Archive for February, 2008

build.last.fm

February 29, 2008

Sorry for not posting a while, some other projects took my my mind off things…
I found this today on Last.Fm.

Last.Fm is a great music service! They have a great basic concept idea, but more important they improve their site and their concept continually. At the moment they are going step by step the way to a social network, but also the way to a full service music platform. And yesterday they did something right again:

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“Today we’re pleased to introduce build.last.fm, a gallery of apps and services that take slices of the Last.fm experience into tons of cool new directions. We’ve only just started adding to it, but — with your help, of course — we expect it to grow quickly! (In features too; stay tuned for search, RSS feeds, user comments, and more.)

This is just a small piece of our much larger goal for 2008, which will include a re-launch of our developer site, along with new and improved APIs for some of our most important functionality.

We hope you enjoy checking out all the things you can do with a Last.fm profile. But we’re even more excited to see where you’ll take the music next. ”

Pushing traffic and especially customer loyality through mashups, widgets, and services that leverage Last.fm data is a great next step, not least for the brand.

With actions like this Last.Fm still stays on the side of the “good guys”. On the side of the open source and gift economy and on the other side of the “commercial”, “DRM”, “user sueing” “cooperations”. It gives the brand authenticity and credibility and on top the tools do great promotion.

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Music 2.0 Gerd Leonhard

February 24, 2008

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Gerd Leonhards new Book is out now. It`s a collection of blog posts and essays of him since 2003.

I flipped through this weekend and found more interesting stuff that I can work with at the moment. Some things you will already know, if you follow Gerd`s work in the last years, but there is a lot of to “rediscover”. A must read!

You can order the book here or get a free pdf version here.

Enjoy!

2012 Music Money Goes Digital – Now There Is Movement

February 20, 2008

Forrester Research has a new report with the titel “The End Of The Music Industry As We Know It“. According to this report digitally downloaded music will surpass physical CD sales in 2012.

Here are some free slides (ppt) of the teleconference to the report release.

Perhaps it´s numbers like that, why labels finally are talking now with a lot of people in the digital area about new distribution models … and about more serious conditions…
So for example there a rumours since last week that MySpace is making a deal with the labels to get DRM free ad supported downloads on their site. Omnifone launches a new mobile music subscription service bundled with a handset (similar to Nokia’s model)… not mentioning the Last.Fm thing, the Google China talks… and so on… news coming in weekly… there is movement now…
What about Apple? I am looking forward to here some news from there…

So fact is, in the next months there will develope a lot of new ways to experience music, legal music, and often free or feel like free music. What could happen?
Customers could get confused. Which model is the right one? Where do I get a good deal? What is free what not? What is legal and which services or applications are not? Is there any difference? Do I have to pay for music?

Studies like this (from KRC for Microsoft) show that most of the young users still don`t think they do something like stealing in the net.

So this new developement, this confusion, won`t change this “thinking”. So … Do pay per download models have any chance in the future?
And here we are back at the Forrester Research report. They say subscription services won`t make it till 2012 – Digital downloads will make the race.

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Well, I am not sure about that. I don`t know when subscription services finally can handle their problems, but I am sure that “feels like free services” and ad supported models will grow. Why should digital pay per download models grow so fast?

Well… but what do I know…

News Packaging

February 19, 2008

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I am not really writing a lot about the “news industry” here yet, and I am sorry for that, definitely have to come to that later…

Jeff Jarvis is thinking about the next steps in the newsroom in his blog posts here and here. There is a lot of analysing of the production of newspapers now…. value chain analyising et cetera….

Just one thought when Jeff is talking about “packaging” of news content in the future:
Will the consumer learn from the music industry?
“I can get my personalized content there… why can`t I get my personalized (online) news content? Why can`t I get the “sports section” from this newspaper and the “business section” from this and this paper?”
Will the consumer demand and behaviour change?

If they do, will the role of the “packager”  completely change in  the next years?

RSS feeds, iGoogle, RSS Reader et cetera are all first steps in this direction… but it will get better.
Why shouldn`t there be something like “Last.Fm” just for news? You will get personalized news, but you still can stay in the “lean backward” mood… You will get all the news not just from one editorial anymore… You will get only news you are interested in…

Just a thought….

Kevin Kelly

February 17, 2008

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A few days ago I wrote about a blog post from Kevin Kelly with the theme “free”.
Researching about Kelly I found his article in the NYTimes from 2002!
A great article about innovation and digitalisation.
Here just a few great parts of the article:

“But the moment something becomes free and ubiquitous, its position in the economic equation is suddenly inverted. When nighttime electrical lighting was new, it was the poor who burned common candles. When electricity became easily accessible and practically free, candles at dinner became a sign of luxury.

