Physical media going the way of the dinosaur?

Description: A look at what the decline of Blockbuster Video means for consumers and their media habits. CNN’s Dan Simon reports.


Date: Jan 24, 2013
 Questions for discussion:

1. Who are the winners and who are the losers with the changing technology?

2.  Would you recommend busineses try to be early adopters of t new technology?  What are the risks of being early adopters?


19 thoughts on “Physical media going the way of the dinosaur?

  1. Sean

    As mentioned in the video; film studios, and more old fashioned people wanting hard copies of music and movies are the ones losing with the changing technology. Exclusive bookstore owners with various hard copies of books and movies, along with companies putting out electronic copies of the books and movies are the ones benefitting from the changing technology. I think it would be both good and bad for companies to be early adopters of new technology. Good because the market is going to continue to grow as more and more companies are moving into electronic mediums of display. Bad because it will be hard to keep up with market requirements and consumer expectations not to mention the expenses companies will face switching to electronic mediums of display.

  2. Cody Nielsen

    1) I think at first, both sides are winners and losers. Consumers are losers because they have been enjoying a way to watch movies or listen to music for years, and another idea comes in and seems to take away from it. Brick and mortar stores are loser for obvious reason. But consumers in the end are also winners because although we have to make some changes to how we enjoy entertainment, it is usually faster and more convenient to get that entertainment these days. We never used to be able to have thousands of hours of music on a single device, but for some it is hard to not buy cds and still put them in the cd player of their vehicle. One other loser to technology I feel is the artists in the music industry. Many of them give up sales to such software as iTunes because consumers only purchase a single for $0.99 instead of purchasing the album for $20. They also feel that an album is a stage in their career that their fans are now not coming to see, somewhat like a chapter in a book, the artist feels the fan is only reading a paragraph from a chapter. But again, someone’s loss is another’s opportunity and this is why iTunes is doing so well.
    2) Being early adopters of technology is always risky. So I could never fully recommend a firm trying to always be an early adopter. I feel they should always be part of the early majority though as by this point it looks as though the technology is making progress in the industry and will stick around for some time.

  3. Abraham Sarthak

    The intorduction of technology into the business world has lead to dramtic change in the society .According to me both the business world and the consumer has profited from it .The business can do a lot of work in a short spam of time and now the consumer can buy products online and dont need to step out of their homes for shopping .The corparated can identify where are they goign wrong in their business and what exactly they need to do to correct themselves .The introduction of devices like dvd and cd has also helped the consumer who can now have more collection in a small space .But the introduction of technology has also harmed the business world , now most of the people want to watch free movies and listen to free songs which are available easily on the internet and are just one click away .And in about a day or so a billion of pirated copies of movies can be made in no time at all .But with the use of devices and technology we can curb this thing and fight back .Also this has provided a huge choice for the consumer so i would say that the consumer has benefited a lot from the increase in technology .

  4. Antonia

    I think that the business owners and customers are both losers and winners with changing technology. Business owners need to be on top of changing technology and should always be willing to change with new technological advances or be expected to go out of business. If business owners don’t learn how to adapt they will go out of business. Business Owners need to keep on top of adopting new technology but need to be careful that they don’t adopt something that is too new that comes with risks of not being successful. Businesses are winners; if they are able to keep up with the trend they will be able to stay in business and with new technology brings new opportunities in the way they do business, hopefully to reduce costs. Customers are losers because of the constant costs of acquiring new technology. As soon as a new thing comes onto the market you need to get new technology to go with the new item. When DVD’s came out you needed to get rid of your VHS player and purchase a DVD player. Now DVDs are become obsolete and you can download your videos right to your TV, for most people that mean upgrading to a new TV. Customers are winners because they always get to experience something new and better than previous designs.

  5. Brandon Yadernuk

    The clear winners of technology race is the ones who come up with the new idea, package it, market it, then put it out to sellers. In the case of this example, Blockbuster might be going out of business (in Canada it already has) but many business do when new technology comes. In this case, both consumers and the people with the new technology win. I would recommend that a company try to stay on the bandwagon as long as possible and viable for them to do so. In a world where everything is changing so fast, everyone is trying so desperately to catch up. Consumers are trying to stay on top of a world where new exciting technology is invented almost every hour of everyday.
    Now are there apparent dangers associated with a business trying to be an early innovative adopter of new technology? Very much so, but those risks can be diminished if a company does a good study before implementing it. From a strict consumer view point I cant imagine something hurting a companies reputation more than that company trying to create a great new product, and it being a flop. There is danger out on peak of the technology mountain. But there are defiantly monetary benefits to being number one!

