Chris J Powell

Is Data the New Oil…or is it the New Currency?

While preparing for the day I was surfing through my Zite App recommended articles and came across one that really peaked my interest in the concept of just how valuable Data really is.  Over at Gigaom they reported on cellist Zoe Keating and her call for law makers to look to the declining royalties paid by streaming audio companies.

On her Tumblr Account Zoe made a radical statement that instead of all the fighting and changes to the amount she was paid each time someone clicked a link and streamed her music through a web app or mobile device…she would give up all those pennies for the data.  What a radical statement, but when you think about it…for an artist or an author or any other business that deals in the sale of digital materials through a third party…having the information like the email address, mobile number and name of the person who made that connection is far more valuable.

If they liked the one item, song or book…wouldn’t it be wonderful to alert them directly when a new song, whitepaper, book or product is being launched?  Connecting with them in a Direct to Consumer model by leveraging the Data that is being collected is far more beneficial than a few pennies for each streamed song!

The thought of trading in Data intrigues me, and when we look general call that Big Data is the New Oil…I can see that too (pools of unrefined data laying all over the place on servers and in storage arrays just waiting to be pulled, cross referenced and built into something valuable).  I really see it more than a commodity though.  There is an inherent value even to raw data and unrefined oil is nothing more than an environmental nightmare.  The reality is…that data is ours.  Each of us.  Our surfing habits, spending preferences.  Social Media Posts.  All of our Likes, Retweets and Pluses all count for something and the truth of the matter is…WE OWN NONE OF IT!

A new world is emerging all around us…it will be interesting to see if the Law Makers around the world (because the reality is…the Internet has no borders) need to focus on being forward thinking…not stuck in the past.


Chris J Powell


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