Archive for the 'Digitalisation' Category

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.

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.

We Think – Mass Production Utopia

September 25, 2008

I just saw the speech of Charles Leadbeater at the Picnic Conference in Amsterdam. I`ve seen him speak before, so his speech  was not really “groundbreaking”, nothing new for me…  , but cause he mentioned it today, I watched his promotion video for his book again (see above, 4min). For all of you who haven`t seen it yet, give it a try.

When you watch the video,  your first “reflex” might be… ok…thanks… I heard this before… boring… (besides the really nice illustration and presentation), this sounds like utopia et cetera … or whatever else you might have thought… and I thought so too, but after a while I started thinking, ok, actually he is right. This is a fact. It`s not mainstream yet, well my mother doesn`t even know what Wikipedia is, but it`s a fact. It`s happening and there should be huge potential for the media industry. There must be more than just a “pop idol” telephone vote, or a user generated advertising spot that is shown during the super bowl break, or a nonsense dancing video that is clicked 100 million times, or a social network…
I think there is still much more… and the media industry is not using it yet.

Sorry for sounding like a utopian… Just a thought…

The Free Digital Library

September 12, 2008

Brewster Kahle has a dream. He is trying to build a truly huge digital library — every book ever published, every movie ever released, all the strata of web history … all free to the public.

As he shows in his TED talk, we are not far from it … well technically… of course there are some other “challenges” to overcome…

What could this mean to the media industry? Is there any chance to get this through? How should publishing/content industry and the library coexist? What´s the model?

When we go digital, there will be the point where everybody will have access to all knowledge that was ever released to the public. That´s where we are heading. Don`t know how long it will take, but we will get there.

So we should start adressing the questions above.

Hard Drive Space Infinite?

July 26, 2008

This speech is two years old, but is an interesting talk by Marrissa Mayer from Google about the future of video.

At one point in the speech I was reminded of something that is often forgotten when we think about  consumer behavior and product design in the future: The incredible fast developement of hard drive space … Marissa depicts this developement on an simple arithmetic example… (3:30 Min – 4:40 Min)

“… By somewhere in the year 2020 you will be able to have all content ever created sitting in the palm of your hand…”

Digital content will be ubiquitously available … HD quality or whatever … there is no way out…. there will be no boundaries… awkward thought.

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.

Kevin Kelly

February 17, 2008

kevinkellyted.jpg

A few days ago I wrote about a blog post from Kevin Kelly with the theme “free”.
Researching about Kelly I found his article in the NYTimes from 2002!
A great article about innovation and digitalisation.
Here just a few great parts of the article:

“But the moment something becomes free and ubiquitous, its position in the economic equation is suddenly inverted. When nighttime electrical lighting was new, it was the poor who burned common candles. When electricity became easily accessible and practically free, candles at dinner became a sign of luxury.

In this new supersaturated online universe of infinite free digital duplication, the axis of value has flipped. In the industrial age, copies often were more valuable than the original. Most people wanted a perfect working clone. The more common the clone, the more desirable, since it would then come with a brand name respected by others and a network of service and repair outlets.

But now, in a brave new world of abundant and free copies, the order has inverted. Copies are so ubiquitous, so cheap (free, in fact) that the only things truly valuable are those which cannot be copied.

What kinds of things can’t be copied? Well, for instance: trust, immediacy, personalization. There is no way to download these qualities from existing copies or to install them from a friend’s CD. So while you can score a copy free of charge, if you want something authenticated, or immediately, or personalized, you’ll have to pay.”

Also great his thought that digitalisation or copydom has three stages: Perfect, Free and Fluid

“Digital copies are not only perfect and free, they are also fluid. Once music is digitized it becomes a liquid that can be morphed and migrated and flexed and linked. You can filter it, bend it, archive it, rearrange it, remix it, mess with it. And you can do this to music that you write, or music that you listen to, or music that you borrow.”