Consider this data within the context of decreasing CD sales. Yet another reason sales are down: lack of time. There are simply many more attractions and forms of entertainment for the consumer dollar:
“The scramble for consumer attention is having ripple effects for other industries as well, particularly technology and advertising. So much is changing so quickly that NBC’s head of research, Alan Wurtzel, predicts the period of 2003-2005 will in the future be seen as a “watershed change … the beginning of a very different era.”
Media options aren’t just competing with each other. Consider this: Since 1973, the median number of hours that people say they work has jumped from 41 a week to 49, according to Harris Interactive, which does an annual survey of adults about their work and leisure time. That has mostly come out of people’s leisure time, which has dropped from 26 to 19 hours a week over the same period, Harris reported.”
Note who is failing to respond here:
“Media companies are scrambling to adapt to the new realities. While viewing of traditional broadcast TV is down dramatically in recent years, people are spending a lot more time watching cable and satellite channels, lifting overall household viewing over the past decade. Not surprisingly, the companies that own broadcast networks are buying up major cable channels. General Electric’s NBC now owns Bravo and has agreed to buy USA and Sci-Fi. Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, also owns ESPN and ABC Family channel. Viacom Inc. owns MTV and Nickelodeon along with CBS.
As videogames siphon off young male viewers, some media companies may expand into that industry, possibly by buying existing videogame makers such as Electronic Arts, maker of such popular games as The Sims and Madden Football. Time Warner’s Warner Bros. recently announced formation of an interactive gaming division. Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone has accumulated a significant personal stake in Midway Games Inc., a videogame maker.
Surprise! The music industry is nowhere to be found amongst the media groups seeking diversification into other venues.
And as we’ve previously discussed in a different context, one simply cannot oversimplify a complex mulitvariate system to one simple cause and effect equation.
Lastly, consider two other consumer technologies: DVR and Satellite Radio. These both are part of a trend where harried entertainment consumers are taking more control over the viewing/listening habits:
Technologies that help consumers manage and maximize their own time are gaining popularity, including cable-TV “on-demand” services that let viewers order movies or TV shows on their own schedule rather than a network’s. The spread of low-cost DVD players is having a similar effect, as is TiVo and other “personal video recorders,” which also let viewers skip through commercials. Such devices are now in roughly just 2% of U.S. households but growing fast, and increasingly available as part of cable-TV boxes.
This shift from passive to active consumption works against tightly scripted radio playlists. Yet another tastemaker — radio — is in the process of being marginalized.
Buddy, Can You Spare Some Time?
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, January 26, 2004
Today’s New York Times has an OpEd titled “The Medals Don’t Matter.” It’s by Jake Tapper, who is a well regarded ABC News Correspondent (formerly of Salon). The article reaches the conclusion that voters do not care about the military service of their Presidential candidates.
To reach this feat of logical deduction, Jake focused primarily on the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Presidential elections (and the 2000 GOP primary), and the Military Service of each candidate.
There are many, many analytical errors in his approach, sample size being the most obvious. But let’s focus instead on a very common logic error which seems to catch most people unaware:
Controlling for a single variable instead of many when analyzing complex systems.
I would be oversimplifying the situation were I to call this error, well, a mere oversimplification. But that’s what lay at the heart of this fallacy: Taking an extremely complex and dynamic issue — who won the Presidency and why — and then boiling it down to a single, and in this small sample, mostly minor issue. The author might as well have based it upon how many letters were in the men’s first and last names.
Presidential victories are the result of a far more nuanced and multi-faceted set of factors. This issue deserves to be examined in far greater depth . . .