Communication in the media is an increasingly growing and competitive environment, especially among those reporting news and distributing information throughout our society. The revolution in the competitive media landscape since 1995 has altered the way Americans live today. Since 1995, the media industry has had to consider international opportunities as well as international threats. For example, international expansion has caused the United States to do things such as invest in foreign programming networks, create centralized management policies so that if and when the media is expanded overseas, they will be prepared to deal with the challenges of vertically integrated competitors that operate in a more centralized manner. In regards to technology, the paths to access and distribution have opened immensely giving Americans more and more ways to obtain information. According to the Pew Research Center, "Nearly seven-in-ten Americans (68%) now use a computer at least on an occasional basis, up from 61 percent in 1998 and 58 percent in 1996. Almost as many have a computer in their home-59 percent, up from 43 percent in 1998 and 36 percent in 1995" (Pew Research Center, 2006). Traditional news outlets, such as the television, are no longer the main source of receiving information. In our new technologically advanced world, most of society prefers to receive information through their cell phones or blackberries. "Only 55 percent of Americans now report having watched the news or a news program on television 'yesterday,'" whereas in 1994, 74 percent of Americans used television as their news outlet (The Pew Research Center, 2006). Television's supremacy is ending. TV ratings are going down and the internet's usage is going up. The internet has become one of the largest technology breakthroughs in history making business very hard for networks. For example, the majority of businesses prefer their consumers and clients to visit their websites in order to obtain information about their company. The non-stop growing environment of technology has, in turn, changed every aspect of a human's life.
Consider the social and economic impacts of communication inside the lives of Americans in 2006 compared to those in 1995. In order to keep up with the trends of today's society, people are purchasing new media conceptions every day causing "built in obsolescence." This is when the consumer is initially persuaded into buying a product; however, the corporation quickly manufactures something new and improved making the first product obsolescent (for example: ipod, then the ipod mini, then the nano). Convenience has also moved its way up to the top of the priority list of most Americans. As a result, our society is becoming more and more alienated and unsociable. We now no longer have to communicate with our peers and/or colleagues face-to-face anymore. It seems our society would rather communicate through emails and the internet than even picking up the telephone. Nonetheless, this increasing technology may have a tendency to harm these companies. For instance, people no longer want to take the time to go to the store and buy DVD's or rent movies because it is inconvenient for them.