Archive for October, 2008

Medientage Munich 2008: Day One

October 29, 2008


Just back from Day 1 of the Medientage 2008 here in Munich

There is no chance to blog a conference like that in detail without going crazy, so just some things I have learnt… in bullet points, sorry.

(Update: I have added links to videos  of the panels I´m talking about. Most of them are in German, sorry.)


Panel: Customer Relationship instead of Ratings – New Driving Force in TV?

Watch the video here.

Intro speech by Niko Steinkrauß, Booz & Company:

– Three megatrends influence and accelerate each other: -> fragmentation of the media market -> advertiser under pressure -> power moves to the consumer

– Examples like P&G, Coke, Nike show that “direct customer relationships” are getting more and more important for the big media spenders.

– Only interactive and “target able” advertising platforms show growth.

– There is a rethinking in campaign controlling: Reach is not the only “thing” anymore. Performance, ROI and “interactivity” are getting more important.

– High CPMs for interactivity: Opportunities for TV 2.0?

– Let the user decide how they want to consume advertising (eg. preroll “block”? banner? ad breaks –> higher engagement –> higher advertising impact)

– Best case: Hulu

– Concerns about privacy vs. willingness to get relevant advertising –> more clarification

– Recommendations: Be a brand not a aggregator of viewers – there is more than just one platform – don´t just offer adinventory, offer solutions – cooperations between TV channels are necessary to establish new standards eg. web tv (Hulu) – overcome being just a wholesaler of adinventory and try to establish communities and capitalize customer relationships

Panel discussion:

Berg: A current Microsoft study shows that the “under 20 generation” has no interest in television anymore. They don`t arrange their spare time around TV programme anymore.

Senft: There is no cannibalization. TV and Online complement each other.

Züll: Definition of TV? Linear or non linear? TV signal or IP protocol? TV content still works. Hulu uses TV content but non linear.

Fassnacht: The user is most of the time in the new online environment overextended. Content overflow. This leads to less users. Comparsion: Product line management in the retail industry: Smaller range of products leads to more sales.

Berg: Trend – I don´t care about ratings. I want performance, I want response.

Züll: Internet usage will consolidate and focus. Every user has small relevant set of websites he visits regularly.

Guild: It´s more important nowadays what users say about brands that what brands say about themselves. The big challenge for the media: How do we play a role in the connection of client brands with the consumer conversations.

Fastnacht: Only get in contact with a consumer when he wants to. Only then!

Künstner: The learning curve in CRM in the new environment is big. A huge chance for media companies.

Berg: The transformation process from “classic TV” to “TV in the digital age” in the next 3-5 years is crucial.

Künstner: Who will design the best customer experience? Probably not one of the “old players” (See music industry and Apple).


Panel: Media, Power &  Brand: Business Models and Brand Values in the Digital World

Watch the video here.

Gerhard Müller presents some insights of the new Ernst & Young study (only German) “Medien und Marken im Web 2.0

Evsan: User generated content has to be combined with premium content. Premium content was always and will be very important in the future.

Dörrenbächer: Case: “A small world” – Exclusive niche community –> very valuable for Mercedes.

Mangold: Communication concepts and cross media solutions are very important. Display ads are not enough. Performance based marketing rules. There will be a evolution from “reach” to “risk & revenue share” business models.

Dörrenbächer: Which role will digital media play in the value chain? Standards for “measurement” are still missing. Behavioral targeting is not far enough…

Deutschmann: The “used” targeting parameters are still very simple. Basic demography targeting is still standard. Media agencies and clients aren`t able to use all the data they can get… many niches are to small to target…

A great first day.


Cloud Computing is more of a Reality than we think…

October 28, 2008

I was just thinking again about this post from Kevin Kelly a few days ago. This whole scenario about cloud computing sounds a bit “Science Fiction”… but actually it isn`t …
Even Microsoft is starting a big PR campaign now around it`s new platform Windows Azure… ” the future is cloud computing”…. so it`s going mainstream, although most internet users are still unaware of the term “cloud computing.” They are already taking advantage of it more than they know.

When we talk about cloud computing we mean an architecture by which data and applications reside in cyberspace, allowing users to access them through any web-connected device. This includes: webmail services like Hotmail or Gmail; personal photo storage services like Flickr; online applications like Google Docs and Photoshop Express; video storeage and publishing services like Youtube; blogging platforms like WordPress; social bookmarking sites like Delicious; social networks like Facebook; and of course online servers where you can backup your harddrive or any other personal files..

The PEW Research Center published in September 2008 a study stating that 69 % of all Internet users have either stored data online or used a web-based software application. If you think of the list examples above, you would think it would be even more…

… and it should be just a matter of time for people to accept that cloud computing is superior to desktop applications in all areas of software or media usage and so the hardware industry will respond on it with new devices. Mobile device of all kinds will profit a lot from this developement.

