Archive for August, 2007

Digital Korea

August 29, 2007

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I will not get paid for that:
Found today this new release from Tomi Ahonen, co-authored by Jim O´Reilly about Digital Korea.
I wrote a few weeks before about Korea.
Korea is definetely the country we have to monitor, when we try to look in the future of media. The Book seems very useful.
Here a synopsis:

Tomi Ahonen’s latest book, Digital Korea, which he co-authored with Jim O’Reilly is now available to pre order.
Tomi’s much-awaited next book is a study of the most advanced country for digital convergence, South Korea. Working with Jim O’Reilly who is the European technology specialist and envoy for the Korean Government, Tomi’s fifth book sounds almost like science fiction but discusses the solid reality of life in South Korea today.
The book discusses a country where every household internet connection has already been upgraded to broadband; where 100 mbit/s speeds are already sold and gigabit speeds already coming; where every phone sold is a cameraphone; where three out of every four mobile subscriptions is a 3G connection; where cars and PCs and mobile phones now ship with in-built digital TVs; where 42% of the population maintain a blogsite and four out of ten have created an avatar of themselves; where over half of the population pay with cellphones and 25% of the total South Korean population have participated inside a multiplayer online game, in fact inside the same multiplayer online game.
The stories from South Korea are each more amazing than the last. 50,000 citizen journalists write the national Ohmy News newspaper. While Second Life fascinates western media for its 2 million users, South Korean Cyworld has 20 million users. While we tend to view the 8 million active users of the World of Warcraft as a milestone in massively multiplayer online games, South Korean Lineage already has 14 million active gamers.

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Online Video is Expensive

August 28, 2007

Great post by Jackson West on newteevee.com about the current cost structure for online video delivering. In times of You Tube & co in many people minds there is the opinion it is cheap and nearly for free to deliver video online…
Well… read Jacksons post. Delivering high quality videos online is still incredible expensive compared to delivering video over broadcast, cable or satellite. The good news is that it’s getting cheaper.

Really free for the content provider is just the so called “peercasting” (peer to peer + broadcasting). Over the p2p networks the users themselves pay the bill for all the traffic.

Facebook Trys to Translate Its Popularity Into Profits

August 25, 2007

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Facebook is trying to start with personalised advertising (Read more on wsj.com). A new advertising system that let marketers target users with ads based on the informations they reveal on the site about themselves. That´s their biggest asset, and can be a revolution. No doubt. Especially cause it not just helps advertisers in the “demand fulfillment” area of a buying process like the google advertisement does, it also could adress the area called “demand generation”.
There are exciting times in front of us: How will the consumers/users react?
Is it a new value for them? Or is it spooky?
Will it work? Technically, but also in the acceptance of the user and client market?

In the Future Listening Not Selling Counts

August 24, 2007

Saw this post today on digital audio insider:
Digital audio insider was using Last.fm statistics to quantify audience devotion to get perhaps an indicator of the future willingness of an act’s audience to buy its music or to go to live shows, etc.

They divided the number of plays for each artist by the total number of listeners to create a “plays-per-listener” ratio and then ranked the spreadsheet by that number.
Have a look at the numbers…. very interesting.

That brings me to the thought, that there has to be a change in the marketing focus for music soon.
It´s not about selling music anymore (after you have bought the CD the mission was completed), now it has to be more about liking music / listening music. If you use a subscription service or if you are a Last.fm user, the artists get paid for the usage of their music. So the labels can´t blind a user anymore with a short buzz or a big marketing campaign.

And here we are again in the discussion, who is the charts?
Music sales figures don’t tell you how much people actually like (and listen to) the music.
And digital audio insider makes a good point writing this:

“A few years back, you’d read stories about young bands getting attention from labels because of huge numbers of MySpace friends. I haven’t seen any such stories lately, probably because everyone quickly figured out how inflated those “friends” numbers could be. But given that Last.fm stats are harder to fake and inflate, it seems like a growing number of total listeners within Last.fm (and other music social sites) and increasing plays-per-listener ratios might be the best indicator of future success, and something of interest to labels and A&R folks… ”

Social Networking as an Own Distribution Channel

August 24, 2007

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I  was wondering a few weeks ago, if I should see the social networks as an own distribution channel of content.
Now I am quite sure they are.
The best example is MySpace.
Not only cause of the launch of MySpaceTV (as an videosharing service like YouTube) but also cause of the cooperation with Sony Pictures Television or Fox and of course with the many music labels.
And now My Space invests in original content with a web-based program series called Afterworld. A photo-real animated show (130-episode series) created by Electric Farm Entertainment with a $3-million budget. Read more at this LA Times article.
MySpace tries to increase the time spend on the site by delivering content. They are definitely a content provider.
And we should not forget companies like last.fm that start as content distributor (something like simple internet radio) and now get more and more to a kind of social network.

