The term “digital media” is everywhere; you may have seen ads for a “Master’s Degree in Digital Media” or a “Certificate in Digital Media.” But what exactly is digital media, and is it worth learning more about?
In a world where nearly everything is becoming digitized and people spend an average of seven hours each day using the internet, digital media is becoming more important than ever. It’s likely that you spend a significant amount of time each day interacting with digital media.
Digital Media Examples
Digital media can be thought of in many different ways. We can think of it in terms of its purpose, the device we access it on, or which of our senses we use to perceive it.
Audio refers to the digital media we listen to. We can listen to audio by streaming it online, or listening to .mp3 or .mp4 files (among others) offline.
Some examples of digital audio include:
- Songs produced for video streaming sites (e.g., YouTube)
- Songs that are sold digitally (via marketplaces like iTunes and Google Play)
- Video or computer game soundtracks
- Audio transmitted over the internet (VoIP)
Video is both visual and auditory. Like audio, it can be accessed both online and offline.
Here are some examples of digital video:
- Videos produced for video streaming sites
- Movies that can be streamed or downloaded from the internet
- Live video (for example, webcam chats or online conferencing)
Photos and illustrations can be found everywhere on digital devices. This type of static media is an essential part of the user interfaces of computers, phones, and tablets. Just have a look at your computer’s desktop: each one of the icons is a tiny illustration.
Besides the interface of digital devices themselves, photos and illustrations are also distributed throughout the internet. They are:
- Used to illustrate blog posts and articles
- Sold as standalone pieces of digital art
- Used as part of website and software interface designs
Blog posts and articles are another type of digital media. They are shorter than ebooks, can be accessed online, and can typically be read in five to 20 minutes.
The purpose of a blog post or article is to quickly inform the audience about a certain topic. They may be written by:
- A personal blogger
- A journalist
- A company
Popular social media networks include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. On social media, content can be posted by anyone. Social media is used:
- By individuals, to share content with friends and family
- By commercial brands, to advertise their products and communicate with customers
- By media companies, to share their articles and open a dialogue with readers
Exploring the Digital Media Industry
Now that we’ve talked about the different types of digital media, you might be wondering what all this means for your career. How can you fit into the digital media industry, and what kind of skills are required for digital media professionals?
UX Designers help make products, including digital media products like websites and apps. As a UX designer, you might be responsible for creating wireframes—outlines that show what the final product will look like and how it will be organized. You may also be responsible for conducting user research to understand how your customers use your product and what their needs are.
As a digital content creator, you might write blog posts and website text, sell photographs and illustrations, create social media content, or make videos for a streaming website.
Content creators may have job titles such as:
- Graphic designer
- Social media “influencer”
If you’re interested in working with digital media, it’s a good idea to narrow down your goals. Contact us today for any questions! 402-812-5130