A couple of trend pieces you trend-minded folks may find interesting.
Movie going is WAY DOWN. “Less Than 5% of U.S. Goes to Movies ‘Frequently’”, Graeme McMillan explains, a precipitous drop-off.
Maybe the most depressing thing about the survey in question is that it’s really easy to imagine why movies have fallen so dramatically in popularity (Two years ago, 28% of people rated moviegoing as a frequent source of entertainment, to give you an idea of just how sharp the decline is). After all, going to the movies is both expensive and, often, not that fun of an experience; bad crowds, bad seats and bad movies can all end up ruining the night out. When you start to think about all of the variables that can make moviegoing a less than optimal way to spend your time, suddenly alternative plans become much more attractive.
Graeme explores several ideas for why this should be—the preferred movie-watching experience for most folks we know is lying in bed with an iPad for instance—but the generally crappy and uninspiring output from Hollywood—THAT’S MY BOY? Really??—compared to more adventurous, narrowcasting TV has to be taken into account.
On the other hand, ebooks are more and more popular. For the first time, in Q1 2012 ebooks outsold hardcover books. Paperbacks were still the #1 category but only by a hair, and they are falling fast.
It wasn’t even close. The Association of American Publishers reported that in the first quarter of 2012, adult eBook sales were up to $282.3 million while adult hardcover sales came to only $229.6 million. In last year’s first quarter, hardcover sales accounted for $223 million in sales while eBooks logged $220.4 million.
So where are the eBook buyers coming from? The answer is trade and mass-market paperbacks. Trade paperback sales fell from $335-million to $299.8-million. That’s a drop of 10.5%. Mass market paperbacks sales had it even worse. They plummeted $124.8-million to $98.9-million in the same quarter last year. That’s a fall of 20.8%.
The lesson here for comics is pretty clear—digital is replacing the cheap reading copy but the fancy hardcover is holding its own, even though it’s the #3 format overall.
Once again, anecdotally, the tablet is driving this experience. Our own sainted mother was visiting recently and remarking on how easy it is to just buy a ton of books for the iPad and then marvel at the whopper of a bill.
We’re sure Torsten will be along any moment with more links to surveys and other statistics, but we’ll kick it over to the peanut gallery. Do you go to the movies? Or do you prefer to watch PARTY DOWN via Netflix on the iPad? Kindle or Nook? Sound off!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.