OECD Internet Economy Outlook 2012

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The Internet is now a fundamental infrastructure supporting the economy and is firmly in its 2nd stage of development, having evolved from a data network connecting PCs with wires to a much broader network of new portable devices from mobile phones to tablet computers. It is also on the cusp of a much larger expansion to objects that typically did not have communications capabilities: the “Internet of things” is projected to have more connections than the people using them. This raises many important socio-economic and political issues for stakeholders to consider, as economies and societies become increasingly inter-meshed.

Supported by time series data, this publication begins with an overview of trends and highlights how the Internet sector has proven to be resilient during the recent economic crisis. It then examines the various drivers and impacts of Internet use and deployment, as well as emerging technologies, broadband, e-commerce, e-health, digital content, security and privacy, and reflects on a methodology for measuring the Internet economy.



Developments in digital content

This chapter analyses intangible digital content products: goods and services that are downloaded, streamed or hosted over the Internet. It discusses key trends that have characterised the growth of digital content markets and factors that have enabled this development, focusing in particular on Internet infrastructure, the increasing availability of digital content products, and the skills required to create and access them. It analyses the growth of Web 2.0, social media networks, local content and adaptive approaches in the film, music, news, gaming and related industries leading to new business models, including the evolution of online advertising.




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