Multimedia is the use of computers to present text, graphics, video, animation, and audio in an integrated format. It is contrasted with traditional mass media, which typically consists of separate print, video, or audio materials like newspapers, television, or radio. Multimedia is most common on the internet and typically invites interaction from users, like explainer videos, whereas mass media is distributed via analog channels and includes very little opportunity for user interaction.
Multimedia is most commonly used in education and business. In education, teachers use multimedia elements to deliver lessons effectively for various learning styles. Any given student population may consist of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners, so a teacher’s curriculum should include multimedia elements that address each of these styles.
From a business perspective, multimedia is a necessity for engaging customers online. The more ways a customer can understand how a product works, the more likely they are to make a purchase. For example, a product listing on a business’s website may include photos, a text description, and a video of the item in action to highlight the product’s benefits.
There are five core elements that can be combined to create multimedia content:
This article was updated by Kaiti Norton.