As usual, Dr. Mark Perry has the best graphs.
In Newspaper Ad Revenues Fall to 60-Yr. Low in 2011, he graphs advertising revenue for newspapers on an inflation adjusted basis from 1950 through 2010 (actual) with projection for 2011 through third quarter.
Wow. So that is what it looks like for an entire industry to fall off a cliff.
A spike and drop in the late ‘80s and before 2000. Other than that, pretty much a smooth, straight line up from 1950 to 2000.
After about 2002? Straight line down. If you like roller coasters, you should be so lucky as to find a ride like that.
Update: Here’s another perspective: It took 50 years to go from about $20 billion in annual newspaper ad revenue in 1950 (adjusted for inflation) to $63.5 billion in 2000, and then only 11 years to go from $63.5 billion back to about $20 billion in 2011.
Needless to say, you really oughta’ check out that graph.