Media Metrics: The True State of the Modern Media Marketplace

99 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008

See all articles by Adam D. Thierer

Adam D. Thierer


Grant Eskelsen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 15, 2008


Many policymakers, regulators, and consumer groups bemoan the supposed lack of "localism," ownership concentration and an absence of quality programming as a rationale to further regulate in the media sector. But these sentiments do not represent an accurate portrayal of today's media marketplace.

Contrary to what some media critics suggest, we have more media choice, more media competition, and more media diversity than ever before. To the extent there was ever a "golden age" of media in America, we are living in it today.

What follows is a comprehensive look at a variety of media sectors such as audio, video and print with the intent of providing policymakers with a clear snapshot of the media sector. Over 70 charts and exhibits illustrate facts and figures on such diverse topics as advertising revenue, company market share, audience trends, and areas of growth in the sector. The report will be periodically updated to reflect the rapidly evolving media industry.

It is now up to our public policymakers to decide whether future debates about media policy in America will be governed by facts or fanaticism; by evidence or emotionalism. The hyperbolic rhetoric, shameless-fear-mongering, and unsubstantiated claims that have driven policy debates in recent years have no foundation in reality and should be rejected as the debate over media policy continues.

Keywords: FCC, Federal Communications Commission, media metrics, radio, consolidation, localism, scarcity, substitution, programming, Internet video, two-sided markets, TV Ratings, magazines, advertising, satellite, audio, classified, VOD, DBS, broadcasting, diversity, cable, circulation, fragmentation

JEL Classification: D4, D40, D41, D43, D42, D45, D73, D7, I18,K2, K23, L1, L11, L12, L13, L5, L51, L63, L82, L86, L96

Suggested Citation

Thierer, Adam D. and Eskelsen, Grant, Media Metrics: The True State of the Modern Media Marketplace (July 15, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Grant Eskelsen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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