Posted by: hdemott | June 14, 2010

Digital Filling Stations

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.

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Responses

  1. You gotta love the 21st century. I’m writing this comment on my laptop, connected to the Internet via a free Starbucks wi-fi connection, sipping my coffee as the guy from AAA replaces the battery in my parents’ old minivan. Hard to imagine a more pleasant experience involving an inability to start one’s car!

  2. WiFi inherently is not secure. That said Ricochet was an awesome wireless modem until Metricomm spent too much VC money and pulled the plug. It did have a couple of glitches; lost itself above 93mph and was sporadic inside well constructed buildings.

    I do agree Jackson Hole is GORGEOUS and the skiing awesome. Tahoe though IS the most beautiful place in the world. Sun Valley ain’t bad either 🙂 Courchevel (Les Trois Vallee) is another superb place to pay someone to cart butt up frozen hill and slide back down. Lac Annecy is nice but having Idi Amin for a neighbor just might suk.


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