5Web‐Based and Digital Media

Global media trends of the last few years have been marked by a transition to digital and web‐based forms. Media technologies have always been subject to evolution, but the current shift does not simply represent a change in technology. Instead, it represents a fundamental paradigm shift and a radical media revolution, with far‐reaching implications for every aspect of global media. Every facet of the media is affected, from theatrical movie projection, to video gaming, to individual music access, to TV production and distribution, to the nature of the book and magazine publishing industries. With lesser‐developed portions of the globe quickly catching up in terms of telecommunications infrastructures and technologies, phenomenal growth in such areas as social media, online commerce, web‐based TV, multiplayer gaming, music streaming, and mobile apps is becoming a fact of life across much of the planet.

Much of this revolution has been fueled by the explosive growth of the Internet, after its beginnings as part of a Cold War attempt to enhance the scientific capability of the United States with implications for defense. Current digital and web‐based media are based on the development of such technological breakthroughs as the personal computer, the tablet, and the smartphone. These are based on such earlier tech innovations as the transistor (US, 1947), the integrated circuit (Germany, 1949), cellular networks (Japan, 1979), and the compact disc ...

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