Archive for the 'branding' Category

Nine Inch Nails Case Study

February 5, 2009

Last year the name Nine Inch Nails or Trent Reznor was mentioned a lot, when someone was talking about the future of music marketing. Trent has developed a complete new way for music marketing using the whole potential of web 2.0.
He demonstrated on how many ways you can connect with fans and how you still can give your fans a reason to buy in the digital age. There is more than MySpace, there is more than just giving your songs away for free in hope the audience comes to your live shows.
Mike Masnick was summarizing the NIN Campaign in his presentation given to MidemNet this year.


The Groundswell

June 9, 2008

First of all, sorry for not updating for ages! No excuses! Just had to organize a lot of things… worked on the thesis but had no chance to do some updates… sorry!

Anyway… I read this weekend one of these “must read books”, “The Groundswell” by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. If you ever wondered what`s going on out there with all this “social network stuff” and you want to get updated as fast as possible… read this book! If you need some inspiration for  “brand communication in the digital age”… read this book!

For all the “specialists” in this area most parts of the book have been heard before somewhere…sometime. But it`s a great summary of a lot of useful, inspiring stuff. What I found great is the approach of the book   not primarily technology focused, but taking a closer look at the “Groundswell” phenomenon itself based on people acting on their eternal desire to connect.

The Groundswell itself is defined as:

“A social trend in which people use technologies to get things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.”

Have a look on the Groundswell blog for more …

Highly recommended book!

Popstar as Brand

January 14, 2008


For a few weeks now I am browsing through the dissertation of Marcel Engh: “Popstar als Marke. Identitätsorientiertes Markenmanagement für die musikindustrielle Künstlernentwicklung und -verwertung.”

A great book for people who have anything to with marketing in the music industry. But also worth reading for guys in the media industry who try to “exploit” content with artists.

Nice work… wish my thesis could get as good as this.

Music a pure public good? Is it all about services?

November 20, 2007

After having the flu for a few days (sorry for not posting) I found this paper from Will Page, Executive Director of Research at the MCPS-PRS Alliance. He wrote about the pricing in the music industry and asked the question: “Is the price of recorded music heading towards zero?”
A good paper that shows in a few pages why recorded music in the digital age seems to be a pure public good. His conclusion is that the future challenge is to force some measure of “excludability” back upon the consumer, again.

I agree with him, but if we want to find an answer to this question/challenge, we first have to define “the product”.
– Is the product just the “music” – the tones, the recording file et cetera?
– Or is the medium, the way how music is distributed (mp3 file with/without DRM, music streaming, ringtone file, CD, Vinyl et cetera),  also included  ?
– Or is even included where and how I buy the music? Where I discovered the music? The supply of a service?

For the first point their is clearly no chance of excludability anymore from the point on where you publish a digital recording.
For the second of course their is, depending on the medium, but the sales figures show that only few people appreciate for example the value of a good old vinyl record.
For the third point in my opinion there are better chances to get this kind of excludability, even if there will be an “open source” community that supply services for free. You have the chance to sell the music with a better service, a better brand, a better customer experience to a better price for a valuable product bundle, for a special community…
So, it´s just a question of product design.
But this means that biggest part of the value creation of a excludable product is now in the supply of a service and not anymore in the creation of music. This will change the division of  revenues.

And I`m writing now just about music, but of course pretty much the same apllies for any digital content, where our digital distribution systems / technologies are fast and cheap enough to share the digital content easily.

Does that make any sense?

What Can the Media Industry Learn From the Water Business?

July 1, 2007

A great Article in the Fast Company Juli/August 2007 issue from Charles Fishman about the water industry.
The bottled water business in the United States is booming. People increasingly are willing to pay for something they can just as easily have for free from taps in our homes.
And that is actually the connection to the media industry in the digital age. Will people willing to pay for digital content they can just as easily have for free from the p2p networks?

I grew up in a household where bottled water were always there, and I was surprised to hear that the water business is quite new. Thirty years ago, bottled water barely existed as a business in the United States. Americans are drinking more than twice the bottled water they did a decade ago–but they’re still not in the top five per capita worldwide. (Italians drink the most.) Last year, people in the US spent more on bottled water than they spent on iPods or movie tickets–$15 billion (24% of the market is tap water repackaged by Coke and Pepsi).

The water industry supplies something people don’t need. An industry “built on the packaging and the presentation. When we buy a bottle of water, what we’re often buying is the bottle itself, the convenience and the story the water companies tell us about the water and what it says about us. Water has come to signify how we think of ourselves. We want to brand ourselves.
Charles Fishman gives some interesting numbers:
People are paying an unbelievable premium price for water. You can pay a half liter Evian for $1.35 with your pocket change. That water seems cheap, but only because we aren´t paying attention.

“If you bought and drank a bottle of Evian, you could refill that bottle once a day for 10 years, 5 months, and 21 days with San Francisco tap water before that water would cost $1.35. Put another way, if the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.”

So, what can the media industry learn from the water business?
Definitely a point I will think about in my thesis.

Music Artists and Industry Goes Sport….

June 28, 2007

A few years ago musicians with big sponsoring deals were banned, the word: “The Sell Out”.
Now its nearly as common as in the sport business even in the indie scene. The times are over as The White Stripes were praised as heros to refuse a million dollar deal with GAP.
That´s a logical consequence to the impact of the digitalisation on the music industry. In my opinion it´s the most important revenue model for the future.
The problem for the “old music world”: Again, this revenues possibly pass the major record labels.
And more and more consumer products go one step further an even try to break new artists.
Coolfer shows the latest examples.

More from Ramon Casadesus-Masanell…

April 30, 2007

I was rereading the interview with Ramon Casadesus-Masanell (an assistant professor in the Strategy unit at Harvard) on the HBS Working Knowledge website and found some more interesting statements that I want to add here.

“Our analysis reveals that, contrary to intuition, prices low enough to “kill” p2p are not optimal in large markets. The industry is better off setting higher prices and attracting those consumers ready to pay due to congestion. Coexistence with p2p, however, does result in lower prices than would otherwise be observed.”

I agree with him in the area of “pay per download” cause the “legal” distribution costs are too high to make a very intersting price for “illegal” p2p downloader. In the “subscription service” area I’m not sure if there isn’t a way to compete on the “price” level.

But later on he said a more important thing:

“Finally, to compete effectively against p2p, online digital distribution must strive to become accessible and attractive to consumers. Online content providers are in a unique position to optimize and deliver new experiences to consumers that cannot be easily matched by decentralized, self-sustained peer-to-peer networks. ITunes provides a better customer experience than file sharing networks for similar content, and this allows record companies to charge positive prices and make a profit.”

Customer experience and the brand, those are the keywords!