In a little under 10 years we went from accessing text through gopher to listening to music, watching the latest episode of survivor, IMing one friend, and talking to another across the world?all at the same time. And if I want to know how to make a cup of chai, I can access the recipe and directions a thousand times over within seconds. I remember when I could only access the Internet at my high school, which had a connection to the local university. Now, I can answer a question stumping everyone at a party through my mobile phone, which calls up google for me in seconds. So far I only pay around $20 for my home broadband access and $40 for my unlimited data plan on my mobile phone. Yet, I can access almost anything for free through those two pipes. The only subscription I have is to the Wall Street Journal, which I enjoy to read and they don?t supply for free. Advertising pays for a lot of this, but as most know, much of this is well?just used.
So, what will I have at my finger tips in the next 10 years? Between peer to peer file sharing technology improvements, lower cost bandwidth, ubiquitous wireless access, and a proliferation of devices that can access anything, I expect I should be able to do all of this, but faster, with higher quality and easier. I want to be able to listen to XM radio from my mobile phone, decide I want to keep the song for later that I?m listening to, pull up the nightly news (video) when I get home from work, have the WSJ read to me in the bathroom while I shower, and be able to see my friend across the world that I?m talking to on the phone while showing her the funny clip from a TV show I watched the night before. (long sentence used to dramatize how all of this will be accessible anytime, anywhere and all at once if desired) Oh, and I don?t expect to pay anymore. In fact, I expect that the cost will go down a bit. So, who?s going to pay for this? Well, I think it will be product companies. I don?t see anything that can be displayed on a screen costing money. I do however expect to be persuaded to drink more Diet Coke, buy new clothes more often and be enticed to run to the store to get the latest gadget, etc. However, in a time that will be over stimulated, I expect less advertising that?s in my face, but more subtle. For example, it may be that the can of soda in every video clip I watch happens to be Diet Coke, because Coca-Cola would know I like Diet Coke and they would pay to have it so that everything I watched would show only Diet Coke (of course, Pepsi may overbid them every once in a while as simple as Google AdWords and I may see a few Diet Pepsi cans occasionally). I happen to like PDA type phones more than the latest thin phone, so Warner Brothers may make it so that every movie/TV show I watch just happens to have the latest one laying around in a scene with a character that it knows I like (it would know I like the character as simple as Amazon knows I have taste for philosophy, business, and Harry Potter). This would then inspire me to likely get it after repeated visuals, and if I bought it immediately from watching, then the WB of course would get a larger commission. Product placement, I believe will pay for everything. Content will be free. Do I think there will be no advertisements? No, but I expect they will be more ?on demand? when I?m interested in something (for example SOBE may get their can in one day promoting their new energy drink. I may then be curious, touch it on my screen and be taken to an advertisement telling me what it is and why I should try it). Oh, and I?m a privacy nut, so I sure as hell hope that someone figures out how to let me give up some of this information without having it abused so that I can do all this for ?free.?