Edited by Filip Lau
The media industry is undergoing a seismic shift. In the U.S. newspaper advertising revenue plummeted 46 percent while European companies found new models by adding clubs and commerce. Book publishers are fighting over royalties for e-books and with Google over copyrights. Magazine publishers, crushed from a recession that destroyed a business model built on glossy ads, are licensing brands, adding e-commerce, and making sponsorship deals. Who’s on track?
For years people have been lamenting the death of newspapers—and have been offering all sorts of fixes to save them, from changing the copyright laws to keep online aggregators from rebroadcasting the news to encouraging newspapers to adopt the not-for-profit model.
Apps have become tokens of the future. Publishers need to become inventors of everyday science fiction.
“The likes of Maplin and Toys R Us were stuck [thinking that] the role they were playing for consumers was being there as a warehouse giving choice and convenience,” says Michele Chang-McGrath, a partner at ReD Associates, which studies consumers’ in-store behaviour.
Tracking down niche toys is now a function better performed by Amazon than speciality big-box stores, Ms Chang-McGrath says.
“We’ve found that a lot of parents hate going to the toy store because it’s a place where arguments will happen, they lose control of their budget and their children,” she says. “Online, you don’t have to face those battles.”
Partners at ReD Associates talk about how anthropology can heal the anxiety of our broken relationship with money