One of the inherent benefits of “everything digital” is the capacity to watch, listen to and read anything everywhere, at all times, on any sufficiently-equipped device.
One of the inherent curses of everything digital is the constant temptation to watch, listen to and read anything everywhere; even in the middle of the night when you know perfectly well that you should sleep. Apps like YouTube are designed to keep you watching. Whatever app they are enjoying, I notice people failing to appreciate the amazing scenery as they walk through the streets of Paris; I see them sitting in a restaurant with someone they loved some time ago before they stopped talking; or sitting alone in that same restaurant not noticing someone they could love.
Being glued to a device necessarily results in missing what Cartier-Bresson called the decisive moment. It’s only worthwhile if the quality of what you consume in the digital realm is at least equal to what you will miss in the real world around you. How often does that happen? We don’t know because we can’t know. There is no Google Analytics for missed opportunities in the real world.
Maybe that real versus digital will be an obsolete distinction in the not too distant future, as both worlds are about to become one, or so it seems. And, the capacity to see those realms as distinct is reserved for those born before the advent of the smartphone (like me).
Driven by the always on and always new mentality of a changing society on one hand and continuous innovation on the other, the ground is constantly shifting under the feet of service providers. Their business model, organisation and infrastructure has to be fluid enough to adapt to new trends quickly (first) and cost-efficiently.
Working for Scality we pride ourselves in having solved the storage and data management problems for the Dailymotions of the world, thus enabling both the benefit and the curse (more to finding a cure further down). From content production to editing to distribution, Scality’s software is capable of enabling every step of cloud media workflows. Content everywhere only works for our customers in the media industry if the contents are readily available exactly when they shall be consumed. In exactly the right resolution which the device of choice deserves. Tagged with the right keywords so they might be found in the humming ocean of competing files. Found by the right consumers in the highest possible quantity so that advertising clients happily pay their share, successfully getting their message out and learning about patterns in consumer behavior so that they can optimize their offerings.
In an economy where media producers and distributors compete fiercely for eyeballs, it is absolutely crucial that all elements of content workflows work exceptionally well, preferably better than what the competition offers. Always just a click away. Below the application providers there is infrastructure software, like Scality RING and Zenko solving their problems. Above, there is a society that needs to evolve its social norms and legal frameworks to keep sanity. As habit-forming expert and best-selling author, Nir Eyal puts it, “Many people say they or their children are “addicted” to their digital devices. But blaming our smartphones for “addicting” us, without taking steps to change our behavior, only justifies and perpetuates unhealthy use. Believing that a product is “hijacking” our minds teaches learned helplessness instead of inspiring action.”
Content Everywhere and Always On are siblings: it’s each and everyone’s responsibility to tame them. Turn your device(s) off for certain hours of the day, or completely when traveling. Or take your eyes off of it from time to time and look to see who is sitting to your right.
Every second, a million minutes (17,000 hours) of video content will cross global IP networks by 2021, according to Cisco • The number of smartphones alone exceeds 3 billion today • The average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2019, just above the 3:35 spent on TV. Of time spent on mobile, US consumers will spend 2:55 on smartphones, a 9-minute increase from last year (source: eMarketer, April 2019)