-making, the transition from analog
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, ...

film
cameras to digital cameras is nearly complete. The transition has economic benefits to Hollywood, making distribution easier and making it possible to add high-quality digital effects to films. At the same time, it has affected the analog special effects, stunt, and animation industries in Hollywood. It has imposed painful costs on small movie theaters, some of which did not or will not survive the transition to digital. The effect of digital media on other media industries is similarly sweeping and complex. Between 2000 and 2015, the print newspaper advertising revenue has fallen from $60 billion to a nearly $20 billion. Even one of the most popular days for papers, Sunday, has seen a 9% circulation decrease the lowest since 1945. In journalism, digital media and
citizen journalism Citizen journalism, also known as collaborative media, participatory journalism, democratic journalism, guerrilla journalism or street journalism, is based upon public citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, ana ...
have led to the loss of thousands of jobs in print media and the bankruptcy of many major newspapers. But the rise of
digital journalism Digital journalism, also known as online journalism, is a contemporary form of journalism where editorial content is distributed via the Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconn ...
has also created thousands of new jobs and specializations.
E-book An ebook (short for electronic book), also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, ...

E-book
s and
self-publishing Self The self is an individual person as the object of its own reflective consciousness. Since the ''self'' is a reference by a subject to the same subject, this reference is necessarily Subjective character of experience, subjective. The sens ...
are changing the book industry, and digital textbooks and other media-inclusive curricula are changing primary and secondary education. In academia, digital media has led to a new form of scholarship, also called
digital scholarshipDigital scholarship is the use of digital evidence, methods of inquiry, research, publication and preservation to achieve scholarly and research goals. Digital scholarship can encompass both scholarly communication using digital media and research on ...
, making open access and open science possible thanks to the low cost of distribution. New fields of study have grown, such as digital humanities and digital history. It has changed the way libraries are used and their role in society. Every major media, communications and academic endeavor is facing a period of transition and uncertainty related to digital media. Often time the magazine or publisher have a Digital edition which can be referred to an electronic formatted version identical to the print version. There is a huge benefit to the publisher here and it's the cost, avoiding the expense to print and deliver brings an additional benefit for the company Since 2004, there has been a decrease in newspaper industry employment, with only about 40,000 people working in the workforce currently. Alliance of Audited Media & Publishers information during the 2008 recession, over 10% of print sales are diminished for certain magazines, with a hardship coming from only 75% of the sales advertisements as before. However, in 2018, major newspapers advertising revenue was 35% from digital ads. In contrast, mobile versions of newspapers and magazines came in second with a huge growth of 135%. The New York Times has noted a 47% year of year rise in their digital subscriptions. 43% of adults get news often from news websites or social media, compared with 49% for television. Pew Research Center, Pew Research also asked respondents if they got news from a streaming device on their TV – 9% of U.S. adults said that they do so often.


Individual as content creator

Digital media has also allowed individuals to be much more active in content creation. Anyone with access to computers and the Internet can participate in
social media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) ...

social media
and contribute their own writing, art, videos, photography and commentary to the Internet, as well as conduct business online. The dramatic reduction in the costs required to create and share content have led to a democratization of content creation as well as the creation of new types of content, like blogs, Internet meme, memes and video essays. Some of these activities have also been labelled
citizen journalism Citizen journalism, also known as collaborative media, participatory journalism, democratic journalism, guerrilla journalism or street journalism, is based upon public citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, ana ...
. This spike in user created content is due to the development of the internet as well as the way in which users interact with media today. The release of technologies such mobile devices allow for easier and quicker access to all things media. Many media creation tools that were once available to only a few are now free and easy to use. The cost of devices that can access the Internet is steadily falling, and personal ownership of multiple digital devices is now becoming the standard. These elements have significantly affected political participation. Digital media is seen by many scholars as having a role in Arab Spring, and crackdowns on the use of digital and social media by embattled governments are increasingly common. Many governments restrict access to digital media in some way, either to prevent obscenity or in a broader form of political
censorship Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments ...

censorship
. Over the years
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
has grown to become a website with user generated media. This content is oftentimes not mediated by any company or agency, leading to a wide array of personalities and opinions online. Over the years YouTube and other platforms have also shown their monetary gains, as the top 10 YouTube performers generating over 10 million dollars each year. Many of these YouTube profiles over the years have a multi camera set up as we would see on TV. Many of these creators also creating their own digital companies as their personalities grow. Personal devices have also seen an increase over the years. Over 1.5 billion users of tablets exist in this world right now and that is expected to slowly grow About 20% of people in the world regularly watch their content using tablets in 2018 User-generated content raises issues of privacy, credibility, civility and compensation for cultural, intellectual and artistic contributions. The spread of digital media, and the wide range of
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
and communications skills necessary to use it effectively, have deepened the digital divide between those who have access to digital media and those who don't. The rising of digital media has made the consumer's audio collection more precise and personalized. It is no longer necessary to purchase an entire album if the consumer is ultimately interested in only a few audio files.


Web-only news

The rise of streaming services has led to a decrease of cable TV services to about 59%, while streaming services are growing at around 29%, and 9% are still users of the digital antenna. TV Controllers now incorporate designated buttons for streaming platforms. Users are spending an average of 1:55 with digital video each day, and only 1:44 on social networks. 6 out of 10 people report viewing their television shows and news via a streaming service. Platforms such as Netflix have gained attraction due to their adorability, accessibility, and for its original content. Companies such as Netflix have even bought previously cancelled shows such as ''Designated Survivor (TV series), Designated Survivor'', ''Lucifer (TV series), Lucifer'', and ''Arrested Development''. As the internet becomes more and more prevalent, more companies are beginning to distribute content through internet only means. With the loss of viewers, there is a loss of revenue but not as bad as what would be expected.


