Early predictions of total digital supremacy not holding water

digital media company

Ever since the internet moved from niche to mainstream adoption there have been many who predicted dominance of the digital in pretty much every sector.

It was thought that any business which succeeds through the increased efficiency of the world wide web would ultimately replace many traditional physical stores and services – yet time has often proved this concern false.

Of course, there are certainly those industries which have succumbed to the convenience of the digital world, but by and large, people still crave the physical. Which industries here best reflect this evolution, and which have succeeded against all early predictors?

Those Suffering Most

It would be remiss to claim that there are no businesses or industries which have not seen significant damage through the internet age. One of the most noticeable, which many of us feel fortunate to escape, is that of former cable television.

While these industries largely still exist, their refusal to evolve or adjust their pricing model leaves them suffering behind the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, which offer more choice and on-demand programming, and at a far lesser cost.

Followed by travel agencies, and the expensive and almost obsolete world of physical encyclopaedias compared to the mainstay of Wikipedia, the connecting factor for many of these industries would have been avoidable with forethought and flexibility.

However, decades of market dominance have often left them complacent and even arrogant.

The Victors and Those Still Swinging

Then we come to those who might have fallen down the path of failure but which have survived, or even come out of this digital new age with greater success than ever.

Victory here has come about through a fundamental understanding of our humanity, and the part which that will always play within our social and recreational desires.

Print media is perhaps the most obvious example of this, as the age of ebook readers like Kindle and internet media have made the delay, cost, and difficulty of obtaining print media less convenient than the alternative.

That said, time has proven that people prefer the more tactile pleasure of holding print media in their hands. This means a dedicated user base which should remain steady for generations yet for book publishers and even magazines and newspapers.

Internet cafés might seem like an odd example, given their direct inclusion of internet connectivity, but an interesting one. There were many early indicators that they would fail as at-home internet access moved from expensive to standard.

Again, time has proven this not to be the case, as the social aspect has allowed many of these to generate immense profit and hugely dedicated customer bases.

Likewise, the move towards internet casinos and bingo rooms has had a considerable effect on the more complacent of physical halls, yet there are those which still manage to thrive in today’s environment.

Rebranding efforts like those of Buzz Bingo have not only helped maintain and even build interest in what are more traditional establishments, they do so in ways which often incorporate modern technologies like tablets to increase usability and player engagement.

What Comes Next?

Understanding which businesses will thrive and which will fail in an increasingly digital world means looking at the great social and psychological context.

Businesses which evolve while keeping in mind inextricable humanity and consumer preference have proven time and again that the worst concerns are overstated. On the other hand, those which rely on legacy alone routinely suffer for their intransigence.

Success means finding the balance, and those that don’t will be cursed to an increasingly bleak future.