The Evolution of Media – From Paid Media to Earned Media to Shared Media

Mobile continues to change (and challenge) the landscape of traditional advertising. Since the first newspaper advertisement appeared in 1704, paid media has been a primary way for brands to promote themselves. In fact, global ad spend is expected to hit $579 billion in 2016 (Variety). On the other hand, earned media, where brands reach their audience more organically, through media coverage and influencers sharing content has always been a great way to create awareness too. This combination of paid and earned media have been two anchor points of marketing strategy for decades. However, both models are currently at risk. The rise of ad blockers, bot fraud and simple banner blindness, where consumers naturally ignore ads, all point to a decline in the effectiveness of paid media. 

Earned media is also losing its impact as consumers have increasingly turned to aggregate feeds to obtain their news, scrolling through thousands of headlines, rarely clicking through to read full articles and, at the same time, have become skeptical of influencer promotions. So how can brands create awareness as these two pillars of marketing become less effective? As the mobile-social revolution continues, where every consumers is now a publisher with instant reach to hundreds of their peers, brands are turning to their own audience to create and share content with their brand message included.

This is Shared Media.