The ascent of one-person media

The ascent of one-person media

The media is evolving and diversifying into forms unimagined only a few years ago aided by digital and information communication technologies.

Information in Korea was controlled by the few and distributed to the masses, even after literacy became the norm.

Those working at newspapers and broadcasting stations effectively chose what information their readers and viewers had access to. In many cases, such dynamics allowed the governments of various countries to pull the wool over the public's eyes by controlling the media.

This pattern has been changing since the rise of the Internet at an unprecedented pace.

Media's evolution over the years has baffled even those who had risen to the highest reaches of the industry. In his famously inaccurate prediction, 20th Century Fox executive Darryl Zanuck said television would fall out of fashion.

"Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night," Zanuck said in 1946.

However, the vast majority of the people across the globe today have access to a television, and the dissemination of news and other information through television is widely taken for granted.

Video may have killed the "radio star" as iterated by the 1979 song "Video Killed the Radio Star," but video itself is being assailed by the even mightier Internet.

The Internet enabled traditional consumers of information to be providers of information. Blogs, personal websites and other text-based online tools gave the public the means to reach out to any number of individuals, effectively enabling them to become one-person media organisations.

The world's largest video-sharing website, YouTube, quickly went from being a revolutionary plaything to being a platform for voicing your views, and even for generating profit, with thousands of users reportedly raking in more than USD$100,000 (S$134,000) a year.

The increasing availability and affordability of digital video equipment, coupled with high-speed Internet access, has allowed even live broadcasts.

Services such as AfreecaTV have enabled individuals to put out live broadcasts and generate profits directly from their viewers instead of having to wait until advertising is latched onto the video uploaded by the user.

With such business models proving their value over the years, large companies are jumping into the game.

CJ Group's entertainment specialist CJ E&M recently launched Dia TV, which relies on star one-person broadcasters to attract viewers and generate profits.

MBC programme "My Little Television" shows celebrities and experts from diverse fields, including a professional trainer and a chef, broadcasting their expertise over the Internet.

Far from being an oddity, the hybridization of traditional and new media broadcasting has become a hit, turning the already well-known cast into Internet sensations.


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