How VPNs May Affect Online Services

Online services used to have clear advantages in certain geographical areas, probably because of where they are based and what they can offer. But VPNs have blurred many boundaries, opening up virtual access to allow a greater variety of choice to the global consumer. Loyalties to the various services are therefore changing with the increase in tasty options.

Local Online Service Markets are Global

Let’s take for example the recent change in the market shares of two online streaming services, SoundCloud and Spotify. Spotify is more or less a household name already while SoundCloud is fairly new on the scene. Spotify has been and still is more popular in Europe and North America, while SoundCloud takes the lead in Asia. Google Play and iTunes are also popular in all three continents, of course, but iTunes has gained users in Asia when in the past it was limited to the more prosperous countries.

People always do shift to new services to try them out, just like they test out new device manufacturers. As long as something new becomes available, there is always a market segment that makes a beeline for it. This is usually a temporary craze, however, usually because of price and quality differences, and eventual local unavailability. This was much the same with access to a lot of online services. It used to be impossible because these services were not made available to every country around the world. Even if it has always been technically possible, the infrastructure has not been complete and in place since the Internet was born. And even after lines were laid to connect the entire world, many services did not have the capacity to launch globally.

Now, consumers do not have to inevitably shift back to the well established and easily available services like they do with tried and true products that have found a balance in their respective economies. They can get high quality overseas services for reasonable prices when they use a top VPN to change their virtual location.

VPNs Make All Services Equally Available

VPNs and similar IP changer services are responsible for changing the consumer ratios of popular online services. It is VPN use that has allowed SoundCloud to come in such close competition with the giant Spotify. And the popularity shift has been fast because VPNs have also become commonplace since the world learned about the pervasiveness of government censorship and surveillance. Not many people would pay for a decent VPN if it was only to be used for accessing entertainment because this isn’t a priority for most people. But if they are going to buy one for security and privacy, they might as well apply it to other activities.

VPNs more than proxies and the like allow people from anywhere in the world to use whatever services suit their needs. People are no longer limited to the services that decide to expand into their physical locations. This causes a potentially very different balance in the popularity of the said services. Consumers will always want to join up with services that give them a better experience and the content they crave, so we are looking at a shift towards services that can provide this, no matter what countries they serve. People simply no longer have to choose from such a limited pool of online providers.

Back to our example, SoundCloud users have been found to use VPNs; specifically, half of them. This indicates a much more widespread use of VPNs than in the past. And although security can be a concern for some streaming service users, the need for VPNs is mostly due to regional content restrictions. From this and what we already know about the use of VPNs or other services like Netflix, we can expect that the locations where streaming services are offered will soon mater very little. The popularity of services will soon be based solely on their offerings and the other benefits they provide to the global pool of consumers.

Filed in: News

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