Copyright challenges

Digital media are numerical networks of interactive systems that link databases that allow users to navigate from one bit of content or webpage to another. Because of this ease, digital media poses several challenges to the current
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
and intellectual property laws. The effortlessness of creating, modifying, and sharing digital media can make copyright enforcement challenging. Many copyright laws are widely seen as outdated. For example, under current copyright law, common Internet memes are generally illegal to share in many countries. Legal rights can be unclear for many common Internet activities. These include posting a pictures from someone else's social media account, writing fanfiction, or covering and/or using popular songs in content such as YouTube videos. Over the last decade, the concepts of fair use and copyright is being applied to all different types of online media. Copyright challenges are spreading to all parts of digital media. Content creators on platforms such as YouTube must follow guidelines set by copyright, IP laws, and the platform's copyright guidelines. If these guidelines are not followed, the content will likely get demonetized, deleted, or criticized. Oftentimes we see digital creators loose monetization in their content, get their content deleted, or get criticized for their content. In some instances content creators can be sued. Online times the situation occurs when creators accidentally use audio tracks or background scenes that are under copyright. To avoid or resolve some of these issues, content creators can voluntarily adopt Open license, open or copyleft licenses or they can release their work to the public domain. By doing this, creators are giving up some legal rights associated with their content. Fair use is a doctrine of the US Copyright Law that allows limited use of copyrighted materials without the need to obtain permission. There are four factors that make up fair use. The first factor is purpose. Purpose means what the content is being used for, in reference to commercial, nonprofit, or educational purposes. Also, if the use adds a new aspect or meaning to the content. The second factor is what the copyrighted content is. If the content is non-fiction, it is more likely to full under fair use than if the content is a work of fiction. The third factor is how much of the copyrighted content is in use. Small pieces are more likely to be considered fair than large chunks or the real "meat" of the content. The last factor is, will the use of the copyrighted content earn money or effect the value of the content. Wikipedia uses some of the most common open licenses, Creative Commons licenses and the GNU Free Documentation License. Open licenses are part of a broader movement which pushes for the reduction or removal of copyright restrictions from software, data and other digital media. To facilitate the collection and consumption of such licensing information and availability status, tools have been developed like the Creative Commons Search engine, used mostly for web images, and Unpaywall, used for scholarly communication. Additional
software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level lang ...

software
has been developed in order to restrict access to digital media. Digital rights management (DRM) is used to lock material. This allows users to apply the media content to specific cases. For example, DRM allows movie producers to rent at a lower price instead of selling the movie at a higher one. This restricts the movie rental license length, rather than only selling the movie at full price. Additionally, DRM can prevent unauthorized modification or sharing of media. Digital media copyright protection technologies fall under the umbrella of intellectual property protection technology. This is because a series of computer technologies protect the digital content being created and transmitted. ''The Digital Millennium Copyright Act'' (DMCA) provides safe harbor to intermediaries that host user content, such as YouTube, from being held liable for copyright infringement so long as they meet all required conditions. The most notable of which is the "notice and take down" policy. The policy requires online intermediaries to remove and/or disable access to the content in question when there are court orders and/or allegations of illegal use of content on their site. As a result, YouTube has and continues to develop more policies and standards that go far past what the DMCA requires. YouTube has also created an algorithm which continuously scans their cite to make sure all content follows all policies. One digital media platform that has been known to have copyright concerns is the short video sharing app TikTok. TikTok is a social media app that allows its users to share short videos up to one minute in length, using a variety of visual effects and audio. According to Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Loyola University’s Chicago School of Law, of the music used on the platform, somewhere in the realm of 50% is music that is unlicensed. TikTok does have several music licensing agreements with various artists and labels, creating a library of fair and legal use music. However, this does not cover all bases for its users. A user could still commit a copyright violation. An example being accidentally having music playing on a stereo in the background, or by recording a laptop screen playing a song. Online magazines or digital magazines are one of the first and largest targets for copyright issues. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations report from March 2011 the definition of this medium is when a digital magazine involves the distribution of a magazine content by electronic means; it may be a replica. This definition can be considered outdated now that PDF replicas of print magazines are no longer common practice. These days digital magazines refer to magazines specifically created to be interactive digital platform such as the internet, mobile phones, private networks, iPad or other device. The barriers for digital magazine distribution are thus decreasing. However, these platforms are also broadening the scope of where digital magazines can be published. Smartphones being a prime example. Thanks to the improvements of tablets and other personal electronic devices, digital magazines have become much more readable and enticing through the use of graphic art. Over time, the evolution of online magazines began to focus on becoming more of a social media and entertainment platforms. Online piracy has become one of the larger issues that have occurred in regards to digital media copyright. The Online piracy, piracy of digital media, such as film and television, directly impact the copyright party (the owner of the copyright). This action can impact the "health" of the digital media industry. Piracy directly breaks laws and morals of copyright.  Along with piracy digital media has contributed to the ability to spread false information or fake news. Due to the widespread use of digital media, fake news is able to receive more notoriety. This notoriety enhances the negative effects fake news creates. As a result, peoples' health and well-being can directly be affected.


See also

* Electronic media * Media psychology * Virtual artifact * Digital continuity * Content creation


References

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Further reading

* Ramón Reichert, Annika Richterich, Pablo Abend, Mathias Fuchs, Karin Wenz (eds.), ''Digital Culture & Society''. Digital media, Information science Library science Mass media Mass media technology Articles containing video clips