Archive for April, 2008

Broadband –> IPTV –> Sharing –> Watching TV 2.0

April 30, 2008

All digital business models are driven by the basis technology: Connection – Broadband.

Wired has a feature right know about “broadband 2.0” – Whatever that means…. it`s faster! And it’s coming soon.
For the TV-industry this fast developement is a crucial thing… We are all talking about IPTV for quite a while… (here I mean the “set top box” IPTV ….) and we compare it with the “old TV” and “web TV” (internet streaming, diverse formats e.g. YouTube, Hulu, Joost …) … we talk about the advantages of IPTV and opportunities and we are wondering why it`s not as fast growing as e.g. in France…

But if we see the developement in the broadband and software area (media player and formats – have a look at the new Adobe Media Player, the quality is amazing) you can ask, if there is any chance for IPTV growth in the longterm future ? Won`t the user switch directly to “Web TV” ?
Why should a user go in the “walled garden” IPTV? Just cause of a convient “hardware tool” that connects my TV Screen with the data highway?
Let`s have a look at the advantages of IPTV so far: There a lot of advantages to the “old tv model” – time sovereignty, interacitvity, content on demand, personification, recommendation systems et cetera…

… but there are just two advantages compared to Web TV: quality of resolution and “100% legal”.
When we see the broadband developement … “HD” soon won’t be a problem for “web TV”…
The legal thing… well maybe it’s no “real” advantage… I fully agree with Gerd Leonhard in his post here: When we talk about sharing today: That is just the tip of the iceberg! Soon we will be able to share video content in HD faster and in more ways than ever before… there always will be this “free” content out there… no matter if it`s legal or not..

So, “Web TV” is much more flexible than IPTV…. the user has the opportunity to choose between different business models… pay per view, subscription, ad supported, illegal free… can switch between content providers…

Of course… there are some months to go …. to see this happen… but the question is if this short amount of time is worth to invest seriously in IPTV? Or is it better to focus on the next level…. invest in building a content provider brand for web tv? Starting a business model in the “grey copyright area” to fix the rights afterwards? A business modell that has it`s strenghts in the service quality, the brand, “the context” … cause the content will come anyway? As always… just a thought.

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Sueing Your Customers… Good For Your Image?

April 25, 2008

Sueing your customers… well some guys said it before… not really a good idea, if you want stay in business with them.

Record labels most of the time have no direct contact to the consumers… the brands of their artists are and were much more important. So maybe some people thought, by hiding behind a “name” like the IFPI or RIAA, they can sue their customers wthout any negative…

But as the figures from PR agency Edelman (cited in this article from Peter Kafka) show, the consumer realizes what is happening… and who is acting… so the label image is getting worse and worse:

“The number of UK consumers who said they trusted the industry fell from 47% in 2007 to 31% this year, with confidence disturbed by moves by the music industry to track down and punish illegal music copying, and high-profile scandals in broadcasting.

Surveying younger consumers aged 18-34, Edelman found that 55% would take “direct action” against a company if they objected to its practices, 53% would share negative opinions with friends and 46% would ignore a firm’s marketing and advertising. Even more damning, a further 39% said they would not invest in those companies.”

So, on first sight you can still think, that`s no problem, cause the artist brand is the “selling brand”… but what happens when artists which are not signed at major labels sell more albums or get more attention, a bigger fanbase, when they are not signed at a major? What happens if bands seem to be much more credible when they are not signed at a major or even on a “record label”?

Record labels are on an artist market… talented artists always have the chance to choose where to sign… and in the digital age, there are new options:
Do it on your own – Radiohead – do it with a FMCG brand – Groove Armada – do it with a service brand – Paul McCartney – do it with a Concert Agency – Madonna …. just to name a few examples …

Argue hard with ISPs or online services or other parties who make money with your rights, but you should stop sueing your customers. You can`t stop piracy, so stop hurting your brand and relationship to your customers and your artists.

Just a thought.

Social Music Networks

April 25, 2008

Great overview about the most important social music networks at the moment. Useful!

Well … myspace and facebook aren`t mentioned… no mainstream included…

(Found via Gerd Leonhard)

Amazon vs. iTunes? Different Target Groups?

April 23, 2008

It seems so… NPD says… see an interesting article on ars technica.

“(…) only 10 percent of Amazon MP3 customers had previously bought music through iTunes, showing that Amazon is building its own user base that is independent of the ones patronizing other stores. In fact, there are a number of demographics that differ between Amazon MP3 and iTunes users, NPD says. Amazon has a stronger following among male users (64 percent, compared to iTunes’ 44 percent), although iTunes is more popular among teenagers between 13 and 17 (18 percent, compared to Amazon’s measly three percent).”

On first sight and thought: People with no iPods, new in the digital world, normally ordering cds… discover music as download…. and buy at amazon? But what happens then?

Why should I stay at Amazon?

Besides the “hardware factor”, what could be a lock in effect for a music service that makes sense?
Just a brand ” well known from the analog world”, will not be enough…
Context? Community? Recommendation Systems? Subscriptions? Hardware bundle?
Anything else?

120 Dollar For Unlimited Music On Your Mobile?

April 22, 2008

Today SonyBMG said yes… and it seems finally that Nokia’s “Comes With Music” project (more here and here) could launch with a “big library of songs”.
For some days now there are new rumours about the pricing of the service . You can find a short update/summary via Coolfer.

