Once again, technology is the issue. Digital cameras continue to offer improving quality and falling prices. Color printing can be done at home and cheap digital storage, on hard drives and flash sticks and through online services, has reduced the need to produce a hard copy of every shot as a keepsake. Overall, the total number of prints in the United States has fallen at an annualized rate of 3.5% over the past five years, he says.
is another industry done in by the do-it-yourself opportunities presented by new technology. Once requiring specialized expertise, many of these tasks can be done on even an average home computer.
Companies such as
have suffered as a result. Industrywide, revenues have fallen 25% in the past decade to just north of $4 billion, with another 11% decrease predicted by 2016.
The Internet's role as a creator/destroyer is also behind the constant talk of the demise of newspapers. Newspaper publishing, a $41 billion industry last year, fell 36% since 2000, with a 20% decline likely by 2016.
Failing to see the writing on the wall, and how the online world would snare eyeballs and advertisers, is once again a major part of the problem these companies face. It's been years and years since the "information superhighway" was a hot concept, and yet such companies as
The New York Times
(NYT - Get Report)
are just now getting serious (though not yet successful) about such concepts as "paywalls" for their content.
Five other industries in dire straits: