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Luiveton's avatar

What, in your opinion, is the impact of digital download on individuals and organizations and society as a whole?

Asked by Luiveton (4024 points ) November 28th, 2011

As asked. ^

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9 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar

I think the impact is nothing but positive as the speed of important information distribution increases dramatically.

blueiiznh's avatar

This is a pretty broad question.
Digital download has changed the music industry. It is currently driving the entire TV/Movie industry.
Its impact is know in the publishing industry
It is also changing the methods in how each of things are delivered to us.
There is impact and change in about every part of industry, organizations and society.

jerv's avatar

The introduction of movable type led to a dramatic increase in literacy.
The telegraph allowed communication across nations and even oceans in minutes instead of weeks.
In addition to the aspects mentioned by @blueiiznh, a medium that allows for near-instantaneous transfer of large amounts of information to billions of people changes many other aspects of our lives. Want to know about the latest on various conflicts around the world, or what your favorite celebrity had for breakfast this morning? It’s on the internet. All the information, all the time, updated by the second. That it’s a far cry from what we had as little as thirty years ago.

wundayatta's avatar

The effect is to speed the time of delivery of a product to all types of consumers. This means consumers can use the products sooner and that means it is possible to get more work done. The system improves efficiency and improves the standard of living overall. Of course, this is perfectly obvious. Perhaps, if you added a few details, you could have gotten a more useful answer.

dabbler's avatar

Basically a great thing as it relieves a need to make a bazzillion hard copies for a work to be successful.
The folks taking the hit are the ISPs/internet network operators, who offered all-you-can-eat plans before we were sucking down a couple gigabyte a day.

blueiiznh's avatar

@dabbler Oh believe me,the ISP’s are not taking a hit on anthing but trying to keep up their technologies with the demand. It is the very thing that is driving new devices and new technologies. The customers are paying for it in the new ways that they offer their tiered pricing rates in order to stay making money. This in turn is boost to the economy.
Look at how fast products are changing just to keep up with the demands for more data at more points of access. Many telecoms are scrambling to be the first to have fibre at the cell towers in order to backhaul all that data.

dabbler's avatar

@blueiiznh
These things are true for the wireless internet services. And since they are (over-)charging by the GB to mobile devices I shed no tears for 3G/4G providers.

But plain old wires (or fiber) to the home are typically flat-rate for not-really-but-sorta-kinda unlimited download.
On any given evening or weekend over a quarter of internet traffic in the US is just Netflix instant play downloads.
I don’t really shed any tears for the big domestic ISPs but I do wonder how they’ll deal with it going forward. Comcast throttles accounts after a certain amount of traffic per month. Verizon is building out its FIOS network. The adventure unfolds.

blueiiznh's avatar

@dabbler exactly how it deals with it. It expands its infrastructure while changing its billing model and limit cap as more and more data is consumed within a household. You also are sharing that bandwidth with all the other users and at those peak times are not getting anywhere near some guaranteed bandwidth. They will run the risk in people not noticing or fielding the complaints.

dabbler's avatar

Indeed, ISPs are planning consumption-based pricing
going forward.

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