From time to time the basket of stuff used to calculate the official measures of inflation is updated to best reflect a typical spending pattern.
The latest update saw something of a watershed moment. For the first time the Consumer Price Index basket contains items which depend on good, reliable broadband.
Out went DVD players – in came Netflix.
Why is this important?
The CPI is not a predictor of the future, it’s a descriptor of the now. The change says that high quality commercial streaming services are a common item in UK consumers’ shipping basket. That Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky’s Now.TV, etc are mainstream and not a fringe activity of the gadget generation.
It speaks to those that were critical of the decision to make BBC3 an online-only channel. The reality is that streaming is normal and that the key audience for BBC3 is the demographic most at home online. The BBC didn’t get a little more white, make and middle class, as was claimed by critics; it simply reflected the shift in society that the CPI is now confirming.