The most amazing shift in free time usage is clearly the move to MMOGS [Massive Multiplayer Online Games].
People are spending hours and hours in the multi-player environments. The biggest bang has been in Asia, but World of Warcrafts success here in the US this past 9 months is nothing short of remarkable. For those that dont know WOW launched last December – $50 for the CDs and $14/month to subscribe. 3.5m users now. The top success before was Everquest – 400K.
the telecom sector is undergoing major disruption. You have the obvious erosion of price/minute voice. But there is way more than that. As has been highlighted in the Financial Times, cities have figured out you can use 802.11 across the entire city. The performance of these networks is better than EVDO by an order of magnitude! And they are cheaper to deploy. WE now see entire cities that aim to make wireless connect by Free as a public service. One of our investments, http://www.tropos.com, is at the centre of this storm as a leading provider of equipment.
Now thats disruptive and the incumbents dont like it one bit. So they have asked Congress to pass a law to make these networks illegal. But water runs downhill – the market will chose the cheapest solution. The world of video will see disruption as well.