Archive for May, 2008

New Online Medium Haptic

May 24, 2008

Touchscreens have been around for a while now… but … wow… watch this video by Scobeleizer shot in the microsoft research center… this step in screen technology will be huge… it will change the “haptic” of online content… it will change the customer experience… it will change the design and structure of websites… can`t wait to use such a screen…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

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It’s All About A Music Entertainment Experience

May 21, 2008

There is a quite interesting Digital Media Wire interview with Chris Allen (COO Napster): “It’s all about a music entertainment experience and not about a buying experience… “I agree!

Vodpod videos no longer available.  

Peer To Peer On The Mobile

May 21, 2008

Just found this article on Wired. There it is: The first big p2p application for a mobile phone. It`s funny that this appears at a time when Steve Jobs wants to conquer the music mobile business… iSlsk lets iPhones share music on the Soulseek network at decent speeds. It enables one to download half of a full-length movie in 20 minutes, while song downloads takes only three minutes over WiFi. See a short demo in the video. It seems to work… next generation filesharing?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Napster Reloaded – DRM Free

May 20, 2008

Napster just launched the largest digital rights management-free music store in the world, with six million songs that can be loaded onto just about any digital audio player.

So here we go… Napster with a two way solution, subscription and pay per download. And on top of that a great digital music brand… maybe this is serious competition for itunes now.

I can imagine that some people will start as Napster customers, by buying DRM-free songs a la carte, and after a while they will realize that a subscription service is very useful…

The brand Napster is quite interesting… up to now, the business model was not on a competitive basis to a mainstream target group, and it wasn`t really possible to capitalize the brand, but now…

If the brand and the shop is able to add more “context”, meaning getting traffic from mags, music portals, blogs, cooperations with media brands et cetera…. then it will provide a competitive product and possibly gain back their “pirate” community”…

Well, we will see…

Video A La Carte –> A Disaster?

May 12, 2008

There was this Marc Cuban post a view days ago… and today I read again a post on Digital Media Wire by Paul Sweeting on the same theme: The report of Bernstein Research written by analyst Craig Moffet: “And Now for the News…The Emperor Has No Clothes”
I would love to read this report… but can´t afford it… so I’m just writting about what is posted out there in the blogosphere…

Craig Moffet made two important points in his report:

  • Consumer tolerance of advertising is much lower online than in the traditional TV channel and that it simply is not possible to support the sort of professional production values expected on TV through advertising online.
  • The web’s ability to let users select only the most desirable programs, or only the most desirable portions of programs–means programmers will not be able to leverage popular programs to support less popular programs through bundling

Don`t know what you think… but both points I don`t see as “dramatic” in the future as its discussed here (maybe it´s more dramatic in the shorterm):
First: People are already do something like “cherry picking”, not as much as they will do in the future but they already can choose their program format … under round about 50 Channels… the best format will win… now and in future. Zapping is no new thing.
Second: We can expect that people will at least watch the same amount of time video content now or in future irrespective of the media channel. So we have the same amount of attention, what means the same amount of value that can be monetized.
Third: People maybe don`t accept as much advertising online than on TV, but we will know the customer who is watching. We don`t have to believe on research based TV ratings… we will know the exact numbers and in future we are able to personalize advertising, the wastage of media money will be minimized, every user, every content view will be more valuable..
Fourth: The quality of watching video content will rise considerably – watch what, when, wherever you want – that means people will watch more video than ever before… so there will be even more attention to monetize.
Fifth: Bundling will definetely be an important tool in the digital age, like it is in the music industry. There will be just new kind of bundles…

And this is the real question: Which bundles could work? What kind of online platforms are able to monetize the content? What services or added value is needed? Who can compete with the “free” competition?

But the discussion in the blog posts mentioned above is more about the question: Are TV stations making a huge mistake by putting their current schedules online for free?

Marc Cuban added to the discussion the following point:

  • “The ala carting of video on the net will benefit those who enable the search for content and can monetize that search.”

Paul Sweeting made these points:

  • “What Moffet is describing is a process very much like what the record companies went through: a radical reorientation of the dynamic between producer and consumer. You do not “publish” or “distribute” content on the Internet, although publishers and distributors like to think they do. You make content available on the Internet for others to access and aggregate as they will. The process is fundamentally, always and ineluctably user-driven.”
  • Like it or not, the web simply isn’t very kind to publishers, packagers and distributors. It rewards enablers. Search is an enabling technology. (…) The challenge for publishers is not to figure out how to force the web to reward them. It’s to figure out how to capture the value created by enabling technology.

