industry life cycle

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Industry Life Cycle

The period of time from the introduction of an industry to its decline and stagnation. Different analyses posit different stages of an industry life cycle (usually four to five), but all emphasize that an industry has a beginning, with technological innovation; a period of rapid growth; maturity and consolidation; and finally decline and possibly death. For example, in the video cassette recording (VCR) industry, the mid-1970s were a period of decentralized technological innovation, with VHS and Betamax formats vying for dominance. Later, video cassettes very quickly became a common household item. In the maturity phase, different companies selling VCRs attempted to corner a greater market share for their own (identical) versions of the product. Finally, the industry declined and was eventually supplanted by DVD players. An industry life cycle can be prolonged by several factors, including opening new markets to the product, finding new uses for the same product, or even attaining government subsidies. The concept of an industry life cycles applies most readily to the sale of goods and it is difficult to gauge how it works in a service economy.

industry life cycle

The stages of evolution through which an industry progresses as it moves from conception to stabilization and stagnation. The stage in which a particular industry (and thus, a firm within the industry) currently exists plays a major role in the way investors view its future.
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One thing is clear: Most CI industries are in the maturity or decline stages of the industry life cycle.

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