Innovating Old Sectors with Contemporary Twists: What Digital Companies Are Getting Right

Video games have been around since the 1970s, but it was only with the rise of the Internet that video games have started to threaten the viewer numbers of traditional sports, in a growing entertainment field that’s now called eSports. 36 million people tuned in to watch the League of Legends final in 2015. That’s more than three times the amount of people who watched the 2015 FA Cup final. It’s not likely that League of Legends will ever replace football, but the numbers prove that video games are starting to gain traction as a legitimate spectator sport thanks to the Internet.

Recently, the lotto industry also made its way online and into our smartphones. Rather than having to go to the local newsagents to buy a scratch card or pick your numbers, you can now take a chance at winning big from the comfort of your sofa with the Lottoland app which allows you to take your pick from all of the major official jackpots. You can download the app here to experience first-hand how this company’s approach made a difference to the way we play lotto today.

Amazon, Ebay and other online retailers have become massive corporations through their innovation of one of the oldest industries in existence – marketplaces. Amazon was founded in 1994 as a simple online book vendor, and later expanded to include movies, music, electronics, and consumer goods. Subsequent to its humble beginnings, Amazon overtook Walmart as the United States’ most valuable retailer. It would be hard to find a clearer example of how online industry is beginning to eclipse older, brick and mortar businesses. eBay has a similar story – the site was founded in 1995 and later grew into a multi billion dollar business.

Television as we know it has been subject to many of the restrictions of networking. Scheduling had always been a problem – if you missed your favourite show being broadcast there was little you could do to catch up. Similarly, if a show that you wanted to catch was on late at night and you had an early morning, you would have to miss it. Or take the time and effort program your VCR, which would record the program to an analogue tape. This all changed in 1997, when Netflix was founded. In recent years, Netflix has started to overtake the television industry, as its online streaming service frees producers from the restrictions of scheduling and censorship. Studies show that Netflix caused a 50% drop in TV viewership in 2015. The advent of streaming technology has even seen producers release entire seasons of a show at one time, allowing viewers to binge watch rather than have to wait for new episodes to be released.

In today’s markets, digital is key. Sometimes finding an innovative twist on an age-old industry can be hugely profitable.