Determining which industries aren't long for this world may seem easy enough. But some types of businesses, such as telemarketing, are surprisingly hard to kill. And then again, other industries, probably the ones you're sad to see go, can't find a way to survive.
1. Camera film manufacturing
This probably isn't the best business to get into right now. According to The Chicago Tribune, from May 2006 to May 2007, the volume of prints made from digital cameras grew by 34 percent. Film camera sales, meanwhile, fell by 49 percent, while digital cameras sales continued to grow--by 5 percent. Of American internet users, 70 percent own a digital camera; another survey shows that 70 percent of Canadians now use a digital camera.
Some people thought they were through when radio and TV news came about. Even after the fax machine revolutionized offices, some people predicted that everyone would have their news faxed in, since that would be quicker than relying on a newspaper. But the numbers have been falling precipitously since the 1990s when the internet came on the scene. In the past year, the Audit Bureau of Circulations twice has posted drops averaging 2.1 and 2.8 percent over six-month periods. Newsrooms across the country have been hemorrhaging staff.
3. Pay phones
In 1997, there were more than 2 million pay phones in the U.S.; now there are approximately half as many. There are probably always going to be certain places like airports and hotels that offer pay phones, as long as there are people who don't own or can't afford cell phones. Because phone kiosks on the streets are a favorite for drug dealers, who don't want to have their own numbers tapped and tracked, cities are shedding them.
4. Used bookstores
They've been closing fast, and those that are still open are relying on what's making them obsolete: the internet. A used bookstore used to be the place to find that beloved, out-of-print children's book you used to read 17 times a day until your little sister flushed it down the toilet. Now you just type that title in a search engine and order it within minutes.
5. Coin-operated arcades
With Nintendo Wii, casual gaming online and the Xbox 360, the video game arcade industry is thriving, but not the standalone brick-and-mortar arcades. For those of you who thought arcades were already dead, they still exist--at movie theaters, miniature golf courses and other touristy spots--but it seems only a matter of time before they vanish from the landscape. Ten years ago, there were 10,000 arcades in the nation, and now the number is close to 3,000, according to the American Amusement Machine Association. Revenue from arcade game units brought in $866 million last year, which sounds good until you consider that in 1994, the industry was pocketing $2.3 billion and that the profits are only still high because it costs so much to play a game.
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