  6. Ollie Sherwood

    1. Who are the winners and who are the losers with the changing technology? The winner of this changing technology are not only the organizations that are able to keep up and innovate these new technologies like Netflix, but the consumers as well. As a society we all like the newest and best tech. The losers of the change are those who simply can’t keep up or can’t afford to change their businesses fast enough to gain from these changes.

    2. Would you recommend business try to be early adopters of t new technology? What are the risks of being early adopters?
    I would only recommend being early adopter of new technology if your product or service is totally different from what is already out there like Netflix was when it started off. The main risk of being an early adopter is that there maybe to bugs within your technology or what you are offer might be too far ahead of the curve that people simply wont see the value in it yet. As we saw with the dot com bubble there were hundredds of companies that may have been early adopter but failed at the same time. If they are thinking about being a part of this segment they should really look at both there products and the direction that the industry is in to see if they will be successful in the long and short run.

  7. charleschow

    In my opinion, customers are the short term winners because they get more and more way to satisfy their wants. However, the losers would probably be the store and the online seller because there is a negative in rivalry among competitor. They might try to sell the products at a low price intend to get the sales. It causes a loss-loss situation in the market. If i were the owner, i would improve my in-store device with high technology,such as higher capacity in selling. However, i would never transform my whole business be in the high technology that only go online selling. It is because the in-store still have its advantage that the salespersons have more human nature than a selling system. in my opinion, I do not recommend the business to be early adopter. A early adopter takes too much risk and a low rate of success. In this moment, i would recommend they save the money for contingencies. It is because the competition between in-store and online selling is a long term. We never know when we need the money for contingency or expansion. Therefore, i don’t recommend the business do the early adopter unless it is necessary.

  8. Navreet Dhillon

    In my opinion, I think it’s better that physical media is going extinct. Fewer books printed essentially means less deforestation! Less DVDs and others would mean less pollution and so on. If physical media is taking its last breath, it’s not a bad thing! Renting DVDs is a good idea than buying them and in 2013, it’s all about being a smart consumer. It is possible that possessing these forms of physical media might become a symbol of social status as a budget conscious customer would never spend money on DVDs when he or she knows that they can watch in online by paying less. In the future, we might see these forms next to dinosaur bones and typewriter in a museum! I think everybody wins in this situation directly or indirectly! The average middle class consumer wins by saving money directly. The whole planet earth and its inhabitants win indirectly as by not manufacturing these forms of physical media, the natural environment benefits. The current businesses involving these might lose their profit if they become early adopters of the technology. As long as these businesses have enough revenue to survive they should continue. They can invest some money in creating online services that are cheap and flexible which might increase their sales. All in all, I support this as its good for the environment and good for poor students like me.

  9. Dallon Martin

    The winners are those that are innovating to keep up with the ever changing world of technology, with that said it is very risky to become a winner. As well those that use these sources of technology are also winners because it is becoming easier more efficient for them to access. Everyone is always looking for the new easy, accessible way.
    The losers are those that choose not to innovate and just try and continue on with what they are currently using.
    Its a very risk business to get into because it is so expensive and you really have to know what you are doing. If it is successful one can make huge profits but often times people fail and lose big. it is a huge risk to get into, and once you are in you have to be careful and constantly watching for new innovations and things that will keep you on top.

  10. Kristian

    Winners of changing technologies are more or less, those ones who are first to market. By being first market, your brand will grow while others flounder. There is a negative connotations however, because a lot of changing technology involves being first to market, creating the best product, and differentiating yourself from the competition, these markets are generally dominated by large companies that have the capital for things such as R&D, new product development, and market analytics. While other companies may find early success, larger corporations often absorb them, or even worse run out of business. More importantly however, the winners are really the consumers. With a generation adapt to technological change and innovation, we embrace the concept of convenience, and in most cases a cheaper cost (ie. Netflix). While many feel the need to hold something physical or own something physical (ie. A book over a kindle), most of us have adapted to these lifestyle changes and have in turn created a more efficient and productive society.

