The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 May 2005

Oh, those media dollars

Wired is saying we spend an average of $240 a month on media, including both content and delivery. CT at Population Statistic, more wired than Wired, spends half again as much.

Which, of course, led me to break out the calculator:

  • Basic cable and broadband: $80
  • Landline: $53
  • Back-up dial-up service: $22
  • Wireless: $23
  • AOL (for my chat fix): $15
  • Newspapers: $7
  • Online subscriptions: $6
  • Website maintenance: $27
  • Traditional magazine subscriptions: $62

(The last figure does not include Stuff, which has started appearing in my mailbox despite the fact that I don't remember ever ordering it.)

Which brings me to $295, a tad ahead of your median Wired reader, but somewhat behind CT. I do, however, agree with his conclusion:

It's damned expensive to be fully plugged-in today. But on the plus side, you’re in on practically all the jokes.

Posted at 7:42 AM to Almost Yogurt


Broadband and a dialup backup? Sheesh, talk about overkill. Do you wear suspenders with a belt too? ;)

By the way, the media bill I came up with isn't my personal bill. I was figuring what the expense was for the average American household -- which is definitely not me (I just recently downsized quite a bit, to where my direct bill for such fare is under $100).

The thrust of my original post was the stark difference between such household spending today and thirty years ago. I figured the total media bill in 1975 was around $23 -- which highlights just how much more wired (and unwired) we are today, and how we're willing to pay for it.

I guess this means we're that much funnier than we were in the '70s, too...

Posted by: CT at 7:55 AM on 20 May 2005

I get to be in on most jokes by reading the people who are paying all that money to be in on all the jokes.

Which is not to say we don't pay our own freight -- but the most efficient use of the "plugged-in" money we're spending is the cable Internet (for which the cable TV is required without otherwise adding value).

The fact I refuse to put money in the pocket of a media corporation that signs Tom Teepen's (or Cynthia Tucker's or Jay Bookman's) paycheck, also affects the bottom line; our local-local daily is much cheaper than the AJC.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:39 AM on 20 May 2005

$23! Even some cheepo phone plans (landline, not cellphone) are more expensive than that. I wonder if the prices would be comparable if we account for inflation.

Even though I have to pay for phone, internet, website, etc, I don't have to pay as much as the average. I have the library. :)

Posted by: sya at 9:40 AM on 20 May 2005

yikes, you spend lots of money!! I've rarely, if ever actually subscribed to a print publication. I've had a few "gifted" to me, one to "adbusters" and another to a fine magazine called "The Sun".

Posted by: bruce at 10:23 PM on 21 May 2005

I do indeed spend lots of money, though I do shop for bargain subscription rates to support this absurd magazine habit.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:28 PM on 21 May 2005