By putting my blog’s title as “Harvard” today, this may, (possibly), increase the number of views I receive! Although this may seem funny at first sight, I learned in my seminar today that Bloomberg reporters get paid according to how many people click and view their article. Professor Waldo mentioned that a research showed that including the name “Harvard” in the lead, increased the number of clicks by 10% (would you believe that?!).
Today’s discussion was all about the various effects of the Internet on the economy. Its funny to think how the Internet was never intended to have any impact on the economy, but nowadays it is hard to find situations in which the Internet had no impact whatsoever. During the process of creating the Internet, it was not able to support sound or video. Nowadays, it is impossible to think about music without thinking of the Internet. Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, amongst many others, have taken control of the music industry. CD’s are rarely bought. Not to mention illegal downloading of songs, which is also extremely common today – artists end up not getting what they fully deserve. However, it was mentioned during today’s discussion that research showed that the increase in piracy led to a proportional increase for music revenue: the internet allows us to listen to a huge variety of songs, and those who listen a given song/album and like it, may want to buy it at a better quality (CD) to keep. Streaming leads to recommended songs and artists (which actually becomes a cycle), allowing us to discover whoever we want in the music market. If we think about it, in the past, musicians would make concerts to promote their albums, and nowadays they make money through concerts and festivals, and the songs put on the Internet are used to promote their concerts.
Overall, we notice that the Internet has caused industries to phase out. So much is available online that it shifts the stores we go to for entertainment. Newspapers, for example, used to make money on classified ads. Newspaper companies now save money by posting online in stead of printing, but there is more competition in the market (they are not only competing with other newspapers, but all other sources of information available on the Internet). As a result, less people will be viewing their ads and they profit less. As they profit less, they can hire less people, which makes it harder to find news, to conduct in depth research on news, and, as a result, the quality and quantity of news developed is affected. As we can see, it is a chain of cause and effect, with one problem leading to another one.
When reflecting on pricing, the Internet has also changed the way pricing goes. In stores, we clearly know the price of a given product and therefore what other people or paying for a good. The Internet, however, is way less transparent: you don’t know what other people may be paying. It was amazing, (but at the same time shocking), for me to hear a classmate talk about how buying a plane ticket online can become more expensive if you open the website various times. This will definitely make think further when buying things on the Internet (especially plane tickets!!!).
Overall, a lesson I extracted from the readings and today’s discussion is that the Internet causes each sector to have to reprove itself constantly. Technological advances and new discoveries are made frequently, and sectors have to continually become better, to prove they deserve a spot in the market. What will this lead to in the future, though? Not only will we have much less stability for work, but it will become harder and harder each time for companies to exist. This makes me wonder about the future – what will the market and work environment be like?