Starbucks announced this morning that they would be offering free wi-fi at all of their locations starting July 1st.
See coverage here
How long will it be before they start billing themselves as the digital filling station?
As I wrote earlier this morning – with metered pricing now a reality on AT&T – we will see some real high bills from some people who don’t realize just how much data is used streaming a Netflix movie.
A big winner will be companies that can stream with efficiency – or apps that are more self contained and don’t need to go out to the web.
Another winner might just be media companies who allow for caching on devices. Music companies only get paid when songs are played – yet caching is generally not allowed under the free services like Pandora. With these new rules in place – it might make sense to revisit this. Same with Netflix. Studios want their movies played – because that is how they get paid. Hulu wants videos watched (as does YouTube) – because the greater the viewing – the more commercials get run. Yet if it is going to cost you another $25 per month to watch an ABC video – are you really going to do it?
I predict a real renewed level of discussions around the idea of caching
And I expect there to be more and more digital filling stations out there on the information super highway.