    It is hard for start up and small companies to become first adapters, but for bigger corporations this because much easier of a task. As mentioned be investing in technological R&D and market research larger companies can have the leg up. Early adapters are prone to risk however: will the market accept our product? Is our product superior to the competition? When creating changing technologies, companies always need to weigh the pros and cons.

  11. Katie Guccione

    Although I do agree that the real winners are the ones who have adapted and turned to a more technological approach, such as netfilx, itunes and kindle books, it will never have the appeal of being able to have the original copy. The conveience is always there of being able to access something easly and efficently, but when it comes down to it an ereader will never have the appeal that an old book passed down from your granmother has. The hard copies of cds and books have more of a intrinsic value that is able to satisfy people and offer them a connection, as compared to an electronic copy. As for movies and television the easy conveince of being able to find everything on line has made it much easier, but it has taken away profits from the artists. When people go on to iTunes and purchase music, it is rare that they purchase the entire album, they might purchase two or three songs, cutting the artists profits making it difficult for musicians to continue to make thier music. Overall I think that in a conveince factor, having things more technologically accesible will help companies in the short run, but when it comes down to the long run it will hurt companies and individuals who have invested thier life into theses businesses.

  12. Colin

    I think in a way everyone is a winner when technology allows media to be more accessible and more convenient to use. On the flip side of this it could also be said that everyone is a loser when the media we use increasingly comes from fewer and fewer sources. With physical media consumers used to have many sources to purchase books, CD’s, DVD’s, games etc. Today with more and more things being digitized our choices are becoming far more limited. Fewer large corporations can gain control over media and how it is distributed. Myself for example have used Apple products for my music for the past few years. I cannot remember buying a physical DVD. The problem with this is, if I want to purchase music not found on Itunes, I cannot really gain access to it unless I purchase the physical copy and upload it into my library. This is an example of how technology is making things easier and more difficult at the same time. Many bricks and mortar stores have gone out of business, which has caused many people tied to these industries to lose their employment. Another downside to this is an increased contributing factor to the digital divide. Businesses must be early adopters to technology in today’s market. If they do not, they risk being eclipsed by other companies who make technology an integral part of their business.

  13. Brogan

    I think the winners of changing technologies are the consumers. These new products and technologies are being developed to be more useful, convenient and efficient for consumers. I don’t think there is a real clear ‘loser’ in this case. Companies such as Blockbuster who have almost complete gone out of business have been hurt, yes. But many new companies have strived in being early adopters. Just as Polaroid pictures, floppy disks and cassettes are now products of the past, CD’s and DVDs will soon be too. I think companies should embrace being early adopters. Newly developed products are not just created on a whim, they are developed because consumers wants are growing and changing. It is much easier, more useful and convenient to carry a thumb drive rather than a CD around. I think these new products are a reality for the changing technological world, and business’s should embrace it.

  14. YWesley

    The winners are those companies that are able to adapt to the technological preferences of the digital consumer, such as Netflix or iTunes. Both have been around and have started to take off with record purchases and increased monthly subscriptions. I choose to purchase my music from iTunes because it offers a better quality than that of an uploaded stolen tune, where there is usually a scratch between the musical notes. In addition, I can live with my choices I make by choosing the higher road and if that makes me part of the 1%, I am ok with being part of the few, rather than those of the stolen many. Movies however are a different story, so to speak. I do not have cable at home and choose to live without it because it can become a distraction, especially to a student like me, this would include a Netflix subscription. The local suppliers of the physical media, more specially those of the mom and pop stores in rural Canada. Like my aunt and uncle, who purchased their video store back in the VHS days and continued through to the Blu-ray generation. Today, however with high-speed Internet connections, they are starting to feel the financial burden of providing a dying consumer base and they are competing with free web-based movies, which could include “still in theaters” movies. I say, “How can they play in the same school yard with free?” There is no fighting it, the power of the many have spoken.

