For about a decade, people have been forecasting the demise of television and movies and DVDs and cable at the hands of the merciless web. And do those industries seem like they are suffering right now? Have you even for a second considered tossing your tv or cable subscription?
At the same time that all the random Chicken Littles are blathering their tired rhetoric, whole new industries have blossomed. DVRs and satellite cable that play well with internet technologies have evolved into this sector that is supposedly entering its death throes. Eight or so years ago, we hadn’t even heard of Tivo and DirecTV. And now these are household words. Some people can’t live without these technologies. Over the last 10 years, the internet hasn’t even been a slight threat in this area.
Along those lines, the RIAA (the record industry) has been crying about loss of revenue on CD sales. But I still see them managing to bring multi-million dollar lawsuits against people. So they can’t be THAT poor. Everybody I know still buys CDs. Yeah, the RIAA completely missed the boat on building their own version of iTunes. They are understandably bitter, however they have nobody to blame but themselves. They had ample warning that they were behind technology’s 8-ball with the Napster / P2P phenomena back in 1999. They felt suing people and companies was the way to go. Lawyers cost money and the RIAA has a ton of them. So just because RIAA fatcats can’t afford the latest Porsche does not make them poor. Maybe the problem is the greedy, overpaid chumps at the top of that organization.
Hey, I have an idea. Earnings are (justifiably) down in that market, so adjust your antiquated business model to account for that. Respond to consumer’s voracious fanaticism for iTunes. Or at least do something productive, but lawsuits only get you bad karma in the end. Either way, the industry itself is not dying, just evolving in new ways. And the lesson of all this is that unless you change with the times, you end up left behind.