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Online Media vs. Traditional Media — Who’s the King Now?

Brid.TV Online vs Traditional Media

It would be wrong not to say that the rapid development of technology has changed the world. That has probably affected the marketing industry the most — due to its volatile nature, it is forced to follow and adapt to these changes quickly. For decades, marketers had but a finite number of advertising tools and outlets at their disposal, but not anymore. With the rise of online media came a whole new branch of marketing — digital marketing.

But how did that affect the traditional media outlets and marketing practices? Well, that, among other things, is what you’ll find out! Here’s a quick insight into what we’ll cover:

Let’s begin by defining the two types of media marketers have at their disposal nowadays.

What Is Traditional Media?

Traditional media are, in a nutshell, media outlets and institutions that predate the Information Age. These offer marketers plenty of opportunities to promote their products. Here are a few advertising methods using this type of media:

  • TV commercials
  • Radio advertisements
  • Cold calling
  • Flyers
  • Billboard advertisements
  • Door-to-door sales
  • Newspaper ads

The Decline of Traditional Media

Until recent years, these traditional marketing methods were a staple of many marketers’ promotional endeavors; however, with the rise of the online media and a shift in consumer trends, legacy media lost a lot of its appeal. For example, as seen at Array Digital, the number of people watching TV continues to plummet among all consumers aged between 2 and 49. And considering that television is the most interactive legacy medium, it’s safe to assume that these other traditional advertising methods are much worse off.

The reason for such a downward trend of these traditional mediums and marketing is likely due to their nature. This type of marketing focuses on actively seeking out customers. “Well, that sounds like a sound strategy to me,” you might think. Yes, it is… or, well, it used to be. 

Nowadays, the internet allows easy access to an almost infinite amount of information at any time and any place. That has drastically changed the average consumer’s way of life. Everything is faster and much more accessible now, so a lot of the marketing focus has shifted from seeking out customers to helping them find you. 

But what do we mean by that? 

Well, in this day and age, it takes anyone about two seconds to google a product they’re looking for and two more to order it from a website. That’s why it’s easy to predict that having an active digital marketing strategy is likely to bring you more conversions than any of these traditional methods.

The statistics speak for themselves. According to Array Digital, between 2000 and 2020, the percentage of ad expenses in the U.S. has risen by 40% for online advertising, while some traditional methods like television and newspaper ad spendings have dropped by 3% and 26% respectively.

What Is Digital Media?

In contrast to traditional media, digital (or online) media is all media that is encoded and can be viewed, distributed, or stored on digital electronic devices. This technology gave rise to an entirely new method for marketers to reach consumers. Here are a few examples of advertising methods that consequently came to be:

  • Content marketing
  • Video advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)

The Rise of Online Media

Namely, these marketing methods have been present for years now, but they have only recently gained a lot of traction. That should come as no surprise considering the overwhelming increase in internet usage over the past two decades. The data might shock you, but in 2000, it is estimated that only 7% of the world’s population used the internet. However, by 2018, that number rose to a whopping 48%! Today, it is likely much higher.

But why did most advertisers shift their focus toward the online world? Well, aside from what we’ve mentioned already, the development of digital media brought forth several other innovations.

The two most prominent benefits of digital ads (such as banner ads) over traditional ones are codependent but equally crucial. The first one is increased interactivity, with the biggest culprit being videos. “But how are videos different from TV commercials?” you may ask? Well, that’s where the second benefit of online advertising comes into play — targeted ads.

Targeted Advertising

What does targeted advertising entail? Simply put, it means that the ad a user will be shown will be selected based on their likes and preferences. This characteristic is what sets this marketing method miles ahead of any of the traditional ones. And when you combine that with the power of video, you get a high-converting, wide-reaching, and engaging advertising technique that would be impossible to replicate on a TV. 

For the sake of illustrating, let’s say a customer is a video game enthusiast. Instead of having to sit through a dozen of frying pan commercials that only their mom would enjoy, they’d instead be shown an ad for the latest Razer mouse or keyboard, for example. After all, they are more likely to purchase a product they’re interested in, right?

Precisely. So you see now how this combo of videos and targeted advertising can be a rather lucrative one. And if you’re interested in more info on why videos can significantly boost your online marketing endeavors, check out this article on amazing video marketing statistics.

How Do They Compare?

Now that we’ve introduced you to the general state of both traditional and online media, let’s make a detailed comparison and see how effective each is for marketers! We’ll take a look at a few different categories and evaluate each media type based on its advertising effectiveness.


Without a doubt, digital media wins here! It is much cheaper than its legacy alternative, for example, TV. Here are some numbers to prove it! According to Uhuru Network, CPM for online outlets such as social media is only $3, while the radio and TV equivalents go as high as $10 and $28, respectively!

Interactivity and Engagement

We have already mentioned this, but it’s worth repeating! Online ads, and digital media in general, are significantly more interactive than traditional ones — not to mention that new outlets like social networks offer the means for direct consumer-to-business communication.

Data Accuracy

Yet another victory for digital media! Online media, unlike its legacy counterpart, allows marketers to target specific consumer groups. Aside from that, it is more data-driven of the two, which is primarily due to the availability of real-time statistics. Traditional media, unfortunately, often doesn’t have the luxury of such swift and detailed analytical data.

Consumer Trust

When a brand has a strong online presence, it allows consumers to research their products and even check out user reviews before committing to a purchase. That helps build consumer trust and nurture your relationship with your customers. That is why another point goes to digital media!


Because kids spend more than 30 hours a week glued to their phones nowadays, it became easier to reach your target audience online. And when you couple that with better audience engagement, it’s safe to say that digital marketing trumps traditional media campaigns in this regard as well.


It might come as a shocking surprise (not) that digital media wins yet again. There isn’t much to say here; online, one can easily find customer reviews, leave one themselves, or even interact with the brand itself! That was close to impossible before the internet era.

So Who’s the Winner?

Just a moment to do a quick tally… Oh, who are we kidding — online media has proven superior to traditional media in every possible sense. So what can we conclude from this? Well, if you’re a marketer, you’d be remiss not to try to make the most out of it!

And if you’re wondering how to start your journey, know that finding a top-tier ad platform is imperative! Aside from that, we recommend you utilize video content to the fullest in your marketing campaigns. After all, according to HubSpot, videos have become the most prevalent form of media in many marketers’ content strategies.

If you’re interested in killing these two birds with one stone and growing your business, we at Brid.TV can offer you the perfect solution. We offer not just a video player and platform but also a monetization solution for all your video marketing needs! 

If you wish to try our platform and all of its features out for free, send us an email and start your free trial today!

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