With the rise of technology, social media has become so ingrained in our lives that whether we realise it or not, we participate daily, either on a passive level, or a more active one. In the past two decades, technology has taken a frog leap, launching society into a world where words such as HD, TiVo, satellite imaging, retina screens, live streaming and programming on-demand have become the norm. In a world dominated by Skype, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, gone are the days where media was defined by, and limited to laser discs, cassette tapes and techni-colour televisions.

For companies, the transition towards digital media has forced them to review their marketing strategies in terms of customer segmentation, pricing and products and focusing more on a personalised level rather than on an undifferentiated mass of consumers. Commercial organisations too, are increasingly using social and mobile marketing to reach out to new customers and to strengthen their existing customer base. Take traditional print for example. They have evolved from being produced off a printing press, to being produced in a digital form that is constantly updated with breaking news, and made available to consumers 24X7. 

Media consumption has also become a primarily personal activity. It is now tailor-made based on one&’s preferences and deployed to your personal mobile devices. Programming is on demand and gone are the days of programme scheduling or recording, and sitting in front of a screen. Advertisers and developers alike can no longer develop their content for a singular channel, and as a necessity should consider multi-platform development and deployment. With so much information and content easily available in the World Wide Web, there is a need to stand out by creating value-added information that both entertains and engages. So, the big question is — how does one stay ahead of the pack? With wearable technology coming into play, the future of media consumption will be an interesting one in the next decade. New media channels will be created and more professionals with the relevant skill-sets will be required. How, then, do you equip yourself with the knowledge and skill-sets required to tackle what the next decade might bring? 

The mass communications programme offered by the Oklahoma City University, USA is the first American-style Liberal Arts Mass Communications programme in Singapore, since 1992, and combines a sound liberal arts curriculum with theoretical and practical courses in mass communications.

The full-time programme has 14 modules, including a three-week on-campus residency, which involves real-time TV production at the American campus studio. The curriculum facilitates a combination of real-world experience, fieldwork and classroom-based activities and is taught by senior level faculty from OCU, and truly offers students a global perspective on the emerging trends of media in the 21st century. One may visit: www.mdis.edu.sg or email ib @mdis.  edu. sg  for more information.

The author is lecturer, School of Media and Communications Management Development. Institute of Singapore.