Of course people have many concerns about cloud computing like security and privacy, but there will be some solutions to give the users a “safe feeling”. …  anyway, this will be a big challenge.

So cloud computing is coming fast… what does this mean for the media industry?
A lot especially for the business models. In a cloud computing world, “owning” content is not a thing you will think about anymore, since that was part of the physical media world. You will just desire access to content. That´s all you need. So the cloud computing system and all it`s advantages for the users will push the developement to “The Age of Access“.  Ad supported content will be huge, especially cause of the big opportunities in personalized advertising. Cloud computing is the perfect and most efficient environment for personalized advertising. Social communities and social production will be more efficient than ever before. And that`s just the obvious stuff. If you read the post by Kevin Kelly you will find many more ideas for all parts of the media industry and how it will change in a certain area. I will try to do more research on this stuff…

Predicting the Digital Age 14 Years Ago

October 27, 2008


Yesterday I read an amazing WIRED article! Well…  great magazine…. but this one was from 1995. Remember how computers and mobile phones looked in 1995?
The article is about a new way of looking at compensation for owners and creators in the net-based economy. The author, Esther Dyson, predicted in her article all the problems the media industry will be confronted with in more than ten years time cause of digitalisation. She wrote about all the challenges for owners, creators, sellers and users of intellectual property. About the fact that quality content will be free, easy to copy but hard to find. And she made suggestions how content creators can find ways to be paid. The article could have been written last year … and still it would be a great one.

I had never heard about this article before… (sure, I had heard about Esther)
It`s quite a long article … I just wanted to quote a few of the best parts:

“In a new environment, such as the gravity field of the moon, laws of physics play out differently. On the Net, there is an equivalent change in “gravity” brought about by the ease of information transfer. We are entering a new economic environment – as different as the moon is from the earth – where a new set of physical rules will govern what intellectual property means, how opportunities are created from it, who prospers, and who loses.
Chief among the new rules is that “content is free.” While not all content will be free, the new economic dynamic will operate as if it were. In the world of the Net, content (including software) will serve as advertising for services such as support, aggregation, filtering, assembly and integration of content modules, or training of customers in their use.”


“I am not saying that content is worthless, or that you will always get it for free. Content providers should manage their businesses as if it were free, and then figure out how to set up relationships or develop ancillary products and services that cover the costs of developing content. (…) The way to become a leading content provider may be to start by giving your content away. This “generosity” isn’t a moral decision: it’s a business strategy.”


“The definition of the problem, rather than its solution, will be the scarce resource in the future.”


Owning the intellectual property is like owning land: you need to keep investing in it again and again to get a payoff; you can’t simply sit back and collect rent. To some, this state of affairs may seem unfair. It certainly is if you grew up by the old rules and don’t want to play in a new game. But if you look at the new rules by themselves, they have a certain moral grounding: people will be rewarded for personal effort – process and services – rather than for mere ownership of assets.”


“So, what happens in a world where software is basically free? Successful companies are adopting business models in which they are rewarded for services rather than for code. Developers who create software are rewarded for showing users how to use it, for installing systems, for developing customer-specific applications. The real value created by most software companies lies in their distribution networks, trained user bases, and brand names – not in their code.”


“With the means of production growing cheaper and easier because of the Net, a bifurcation will take place: more and more people will produce material for smaller audiences of their friends, while those seeking large audiences will give their stuff away or seek payment from a sponsor – and try to persuade influencers to recommend it.
In the end, the only unfungible, unreplicable value in the new economy will be people’s presence, time, and attention; to sell that presence, time, and attention out-side their own community, creators will have to give away content for free.”

This was all written 13 years ago!!!

Will Newspapers Follow the Record Industry?

October 24, 2008

If you have a look at the last figures and developments in the newspaper market… well… this suggests that it will…
The New York Times just published their 3rd quarterly report:
Net income down, advertising declined 16% in the quarter, print advertising felt 18.3% in the quarter with classified advertising down 28%… online advertising was up 10.2%, but that was by far not enough to offset the decline in print. (Via Wall Street Journal).

The New York Times is one of the most innovative newspapers out there, when it comes to digital concerns, but even they were obviously not prepared for what is happening here. Of course the industry has still a few years to go… at least 5 years as PWC analyst Marcel Fenez said at the WAN conference in Amsterdam … but most of the industry is still “stuck” with the hope that people “will love paper” for the rest of their lives…
The industry must react now.
Gerd Leonhard has a great post on this! I don`t agree on every suggestion he makes, but I think the industry should try to think as “radical” as he does.

