Pi Attitude Zone: Connectivity & Drive

No Longer Possessed By Possessions

Remember Veruca Salt, the tantrum-throwing little girl in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  The one who declared “I want everything, and I want it now!”?

Veruca’s wish has come closer to being realizable, thanks to the internet, digital entertainment formats, and what people are calling “virtual ownership”.

We have been witnessing a major shift in the purchase of music and movies.  Time was that enthusiasts went to an entertainment store and bought a physical CD or DVD to add to their collection.  They even put up flat-pack shelving systems from Ikea to accommodate them all, and then surveyed the rows of discs with that indefinable pride-of-ownership feeling.

That was before digital downloading took off.  It is estimated that around half of us now regularly download virtual music, movies and TV shows, and store them in digital form for immediate consumption, or deferred enjoyment, or both.  The head-count of consumers who pull down music or video content from the internet every week has increased by 30% over just two years, and looks like growing further.

The trend is not about saving shelf-space, but instant gratification, Veruca Salt-style.  The on-demand mindset has transcended “I own this” to “I can enjoy this anytime I want”. 

The thought extends not only to personal acquisition, but to gift-giving too.  Vouchers (and yes, they too are increasingly digital) are a source of instant gratification both for the receiver and for the giver, who gets that “aren’t I a nice person?” feeling without having to spend a moment’s thought on what the giftee might actually want.

Pi says: it’s about options, not possessions.  Owning stuff is being challenged by the concept of accessing and storing… possibilities.

Zone: Connectivity & Drive Country: Multiple Geographies Product – Retail