Newspaper, radio, television and now Internet. People around the world look for mediums for information and entertainment. Looking at the evolution of each of these mediums, it makes sense to ask if this world wide web is just another medium? Well the answer is yes, and no. Yes, because in the end, it is a medium where the customers can get the information and entertainment they are looking for. But then like any other medium, the web has some uniqueness that stand out to make it more than just another medium.
We should consider a few different perspectives while answering this question. Let’s start with the content creators and providers. Internet has revolutionized this field in great ways. The content development on Internet is not something that is controlled by a few big networks. Anyone and everyone can write a blog or upload a video and become a content provider. And since there is no bar on who can become a content provider, the amount of content is infinite, the competition is fierce and the cost is close to zero.
Now let’s look at the monetizing aspect. Advertisements are the main source of revenue on any medium. On Internet, advertisers get a chance to maximize their return by targeting the customers using behavioral or contextual relevance. The interactive nature of Internet and the individual targeting of customers make advertising on the web standout as compared to any other medium.
One more aspect that we got to consider here is the end customer. Internet is more different for end customers as a medium than anyone else because here the customer is the driver. The customer is not bound to read the news printed on the daily newspaper or watch a sitcom at a given time on the television. On the Internet, the customer can pick and choose what they want in terms of information and entertainment, when they want and how they want it.
In the end, what makes the web stand out as a medium is its unique aspects of interactivity, equality, personizability and breath. Another way Internet is more than just another medium is the way it has affected all other mediums, be it newspapers online, where customer can get the latest news live or the television shows on the web, which the customers can watch on demand. For all other mediums, Internet has acted like a supplement to strengthen the customer base, making it really special.