  15. Mohadese

    The companies that are successful are innovative and adaptable with global, national, social and technology changes. Companies are successful that have an active Research and Development Department. R&D helps organizations to design the new products based on customers’ needs and even products that their customers never think about. I think companies such as Netflix would be successful but if and only if they do not stop to innovate more and more. To be a follower of others innovation would not work anymore.
    The video shows that there are not any changes from several years ago about Physical Media. So, the loser would be some companies who have similar strategy such as Borders and Tower Records. They want to produce the same services and production as several years ago. They want to make a profit from their old productions without taking into consideration social and technological changes. They need to be innovators more instead of adapters for surviving in the 21th century competitive market.
    However, to be a market survivor or leader would cost a lot. Companies need to have tangible and intangible resources. Companies need to invest lots of money in their innovation and R&D. They also need to have knowledgeable and creative people in their organization.

  16. ibrahim.akinola

    The winners of the changing technology are the company or networks like amazons, Netflix who base their organizational operation in selling digital media to their consumers while the losers are blockbusters and other similar organization that base their company’s operation on selling and distributing physical media to their consumers.
    I will advise businesses to adopt the new technology really early because this would give them a great advantage in the marketplace due to the face that the world is changing at a great pace and people have now changed their preference to watching and downloading digital medias on their laptops or watching it online because it saves time and space rather than for the consumers having to go to a store and asking whether the movie is available before purchasing it, and also stocking up their place with physical medias. Another advantage is that digital movies can be stored for years without being misplaced and also being dust and scratch free.
    The risks of being early adopters is that they have to convince the market consumers and also the company would have to stand out and above other physical media competitors, another risk the business will face is the amount of consumers that have access to computers and the internet

  17. Josh

    Technological development leads to everyone being a winner in the long-run. The only ones for which this may not be the case is for those businesses and individuals that choose not to embrace the ever changing scape of the technological economy. Blockbuster is a visible example of this case, where an industry leader chose complacency over innovation, and thus will be left in the dust. In a free system, research and innovation drive the economy to produce ever-greater products and services; superior solutions to our everyday problems; enriched satisfactions for our everyday wants and needs. This is the beauty of technology – it is always changing and growing. In this way, society as a whole is profited by the newest, fastest, cheapest, and most efficient developments. Businesses that have already gained a strong foothold in the market have an advantage over all others – they have already tread the path; they have already gained a customer base. There is no reason that Blockbuster couldn’t have developed the Netflix business model, foreseeing the demise of physical video rentals with the rise of digital media. It may be difficult to pull off such a feat, seeing the next big thing before it is obvious, but it isn’t impossible. Google is a perfect example, continually innovating and growing to remain relevant and valuable. This ability and motivation to innovate drives the competitive marketplace, making all firms try a little harder to be the best – producing the greatest results for the greatest number of people.

  18. Marc

    1. Winners: Those who can afford to keep up, and choose to.
    Losers: Those who cannot afford to, or choose not to.

    2. Would you recommend businesses try to be early adopters of the new technology?
    No. In the Diffusion of Innovations curve, I’d recommend businesses remain in the early / late majority groups, unless it is a technology that will have a great impact on their competitive advantage or operations costs. It would be silly of FedEx or UPS to switch all of their delivery drivers to a Samsung Galaxy S4, because it does not offer a large enough competitive advantage over their existing mobile package scanners. It would be a smart idea for oil pipeline companies to adopt surveillance drones to monitor their pipeline operations, as drones will be able to do a better job of detecting oil leakages than human pilots for far cheaper in the near future.
    What are the risks of being early adopters?
    New technology is very expensive, and most of it doesn’t “stick.” For a company to devote a team to testing new technology in their business environment is a large commitment. There is too much new technology every day to sift through economically on your own as a company. By positioning yourself in the early / late majority groups, you let other companies try out the new technology and evaluate whether or not it makes sense to adopt. It’s like buying a new vehicle off the dealer’s lot, the first 10,000 km are the most expensive; you may as well buy the same vehicle with 10,000 km already on it and let the original owner absorb the depreciation cost of the vehicle instead of you.

  19. Stuart Russell

    The rapid growth and advancement of technology and media distribution has forced producers to rethink marketing strategies, as well as create profitable products in a market where young consumers are used to getting media for free. The “winners” of todays tech changes are certainly the public, who can consume a variety of media for free or for a fraction of what they would have paid decades earlier. The losers are harder to determine, as not only do publishers, store owners and movie making companies suffer financial losses. but the vast amount of people whos lives are tied into media creation are also affected.


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