Trend: Steeper Decline in TV, Hollywood — and Comic Books

Trend: Steeper Decline in TV, Hollywood — and Comic Books

We’ve already famous the numerous decline in circulation and collapse of belief in main newspapers (on-line or in print). But 2022 reported steep declines in different media as effectively.

From the leisure business’s Variety magazine, we study that whereas there have been some winners in TV — ESPN, crime reveals, and digi-nets — most TV of every type continued to see losses, lots of them double-digit losses. As commentator Don Surber famous, “The drop in viewers got here regardless of an Olympics, a preferred battle and a federal election.”

The drop in viewers is mirrored in an total drop in income, projected to proceed. A spotlight from Samba TV’s State of Viewership report:

Gen Z and millennials are driving the shift away from linear TV. Millennials beneath age 35 watched almost 25% much less linear TV per week than households over age 35. Some decline in linear viewership may be attributed to totally different habits amongst age teams, with older generations remaining tied to linear and youthful viewers switching to OTT providers.
George Winslow, “Linear TV Viewing Declines in Q2 2022” at TV Tech (August 18, 2022)

Here’s the decline in 5 charts. Streaming is overtaking cable, in fact, however even streaming doesn’t look like The Answer, financially.

Here’s a thought: So a lot information and leisure out there may be merely free for the worth of an web connection. A viewer should wish to view a selected merchandise to contemplate paying for it. Thus TV will most likely lose cultural affect, relative to previous many years. For instance, CNN misplaced 33% of its viewers regardless of 2022 being an election yr. The viewers could not have modified political preferences a lot as they have been simply extra eclectic in the place they discovered information.

In an analogous shift, in 2022, Hollywood misplaced $500 billion in worth, in accordance with the Financial Times. Hollywood Reporter provides:

Across each main studio, financial emergency brakes have been pulled, with hiring freezes, enhanced scrutiny on journey and leisure bills, and, sure, layoffs. In the legacy media world, the place studios have been betting on streaming to make up for declining cable revenues, it additionally has supplied a intestine test. Profits are nonetheless years off for a lot of, and the financial headwinds are accelerating cost-cutting measures which will have already been in movement as executives, and Wall Street, get extra pragmatic about streaming.
Caitlin Huston, Alex Weprin, “When the Numbers Don’t Add Up: Recession Fears Dent Hollywood’s Streaming Ambitions” at Hollywood Reporter (December 7, 2022)

Again, if this development persists, it is going to certainly be mirrored in Hollywood’s lack of affect. Poverty shouldn’t be glamorous however glamor is dear.

Some ask whether or not new Woke politics and themes in leisure are driving the decline. It’s a posh query. Wokeness most likely is driving a decline in comedian guide gross sales (although such information are not often admitted). For instance, out of the blue morphing an iconic sort of character into an unfamiliar id is like changing the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with goat’s milk yogurt. Whatever diners may in any other case consider the yogurt, they have been trying ahead to their conventional pumpkin pie…

And in the case of comedian books, some say there has even been strain on store homeowners from publishers to just accept Woke ware, although the store homeowners knew that the followers weren’t :

If a comic book guide retailer doesn’t order sufficient comics of a sure comedian guide that’s extra numerous or has LGBTQ characters, then then the proprietor is known as names and will get insults. However, regardless of of the truth that an LGBTQ comedian guide doesn’t promote a lot the shop proprietor continues to be strain into shopping for these.

The comedian shops are those that undergo due to the politics. You have feminist comedian books that don’t promote even 10,000 copies however the retailer proprietor is strain into ordering these.
Andy Matrix, “Has The Comic Book Industry Collapse? Here Is The Proof” at Andy Art TV (May 12, 2021)

Hardly a profitable formulation.

On the opposite hand, the adoption of Woke politics and themes could also be as a lot an impact as a trigger. Organizations which are already dropping capital and affect could experiment with dangerous themes relatively than merely handle a decline. We can say for certain that, even when Wokeness didn’t trigger the decline, it actually hasn’t stemmed it.

Will information and leisure media again away from Woke themes in consequence? It relies on what the media thought leaders need. If they will survive on area of interest Woke markets, buoyed by authorities arts bailouts, they might survive. To return to serving a broader mainstream public, they would want to start out by discovering that public once more. Which gained’t be simple in these instances.

You may additionally want to learn: In Big Tech World: the journalist as censor, hit man, and snitch. Glenn Greenwald appears to be like at a disturbing development in media towards misrepresentation in addition to censorship.

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