Alternative vs. Mainstream Media

The boom of internet and social media has changed the way of communication between businesses and people. The evolution of this new type of communication has resulted in the development of additional media outlets. Some of these outlets are related to mainstream media channels and there are many others that are related to alternative media channels. The situation has made things little tricky for businesses as some customers can be easily reached through mainstream media and for some it is more suitable to use alternative media.

The Alternative Media

Most of the outlets that fall under the category of Alternative media are much smaller especially if compared with their counterparts. Another important thing about alternative media outlets is that these outlets are separated or polarized through liberal and conservative perspectives. The alternative media which is also referred to as independent media is not linked with television. The alternative media is mostly found online in newspapers and radio etc. A common trend is that most of these alternative media outlets do not have much of funding rather they have much lesser budgets as compared to mainstream media.

The Mainstream Media

As opposed to alternative media outlets, the mainstream media is mostly found on television, newspapers and many other publications. Most of the famous channels of the world like BBC, CNN and Fox News fall under the category of mainstream media. Some famous websites like USA today and New York times are also very much part and parcel of mainstream media. Finding mainstream media is not that difficult and large audiences can be reached and catered through it.

The Target Audience

People, who support mainstream media, put this argument that sources of mainstream media are much easier to search as compared to alternative media. It is somewhat true that audiences related to alternative media find it difficult to find alternative media outlets. Generally the supporters of alternative media do not trust the mainstream media due to obvious reasons. There is a third category as well and this category prefers both alternative as well as mainstream media and use both for their benefit.

Business inferences

The funds for both mainstream as well as alternative media are created through advertisements.  The companies who want to promote their products and services usually pay for the commercials and airtime just to reach the audience of the particular media outlet. In terms of finances, it is a fact that advertising through mainstream media is more expensive as compared to alternative media. The reason is that audience in mainstream media is much more as compared to alternative media however this trend is very much changing now.


Sometimes the product or service offered by the company also determines which particular media is best suitable. For example most of the industrial products are not advertised on Television as their audience is specific. Companies dealing in industrial products and raw material often use alternative media outlets for advertising as their target audience is very much specific in nature.

The importance of internet marketing or new media marketing cannot be ignored in the present circumstances. Well-known analyst like Gartner has revealed that many consumers utilize the mobile internet and social media to study about the products and services before making any purchase.

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