November 11, 2005

Not good for the MSM, etc.

The stats aren't good:

Down:

Box Office: down by 7% this year (tickets per capita have fallen every year since 2001).

Newspapers: circulation, which peaked in 1987, is declining faster than ever and is down another 2.6% so far this year.

Music: Sales are down another 5.7% this year; although digital downloads (still just 6% of the business) are climbing nicely.

Radio: down 4% this year alone, continuing a multi-decade decline.

Books: down by 7% in 2004.

There's much more, including what's up.

Posted by Hube at November 11, 2005 08:00 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

MSM's loss was predictable. How hard would it have ben for them to add some balance to their regular opinion columnists? The Inquirer has suffered due to Eisner (just took buyout), Moore, Rubin, and Scatullo, etc.

Look at the LA Times - they have fixed their problem so Robert Scheer got canned and he is whining that they prefer bland- as if his crap is anything but same old same old.

Of course, what would the blogosphere do without the MSM follies.

Good post Hube!

Posted by: AJ Lynch at November 11, 2005 02:53 PM

Hmm. The implication here is that this is somehow indicative of political leanings, and it's pretty clear that politics represents a miniscule percentage of what brings about changes in most of the areas the link cites.

For instance, box office #'s are down because movies currently suck. Ya don't need scientific studies for this.

This is the only real area where politics can be an actual factor, but as you well know, the slow death of newspapers has taken place for other well-documented and very obvious reasons.

Music? Again, hardly "political," if you leave out the Toby Keiths, Eminems, etc.

Radio is conservative, obviously.

Books? I really hope you don't think of books as liberal. Don't play into that stereotype. :)

I guess I just found that link to be a big "huh"? -- given the myriad nonpolitical factors involved in the ups and downs of various forms of entertainment.

Posted by: dan at November 11, 2005 05:02 PM

Also, I don't have time to really look into it, but some of those numbers are also really meaningless. For instance, I know that in 2004, overall music sales were up significantly over 2003(including digital tracks). Who knows if that link's #'s are right. And if they are, it likely means nothing -- as cusic sales are often fickle. Country music sales, for instance, have gone up, down, up, down, etc for the last 5 or 6 years.

Posted by: dan at November 11, 2005 05:06 PM

I do think that perceived bias plays a roll in some instances. The LA Times seems a clear example. But otherwise with the internet, new technologies, and the myriad ways that you young-uns find to break copy protection on movies it would be difficult indeed to know just what causes the declines. I'd say that we have no way of knowing. I know that researchers have ways of discernment that I may not understand, but...
I certainly don't think that *general* newspaper circulation is down due to perceived bias. It's the internet. It's the bloggers.
I still glance at The Post and Times (DC) but I read more than most. Otherwise I depend on bloggers to point me to just about anything less than a headline that may interest me.

Posted by: mikem at November 11, 2005 08:05 PM

It's also not just the internet and bloggers. Newspaper circulation started to decline in the late 80's/early 90's for many reasons, including changing lifestyles and the rise of cable news. Interesting article:

http://www.stateofthenewsmedia.org/narrative_newspapers_audience.asp?cat=3&media=2

Posted by: dan at November 12, 2005 12:38 PM

Dan:
Re bias and movies,,etc. Yes it exists and it has cost those industries money. For instance, did you see the pub about the new Sundance movie abiut the two gay cowboys in Wyoming? Think that will do great at the box office! Of course not, people don't want to pay for that crap- do you?

Lastly, why doesn't Hollywood do more true life heroic stories like Lech Walesa's - a made to order absolutely great story. Because it does not fit their worldview even when that costs them money.

Posted by: AJ Lynch at November 12, 2005 05:08 PM

In my experience, if something will make people enough money in media, they do it. Heck, Rupert Murdoch cozied up to Red China because there was a windfall in it for him.

I'm not saying there aren't certain movies pushed because of liberal directors, producers, etc. What I am saying is that, on the whole, the data in the link Hube cited is silly because such examples represent an incredibly miniscule percentage of what's going on. If the gay cowboy movie is actually good, people will see it. If it sucks -- and is blatant propaganda -- they will not! Tons of movies blasted by red staters for silly reasons have actually done quite well at the box office. Most recently, you might remember last year's Best Picture, which was the subject of constant bashing on right-wing radio and the internet. It was, in fact, very good, and grossed over $100M.

Come to think of it, how come all those action movies portraying anyone who's not American as being evil and stupid are seen as "conservative" movies, or propaganda? Oh yeah..because they're movies, and who really cares? You think there aren't gays in Wyoming? Gay people of all stripes? If the red states get all up in arms about this -- even if liberals wrote it -- it just reflects poorly on them. If it's a horrible movie clearly written to upset red staters, then bash away. But that's what certain people will say no matter what, unfortunately.

Posted by: dan at November 13, 2005 01:13 PM

Box office returns have gone down due to the mega-success of home entertainment system and the ridiculous amount of DVDs sold. People are simply waiting three or four months for movies to be released on DVD so they can enjoy them at home.

Posted by: Mike M. at November 13, 2005 01:35 PM

"Most recently, you might remember last year's Best Picture, which was the subject of constant bashing on right-wing radio and the internet."

So disability advocates, who bitterly objected to the 'better dead than disabled' reasoning that they see defended in the movie, are now "right wing radio and the internet"?
C'mon, Dan.

You are smart enough to give some grudging credit to the idea that Hollywood is very liberal, but you seem, for reasons I don't understand, to object to the idea that a film may fail by alienating a large segment of the population. It certainly works the other way. Look at Michael Moore's F9/11, a cultural phenomenon and box office success. Was that because it was a good movie, or because it appealed to left wingers and anti-Americans?

Posted by: mikem at November 13, 2005 01:50 PM

you seem, for reasons I don't understand, to object to the idea that a film may fail by alienating a large segment of the population.

Well, depends how large. The fact is, the overall pie is frickin' huge. So no, you really have to alienate a lot of people for something to "fail." And quite frankly, when it comes to politics, we're too split for something to fail for that reason alone. Now, more often, the thing that is supposedly "alienating" people politically is also bad. Like that movie "Alexander" or whatever it was called.

NASCAR alienates a gigantic part of the population, yet succeeds on the strength of the gigantic other half. And more power to 'em. You really proved my point by citing F-9/11, which you presumably believe alienated a large segment of the population -- yet did quite well.

My original point is that political activism, or the rejection thereof, is such a small part of the overall picture that it's barely worth noting in a serious discussion about this stuff.

Posted by: dan at November 13, 2005 06:58 PM

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