So much for the Internet being a fad. That’s what many skeptics thought of it during the mid-nineties. Since then, there have been tremendous changes in many business models and there are even more to come. Here are x industries the Internet has sent the way of the dinosaur.
1. Travel Agencies
Photo by dotpolka
As soon as sites like Priceline were launched, travel agencies were left without a use. It used to be a lot of work to get a deal on a flight and ensure you had a rental and hotel when you arrived at your destination. Now it can all be done within a matter of minutes.
2. Software Stores
Photo by christianrasmussen
There once was a time when stores like Egghead Software dotted the landscape. If you wanted a copy of Microsoft Office, the latest video game, or a copy of Netscape, the local software store was the place to get it. Since download speeds have jumped to more than what a 56K modem provides, you can now download the software directly. No need to fiddle with disks anymore. Sure you can still buy software from stores like Best Buy or Wal-Mart, but you can’t just chill at a store that just specializes in software anymore.
3. Video Rental Stores
Photo by AlishaV
My local video store used to be open until 3am, and it would be packed with customers until closing time. Hollywood Video has now gone under, and Blockbuster is barely staying afloat. People now rent videos via on-demand services from their cable company or use Netflix, iTunes or Amazon without the worry of late fees.
4. Music Stores
Photo by Banalities
Where else could you sample music and get the latest Weezer album but the local Tower Records? Napster, that’s where! Once the file-sharing app hit the net, music stores were instantly obsolete. The popularity of iTunes and the iPod pushed the music store’s demise even further into the grave. Tower Records is long gone, and the music section in your local big-box store is getting smaller and smaller each day.
5. Music Recording Industry
Photo by miggslives
Since the recording industry still wants to make tons of money as unneeded middle-men, they have failed to adjust to the digital age. Artists are starting their own labels now more than ever and dealing directly with outlets by themselves in order to sell their music. Why does anybody need a recording label when they can record and produce an album and find themselves on Facebook, MySpace and iTunes all by themselves?
6. Book Publishers
Photo by Nufkin
Just like the recording industry, these guys are also unnecessary middle-men. Writers are finding they can write a book, then simply sell ebooks directly to customers via a website, or use a self-publishing service like Lulu. Publishers continue to complain that they make no money on ebooks and wish to sell consumers trees for an eternity instead of adjusting to the digital-age.
Photo by Robert Scoble
Let’s see. Should I flip through obnoxiously large pages of paper and see if anything piques my interest or should I go on the web for my news? Newspaper publishers have seen a dramatic drop in sales. Even worse, they haven’t adjusted their businesses to the way things are now. There’s no need for large, over-employed publisher houses anymore. Writers can work from home and publish online. One day, they’ll get it, but for now, people get their news via Twitter feed, Facebook, Google, Yahoo and AOL.