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.

The abundance of Moore’s law

On its 50th anniversary, some say Moore’s law is showing signs of age. But you’d never know it by looking at the spread of digital power to every corner of the globe. Global mobile subscriptions of 7.4 billion, according to Ericsson’s new Mobility Report, now outnumber the world’s total population of 7.3 billion. (This can be so because many individuals own multiple devices and single devices can, via multiple SIM cards, support multiple subscriptions.) Just a decade ago, the majority of Chinese had never made a phone call, but today China boasts more than a billion mobile users.

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.