Unfortunately, it will be the few million people who will be unable to tune into the Celestial Jukebox because they live too far out in the sticks to get decent broadband:
Depending on the definition of broadband speed, providing universal broadband would cost between $20 billion and $350 billion, according to a preliminary report released Sept. 29 by Federal Communications Commission task force charged with delivering the National Broadband Plan to Congress. The wide-ranging report also noted that its initial findings show actual broadband speeds lag advertised speeds by at least 50 percent.
The task force said its early analysis indicates that approximately 3 million to 6 million people are unserved by basic broadband, defined as speeds of 768 Kbps or less, but the number of unserved increases as the definition of minimum broadband speed increases. The FCC estimated it
would cost $20 billion to provide 768 Kbps
or less universal broadband service and northwards of $350 billion for 100 Mbps or faster service.
On the brighter side, most of those digitally disenfranchised millions probably live within driving distance of a Wal-Mart, so there will always be a market for Toby Keith Urban CDs.
Other than that, the only future for physical products will be indie road warriors selling (or ‘giving away‘) prodcuts at their gigs. But if it’s all “in the ether,” then even the imperative to purchase at the scene is eventually going to evaporate.
You know, like the crazy French Kinniggit in Holy Grail, “He’s already got one…” because with the Jukebox, he’s already got everything.