Digital Media - An Overview

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Digital media - this is a term that can describe many different formats, but also an entire subject area in university studies. Learn more about the different types of digital media here. In addition, we explain to you into which categories they can be divided and what you should pay attention to when using digital media.

Digital Media: Definition

The digital media definition includes not only different 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, pictures, videos and music files that can be displayed or played back and stored on electronic devices. Various software tools are needed to create digital media. These are, for example, graphics programmes 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. For a better overview, we have listed them below:

1. Self-created electronic media

All content and media that you have written, designed, recorded and published yourself may be used flexibly by you. This can be blog posts you have written 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 self-owned media, there are also electronic media that others create about you. This can be blog articles, social media posts and other media.

In this case, third parties are not persuaded to publish content that is positive. They do it of their own free will because they have a good opinion of you or your offer.

3. Paid digital media

The third variant is paid media, which are only published in return for some kind of a payment. These are usually marked with "Sponsored". Your company is described positively, but not in a promotional way. It is important that the paid media also have added value for the consumer.

Paid digital media are generally viewed critically because 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 different formats (e.g. jpg, png, gif)
  • Software programmes (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 being without them. However, they not only have advantages, but also disadvantages. We have highlighted both sides and compiled a list for you.

Advantages of Digital Media

Digital media can be produced more cheaply than analogue productions. In addition, digital formats can be edited more easily and reproduced as desired. They are also available immediately after creation, as nothing has to be printed on paper, pressed onto a sound carrier or developed in a photo lab.

Electronic media can also be stored very easily and in a space-saving way, for example on hard drives or in online clouds, where they are available for further use at any time. This makes large amounts of data easily accessible to an international audience.

Disadvantages of Digital Media

Despite many advantages, digital media also have some disadvantages. These include, above all, the risk of data loss. If the data is accidentally deleted or the hard drive is defective, it is usually irrevocably lost without a backup. Furthermore, even with online storage, there is a risk that third parties will gain unauthorised access to your data and use it for their own purposes.

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

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


  • Easy and cheap to produce
  • Easy to share
  • Can be stored on the web or in clouds
  • Lossless storage, long shelf life of data
  • Easy to expand/update
  • More favourable forms of distribution
  • Worldwide marketing also possible for non-professionals


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

To secure data for the long term, multiple backups are recommended. The combination of an online cloud with a physical hard drive is a relatively safe way to protect important data from loss for many years. Instead of collecting photos only digitally, regular printing of the best motifs is recommended as a further safeguard - especially for private pictures for the family album.

Studies: Marketing and Digital Media

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

At the same time, there are very many graduates today who study digital media in general and specifically in the field of marketing. The degree programmes have different names depending on their orientation.

Among the most popular are:

  • Media Informatics
  • Media Communication
  • Media Science
  • Media Management
  • Media Education
  • Media Technology
  • Product Design

Studying marketing and digital media is ideal for you if you are interested in digital products and how to deal with them. Creativity, some interest in business administration and technical basics are also a good basis for studying digital media.

After graduation, professions 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. After all, advertising today is no longer found only in the form of classic newspaper advertisements. 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 shops
  • Development of games and apps
  • Content for YouTube


Digital know-how is becoming increasingly important in professional life. This also applies to dealing with various digital media that you will encounter again and again in your job. Even if you have not completed a degree, some basic knowledge of digital media is often required when you are hired for a new job. Some media formats are still very popular as analogue variants despite the progress in digitalisation. These include, for example, the photo collection in a beautiful photo book or the vinyl record of the favourite band.

Florian Kassel

Florian Kassel

Online marketing expert

Florian Kassel is the founder of the online marketing agency Digitale Trends and has been dealing with all topics related to digital marketing for more than 10 years now. Whether search engine optimization (SEO), social media or brand building.

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