Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 19 Number 3 2002 pp. 17-41

Newly Vulnerable Markets in an Age of Pure Information Products: An Analysis of Online Music and Online News

Clemons, Eric K, Gu, Bin, and Karl Reiner, Lang

ABSTRACT: We describe the emerging competition between music companies and their star acts and the role of online distribution in this industry. We then contrast this with the lack of competition newspapers will face from their reporters, writers, and photographers, but identify other possible competitors for newspaper publishers. We examine what resources have previously enabled record companies to lock in their star acts and ways in which technology has altered artists' abilities to reach the market independently and thus their dependency upon record companies. We examine which resources have seen their value eroded in the newspaper industry and the remaining value that the newspaper company still creates, other than building stories, adding advertising, and printing and selling the papers. We consider what part of the newspaper business is vulnerable, if any, and where threats may arise. We combine the resource-based view of competitive advantage to examine which industry may have become newly easy to enter, and the theory of newly vulnerable markets to assess which industry may actually have become vulnerable as a result. Our analyses are then used to create a computer simulation model to make the implications more explicit under a range of assumptions.

Key words and phrases: electronic commerce, music industry, newly vulnerable markets, newspaper industry, resource-based competition