Competitors or Complements?

New and old media thrive side by side

John S. Suhler

New competition has been a driving force in the media industry for years. Over the last two decades, the overriding trend has been the emergence of new media that have expanded, matured, and prospered while traditional media have continued to thrive. As new media become established without displacing incumbent media, the overall marketplace expands. For this reason, the media industry has been among the fastest-growing in the US economy over the last 20 years.

One of the principal outgrowths of new competition has been audience fragmentation. A look at the time spent with the major advertising media, detailed in Table 1, illustrates the large changes that have occurred in just the last few years.

TABLE 1: HOURS PER PERSON PER YEAR SPENT WITH MAJOR ADVERTISING MEDIA

Medium

1992

1996

Network-affiliated stations 914 803
Independent stations 159 177
Basic cable programs 359 498
Radio 1,150 1,091
Daily newspapers 172 161
Consumer magazines 85 83
Online 2 16
     
Total 2,841 2,829