Tipping point… or melting point?

Tipping point… or melting point?

: Just got the Wilson Quarterly with its cover story on “The Collapse of Big Media.” Getaloada the intro:

Collapse is not too strong a word to describe what has happened to America’s major news media. Stripped of their old economic and technological advantages, befuddled by the changing character of their audiences, and beset by new competitors, they are reeling from the blows recent scandals have dealt to their credibility and presige. Their old authority is one, and with it, perhaps their ability to define for Americans a shared realm of information, ideas and debate.”

Youch. That pretty much summarizes the melting point.

: Stats from WQ compliled from many sources:

* Daily newspaper circ from 1990 to 2003: 62.3 to 55.2 million

* Number of daily U.S. papers from 1990 to 2003: 1,611 to 1,456

* By age group, percentage of Americans who read a paper yesterday: 18-29 – 23, 30-49 – 39, 50-64 – 52, 60+ – 60

* Time spent by 8-19 year olds on all media: 6 hours, 21 minutes; time spent on print media: 43 minutes

* Combined viewership of network evening news: 1980 – 52 million, 2004 – 28.8 million

* Median age of network news viewer: 60

* Percentage of people who believe all or most of what’s on: network news – 24, CNN – 32, FoxNews – 25, C-Span – 27, PBS NewsHour – 23

: See also Chris Anderson’s many stats on the media meltdown here.

* Music: sales last year were down 21% from their peak in 1999

* Television: network TV’s audience share has fallen by a third since 1985

* Radio: listenership is at a 27-year low

* Newspapers: circulation peaked in 1987, and the decline is accelerating

* Magazines: total circulation peaked in 2000 and is now back to 1994 levels (but a few premier titles are bucking the trend!)

* Books: sales growth is lagging the economy as whole

: See tipping-point posts here, here, and here. And much media here.

: And from PaidContent, see links to the Deloitte report on the not-so-bright future of network TV and Mary Meeker’s powerpoint on the ad challenges. See this amazing chart from Meeker’s presentation. Compare the ad dollars spent per household in each medium and guess where this is going:


And see this on classifieds in papers vs. eBay (and this doesn’t include CraigsList!):