While the free internet model funded by advertising revenue has held for a long time, the changes in various forms of technology has continued to encroach and pressure change. What has previously been delivered somewhat free is no longer so.
Without knowing for sure... I have this feeling that Youtube and google in general is undergoing problems with the amount of money it use to generate views these days. Youtube is an expensive product to offer.. vs the return on investment they get. Which makes the space ripe for someone else to come in... and do it "better". @intelliguy source
Remember when people would spend hours watching Youtube (many still do) but now there is a whole lot of Netflix and chill? Are people still downloading music from torrent sites or are they subscribers to a premium service like Spotify? These premium on-demand services are pushing further and further into the advertising revenue of the internet as eyes and ears move away from the "free" model in favor of paying for services.
This is a natural evolution of sorts as people increasingly want options and one of those is getting what they want, the way they want it and the centralized services are only ale to deliver a part of their demands as they need to monetize their service. Eventually though, people will tire of all of the subscriptions they need to manage and start to explore different options.
Subscription services like Spotify are handy for users while not being great for the artists themselves and there is still the middleman problem that drains a great deal of money out. Spotify has ~80 million paying subscibers and Netflix ~140 million. That is about 2 billion dollars combined per month that goes to the providing the services with not much going back to the artists themselves.
Perhaps we are the next step in the evolutionary chain however for as the blockchain and token industries develop and mature, we are able to increasingly cut out the middleman services in between by serving ourselves. At the moment, Spotify is valued at 24 Billion and Netflix 110 Billion. Yes, those two subscription services that barely have their own content (Netflix is pushing their own content hard though - mostly to maximize profits and reduce costs) are worth the same as the entire crypto market and, unless a shareholder, they don't return much of their earnings.
So, what happens when there are applications that are just as slick in operation but, contributors can be rewarded fairly and everyone can be an owner? Rather than paying for a subscription to a middleman we can buy into owning the delivery mechanism and enabling the operators to deliver the service to the consumers and create a circular economy where we are potentially all positions simultaneously. That is pretty much where Steem is now isn't it?
Sure, it is rudimentary and far from efficient or effective at the moment, but that doesn't mean it will always be so. If we look at Netflix and Spotify specifically, they are just content delivery applications that distribute others material. Hey, we do that. And, we can do it in some interesting ways that can distribute content as well as the wealth generated from a whole range of options, including but not limited to advertising and subscription models.
While people are looking to monetize their content and the centralized services are looking to maximize their profits through restriction and productization of their user base, blockchains and tokens can empower users to become economic stakeholders in ways that have never been possible before. While it will take time to build (who would have thought people would pay for movies and music over the internet that were available for free?) the platforms and ease of usage required for mainstream adoption, once it happens, it can happen very fast.
Now, it is hard to imagine Steem in comparison to these numbers of users but if we consider that these are just two dedicated applications that require separate subscriptions, a 'subscription' of Steem gives access to potentially hundreds or thousands of applications and communities with the ability to both earn on and reward content as well as invest in the growth of the system itself. Given strategy and time to implement, Steem would be a far superior model of both delivery and wealth creation as it not only cuts out most of the middlemen extractors, it distributes the value that would normally go to them to all users in various ways.
The current global economic systems are broken in numerous ways and are going to get increasingly volatile. It is these very systems that the centralized platforms rely for their income. They need subscribers and users with money to pay for access and to buy the products that monetizes their platform through advertising and if investors and subscribers wiling to pay a monthly fee dry up, what then?
while the economy crashes, jobs are lost and people have to cut luxury services, they will also be looking for new ways to earn and, what better than to replace their subscription content delivery services with options that can offer them the same and potentially give them a return on their investment. Like I wrote in a piece the other day about replacing the internet with Steem, once the economic factors come into play, Steem and similar are going to be there to pick up the slack and fill the needs of the people who are increasingly squeezed out of the premium models.
People don't like the idea of having to pay for Steem access (Steem and Resource credits) while simultaneously subscribing to Netflix, Spotify and all the other various services people pay for monthly without recognizing that once bought, it is a lifelong membership that can continually grow over time and be actively used now and a growing number of ways in the future, to empower themselves and each other at global and local levels. They don't just get to watch a show or listen to a song, they can play a part in helping the contributors develop them and, they can own a little piece of it all.
As ideas go, it really is a no-brainer for consumers, contributors to get into this and work toward making it a functional and seemless future integration. Because of that, it really is a no-brainer for investors to empower the users to build the system and put some capital behind it. As risky as investing seems, it seems to me that it is more of a hedge bet that the traditional economy will collapse (history tells us it happens) and their bread and butter will look for other options to satisfy their needs.
No one likes to lose options and while that is happening in the traditional multimedia industries, Steem is creating more.
[ a Steem original ]