Another recommended post by Jack Myer:
Quote: “If newspapers had focused on their business as “news” rather than “papers,” they would most likely have invested heavily in digital ventures beginning in the mid-1990s, and established themselves as the
primary source for locally relevant content. But they didn’t and now, for the most part, they are just one of many competitors with little unique differentiation and a weak business model.”

What is the Culture of Cloudiness?

October 22, 2008

Kevin Kelly posts are “must read posts”. Here is another one about the digital future, when we are finally living in “the cloud computing world”.
He raises the questions:
If we migrate entirely to the cloud, what will life on the cloud feel like? How will our behavior change if this migration really is as invisible as it is suppose to be? How will cloudiness change us?

He predicts some cultural dynamics he thinks will prevail in a cloudy world. Here are some headlines of his arguments:

– Always On
– Omnigenous
– More Smarter
– Inseparable Dependence
– Extreme Reliability
– The Extended Self
– Legal Conflict
– SharePrivacy
– Socialism 2.0

Read the post for more details! Great thoughts!
Obviously the media world won`t be the same in a place like that.

TV Industry: We Have Told You!

October 21, 2008

“(…) in the next two to three years the television industry is going to face an advertising crisis more severe than our current financial crisis.”
says TiVo president Tom Rogers.

Rogers, who founded CNBC, suggested at the Association of National Advertisers Conference:
“in retrospect, everyone should have seen the current economic crisis coming but as to the coming ad crisis, you have no excuse. You have sufficient warning about television commercial avoidance and the growing epidemic of fast forwarding thru ads. Look what happened to the music business,” Rogers advised. “Look what is happening to the newspaper business. If you don’t come out of this room acting urgently, what’s going to happen in the television business will probably make that look like kids stuff. If you think this recession is tough to deal with, believe me it is nothing compared to the downturn in your brands that will come if you do nothing while television advertising goes avoided.”

Well two to three years… is maybe a little bit to pessimistic but that “this” day will come… I agree.

Read More on the speech by Tom Rogers an some good suggestions on Jack Myer`s website.

Movie Financing Has Changed

October 19, 2008

In times where we still, well at least in Germany, discuss “illegal product placement” cases, Hollywood does its homework for years now. made nice “alternate movieposters” with the “real new stars” of a movie production.

What is Creative Commons?

October 18, 2008

I mentioned in my last post, about the new book of Lawrence Lessig, the copyright organization/system Creative Commons. For the few who still not know what Creative Commons is and how it works… below a great video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Lawrence Lessig Remixed

October 16, 2008

The new book of Lawrence Lessig titled Remix is released in the US today.
Lawrence just had a great article in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago. And once again he outlines as simple as it is, that copyright law and the new changing culture in the digital age are still not on the same “level”. He clarifies that there must be something wrong when Universal is suing a mother of a 13 month old kid, cause of a copyright infringement on her YouTube video.

He depicts that it`s not even a problem of commensurability, like in the case above, but also a big problem for the creative culture.

We are in the middle of something of a war here — what some call “the copyright wars”; what the late Jack Valenti called his own “terrorist war,” where the “terrorists” are apparently our kids. (…) Peer-to-peer file sharing is the enemy in the “copyright wars.” Kids “stealing” stuff with a computer is the target. The war is not about new forms of creativity, not about artists making new art.
Yet every war has its collateral damage. These creators are this war’s collateral damage. The extreme of regulation that copyright law has become makes it difficult, sometimes impossible, for a wide range of creativity that any free society — if it thought about it for just a second — would allow to exist, legally.

That`s what he was trying to solve when he founded Creative Commons

Copyright law must be changed. In the article, Lawrence makes five great suggestions for changes that would make a world of difference. Read them in detail in his WSJ article.

If you want to get a short overview what he has written about in his book… watch his talk at TED:

More than One Future?

October 15, 2008

Just back from a two days workshop by Bertelsmann and the Zukunftsinstitut.

For all who don`t know the Zukunftsinstitut (German  for “Future Institute”), it was founded in 1998 by journalist and publicist Matthias Horx. His vision was to create a Think Tank to further develop prognostic techniques, whose resulting knowledge and potential could be used both in the field of business and politics.

The workshop was conducted by Andreas Haderlein from the institute and Matthias Horx. Great two days, I learnt a lot!  The most important thing I took with me from these days was the work on scenario planning methods. Thinking about more than one future, thinking about more than one way for finding a solution of a business problem…

Most of the time we are, often unconsciously –  too focused on one set plan for the future. Maybe sometimes we are also thinking about worst case scenarios, but that`s it. Just black and white.
I will try to be more flexible in my “future thinking”, I will try to have more than only one “just in case” option.
There is not just a future, there are “Futures”.