It is only a few years ago that teenagers and young adults stood in the aisles of consumer electronics stores on weekends and listened to CDs for hours. Because this was the only way to listen to an album - in Internet music was not yet legally available and smartphones had not yet reached the end consumer. So if you wanted to have a new album of your favourite band, this was the only way to get an impression whether the rest of the songs were worth listening to.
Films and sometimes games for the game console or computer were still rented from the video store. Also there they met on the weekend to grab one of the desired DVDs.
Because only then could you watch them on your home DVD player on Saturday evening.
Radio plays or books, on the other hand, were available in the lending library - here, too, the weekly walk was compulsory. After all, you needed new books or radio plays that you could listen to during the week.
Very slowly the digital product finally crept in. The trip to the video store was no longer necessary and the return of the media could no longer be forgotten. Suddenly there were iTunes and Co. on Saturday evening you could decide spontaneously which film you wanted to see and not all copies were rented. Instead, as many people as wanted could access the media and watch them immediately.
Music can also be acquired in this way today. Because songs can be obtained for a few euros, illegal downloads are no longer necessary - after all, you don't have to commit theft for a few euros. Of course, this still exists, but the awareness of injustice has grown strongly in this area.
Other platforms like Audible offer audio books for little money and on iBooks or Amazon you can download the books you want to read directly to your tablet. Here, too, there is no need to walk to the nearest bookstore.
And one gladly accepts that one can no longer touch the product. Because the fact that the product is available digitally and the manufacturing costs are eliminated, you can get it cheaper. Often one saves a few Euros in contrast to the physical product.
However, many people have not yet fully arrived in the digital world. They are still not quite comfortable with the idea of no longer buying the next film in a store and holding a product in their hands, but "only" downloading it onto their computer. You quickly get the feeling that you are paying for a product, which can then "get lost".
iTunes and Co. help
iTunes, Amazon, Deezer and Spotify help to overcome this hurdle. Meanwhile, all major manufacturers offer apps for smartphones, tablets, computers and televisions with which you can log in to your account. There you have access to all the movies, music, audio books, books, games and all other digital products you have ever bought. So the owner of a movie can access his products from any of his devices. Of course, this is unbeatable - because you no longer have hundreds of DVDs and CDs in your living room, but the content is still available at all times.
Learning is also becoming digital. Students have known for a long time that they can quickly google missing knowledge without any problems. Known and loved in America for a long time, eLearning is also gaining ground in Germany. Even on platforms like Amazon, teachers can post and sell their own teaching materials - in this case video courses. This means that knowledge is always and everywhere available and can be consumed. Learners only have to choose the content that suits them and can get started - often at a much lower price than at the VHS.
Once you have familiarized yourself with the possibilities digital goods the change usually finds its way into one's own everyday life very quickly. After all, who doesn't want to have their music or film collection with them everywhere and at all times? With iTunes, Amazon and Co. this is very easy.
The changeover from a real book to a digital book, which can only be read on a tablet, takes some getting used to.
Nevertheless, sooner or later this will find its way into our everyday life, if it has not already done so. In any case, the change from physical to digital products has been gradual and has made for greater convenience. We are now accustomed to having every piece of music and every film - to name just two digital products - available immediately, anytime, anywhere.