Archive for the 'business model' 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.

Global TV-Series Release Strategy Has To Change

January 21, 2009

TV stations in Germany have to notice that audience ratings of “blockbuster” TV Series like Lost are constantly not as high as years before, the German newspaper Süddeutsche reports.

A reason for this could be seen in the huge delay of release dates in the German market compared to the US releases. Often series were brought months later to the German market like in the example Lost, where the latest season started 12 months later.

Of course this incentives the fans to get their shows somewhere online, which obviously lowers the demand and “hype” about a free TV release months later. “The dark market” for streaming online services is getting better and better and many episodes have  even German subtitles just a few days after the U.S. release. A study of the research company tfactory shows that more than 50% between 15 and 25 years old are watching TV series online now. So also the awareness for illegal alternatives is rising.

I´m surprised that this discussion didn´t start earlier. Obviously the usage of mostly illegal web TV streaming websites are rising to a critical mass.

The strategy of production companies and TV stations is probably to wait how the series perform in the US key market before selling it to the global market in order to minimize their risks. But in my opinion, like in the movie industry, the global release has to be simultaneously in the future. The TV companies must react and have to change there release windowing strategy for the global market. Synchronizing issues can´t be an excuse.

24 hours at Sundance

January 18, 2009

sundance1

The Sundance Festival starts today and Qik is doing a nice pilot project. Kevin Rose and Ashton Kutcher are hosting a little “interactive” game show “24 hours at Sundance” … something like a “scavenger hunt” / paper chase … live on several Qik channels.

For 24 straight hours during the Sundance film festival, a few contestants will compete to complete a series of tasks, as announced by hosts Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Rose, in real-time. Each player attempts to complete the tasks as they are revealed. The players can complete a task and win points for doing so, or can pass and move ahead to the next task and lose points. You can follow the tasks on Quik, and watch the entire event as it unfolds in real-time.

I like the concept, but the implementation maybe could be better… especially Qik had some performance problems … the stream was often broken… so changing the channels … it wasn´t much fun… following the game was very difficult… a bit chaotic… but watch yourself… there are a few hours left.

Anyway I think that`s the way and the potential of good old “television show formats”. Without big budgets you can deliver a real time interactive experience… we will see what comes next…

State of the Mediasphere – Monaco Media Forum

December 10, 2008

Three weeks ago at the Monaco Media Forum Jeffrey Cole (USC Annenberg School for Communication, Director of the Center for the Digital Future) had an worth watching talk at about the state of the mediasphere. He summarized quite well the status quo of the media industry in the digital age and gave a small insight in his research, where he tries to figure out why there is only a small willingness to pay for digital content.
The average American household spent 260 Dollars per month on communication services that didn´t exist a generation ago. He thinks people are not willing to pay more on top of this and sees that as an argument for advertising as the future business model, which enables “feels like free” content. But that´s not the only reason why he sees the future in advertising, but also cause of the high potential of personalized online advertising, that will be more effective than advertising was ever before.

Another worth watching video of the Monaco Media Forum is the panel “The Revolution Will Be Streamed” with Henrique de Castro (Google), Nancy Cruickshank (VideoJug), Dina Kaplan (Blip.tv), Mike Volpi (Joos) and Dan Scheinman (Cisco Media Solution) moderated by Jack Myers. A very interesting discussion about the status quo in the web video industry and the potenial of the online video market especially in the area of advertising.

Go legal and die!

December 2, 2008

legal

The year 2008 is nearly over and we are still having a situation on the digital music market that cause entrepreneurs like Michael Robertson (CEO of MP3tunes) to write articles with headlines like: Legal digital music is commercial suicide – Fans suffer as lawyers get rich (Article for The Register).

Still record labels or copyright holders (collecting societies) are torpedoing successful music services with big financial requests from labels for “past infringement”, plus a hefty fee for future usage.
Michael Robertson´s comment: “Any company agreeing to these demands is signing their own financial death sentence.”

But Robertson is not only accusing the record industry:
The root cause is not the labels – chances are if you were running a label you would make the same demands, since the law permits it. The lack of clarity in the law is the real culprit – and it’s the huge potential penalties that create an incentive for the big record labels’ law firms to file lawsuits. Without clear laws and rulings from the court about what is permissible, every action touching a copyrighted work is a possible infringement, with a large financial windfall if the copyright owner can persuade a Judge to agree.

The problem is that changing the copyright law will need many more years – (Creative Commons and Lawrence Lessig are unfortunately no superheros) – … so the market has to be faster… has to find a solution… has to create an environment, where innovative business models can be develop without the fear of being sued the rest of your life. Why is there no chance to negotiate a true partnership between net companies and the content/copyright industry, where going legal is a real option for a start up, where both sides get the ability to create a profitable business?

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

esther_dyson

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!!!

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.

Antrep04.com made nice “alternate movieposters” with the “real new stars” of a movie production.