So far so good. I fully agree to all three points.

But then I was a little bit confused by conclusions like this from Paul:

“In that sense, Cuban is right. It may not make sense for the networks simply to make their schedules available for free on the Internet. That doesn’t really create any new value; it mostly just drains value from linear platforms.”

As Paul wrote himself, when the content is “public”, than it is available… Anyone know websites like “surfthechannel.com”? So, why shouldn`t they publish it online? It`s out there anyway. They can`t stop the technology! Said thousands of times…. There is the “free” (legal or not) competitor, so compete with it! Try to build your brand in the online world!

And to the question of Marc:

Will shows be forced to introduce different versions of shows, say with different ratings as a means of differentiating TV from streamed shows ? The R rated version of Friday Night Lights online and the PG version on TV?

I think content creator even have to go further: Transmedia Storytelling! Why shouldn`t there be complementary content for example at the daily mobisode, on the weekly TV show, the online version and the online game?.

And I fully agree with Paul:

“What the networks need is to figure out how to capture the value created by enabling consumers to access, select, aggregate, transform, embed and share content–in a word, to use it. Anything else is just TV with buffering.”

So please, don`t stop making content available for free online. But that`s not enough! There has to be more to monetize your content in the longterm. Video a la carte is not a disaster, but it`s just a small part of a new “business model” to monetize your content online. Try to find new ways to increase the consumer experience. Use the chance to present your content idea deeper and in more detail and extend than ever before to your fans. Not long ago you had just 40 minutes per week…

Hard Times

May 11, 2008

Matt Mason did for Penguin Books a beautifully illustrated (by Nicholas Felton) “digital presentation” on the developement  of society in the digital age.

Great stuff.

The Whirl And Visual Thinking

May 10, 2008

I like this kind of “video” presentation… of course the video is worth watching too. Dave Gray is talking about cognitive challenges of the information age and shows the important part of visual language. (If the video is not working on your browser… blame vodpod… and click here, sorry.:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Social Networks Like Air – Not a Destination

May 9, 2008

A few days ago I cited some insights on the next level of social networks. Now we are one step closer? Facebook announced “Facebook Connect” today:

“Today we are announcing Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect is the next iteration of Facebook Platform that allows users to “connect” their Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site. This will now enable third party websites to implement and offer even more features of Facebook Platform off of Facebook – similar to features available to third party applications today on Facebook.”

Read this great post from Charlene Li on this anouncement.

Social networks are no closed silos anymore, you have the ability to join more focused niche platforms, networks et cetera (have a look at Ning), and you can bring all your data and friends with you (Read more on the long tail of social networks in this post from Chris Anderson).
Social Networks are no destination anymore, they are something like a tool, a very important feature you can carry with you around the web.

For media content owners this means social networks get more more to a very valuable “own media channel”…

Dynamic Pricing ? ? ?

May 8, 2008

Warner experiments with dynamic pricing for digital albums… Well, is it a big thing in these times? Or maybe a little too late? Dynamic pricing would have been a great idea a few years ago… at the moment we are talking about more exciting pricing strategies like all kinds of bundles… ad supported solutions… “free content”…

I don`t think people pay for digital downloads cause they want to make a “bargain”. Simply why should they pay for a “bargain”? The “real” bargain is called “free”. People pay for the service and the customer experience at a downloadshop… They pay for an album cause they want the songs now and immediately. I don`t think people buy more albums, cause the price of a special album is for a short time a few cents cheaper than “normal”. I don´t think people will give an album “a chance” cause its cheaper at the moment. “Exploring” music happens in new ways these times …  where even “superstars” like Coldplay release their first single for “free” etc… Sorry, dynamic pricing this way feels like a model of the good old “CD world”.

The price range of the shop decides, if I will buy there frequently or not…

Personalized pricing…. what about that???

We will see… Just a thought.

Next Level Social Networks

May 1, 2008

Just want to share two great insights on the future of social networks I read today:

“(…) the future of social networks, where social networks will be like air. It makes no sense that your social connections be locked up in a social network — when I receive a message within Facebook, there’s no way to forward to it my work colleagues, friends, and family who are not on Facebook. And that significantly reduces the effectiveness and value of Facebook to me. (…)”
Charlene Li – Forrester Research

“Social is not a destination — it’s a dimension and it will infuse all aspects of a consumer’s experience on the Web.”
Ari Balogh – Yahoo! CTO