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What Might We End up Paying for in 2021?

The tech predictions by Jefferson Graham on the USA Today website include a couple of tidbits about the possibility of users going over the new Google limits, and thus paying to keep their Gmail accounts, and the possibility of paid podcasts, large podcasts moving to a service similar to Apple Music, and becoming a paid subscription service for podcast creators.

Would you pay for either?

For me, and this is just me personally, I doubt it, but I have some reasons.

As Jefferson describes it, it’s the storage people are already using with Google Photos and Drive that will push people over to the pay model. There’s just no real way to take the GBs, maybe TB of stuff they have in Gmail/Drive/Photos and trim it down to 15GB by June.

My reality is a little different, not because I don’t love my Gmail account, but because I already use other services for storage, Dropbox and Flickr. Which I pay for. Paying for Google would be redundant. I don’t see any reason to do so. But, you could argue, I’m already paying for all of that same stuff, outside of email.

On the podcast front? Meh, I don’t know. I mean if you’re already a subscriber to Apple Music, or whatever networks get created, sure, you’ll listen to the podcasts that end up there. But would you pay for any one individual podcast? I listen to quite a few, but I doubt I would. The reality is, there are too many alternatives that don’t cost anything. It’s going to take a significant change in the marketplace to reach the point where there’s enough of a contraction in the marketplace, combined with a gap between the quality of what’s available for free versus pay, before I would even consider it.

But, maybe I’m just not in love with any one podcast enough to consider paying for it? Maybe you are? If so, what podcast is it?

As far as the other predictions, yes, there’s no doubt in my mind that there are too many new streaming services, some of them will not take off at all, and end up disappearing before the end of 2021, and video conferencing tools like Zoom aren’t going anywhere. No, it’s not the same as meeting in person, but it’s much cheaper, quicker, and easier. I’m not sure the travel industry will ever truly compete with that, and business travel will absolutely not be going back to what it was in 2019. There’s just no reason for it to be more than the rare trip to attend events, as opposed to client meetings every week in a different city.


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