As industry analysts we are very interested in new and innovative business models and practices in our industry. There are several worth noting:
Industry Analyst/Journalism Hybrid: These are firms that are augmenting or replacing their traditional advertising based business models by adding industry analysis and/or research services.
Most firms offering these services are taking the classic disruptive business model approach of offering an under served market simpler products at lower prices.
In this case the under served market is all the people who can't afford the many thousands of dollars most traditional industry analysts (Gartner, Forrester, etc.) charge for their services.
GigaOm Research: provides research reports on emerging technologies. The reports are not as detailed or data intensive as those provided by the traditional industry analysts, but they only charge $299 per year for a subscription that includes all of their reports. We're subscribers and find their work well worth this modest cost.
BI Intelligence: provides data and analysis on a wide range of digital topics. Produced by the folks at the news site Business Insider, the best part of this service is their data intensive, down loadable PowerPoint presentations. It's a more pricey $995 per year, but again we're subscribers and find it well worth the cost.
Diginomica: is a tech news site focused on enterprise software. They do more in-depth analysis than the typical news site and claim they are filling a gap between traditional journalism and industry analysis. We've recently started following them and like what we've seen. They're also free, which is nice.
Boutique Analyst firms: not a new trend, but the number of boutique analyst firms seems to be exploding. The Internet, which has made research cheaper to conduct and deliver, is the primary driver of this shift. Our firm, Emergent Research, falls into this category.
It will be interesting to see how this industry evolves. Like most other industries, it's shifting to a barbell industry structure. So we can continue to expect more small firms.