Are You Living In A (Filter) Bubble?

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Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It’s not a long segment – about 5 to 10 minutes every week – about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly to SoundCloud, if you’re interested in hearing more of me blathering away. I’m really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B. morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed:

  • Streaming continues to dominate the media space. And, it looks like Apple is about to announce their streaming audio service (based on some of the technology that they acquired when they bought the Beats brand last year). Not to be outdone, Spotify, could well be jumping the cue and launching a video streaming service to compete with iTunes. So, the question is this: will Apple win the streaming wars because of their brand power (and ability to undercut on price) or will it be Spotify, who already owns a fair share of the streaming audio space? Regardless, streaming is about to become ever-more pervasive. 
  • Then again, maybe streaming is actually dead on arrival, because it’s so hard to make money? Spotify lost $197 million in 2014. Sure they bring in a lot of money ($1.3 billion last year), but it’s not turning a profit. In fact, their losses are getting uglier, almost tripling from 2013 when the company lost $68 million. With 60 million users (15 million have upgraded to pay for the service), it’s hard to see how Jay Z’s Tidal or Apple’s new Beats-based service can catch up… and make money. On top of this, artists have be complaining for years that streaming doesn’t compensate well at all. The music industry continues to be in a big mess. 
  • Is the filter bubble alive and well? You probably didn’t even know that a filter bubble exists. It does. Basically, we shifted from a world where Yahoo and AOL were our homepage (curated by editors) to a place where Facebook and Twitter are our homepage (a place where we, mostly, see what our family and friends think). That’s the filter bubble: seeing content from people you (mostly) agree with. Well, it turns out that Facebook’s technology is so strong, that it’s more inclined to show you content that you will agree with… thus, actually, making your world view that much smaller.
  • App of the week: FlightRadar24

Listen here…