When Glenns calculation/assumption is right the on top price per handheld could be round about 120 Dollar… 10 Dollar per month… seems like a high price for me…
Well… if I would be able to connect my home-audio-system and my car with my phone… maybe…

… but I think you won’t get the young people… students, pupils… maybe some business guys… no time, enough money..
… on the other hand the kids spend incredible much money on ringtones…

We will see…

The Filter – David Maher Roberts …

April 19, 2008

… presents his new online service: The Filter.As I wrote in the post before… I can`t wait to test it.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from blog.thefilter.com posted with vodpod

The Filter – The Perfect Filter?

April 19, 2008

Recommendation systems are great and very important for media consume in the future (I wrote about it a while ago here and here). Most of the content providers and services in the online world are currently based on concepts which use/need the “lean forward mode” of media consumers. But consumers love the “lean backward mode” a lot in a age of information overflow (the burden of choice). In the music area we have already one great product: Last.Fm.

Now there is the launch of a new online service:

The Filter, a new media recommendation and discovery service, announced on Tuesday the launch of an invite-only private beta. But not like last.fm which just recommends and personalizes your music programme, the filter also includes movies, TV and other media, and considers past purchases, websites viewed, searches performed, friends’ picks and critics’ opinions into its recommendations

I`m quite excited about that… I was looking for such a service for a while… can`t wait to see how it will doing..

Here some more informations from The Filter website

“The Filter is powered by an engine that provides a holistic approach to recommendations – filtering out irrelevant content and only filtering in content that reflects an individual’s tastes and moods through unique algorithms.

In addition to the consumer entertainment experience here at TheFilter.com, The Filter can also provide white label and co-branded solutions for content partners seeking to better match their inventory of content to their visitors’ tastes.

The Filter’s core is a recommendation and discovery engine derived from a branch of Artificial Intelligence, called Bayesian mathematics. Simplistically, the engine uses an evidence model (which includes purchase, consumption and browsing data) to derive the similarity of items. When The Filter’s engine is supplied with one or more items of interest it delivers a pick-list of items that are statistically relevant by order of probability.”

U.S. Game Sales Up 57%

April 18, 2008

I`m not writing  enough about the games industry here… That`s a mistake.

The new figures for March are reported from NPD (via Digital Media Wire).

Transmedia Storytelling

April 17, 2008

I think it´s a big thing in the future. Everybody has been talking about crossmedia campaigns in the ad industry for years… but what about the entertainment industry… what about telling stories crossmedia, transmedia. A story plot not just in one medium… cinema or TV…. a big chance especially for TV series`… with complex and long story plots. Why not tell an additional story plot or part of the story exclusive on another distribution medium than just video/tv episode —e.g. mobisodes, comic books, games etc… or why not even develope interactive story elements… for example with a ARG – Alternate Reality Game –

Engagement television … give the viewers more chances for talking at the watercooler, at the chat rooms, the social networks… let them be part of the story.

I can´t wait to see the first real great concept.

The new technologies of digitalisation give writers and producers more opportunities…

Series like Heroes and Lost were a first step in this new storytelling…

But more than just a new viewer/user experience it can be a great business opportunity to capitalise a brand – content concept in more ways, in new ways, in ways that don’t have to “compete with the illegal free options”…

In November last year there was a great panel discussion at the MIT organized by the MIT Communications Forum titled:

NBC’s Heroes: Appointment TV to Engagement TV

The discussion was moderated by Henry Jenkins (Director of Comparative Media Studies Program).
He talked with Jesse Alexander: Co-Executive Producer and Writer, Heroes NBC (Alexander on the Heroes wiki)
and Mark Warshaw: Writer, Producer, Director, Heroes, NBC (Warshaw on the Heroes wiki)

about transmedia strategies for Heroes.

“Jesse Alexander helped usher in this transformation. He says Heroes was “conceived to take advantage of every possible media platform to tell stories, to make the brand viable and important in the world.” Nowadays, to generate such “AAA franchise content,” creators must incorporate “transmedia into the DNA of (their) concept.” With Heroes, this has meant spinning off DVDs, greeting cards, comic books and webisodes with distinct narrative threads, and providing spaces online where core enthusiasts can opine on plot and character.”

The video (Real Player) is a bit long (1:58:29)… but worth watching… especially for fans of Heroes…

What Is Television Anyway?

April 16, 2008

Accenture released a new report: “Television in Transition”. The Accenture Consumer Broadcast Survey 2008 (register for free).

An interesting survey based on 7000 consumers in eight countries. The report doesn`t tells us anything completely new, no big surprises, but it`s important to see that some “dynamics” a lot of people have been writing and thinking about for quite a while are really happening out there now. And so it`s getting more urgent to adress the question: “How do we define Television today?”

The most important findings of the report are:
Consumers globally have an absolute demand for control over their viewing experience: the ability to watch what they want, when they want, via the device they want.

Here some more insights:

– The traditional television set is regarded as just one option among several for consuming video content.

– 3 out of 10 adults in the survey now watch some content every week via alternative devices such as mobile and PC.

– Consumers are seeking greater control over their viewing experience. Three quarters of consumers worldwide are interested in at least one feature of enhanced television, primarily in on-demand services/content and the ability to time-shift viewing.

– The behavioral shift was spearheaded by younger adults – the beginning of an impending wave of change.

– Adults under 25 are unsatisfied with current television options:

– Consumers of all ages share the tendency to be loyal to content brands rather than distribution channels or channel brands.

– Content drives devices: Consumers select each device on the basis of which one will best suit the specific content.

– Paying for content? The most popular choice is by agreeing to view advertisements.

– Cultural differences: One-size-fits all approach to digital services will not work. Pace and nature of the ongoing change in consumer taste, expectations and aspirations varies in different countries worldwide.