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Digital content

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Title: Digital content  
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Digital content

binary code represents text or computer processor instructions that create digital content

Digital content is any type of content that exists in the form of digital data. Also known as digital media, digital content is stored on either digital or analog storage in specific formats. Forms of digital content include information that is digitally broadcast, streamed or contained in computer files. Viewed narrowly, types of digital content include popular media types, while a broader approach considers any type of digital information (e. g. digitally updated weather forecast, GPS map and so on) as digital content. Digital content has seen an increase as more households now have access to the Internet. Therefore it is easier for people to receive their news and watch TV online, rather than from traditional platforms. Because of this increased access to the Internet, digital content is commonly published through individuals in the form of ebooks, blog posts, and even Facebook posts.[1][2]


At the beginning of the digital revolution, computers facilitated the discovery, retrieval, and creation of new information in every field of human knowledge. The digital revolution facilitated the creation of digital content as it became increasingly more accessible and available.[3] Despite change towards digital technology occurring somewhere between the late 1950s and 1970s, distribution of digital content did not begin until the late 1990s with the rise in popularity of the internet.[4][5] While the digital content was primarily distributed through computers and the internet in the past, methods of distribution are rapidly changing as the digital revolution brings new channels such as mobile apps and eBooks. These new technologies will create future challenges for content creators, as they must determine the best channel to use to bring content to their consumers. Additionally, intellectual property issues have arisen with the rise of new technologies. Users can easily share, modify, and redistribute content outside of the creator's control. While new technologies have made digital content available to large audiences, managing copyright and limiting content movement will continue to be an issue that digital content creators face in the future.

Types of digital content


Free digital content

Most types of digital content can be viewed or experienced for free, as with many things on the Internet. Examples include:
1. Video: Types of free video content include home videos, music videos, TV shows, and movies. Many of these can be viewed for free on websites such as YouTube, Hulu, CBS and so on, in which people and companies alike can post content. However, many movies and television shows are not available for free legally, but rather can be purchased from sites such as iTunes and Amazon
2. Software: In recent years, there has been an increase in access to freeware. Examples of this include free computer software such as Mozilla Firefox, and operating systems such as Apple's OS X Mavericks. Many applications such as Facebook and YouTube also provide users with functionality to post and share free content online.
3. Audio: Music is the most common form of audio. Spotify has emerged as a popular way for people to listen to music either over the Internet or from their computer desktop. Digital content in the form of music is also available through Pandora and, both of which allow listeners to listen to music online for no charge.[11]
4. Images: Photo and image sharing is another example of digital content. Popular sites used for this type of digital content includes imgur, where people share self-created pictures, flickr, where people share their photo albums, and deviantart, where people share their artwork. Popular apps that are used for images include instagram and snapchat.

In order to have access to more premium digital goods, consumers usually have to pay an upfront charge for digital content, or a subscription based fee.
1. Video: Many licensed videos, such as movies and television shows, require money in order to be viewed or downloaded. Popular services used by many include streaming giant Netflix and Amazon's streaming service.
2. Software: Most software for computers require money to use, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.
3. Audio: While songs can be streamed for free, generally in order to download most licensed music, consumers need to purchase songs from web stores, such as the popular iTunes. However, Spotify Premium is emerging as a new model for purchasing digital content on the web: consumers pay a monthly fee to unlimited streaming and downloading from Spotify's music library.

According to a report done by IHS Inc in 2013, the global consumer spending on digital content grew to over $57 billion in 2013, which was up almost 30% from $44 billion in 2012. In past years, the US has always been a leader in consumer expenditure on digital content, but as of 2013, many countries have emerged with great consumer expenditure. South Korea's overall digital spend per capita is now greater than the US.[12]

Non-purchasable digital content

Not all digital content is purchasable, and is simply anything published digitally. This would include:[13]
1. News: in recent years newspapers have attempted to expand their readership by creating access to their newspapers digitally. As of 2012, 39% of readers learned about news from online formats, making news a prevalent form of digital content.[14]
2. Advertisements: as media consumers increasingly use digital formats to watch TV, check the weather, and search for content, advertisements have shifted to digital forms to keep up with their viewership. Advertisements are now being made digitally and placed on sites ranging from Facebook to YouTube.[15]
3. Question and Answer sites: these sites are a type of Internet Forum where people can post questions they want answered, or provide responses to previous inquiries. With millions of questions posted each day, anyone has the ability to create content on these cites, so the information provided may not be 100% reliable or accurate. Popular sites include Yahoo! Answers and Wiki Answers.
4. Web mapping: cites such as MapQuest and Google Maps provide users with map content. These cites give people the ability to quickly look up the location of a landmark and create routes to a destination. Online maps are a form of free content provided by companies such as Google and AOL, serving as much more efficient alternatives to the traditional Thomas Guide.

Business implications

Digital companies

Digital content businesses can include news, information and entertainment distributed over the internet and consumed digitally by both consumers and businesses. Based off revenue, the leading digital businesses are ranked Google, China Mobile, Bloomberg, Reed Elsevier, and Apple. The 50 companies with the highest revenue are split between those offering free and paid digital content, but these top 50 companies combined generate revenue of $150 billion.[16]

Educational Opportunities Programs such as CUNY's Macaulay Honors College in their New Media Lab run by industry professional Robert Small is set up to train and introduce students to the various disciplines within the digital content industry. The goal is to offer information and access to professional work opportunities. They also explore within an incubator how to create businesses and start ups within the world of digital content. There are many educational events in support of choosing digital content as a career.

See also


  1. ^ Eileen, Mullan. "What is Digital Content?". EContent. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Digital Content Demand Rising as More Americans Use Mobile Media Devices". Brafton. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ Manning, Patrick. "Digital World History: An Agenda". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ digitaldownloader. "The History of Digital Distribution". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ Allen-Robertson, James. "Timeline: The History of Digital Distribution". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Types of Consumer Generated Digital Content". Boundless. 1 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Mullan, Eileen (19 December 2011). "What is Digital Content?". EContent Magazine. Information Today Inc. 
  8. ^ Manning, Patrick. "Digital World History: An Agenda". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  9. ^ Villasenor, John (1 May 2013). "Six 'Megatrends' That Will Shape The Future Of Digital Media". Forbes Magazine. 
  10. ^ "Types of Consumer Generated Digital Content". Boundless. 1 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Types of Consumer Generated Digital Content". Boundless. 1 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Russo, Amanda. "Global Digital Content Spend Rockets to $57 Billion in 2013, App Annie & IHS 2013 Digital Content Report". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Content Wikibranding -The 76 Types of Digital Content". Wikibrands. 1 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Digital: As Mobile Grows Rapidly, the Pressures on News Intensify". Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  15. ^ "The growth of digital advertising and branded content is gaining pace". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Free or Paid Content? The 50 Most Successful Digital Companies in the World". Fuel Lines. 12 March 2013. 

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