The technological revolution is disrupting the business model of my industry, media, but also many others. The web is connecting sellers and consumers in new ways, and various technological advancements seem to be eliminating many functions previously performed by human workers.
I wonder where the jobs are going to be in the future.
Of particular concern is the retail business.
For one, retail advertising has been the lifeblood of local media. Subscription revenue pays for a minority fraction of the cost of the journalism and its delivery, whether in printed form or over the internet. Commercial media have mostly been financed by advertising.
Every brick-and-mortar retail establishment that shrinks or closes is a blow to the revenue stream of a newspaper or other local media outlet. But of course the disruption is multifaceted. The effect on media is but one ripple effect.
Catalog shopping and Walmart took their toll on downtowns, where locally owned department stores, men’s and women’s clothing and shoe stores used to reside. Four-lane highways took shoppers down the road to bigger cities believed to have greener shopping pastures.
And now we have online shopping disrupting the retail business. Some national retailers have adapted and innovated. Some haven’t. Sears, for example, is among the latter. The company allowed its Sears and Kmart stores to stagnate and its signature brands – Craftsman and Kenmore – to decline relative to competitors. Sears…