A couple times a year, I take a statistical look at mainstream entertainment and media in decline. All figures are year-on-year comparisons unless otherwise noted. (The last version of this, from November, is here).
- TV: network TV had its lowest ratings week ever in July.
- Music: weekly album sales set a 10-year low in July. For the year, CD album sales are down 4.2%; although digital single downloads (still less than 10% of the business) are up 77% and are nearly making up the difference in revenue terms.
- Radio: the music radio listening audience is down 8.5% this year alone, continuing a multi-decade decline.
- DVDs: shipments are down 4% so far this year, more than 30 million units behind the same period last year.
- Newspapers: circulation, which peaked in 1987, is declining faster than ever and is down another 2.6% so far this year.
- Magazines: ad revenues are up 3.7% although the total number of ad pages is flat (they're charging more per page). Newsstand sales are at an all-time low, while total circulation was down 0.3% last year.
- Books: up slightly so far this year (but still lagging behind overall retail growth).
- Box Office: is up by 5.8% so far this year (but still down 4.2% from 2004).
- Videogames: The long slump caused by the next-gen hardware transition (Xbox-to-Xbox 360 and PS2-to-forthcoming-PS3) seems to have finally ended. June sales were up 25%.
- Internet advertising: is on pace to grow by 21% this year. Google's revenues grew by 77% in the most recent quarter.