In this new supersaturated online universe of infinite free digital duplication, the axis of value has flipped. In the industrial age, copies often were more valuable than the original. Most people wanted a perfect working clone. The more common the clone, the more desirable, since it would then come with a brand name respected by others and a network of service and repair outlets.

But now, in a brave new world of abundant and free copies, the order has inverted. Copies are so ubiquitous, so cheap (free, in fact) that the only things truly valuable are those which cannot be copied.

What kinds of things can’t be copied? Well, for instance: trust, immediacy, personalization. There is no way to download these qualities from existing copies or to install them from a friend’s CD. So while you can score a copy free of charge, if you want something authenticated, or immediately, or personalized, you’ll have to pay.”

Also great his thought that digitalisation or copydom has three stages: Perfect, Free and Fluid

“Digital copies are not only perfect and free, they are also fluid. Once music is digitized it becomes a liquid that can be morphed and migrated and flexed and linked. You can filter it, bend it, archive it, rearrange it, remix it, mess with it. And you can do this to music that you write, or music that you listen to, or music that you borrow.”

New Research Data About Video…

February 16, 2008

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First, Nielsen released some new interesting Data about DVR usage, showing that DVRs are increasing the amount of television being watched. Viewers are also pushing back the traditional boundaries of “prime-time,” as people record shows and watch them later that same night.
Since 2005, DVRs have helped to a 3 percent increase in TV viewing at 9 p.m. and a 5 percent boost between 11 p.m. and midnight.

When I read the number “2005”…: Why is there still no market for DVR in Germany? Why? The DVR products are great. They have so many advantages for the users. Are we worried about the adbreak?

Second, ComScore, in collaboration with Media Contacts, took a step towards defining “heavy” and “light” online video watchers.

They looked at the time people spent watching online video and found out that there is a huge time gap between heavy users and moderate or light viewers:

Heavy viewers (top 20 percent of viewers): averaged 841 minutes of online viewing per month
Moderate viewers (next 30 percent): averaged 77 minutes per month
Light viewers (bottom 50 percent): watched only 6 minutes per month
In average a viewer watched 203 minutes of video in the best month.
So 80 percent are watching less than half of what the “average” is.

What does this say?
I think this heavy users are no “Geeks” or “Addicts”, that`s just the small number of early adopters who have the perfect infrastructure and “know how” to watch online video and can already use the “whole potential” of online video (perhaps they have already a Livingroom Screen/TV – online connection, broadband, etc.). This figures show the potential, when people get familar with online video “hardware”.
Just a guess…

Jarvis Mak, Media Contacts’ vice president, explained the wide discrepancy between heavy and light viewers during a keynote presentation, noting that a similar gap existed between heavy and light web surfers back in the early days of the Web. (via Newteevee)

Can We Learn From The Digital Photography Industry?

February 14, 2008

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A sad day today. Polaroid has announced that it plans to wind down its instant film business. Polaroid photography is great. I love that product. Expensive…but great…
The whole photography industry, i don’t have to tell you, is in a big digital transformation process. Some companies suffer a lot… Is it any big public  discussion? No, not really. It`s the normal process of innovation… The photography industry accepted that.

There Is Something Going On…

February 13, 2008

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I am always a little careful looking at numbers and forecasts like this… but anyway …

New multimedia platforms in the U.S. will capture $12.6 billion in advertising revenue by 2012, according to Parks Associates’ report “New Advertising Platforms and Technologies“.

Well … that’s a lot.

Making Things That Are Better Than Free

February 11, 2008

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I am posting  a lot around this theme at the moment… sorry for that…

Kevin Kelly,  founding executive editor of Wired magazine, had a great post on his blog.
Like his colleague Chris Anderson he thinks: “When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.”

So, what can`t be copied?

“A generative value is a quality or attribute that must be generated, grown, cultivated, nurtured. A generative thing can not be copied, cloned, faked, replicated, counterfeited, or reproduced. It is generated uniquely, in place, over time. In the digital arena, generative qualities add value to free copies, and therefore are something that can be sold. “

He suggests eight generative values which are better than free:

  • Immediacy
  • Personalization
  • Interpretation
  • Authenticity
  • Accessibility
  • Embodiment
  • Patronage
  • Findability

Find more details to every of his values in the full article.

Great thoughts!

Snowball and anarchy

February 11, 2008

Two nice quotes I stumbel across in a presentation by Gerd Leonhard:

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“The Internet is the first thing humanity has built that humanity doesn`t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we’ve ever had” – Eric Schmidt, CEO Google

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“You`re faced with a massive, once-in-a-lifetime shift in mainstream consumer behavior from traditional mass media, including film and television, to new activities that you do not control: the internet, social networking, user-generated content, mobile services, video games. It`s been snowballing since the mid 90`s, for like 12 years — 12 years of denial and obfuscation — but it’s really rolling fast now.”Mark Andreesen, co-author of the first widely-used web browser, and co-founder of Netscape Communications Corporation