NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The future isn't what it used to be, as the saying goes. Certain industries know the meaning of this better than others.
Take the porn industry. Remember the days when sealed porn magazines were sold at the local store and later hidden under countless mattresses? Or, how about when doctors made house calls? Or, when families gathered at the local restaurant for their weekly night out? Seems like a million years ago, doesn't it? Over time, the industries that provide these services shrank and nearly died, pushed to the brink by consumer expectations and shifting societal values. What changed them? Technology.
We still crave good healthcare services, quality dinner food -- even porn. But today we want them to be cheaper and more accessible.
FitSmallBusiness.com, the digital business publication, honed in on changes in our culture of convenience, socio-economic behaviors and consumer value changes in order to come up with the following list of seven once-dying industries that have reinvented themselves. Now, they're not only staying alive, they're thriving. You can find the list HERE.
THE SHAPESHIFTER 7: Seven industries reinventing themselves and thriving
- Porn Industry – Shifting positions from pro to amateur: Today, professional porn is rarely purchased from the magazine rack or the video store (another now dead industry), threatening the once robust, if taboo, industry. What has risen to take its place? Homemade amateur porn and live content accessible from computers and mobile devices is cheaper and easier to access. What has risen to fill the space? Amateur porn, homemade and live content is far more enticing to people.
- Divorce Law – From "I Do" to "Adios" in just a few online clicks: The messy litigious divorces of the 1970s and 1980s a la "Kramer vs. Kramer". Now, it's all about "conscious uncoupling" as people see less need for court battles. Online legal services have surged and the industry has grown by 9.4 percent over the past five years. Online legal divorce services can be as low as $200 versus $30,000 in attorney fees.
- Tobacco – Cigarettes "out"; MaryJane "in": Once seen as "cool", cigarettes are on their way out, with the number of American smokers falling more than 20 percent since 2005. Taking its place – marijuana. Cannabis has seen a 33 percent growth from 2016 to 2017 and it's estimated that sales will soar to over $11 billion in 2018. The reason? Legalized cannabis in 10 U.S. states - and growing.
- Higher Ed – Bye-bye books; Hello computers: People are getting tired of paying $25,000 per year and more for tuition. In the last five years there has been a seven percent increase in student enrollment in online higher education. Open University, which partners with Harvard and Stanford to offer skill-focused coursework, is growing by leaps and bounds. Online education programs have grown remarkably over the last decade with year-over-year enrollment increases from 4-7 percent, on average.
- Travel – Sinking cruise ships make way for soaring budget airlines: Many highly publicized and frequent cruise mishaps have shifted the way people want to spend their vacations. Cruises, once the fastest-growing sectors of the travel industry in the '80s and '90s, have taken a major hit. Taking a cruise once eliminated the need to fly, but now globetrotters are choosing budget airlines to get to their destinations, and skipping the cruise altogether. Quickly growing competition dropped the prices big time, making that the preferred way of traveling for those who are on a budget.
- Rx – Healthcare giants pushing out local practitioners: In 2008, more than 60 percent of doctors were independent practitioners. In just six years that number dropped to 35 percent. Healthcare behemoths are reaping higher revenues while driving liability premiums so high that solo practitioners are struggling to survive. These massive healthcare corporations are offering more for the consumer including luxury services. However, this is one industry where quality of care may trump all the bells and whistles. Red tape makes adoption of new technologies slow and difficult while the eye on profits can be compromised personal treatment for the consumer.
- Restaurant Chains – Delivery defeats dine-in: Once upon a time, the average family convened at the local restaurant and talk about their week. Now, the average family can't get through a meal without all members checking their phones. Bye-bye conversation, hello delivery. The food industry is shifting toward fast-casual options that are delivery-based. In 2017, app-based delivery service Grubhub reported a revenue of more than $683 million. Now, 86 percent of us are using app-based services once a month, at the very least.
"If businesses weren't constantly changing, we would still be reading handwritten manuscripts by candlelight," says Eric Noe, Editor-in-Chief, FitSmallBusiness.com. "The most successful companies are those that recognize trends and anticipate industry shifts".
With a rapidly growing monthly readership of more than 1.5 million, FitSmallBusiness.com is an online publication devoted to helping small business owners. Its full-time staff of writers spends hours of research, data analysis, and interviews with industry experts to answer the questions that owners want in order to run a successful small business.
For more information on this list and this topic, please contact Sarah Johnson, [email protected], 917-864-6355.