Content Moves to Clouds

Stephen Yagielowicz

Traditional content models are giving way to cloud based access and storage systems — and this change isn’t about hosting provider marketing jargon, but rather, represents a profound shift in the way that modern media is distributed and consumed.

This shift is all about “ownership” — its psychological aspects and its implications for intellectual property rights and the ability of rights holders to control the distribution of their wares; and to thus profit from content in an age of ubiquitous digital media use.

Ten, 15 years from now, we will look back on this time as a quaint, yet painful transition period.

Consider the countless books, magazines, audio cassettes, records, videotapes, etc. that have been produced and distributed over the years — media that was not always accessible on demand or even readily available when desired. Consider the digital media that you may have purchased — and then later re-purchased — such as when upgrading your collection of DVDs to Blu-ray discs.

Lack of instant availability and format obsolescence, along with piracy and other forms of unauthorized “sharing” has long plagued the world of media distribution; but today, there is a solution to this problem: relegating content availability to the cloud.

“Ten, 15 years from now, we will look back on this time as a quaint, yet painful transition period: one where consumers learned to give up the physical manifestation of content in favor of constant access to what they own from anywhere they can find Internet access,” Lance Ulanoff wrote for “Content ownership — with copyright laws always a fuzzy thing at best — is ready to transform into content access.”

While the ability to trust your service provider’s longevity and network uptime will remain significant concerns for the time being, some heavy hitters including Amazon, Google and Sony are determined to make consumers see things their way; relying on a subscription service to purchase and access multimedia content.

With Kindle title sales outstripping in-store book sales, it’s no wonder that the future is marching this way. Of course, moving consumers back into believing that content is worth paying for — especially via recurring subscriptions — will only be a boon to adult paysite marketers and content producers.

For these entrepreneurs and operators, streaming-only back-ends and robust DRM will secure a brighter bottom line.


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