The above link is an article that references this report by Ofcom (an “Independent regulator and competition authorityfor the UK communications industries.”) and based on their analysis of the report they express concerns that the widespread rise in the use of smartphones and other mobile devices to read, watch and listen and not create is the beginning of a move towards more closed, hierarchical structures where content is provided primarily by media companies directly and not from the end-user e.g. like Apple’s App store.
I think they’ve got it all wrong though. The report itself makes no mention of how much of the apparent 45% of the average British person’s time is spent creating content, whether using their smartphone or desktop computer, and the article itself gives no sources or evidence for it’s claim that there has been a “wholesale change in behaviour around user generated content.” They do make the obvious point that using smartphones restricts the ability to create content to specific forms i.e. text, photos and videos with little to no editing functionality, but this does not impact the fact that people create content all the time, and they are the end-users. People upload videos directly to youtube from their phones (or they transfer them to another machine for editing and then upload the finished product) they upload pictures directly to Facebook (or again edit them elsewhere and upload then) they post on twitter, they blog, they comment in forums and bulletin boards.
The point is there will always be content so long as there is a reason for the content in the first place. People share videos of events or for entertainment, they share photos with friends and family, they blog and make social or political commentary, the create artwork or media for entertainment and/financial gain etc…
What we will see, and we are seeing it already, is a rise in the use and popularity of these hierarchical App Store-type setups that are not generated directly by the end-user to be provided to the end-user, but that has been the way for generations of technology. Video games have been blown wide open by fan communities when the source code was made available or toolkits or modification tools were made available which spurred on a new generation of content creators to remain as end-users or to move on to become indie developers or even become professionals in their chosen area of contribution to the content creation. While that is the reverse situation of what we are seeing now, the exact same applies as those people who wish to create content, and as I mentioned above there is always a reason to create new content, will continue to create content in the ways that are available to them, and they will move to create new structures or join or modify existing ones to help pass that content along.
As long as there is technology available to create content, there will always be content. As long as there are end-users who have content they wish to share, they will harness this technology or that technology and they will share and there will always be content.