In its first issue of 2007, Advertising Age printed a fascinating chart, showing major media market share over time. Usually these analyses go back a decade or so, but the Ad Age chart compares 2005 spending to the same levels in 1935 - a 70 year time span. And what a story it tells.
Several things will get your attention...
Newspaper spending has catastrophically gone down, starting at around 44% in 1935, getting hit heavily by TV in the '50s, and now dwindling down to less than 18%. Magazines have also had a tough road.
But then there's radio. The interesting thing here is that radio in 2005 is at roughly that same 7% threshold as it was in 1935. It had a great bulge during WWII when it peaked at 14.5%, but then took a major bath in the '50s when television became the rage. In 1956, Ad Age notes that radio fell to 5.6%.
Yet, radio recovered. And as Ad Age points out, "The fall and rise of radio should offer hope to old media."
You can only imagine what radio execs were going through in the late '40s and early '50s when it started to become obvious that "new media" - in this case, television, was going to become the new star. Yet, radio persevered, reinvented itself, and lived to fight another day. Radio programmers during that era essentially threw out the old model, refocused the medium on music and local entertainment, and found a way to survive.
You never know.