New media refers to new forms of human and media communication that have been transformed by the creative use of technology to fulfil the same basic social need to interact and transact.
Although definitions of the term vary, this is sometimes assumed to imply two consistent characteristics:
- Uniquely individualized information can simultaneously be delivered or displayed to a potentially infinite number of people.
· All players involved (e.g. publishers, broadcasters, consumers) share equal or reciprocal control over content.
Old media and new media
The distinction between "new media" and old media is not distinct. From 1995 to 2004, old media started to expand into producing new media, thus blurring the boundaries between the two. Much old media content was re-purposed in a new digital format, but with little substantial change, but 'old media' producers are now starting to make content specifically for new media audiences. In a sense, the oldest media have never died, but the tools we've used have. Recorded sound is a medium of artistic expression, CDs and records are merely delivery technologies: media atop the media. The term 'new media' gained popular currency in the mid 1990s as part of a marketing pitch for the proliferation of interactive educational and entertainment CD-ROMs. One of the key features of this early new media was the implication that corporations, not individual creators, would control copyright. The term then became far more widely used as the mass consumer internet began to emerge from 1995 onwards.
The old media or legacy media are traditional means of communication and expression that have existed since before the advent of the new medium of the Internet. Industries that are generally considered part of the old media are broadcast and cable television, movie and music studios, newspapers, books and most print publications. Many of those industries are now less profitable than they used to be and this is has been attributed to the growth of the new media. Generally the term is used in contrast with "new media", and it suggests a number of theses relating to the role of the internet.