Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson is a visiting fellow at AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy and president of Entropy Economics LLC, a strategic research firm specializing in technology, innovation, and the global economy. He advises investors and technology companies, focusing on the Internet ecosystem and the broadband networks and applications that drive it. Swanson is also a scholar at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, where, since 2005, his research has centered on economic growth and policies that encourage it. For eight years Swanson advised technology investors as executive editor of the Gilder Technology Report and later was a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, where he directed the Center for Global Innovation. Swanson began his career as an aide to former senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and was then an economic analyst for former representative Jack Kemp (R-NY) at Empower America.

Apple Music and the pressing spectrum needs of the streaming economy

Less than one month after launching its new Music streaming service, Apple has reportedly signed up 10 million subscribers. Spotify has 75 million total users (including its free, ad-supported service), while Pandora reports close to 80 million total users. Meanwhile, Google says that YouTube views and watch times are accelerating — up 60% from last year and up to an average of viewing session of 40 minutes. The streaming economy is in full flight, but one thing can stop it in its tracks: not enough available spectrum.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announces her economic agenda in the first major policy speech of her White House bid. REUTERS

Hillary Clinton is wrong to fear the sharing economy. Here’s why.

In her long-awaited speech on the economy this week, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed her wariness of the emerging sharing economy. Although new Internet-enabled services like Uber and Airbnb are a key source of growth, jobs, and dynamism in an otherwise sluggish economy, Mrs. Clinton says they are “raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.” Talk about killing the golden gosling.
Taylor Swift accepts the Milestone Award at the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Arlington, Texas April 19, 2015. REUTERS

Taylor Swift, Apple, and the regulation of tech titans

Not too long ago, Taylor Swift may have been just a girl in a t-shirt, sitting in the bleachers, as one of her songs has it. But as the father of a teen and two tweens, I’m familiar with the power of Swift’s tunes and her growing business savvy. Very few, however, can go toe to toe with mighty Apple and win so decisively and… swiftly. Yet with a simple blog post on Sunday morning, Swift persuaded Apple to change the trial period policy for its new music streaming service.
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The one thing that can stop Moore’s Law: Title II Internet regulation

Gordon Moore’s prediction of exponentially growing computer power, based on the silicon integrated circuit, is 50 years old this month. The technical and economic achievements of Moore's law are astounding. When Moore used pen and graph paper to plot those first few data points in April 1965, for example, a leading-edge microchip contained 60 transistors. Today, Nvidia’s most advanced graphics chip for video games has eight billion transistors. Until the year 2000, this single gaming chip would have qualified as the world’s fastest supercomputer. Moore’s law gave birth to or otherwise enabled most of the past half century’s great innovations, including the PC, the Internet, the smartphone, and the entire world of software apps and services. What happens when we change the regulatory environment of something that is working this well? Looks like we’re about to find out.
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The FCC votes to regulate a booming Internet; AEI welcomes Rep. Greg Walden to discuss the next chapter

Seventy-three private firms, according to The Wall Street Journal, are now members of “the billion-dollar startup club.” Fifty of these start-ups are American, and a number of them have recently achieved valuations of $10, $20, even $40 billion.

The total value of the 50 US club members is $223.9 billion and does not include the 10 club members that went public or were acquired in 2014. Many US public technology firms are, likewise,...