"Digital Home Ten Years Away" Comment Refreshing
"The 'Digital Home' is Ten Years Away"
Who Knows, But Isn't This Comment Refreshing?
Michael Greeson - CEO & Co-Founder
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July 20, 2006
The Shot Heard Round the World
In a moment that sent shockwaves through the personal technology industry, Sonos CEO John MacFarlane told the BBC on Tuesday that he thinks the 'digital home' is still a decade away from becoming a reality. This pointed comment was picked up by hundreds of electronic and print publications... and not a day after I was speaking with a client on why the concept of the 'digital home' is wearing thin. I'm quite familiar with MacFarlane's message - it's one TDG has been sharing with its clients for several years.
The comment, though harsh, was grounded in the reality that mainstream consumers still have a very poor understanding of what new digital media technologies are all about. For example, although home networks have been available in the mainstream consumer market for almost five years, penetration remains relatively low in most developed nations. Even with greater than twenty per cent of US households now having a broadband home network, only one in ten use it for networking media. And without a home network in place, one can't even begin to think about the home as being 'digital.'
The implications of this message are profound. Yes, there is tremendous activity in what's been called the 'digital home' space. Yes, there are some very cool and capable products and services being announced. Yes, there is reason to be optimistic about specific 'digital home' segments. However, mass-market adoption remains several years away (in MacFarlane's mind, perhaps a decade or more).
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