The evolution of Mass Media in all these years has led to the apprehension of consumer behaviour. Things are working both ways- consumer’s lifestyle, aspirations and wants are being swayed by the things that are presented on the mass media and simultaneously, mass media is also getting influenced by consumer’s notion and wants.
Over the years, the rise of mass media has been exceptional. There have been certain events that guided the evolution of mass media, these global factors have actually clouted the progression of many concepts, one of which is mass media.
1. Globalisation – By globalization, various cultures, societies, and economies found a link to one another. Various economies became integrated via a global network of trade and communication. Communication being the key element of globalization, mass media evolution was the outcome of globalization. Globalization paved the way for technological advancements, diversity of thoughts and perspectives, and cultural multifariousness.
Mass media was now able to extend to a wider audience than before. In addition to that, globalization brought with it ingenious tools and inventions to further the advancement of mass media. Globalization ushered in a change in opinions and perspectives, broadening minds, inducing more people to consume mass media and become aware of what’s happening in the world.
2. Industrialisation – The industrial revolution was accompanied by new manufacturing processes. This transformation included a shift from hand production methods to machines; new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes; the increasing use of water power and steam power; the development of machine tools; and the rise of the mechanized factory system. It was not just related to products and goods, it had a noteworthy part to play in the evolution of media.
With industrialization came the new potential of being able to actually deliver media to the masses. Advanced machinery and technology were being used for the mass production and distribution of newspapers, pamphlets, posters, etc. Before industrialization, no industry had a functional structure, they were figuring things out as they went along. Industrialization brought rules, frameworks, guidelines, and set procedures for the proper operation of the industries like media institutions. Media started working on deadlines, originality and quality content.
3. Urbanisation – When more people move from rural areas to urban areas, they become part of the urban culture. The media evolved as it labored to make sense to people of all backgrounds, income groups and beliefs. To be able to resonate with the residents who come from a rural background, the media had to evolve and adapt. Media brought communities together, it became the form of communication that could overcome the development of a vast number of unique cultural identities.
Globalization, industrialization, and urbanization were such revolutions that expedited and enabled the grand transformation of mass media.
These revolutions elicited factors at a more micro level which further enhanced the growth of mass media.
1. Population Growth – Population growth means a wider audience and different generations to cater to. The media has evolved and adjusted based on the consumers it’s trying to target. At the same time, the evolution of media has resulted in an increase in mortality rates. The media became keen on showing health-related news such as news on medicines, treatment, and vaccinations to keep families informed and safe.
2. New Technologies and their integration – With the advent and introduction of new technologies and infrastructure, the media changed beyond measure. Technological shifts led to feats like decreasing the output time of mass media, providing storage facilities for media content, quickening citizenship journalism, having an impact on advertising agencies, etc. The biggest technological advancement to impact mass media was the Internet. It changed the way the media worked. It made information more accessible and traceable.
3. Literacy and Education – The social and cultural advancement of people and their opinions had a momentous impact on the literacy rate. When more people became literate and educated, the demand to be informed increased. And when the demand for information and communication increases, so does the demand for mass media mediums like newspapers, radio, TV, etc.
4. Increased Leisure Time – People are literate and they have a lot more time to themselves than they did before. Going through the Internet has become a favorite pastime. Consuming media whenever possible, wanting to know where the world stands, and craving for information and enlightenment have resulted in the epic rise of mass media.
5. Consumerism – Over the years, consumer mentality has changed notably. This desire to know every layer of the things they consume has been implanted in consumers now. They want to know everything about the type of food they eat, the ingredients of everything they apply or intake, the material of the clothes they wear, even down to the content they consume. Consumerism has made way for authentic media.
6. Branding and advertising – When brands realized that the mass media could be the break they needed, they were unstoppable. Advertising their products and services via a medium that is meant to reach the masses did wonders for their reach and success. Mass media grew with the realization of the need for branding & advertising.
7. Entertainment industries – The pop culture, the entertainment industry is something that drives the curiosity of millions. Mass media makes them feel a part of all the hubbub and glamour of celebrities, the red carpet, movies, power, etc. People are constantly anxious to know the gossip that the entertainment industry contains and the media serves this purpose.
8. The Western Culture – When all the shackles of cultural differences started to break free, the media became the link that connected the world. It informed and acquainted us with cultures, traditions, thoughts, and processes. Aping the west became more of a necessity to fit in, the media showed us what the west is really like, their references, their shows, movies, news.
Over the years, revolutions have inexplicably transformed the mass media. It has now become an integral part of the total social fabric. The masses rely on the media for every piece of information, news and update. The advancement of communications and mass media was long overdue, it’s finally here and it continues to grow.
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