the breathtaking fall of old media & the rise of digital

Print Newspaper Circulation, 1990-2009

The Rise of Digital Media

Update #1 (2/1/10): The New York Observer reports a little schadenfreude on New York’s Newsday‘s $4 million firewall to have subscribers pay for content. After three months, there were exactly 35 people who were willing to pay for online content. According to reports from reporters, the website is ‘an abomination’ and they are still sore about changes in the media landscape affecting their paper: “People are still mad about losing our national correspondents, our foreign bureaus and the prestige of working for a great newspaper. The last thing we had was a living wage, being one of the few papers where you’re paid well. And to have that last thing yanked from you? It’s made people so mad.”

And then there is Greg Kot’s new book, Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music. The Nation‘s J. Gabriel Boylan writes:

Unlike the introduction of the compact disc, which was developed by major labels and music retailers, as well as Phillips and Sony, the current tumult was unplanned and unforeseen. Digital technology has put far more power in the hands of ordinary consumers to wrest music from its gatekeepers. But crashing the gates has caused the music economy to dip down between cheap and free; people are storing more music on their hard drives than they’re likely to listen to in the next decade, yet major labels, music retailers and even jukebox manufacturers are spiraling toward obsolescence. Offbeat and invaluable aspects of the mass music experience are slipping away as well, from the cranky exclusivity of the niche record shop to the tastemaking role of college radio to the music press itself.

Update #2 (8/7/10): The New York Times has a nice piece on the work of copyright enforcers.

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