YouTube Trys Overlay Advertising

August 23, 2007

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YouTube starts placing overlay advertisements into video clips (see Times Online article).
That´s semi-transparent animated “overlay” ads showing up at the bottom fifth of the video window for a few seconds when a user views a YouTube clip. The initial cost for advertisers will be $20 per 1,000 views and the revenue will be split between YouTube and the content provider.
Wow, what a price! If you see some viewing statistics on You Tube …
But: How will the user react? Preroll advertising and interruption advertising didn´t work in the net.
We will see.
Eileen Naughton, YouTube’s director for media platforms is cited in the Times article: “We are trying to be respectful of the YouTube community, whilst working with marketing partners.” (…) “less than 10 per cent of users choose to close the image overlay as soon as it appears”.
Well, they shouldn`t undervalue the competition on the video services market. When the users get annoyed they will switch.

Why I’m Doing This?

August 23, 2007

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If anybody is wondering why Iam doing this (investing time in someting like a blog), I just want to cite this wonderful post from Russell Davis (an incredible talented advertising planner – former working for Wieden+Kennedy. – If you are doing anything like brand management or advertising, like me in my other life, I just can highly recommend to read his blog.)

“But the great thing about a blog, or at least this one, for me, is that it’s a great place to keep all the smaller, lower interest, everyday bits of your life and your thinking. I’m not posting my most important work here, or my deepest feelings. I’m posting the unconsidered trifles that occur to everyone everyday, that might turn into something, but which’ll probably just blow away. And the great thing with the blog is that they just sit here until they come in handy. Or don’t. And they’re all searchable.
That’s how I use it anyway. It’s like a personal corporate archive, a searchable depository of little thoughts, quotes, images and ideas.
And it’s more than that, it’s also a way of building value via accretion (how do you like that jargon?) by which I mean this:
Blogs are a tremendous way of starting things. Any little idea you have, you can start it off, in a very low effort, low key way. And maybe you’ll never come back to it, but maybe you will and maybe you’ll extend it and then maybe a year later, or whenever, you’ll actually have achieved quite a lot. Without really meaning to.”
(…)

“But anyway, welcome to my personal institutional memory. Enjoy your visit.”

Wal-Mart DRM Free

August 21, 2007

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Now it should be just a question of time that all majors will join the party.
WJS.com reports that Wal-Mart sells EMI and Universal tracks DRM free on waltmart.com for 94 cents.

The Future with the President of the RIAA

August 18, 2007

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Cary Sherman gave an interview to the Homer Theater with, besides the usual conservative thinking of stealing etc., a good and openminded statement about the future of the music industry:

“The industry is changing, no doubt about that. In 2005, digital formats (ringtones, subscription services, and downloads) were 8.8 percent of overall industry revenues; in 2006, they were 16.1 percent. Clearly, that is our future. But I don’t think it will be a future with just downloads. If you think about it, digital downloads are a pretty traditional model—you are buying a song or album, just in a different form.

Mobile will be huge. We are at just the tip of the iceberg with mobile—videos, streaming music and subscription services, Internet radio, you name it—will be available on mobile. The licensing of music will be increasingly important (for TV shows, movies, etc). Performance royalties from digital radio services like satellite and Internet radio will grow and be a bigger piece of the pie. Music companies will branch out and no longer just be record companies, but all-purpose entertainment firms. Lastly, legal subscription services—those now on the scene like Rhapsody and Napster—but other models as well (perhaps by an ISP?) in the future will play a bigger part. It’s a different model than what people are used to, so it will take some time, but the subscription service model—all you can eat a month for basically the price of a CD—makes real economic sense and will likely grow as consumers become more comfortable with this new way of acquiring music.

The future is bright. We are in a tough transition now, but the good news is that the appetite for music is greater than ever. All those iPods have made music even more a part of everyone’s daily life than before. But while the consumption of music is increasing, people are paying for less and less of it. We just need to steer more attention toward legal models and continue to innovate and offer exciting additional ways to consume music.”

A Revolution for the Local Newspaper Market?

August 16, 2007

A great article at Wired about a possible change of local newspapers in the US. Gannett newspaper division (in the United States, the company publishes 85 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, and nearly 1,000 non-daily publications.) started to make your local newspaper to a local online platform and motivate you to write yourself. Great and simple user generated content idea! I am looking forward for the first projects here in Germany.
Citizens are desperate to broadcast their message to their communities, especially in small towns.