retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The always readable David Carr has his usual Monday media column in the New York Times this morning, and it is all about the ongoing battle being fought between traditional businesses (in this case, TV networks) and upstart offerings that threaten their viewer base and economic model.

Essentially, Carr argues that traditional businesses are used to providing content the way they want to - bundling channels and services together, so people pay for things they don't want or need in order to get the stuff they want - which may be inefficient for consumers but is high efficient in delivering profits. But as technology and innovation move forward, the balance of power shifts, giving consumers more options and undermining their economic model. Carr may be writing about TV, but he's really describing a broader trend that affects a lot of industries.

The entire column is worth reading here. But here is the passage that grabbed my attention:

"Historically, once the consumer decides, it doesn’t matter what stakeholders want. They can’t stop what’s coming.

"The advent of the Internet presented an existential challenge to bundles. Once consumers got their hands on the mouse and a programmable remote, they began to attack the inefficiencies of the system. When seeking information, they sought relevant links, not media brands. And DVRs put them in the control room of their own viewing universe."

KC's View:
Read this story in the context of the AmazonFresh story above, and think about the notion of game changing business models wreaking havoc on traditional models.

It is delusional to think that these forces cannot and will not affect every industry.