Communication and Media Studies’s Updates

TV vs. the Internet: Who Will Win?

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / cloudzilla | Article Link | by Jacob Weisberg

Between 1999 and 2009, annual revenues in the music industry declined from $14.6 billion to $6.3 billion, according to the market analysis firm Forrester Research. The music business was first attacked from below by illegal file sharing on Napster and subsequently from above by Apple’s iTunes, which unbundled fourteen-dollar CDs into ninety-nine-cent songs. Even as user habits have shifted again, away from owning digital audio files such as MP3s and toward renting music from streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, recording industry revenues have remained flat, below the level where they were in the 1970s.

Newspapers followed a similar pattern, sustaining a much greater destruction of value in a shorter period of time. From 2006 to 2012, revenues fell from $49.3 billion to $22.3 billion, according to trade association figures. The challengers from below included Craigslist, which turned the multibillion-dollar print classified business into a multimillion-dollar online business. Google diverted other advertising dollars while online news sapped print circulation.