Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Digital content guzzlers

I learnt of a superb data-resource posted recently by the UN on the Internet - from where you can get nicely formatted data about all sorts of statistics from different countries of the World. I wrote up a dirty Python script to parse out the estimated and projected population between 1950-2050 of 4 major chunks of the World: India, China, USA, and Europe. I have plotted these above.

It is obvious that the biggest markets by volume in this century will be in China and India. This does not say anything about margins off course. But we are are limiting this discussion to volume only.

Why? Because I want to get an idea about what sort of digital content is needed for the future. My assumption is that by 2020 or so, most media delivery technologies would have matured and moved out from the premium segments (video capable mobile phones, high speed broadband Internet, computers etc.) and into mass markets where the sheer volume pushes down the price of technology enough for everyone to afford. For example, this has happened recently in cellular voice and SMS services.

So, assuming every John Doe in China and India has a content-capable receiver (e.g. a mobile phone, or whatever they call them in 2020), where is the content?

CaN sOmEoNe PlEaSe TeLl Me WhErE tHe CoNtEnT iS?

I mean content for the masses of non-westernized people in China, India, and other parts of the World.

The people who invest in making/acquiring content for these mass markets right now would land a huge windfall in 15 years. Best medium term investment I can think of!

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