The Leveler-How Internet is changing the way business is conducted
The Internet has become a multimedia platform with more and more sites trying to incorporate multimedia content like video clips, pod casts, live streaming, … Seems like Internet has been there forever. Today we cannot imagine life with out Internet, like any other essentials - electricity, water or even gas. Still the potential for Internet is mind boggling. Internet started out as a repository of static text pages, then came animation and sound. With the advent of multimedia and popularity of sites like YouTube and iTunes, the opportunities for businesses are endless and this is just the beginning. The speed of Internet had evolved many folds in the past decade and will evolve even more. I do remember trying to view a image filled site through a dialup line in late 90’s. It can as well be used as a torture technique in Guantanamo Bay today.
As the hardware of our PC’s get more powerful and cheaper and our Internet get more faster and cheaper more services will be delivered to us through the internet.Internet becoming more and more power is helping bring more innovation and hence the strangle hold over several industries is being broken slowly but surely due to the innovative power and financial power that these internet companies (read Google) have garnered. The Internet might not have slayed them yet but by creating competition the playing field is becoming better for consumers.
Here are some cases in point,
A decade ago we listened to music through tapes, then came CDs. The Music industry was happy to charge us few 10 of dollars to buy a CD with 10 songs in them, out of which you liked 3 but you paid for all 10, never the less. Several MP3 players and other media players existed but then came Steve Jobs with iPod. This was one media player that became a benchmark in its industry. To me the even bigger innovation was the iTunes, iPod is an one time money maker but the iTunes made it complete revenue making business model. Consider this as of September 2008, more than 173 million iPods had been sold worldwide and an average user spends approximately 35$ a year in iTunes. Some iPod fans might have several iPods but they still are going to buy from iTunes. Apple has sold close to 6 billion songs and as of Jan 2009 they are the largest music retailer in US. Apple is now dictating terms with the Music Industry, this is one boat the Music Industry cannot afford to miss.
The TV industry is fast adapting to free TV online, Hulu, Joost to name the best. The TV network sites themselves are providing you free episodes on the day they are aired,all the cable companies, satellite providers and other TV providers will sooner are later bear the brunt of this new change. There are some critics who say they still enjoy ball games on a large TV screen in their living room, for them TV manufacturers are producing TV sets with direct WiFi, so sites like Hulu can be seen directly on your TV. Its only a matter of time before all TV programs are broadcast live over air waves and Internet at the same time.
Another industry that might be threatened soon, is the telephone
industry. With Google & Co asking the FCC that 700 Mhz spectrum be
open, meaning any device can use it in any way, the service providers
(read AT&T, Verizon, …) are fighting hard to not allow this happen.
What Google & Co want is that if the 700 Mhz is open spectrum,
Internet connection can be broadcast over this spectrum, like a
national wireless connection (think One WiFi Hotspot that is National),
that have local towers like Radio or Mobile phones to boost the signal.
The outcome, every one would get free Internet! Today the only
difference between having local home phone / mobile and a VOIP
phone/software like Skype is that the latter needs an Internet
connection. This would take sometime to implement, since there will be
a need for new infrastructure but with a massive push from heavy
weights like Google it can be done. That day of free Internet and
national coverage we will be free of expensive phone bills.
There are so many other industries that have been completely over hauled and there are not many that have been untouched. Today Internet has made consumer the king.