Video killed the radio star

December 28, 2010

We are perhaps listening to the radio via the Internet, satellite, and even through our wireless telephones, but we are still listening.

This song, which appeared in 1979, recalls the golden days of the radio and was thought to be a sign of things to come where video would replace radio. Nearly 30 years later, last time I listened, the radio was still alive and well. We are perhaps listening to the radio via the Internet, satellite, and even through our wireless telephones, but we are still listening.

With the appearance of the Internet, many industries likely have the same fears as the radio did 30 years ago. Sadly, unlike the radio, many industries may not survive the age of wireless access without some major adaptation.

Lost industries
Not for a lack of willingness, but simply due to the nature of the business, certain industries will probably disappear . Industries such as the local appliance repairman are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The Internet has resulted in a wider availability of items and lower prices. Many once repairable items are now disposable and are cheaper to replace than to fix.

With the accessibility of eBay, Mapquest, CraigsList, Google, iTunes and NetFlix things like pawn shops, map makers, encyclopaedia salesmen and record stores have become obsolete. Stories about getting lost on family vacations and having to unfold the map to figure out where we are versus where we want to go will be but a memory!

Sink or swim
Some industries will need to adapt their way of thinking, communicating and doing business in order to stay afloat. Take for example, the newspaper industry. With the advent of 24/7 accessibility to the latest in news, weather and sports, the old fears of the Internet destroying a newspaper’s subscription quotas has been replaced by the harsh reality that the majority of young people do not buy newspapers. Today, the newspaper advertisers are searching for ways to reach this wireless news generation.

Success story
Rethinking advertising sales awareness is not only true for the newspaper industry, but much of the printed news industry.

The story behind The Atlantic magazine demonstrates that no matter your business habits, if you really want to, you can successfully adjust and change. In order to survive the 21st century, this magazine, one of the oldest magazines in the United States, completely reinvented itself and stopped thinking of itself solely as a printed magazine.

By radically changing their corporate culture, going against their instincts and seeking digital advertising revenue, for the first time in a decade, this periodical is en route to making a profit of nearly $2 million this year. Because the magazine industryhas been extremely reluctant in accepting that digital advertising is the future, the fact that The Atlantic has more than $6 million in digital advertising (representing nearly 40% of the company’s advertising) is virtually unbelievable.

The ever presence of the Internet is causing changes in consumer behaviours. Companies who are willing to adapt to the constant shift in technologies and business models have a chance to survive. Those who choose to resist the impact, or simply ignore the new trends, will not live to tell the tale. But those that do will thrive.

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