”Wemedia“ is a new word entered into the “new world” dictionary in 2016. It refers to new media where individuals can write articles, post videos and sound recordings, and go “live” to share about what they like of certain products and services, life stories, knowledge and anything they fancy. This is made possible with ubiquitous technology and mobile computing. This new trend is set to disrupt current media establishments, for example, public relations agencies, advertising agencies, copywriters, newspapers, radios, magazines, signboards, and TV stations, as anybody and everybody can publish their views and endorse goods and services directly to consumers via “wemedia”.
This new business trend has already landed in China with “wemedia” personalities referred to as Wang Hong (网红). Some Wang Hongs are reportedly earning more than $1 million per year, with online gaming personalities being especially popular. They tend to create original content and treat their business seriously with long working hours studying and researching products, services or games.
In the West, they are called the celebrity YouTubers, some of whom have millions of subscribers. Some of them have similarly earned millions talking to fans while playing games and uploading their videos. These celebrity YouTubers and Wang Hongs own billions or millions of fans and garner thousands of likes and views daily. The bigger their fan base, the more influence they have over their specific sphere.
This disruptive technology will cause great upheavals to the existing spectrum of the marketing and promotion channels. The reason that consumers like to watch their videos or “live” channels is because they are bored according to an interview conducted by a TV programme documenting this trend. The 90’s is treating social media like how the 70’s and 80’s treated TV and newspapers. Hence, older business models have to re-examine and re-think how they should engage the media to promote their business. Also, for marketing businesses and leaders, public relations and media strategies should be re-looked and re-engineered to leverage this new trend.
1. BBC published on 1 August 2016 “Wang Hong: China’s online stars making real cash” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-36802769