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Digital media – an overview

Digital media – this is a term that can describe many different formats, but also an entire subject area in studies. Find out more about the different types of digital media here. We also explain which categories they fall into and what you should look out for when using digital media.

Digital media: Definition

The digital media definition includes not only various digital formats, but also the overall concept of “digital media”, which is made up of different types of content and technologies.

Digital media are, for example, images, videos and music files that can be displayed or played back and saved on electronic devices. Various software tools are required to create digital media. These are, for example, graphics programs for images or professional audio software for the production of music files.

Types of digital media

Digital media can be divided into three categories depending on how they are created. We have listed them below to give you a better overview:

1. Self-created electronic media

All content and media that you have created, designed, recorded and published yourself may be used flexibly by you. These can be blog posts you write yourself, but also posts on social media or videos on YouTube in which you present something to the public.

2. Digital media created by others

In addition to the media you own, there are also electronic media that others create about you. These can also be blog articles, social media posts and other media.

Third parties are not persuaded to publish content that is positive for you in return. They do it of their own free will because they are convinced by you or your offer.

3. Paid digital media

The third option is paid media, which is only published for a consideration. These are usually labeled “Sponsored”. Content about your company is usually described in a positive but not promotional way. It is important that paid media also have added value for the consumer.

Paid digital media are generally viewed critically, as they are not independent and are seen more as a variant of advertisements.

Examples of digital media

There are many examples of digital media . The most common examples of electronic media are as follows:

  • Images in various formats (e.g. jpg, png, gif)
  • Software programs (e.g. operating systems, tools for video, text or image editing, project management and accounting software)
  • Videos in different formats (e.g. mpeg, mov, avi)
  • Audio files in various formats (e.g. mp3, wav, wma)

Digital media advantages and disadvantages

It is now impossible to imagine our modern world without digital media. We consume them every day and can no longer imagine a time without them. However, they not only have advantages, but also disadvantages. We have examined both sides and put them together for you.

Advantages of digital media

Digital media can be produced more cheaply than analog productions. In addition, digital formats are easier to edit and reproduce. They are also available immediately after creation, as nothing has to be printed out on paper, pressed onto sound carriers or developed in the photo lab.

Electronic media can also be stored very easily and in a space-saving manner, for example on hard disks or in online clouds, where they can be reused at any time. This makes it easy to make large amounts of data accessible to an international audience.

Disadvantages of digital media

Despite many advantages, digital media also have some disadvantages. Above all, this includes the risk of data loss. If the data has been accidentally deleted or the hard disk is defective, it is usually irrevocably lost without a backup. In addition, there is also a risk with online storage that third parties may gain unauthorised access to your data and use it for their own purposes.

Last but not least, digital media can only be played back on well-functioning and modern devices. New tools are constantly coming onto the market and some very old file formats can no longer be opened.

Here are all the advantages and disadvantages of digital media at a glance:


  • Simple and affordable production
  • Easy to pass on
  • Can be stored on the web or in clouds
  • Lossless storage, long data shelf life
  • Easy to expand/update
  • More favorable forms of distribution worldwide
  • Marketing also possible for non-professionals


  • Risk of data loss if saved or compressed incorrectly
  • Danger of data theft on the web
  • Requires modern playback devices
  • Content often superficial, lots of content, but rarely high quality

Several backups are recommended for long-term data protection. The combination of an online cloud with a physical hard disk is a relatively secure way of protecting important data from loss for many years. Instead of only collecting photos digitally, it is advisable to regularly print out the best motifs as an additional safeguard – especially for private photos for the family album.

Study: Marketing and digital media

If you are interested in electronic media, you can learn more about this in a digital media degree course and then take up a suitable career in which digital media play a major role.

Today, there are many graduates who deal with digital media in general and marketing in particular. The degree programs have different names depending on their focus.

The most popular include:

  • Media informatics
  • Media communication
  • Media Studies
  • Media management
  • Media education
  • Media technology
  • Product design

A degree in Marketing and Digital Media is ideal for you if you are interested in digital products and how to use them. Creativity, an interest in business administration and technical basics are also a good basis for studying digital media.

After graduation, careers such as media manager, game designer, graphic designer, video producer, web designer or programmer are possible.

Marketing and digital media

Digital media play a major role in marketing, as advertising is no longer limited to traditional newspaper ads. Rather, a wide variety of media formats are relevant in marketing today.

Examples of marketing and digital media:

  • Online campaigns
  • Customer surveys
  • Social media marketing
  • Creation of websites and online stores
  • Development of games and apps
  • Content for YouTube


Digital know-how is becoming increasingly important in professional life. This also applies to the use of various digital media, which you will encounter again and again in your job. Even if you may not have completed a degree, some basic knowledge of digital media is often a prerequisite for a new job. Despite advances in digitisation, some media formats are still very popular as analogue versions. This includes, for example, the photo collection in a beautiful photo book or the vinyl record of your favorite band.

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