5 Businesses That Technology Has Dramatically Changed

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by Staff Writer

Technology has come a long way over the last 20 years; we have seen the rise of the internet as well as the rise of cell phones and many other types of amazing electronics and gadgets, many of which exist because of the internet. The web has to be one of the best inventions we have ever seen, it makes so many things much easier and things just keep getting better. Because of all the new amazing technology some old business models have been dramatically changed forever, most of these businesses are still going and continue to thrive, but some are just barely hanging on. Here are 5 of the biggest business models that have been affected by modern day technology, and the ones who have embraced it are the ones that are still doing will and will continue to survive.
  1. Travel
    Travel has always been and always will be a huge industry even though it has seen a lot of changes due to the internet. In the past the only easy way to book a vacation or an extended business trip was through a travel agent, unless you chose to do it on your own which required a decent amount of time on the phone and other time to plan everything so it all worked out without a hitch. This has all changed now with so many different websites out there that can help you easily book a trip within a matter of minutes, and that includes booking EVERYTHING too – flight, hotel, car rentals and much more can all be done with a few clicks and a credit card. There has been a decrease in travel agencies, but there are still some out there and there are people that do still use them but it is not a popular career choice for the younger generations now because it can be a struggle since so many people choose to use the web to do it all themselves with little or no fees. Traveling has been made easier due to technology in more ways than that though, with technology like smart phones and tablets it is easy to check on your flights with a couple clicks, then you can make sure your flight is on time and you know about any delays right away so you can plan accordingly.
  2. Video Rentals
    Technology has changed the video rental business very dramatically, and many video stores are out of business, going out of business, or struggling to stay afloat. Streaming video has become extremely popular and many people are choosing to pay so they can stream new movies right from their homes, computers, tablets, and even smart phones. The DVD business is still going strong, but it is not video rental stores that are thriving, it is companies like Netflix that ship right to your door. Blockbuster has closed many of their physical locations but they are still going strong because they adopted a similar business model to Netflix and they ship right to you. Pirating of movies on the internet has also hurt video rentals and movie theaters since many movies hit the web shortly after they arrive in theaters and millions of people are illegally downloading them to watch for free at home.
  3. The Music Industry
    Over the last 20 years we have seen many changes in the music industry, first it was CD’s wiping out cassettes and over the last 10 years we have seen CD’s starting to die out because of MP3 players and digital music downloads. The music industry has been good about embracing the legal side of digital music and you can easily find anything you want in MP3 format so you can purchase right online and download full albums right to your computer and onto your MP3 player. Much like video stores we have been seeing record stores closing down their physical locations and many have gone out of business altogether, trying to find a record store nowadays is becoming increasingly more difficult and soon there will be none left except smaller niche stores that cater to people that still enjoy vinyl and other older formats. One of the bigger problems the music industry faces are the pirated copies of albums that millions of people take advantage of. 90% of the time full albums are available on piracy websites months before the albums are actually released, and torrent sites are among the most popular for this type of activity. It is illegal and they are trying to crack down on it but it happens so often and so many do it that it is extremely hard for them to wipe out completely. There are bands and labels that do embrace that though, and they focus on making money by touring and selling their merchandise while on tour. The band Radiohead is a perfect example, they have given their last couple of albums away for free but many people chose to donate money to them so they still made millions off of the albums.
  4. Newspapers
    The newspaper industry is one of the businesses that is hurting most from new technology since many people get all of their news right on the internet for free. Many of the larger newspaper companies have gone online and are still able to stay in business because they are able to get the news out for free but monetize their websites with advertisements. Quite a few of these companies have stopped printing papers altogether and have opted to just go online with them, most are free but a few of them do require paid subscriptions to read full news stories, whether or not that is a good idea for them is debatable though since there are so many free news sources. One of the negative side effects of the dying newspaper industry is the fact that many people who had a career in printing are trying to find new work in the printing industry, but the old fashioned way of printing has also changed because of easier and faster digital printing equipment.
  5. Book Stores
    Book stores are one of the business models seeing the most problems because of technology, especially over the last 5 years. E-readers are starting to replace old fashioned books, and it is not just the e-readers themselves, but also the app formats of them which allow people to buy and read books right from their smart phones and tablets. Recently we have been seeing bookstore going out of business around the world, the most recent that everyone heard about was the closing of Borders. There are some still doing alright because they have embraced technology and came out with their own e readers and apps which has enabled them to still profit from modern technology. Many of the book stores that are still in business are struggling, and sadly many will not be able to last much longer as more and more people start buying Kindles and other readers. The times are changing and many business models to need find new and innovative ways to embrace technology are they will soon disappear just like we are seeing with these 5 industries.

Image Credits: bitmask

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