Why do high-street media shops (Videos, DVDs, CDs, Books) still exist? These items were amongst the first to be available for online ordering on the internet, with Amazon and others offering them from around 1995. Yet HMV, Waterstones, and so on don’t show any outward signs of disappearing, or even reducing prices significantly, apart from the hit they allege that virtual media (i.e. MP3 downloading, legal or illegal) is having on their business.
I would estimate that I buy 90% of my media online, for two reasons: cost and a wide selection (half of the books I buy aren’t in my local bookshop). The only reason I ever buy offline is speed: for example, forgetting to buy birthday presents (ahem). Many other people I know do the same. I can but assume we’re not typical of the population at large. Maybe most people aren’t prepared to be patient, and are prepared to pay a premium for having something now. Is this true, to the scale necessary to sustain these businesses?
Anyone have any other theories?