Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Profit In Data - Storing And Streaming

I'm struck by an epiphany as I watch how much data I continue to acquire.  I don't mean bookshelves or albums or DVDs; they get less filled as my books, my music, my photos, my videos, my life are all now bits and bytes of data.  And I see too that the cost to store and stream continues to grow as I accumulate more stuff. 

Already, I have on my computer over 15,000 photos, the more recent ones requiring more memory than the ones taken in 2000.  My iTunes account includes more and more downloaded books, music, and videos and my computer's memory is nearly at capacity.  My Carbonite account helps safeguard these digital assets, at a cost, as I sense that I will need a new computer with more memory in the not too distant future.  And Apple is gracious enough (lol) to sell me more cloud backup space for my iPhone and iPad.  The costs to store will only continue to rise.

And then there are the costs to stream data.  Subscription fees from folks like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, help drive up the monthly costs.  One's love of music means monthly subscription plans from Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music.  We no longer need to own when we can rent and stream as much as we want.  But the costs to access also extend to the companies that sell us data plans to receive these streaming signals.  The more we stream, the more we consume, the more data services we buy.  Of course, the speed to receive these streams can also come with a higher cost; the faster the stream, the more we pay. 

As we move further and further from physical media to digital media, the cost to access data, stream it, and receive it will only increase.  And the profits will only grow.  Data is our new gold and we are mining it at an ever increasing pace.  It is the business to be in.