Monday, August 22, 2005

Turning off, tuning out 

It really looks like people are turning off the mainstream media and entertainment. Newspaper circulation keeps falling. Summer box office is down by 12 per cent. And now the disappointing summer TV viewing figures:
With three weeks left to go, the broadcast nets are down a collective 10% among adults 18-49 vs. last summer -- and 15% in viewers 18-34. ABC is the only net up over last year, while Fox is flat; other four nets are down sharply.
The reasons are a legion. More and more consumers are not getting what they want. Too much unoriginal reality TV on the small screen. Crap movies on the big screen (in the words of John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, "Here's what we know about 2005: The movies are not as good. They're not terrible; they're just not as good."). As for the newspapers, perhaps too much bias and negativity.

But there's also increased competition from other forms of entertainment and information - DVDs are starting to affect cinemas, internet the printed word (blogs are still small fish in the cyber-ocean).

Personally, I haven't seen a movie in months, and I haven't been watching TV, either. Somehow, I'm surviving. I'm sure I'm not alone.

It will be fascinating to watch over the next few years the fierce battle between the old and the new for the huge media and entertainment market.


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