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Some initial predictions years ago led to believe the middle-men adding little value:
- travel agencies
- second hand car adds in newpapers
- real estate brokers
- insurance brokers
- trade fairs
I wonder how many really had problems..
Examples in my own back-yard:
- the biggest second-hand car add newspaper is just as big as before.
- funda.nl, the Dutch real-estate broker site does tend to cut out on the real-estate broker on the buyers side.
- I have not seen any book shops close in Amsterdam
- Some trade-shows show smaller foot-prints of total area nowadays
Any examples around of real ruptures in the business structure due to the WWW?
Take a picture with your digital camera and save to c drive. If you want a print you can print it yourself if you have a decent printer or have it printed by an online provider. Most digital camera software has links to on-line printing services where you can upload your image and have the final prints mailed to your postal address.
This has to have a knock on effect to the high street photographers.
I would think that the entertainment industry could be the one that will be hit most, with more internet addicts never venturing out to pubs, restaurants and theatres etc. However, so far the Net seems to have lead to more travel overall, so that too could balance out.
In the long term, I think traditional advertising will be the biggest loser. Web marketing is just so much cheaper and more cost-effective than almost any traditional advertising. Strangely, it seem that 80 percent of the ads I hear on the radio in recent years are all dot-coms, so for now at least, the internet is giving back as much as it is taking, but as SEO and web promotions become more reliable and trusted... my prediction is that will change.
You'd think the value of TV ads would go down all other things being equal...because everyone knows when the TV is on, its really people surfing the net with the TV on in the background ;)
Years ago, I had about 50 linear feet in my office devoted to catalogs from Intel, Motorola, Zilog, Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, just to name a few. Now, they are all gone, except for a few "archival treasures" I've saved for various reasons. Almost all of the data catalogs I use today are on-line .pdf files. A few are available on CD-ROM, but very few in book form.
How about technical catalog publishing?
This is a good point actually. The same thing is happening in my (physiology) lab with chemical and equipment catalogues. Also I haven't seen a sales person in the lab in nearly a year. Our technician finds everything he needs online and negotiates by email.
I also think the recording industry will end up being fundamentally changed by the internet. So many of my friends have giant hard drives full of music (some pirated, some not) and buying CDs has become rare. I don't know how it will all work out exactly but consumers just aren't prepared to pay for music in the same way they once were.