Issue No. 148: what will happen to brick and mortar commerce?

Last Word: What Happened To News, Will Happen to Brick and Mortar Commerce

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via Ben Thompson, Stratechery.com 

I already explained what happened to newspapers when distribution erased local newspapers moats in the blink of an eye; as I suggested at the beginning, though, this was not an isolated incident but a sign of what was to come. Back in July I laid out how the acquisition of Dollar Shaving Club suggested the same process was happening to consumer packaged goods companies: leveraging size to secure shelf space supported by TV advertising was no longer the only way to compete. A few weeks before that I pointed out that television was intertwined with its advertisers; the Internet was eroding the business of linear TV, CPG companies, retailers, and even automative companies simultaneously, leaving the entire post World War II economic order dependent on sports to hold everything together.

The ways these changes arrive are strikingly similar; I call it the FANG Playbook after Facebook-Amazon-Netflix-Google:

nNone of the FANG companies created what most considered the most valuable pieces of their respective ecosystems; they simply made those pieces easier for consumers to access, so consumers increasingly discovered said pieces via the FANG home pages. And, given that Internet made distribution free, that meant the FANG companies were well on their way to having far more power and monetization potential than anyone realized…

By owning the consumer entry point — the primary choke point — in each of their respective industries the FANG companies have been able to modularize and commoditize their suppliers, whether those be publishers, merchants and suppliers, content producers, or basically anyone who needs to be found on the Internet.n

See more of the issue here.

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