January 23, 2013

I love movies. This past holiday season I saw some great movies on the big screen and on the home screen too. But I didn’t rent those living room movies, we downloaded them. It’s fascinating to see how the video rental market has dramatically changed in just a few years. The local video store is being replaced by RedBox, while Amazon and Netflix are now battling it out for streaming video leadership. Netflix’s video streaming service has 23.8 million paid subscribers in the U.S. Amazon is now offering video streaming to its $79-a-year Prime subscribers.

Hulu, Hollywood’s own video streaming service, owned by Disney and News Corp, can’t decide on what they want to be. That’s probably why the president just resigned. Originally Hulu wanted to compete with YouTube.  Well, Hulu now has 22 million viewers (November 2012), YouTube has 152 million, according to comScore. So that didn’t work. News Corp wants Hulu to evolve into a subscription service (they now have 3 million subscribers), while Disney favors the free, ad-supported approach.

What does this have to do with your small business? It’s just a cautionary tale of how fast your market can change and how you must have a clear direction for your business in this fast changing world. It starts with a business plan and marketing strategy. Do you have these tools?

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