Internet Creep

The Internet is alive and well. Readers of know that but
it’s nice to see the financial press is turning slightly positive about
surviving Internet stocks…with good reason.

The evidence is piling up that the Internet made it possible for many
new business models to succeed. thrives and now has a market
cap proportionately greater than Wal-Mart’s. eBay defies gravity and is
becoming a business-to-business bazaar at the same time it is a champion
for all things consumer. Increasingly, research is showing that
Americans use the Net for news, stock information, insurance rates,
sports reports, and just about any other topic you can name.

Suddenly, many of the wild Internet predictions of the late 1990s are
starting to look substantive. Television viewing and cable viewing are
down while Internet usage is up. The Internet has greater annual ad
revenues than radio. These trends can mean only one thing: offline
media properties have seen their best valuations. A relentless Internet
creep is slowly but surely overtaking all aspects of everyday shopping
and information life.

Internet creep will accelerate with the rise of an emerging trend:
digital ubiquity. The Internet will always be “on” as people switch to
net-connected devices. From mobile phones to PDAs to tablet and
mini-sized computers, the Internet will be ubiquitous.

The growth of 802.11- or Wi-Fi-enabled devices is one reason for this
trend. America has 3,000 public hotspots today, but 4 million hotspots
is a certainty within five years! Improvements to the 802.11 standard
are being rolled out every few months and Intel and other chipmakers are
rushing out new chips to drive Wi-Fi growth. Each version increases the
speed of the wireless Internet, opening a path to the broadband Holy
Grail: movies, music and anything else at warp speeds.

So there you have it. The Internet is slowly chipping away at
traditional media properties. Right behind it comes 802.11 technology
with a relentless attack on telecom and other forms of communication.

Stay tuned.

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