The internet as we currently know it has been tested like no other time since the start of this pandemic.
There are a few people that say the cost to serve 'Bitcoin' for processing capacity will be it's ultimate achilles heel as it's electricity consumption continues unabated.
What about the same argument for access to the internet around the world, along with the continued cost of creating content?
The overnight surge in WFH combined with 'stay at home with the kids' messages from every government has shone a very bright light on your internet service provider (ISP) who suddenly found redundant capacity in the network being eaten up dynamically.
Consumers in the UK who are still plumbed into non fibre connections are operating at a speed equivalent to remaining in the late 90's - let's be honest, it's not the 'experience' we are sold on sign-up is it?
Today we are consuming streaming content in all manner of ways and across several devices - all in the same household by several people so demand on infrastructure will simply grow.
Long before Covid consumer behaviour started the 'unbundling' (cord cutting) of the cable and satellite networks in favour of eating their content in bite size chunks from a variety of providers.
So, will we see the same thing happen post Covid with consumers trying to juggle multiple payments and subscriptions along with the confusion around not only the aggregated cost but who owns what along with a better understanding of the ROI?
I'm pretty sure there's a software house out there currently working on an App that helps you monitor usage and value from each of these subscriptions - if not there should be!
It's obvious that the rights and license owners of the content we all want to consume from Movies, TV shows, and Sport need to be able to support the cost.
After all we still pay for Cinema,Theatre, and Match Day tickets so why not?.
With GDPR at long last kicking the intrusive advertising industry firmly in the balls we have also been witnessing the global growth in consumer behaviour adopting take up of free to use social networks.
Social media user numbers increased by more than 13 percent over the past year, with nearly half a billion new users taking the global user total to almost 4.2 billion by the start of 2021. source 'Data Reportal 2021 insights'
On average, more than 1.3 million new users joined social media every day during 2020, equating to roughly 15½ new users every single second.
If you combine this shift in behaviour with Gen Z arriving into the workplace is it still a viable long term business model to get people to 'pay' for that content.
Is there an alternative?
Can we get past this moment of fragmentation to create something that serves everyone’s greater interests? I say yes.
I see a future of home entertainment based on open platforms, open standards, flexibility, choice, combined with continuing to empower the user/viewer.
What if there was a way to get audiences more involved in the content they're consuming, what if this was a fun, interactive and immersive experience and eventually lead to a shared commercial relationship?
Is NOW the time for reinvention of the value exchange, a business model that provides free access to broadband and the wonders of the content we can now access 24/7?
Added together, the world’s social media users will spend a total of 3.7 trillion hours on social media in 2021 – equivalent to more than 420 million years of combined human existence.