Old Media Strikes Back is the title of an article on Newsweek.com by Daniel Lyons writing about why Hulu, the venture founded by NBC and Fox is winning the online video race. This has made me realize certain similarities with the travel industry based on his lead in:
As the worlds of technology and media collide, the same contest keeps getting played out over and over again: lumbering old-media companies take on nimble new-media upstarts, and usually the new-media guys win, since it’s easier for them to figure out the content business than it is for the content companies to figure out the techie stuff involved in launching an Internet business.
We can replace “media” with “travel” and come to pretty much the same conclusion. Twelve or so years ago when the web first started to impact business, it was the new outsider tech start-ups like Expedia and Priceline that pioneered online travel. It was way before any of the traditional travel industry players entered the fray. The same was true in Europe and Asia.
It was again the case a few years ago, when travel 2.0 – the phase we’re presently in with online travel research and planning moving online – was ushered in not by the OTAs, the traditional tour operators or destination marketing organizations (DMO) but start-up companies like Uptake, Tripbase, Travelmuse, Triporati and others.
This seems to confirm how hard it is for established companies to break out of the status quo, innovate and, if necessary, change business models. While this might be understandable, what I do not understand why there are not more ventures where these new players are being sought out by the traditionalists to cooperate. This is especially true for DMOs who do not have to fear being a competitor to these companies but a potential partner. The only thing they need to fear is becoming irrelevant in a few years time by not being innovative enough and have their role being assumed more and more by the new disruptors and innovators.