Archive for the 'media industry' 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.

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.

Did you know?

November 12, 2008

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!!!

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.

Update:
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.”

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:

Is Ubiquity After Scarcity The New Way To Make Money?

October 10, 2008

Paul Sweeting had a good note on this yesterday at DMW:

“Is scarcity still a viable foundation for a business model for content owners? For most of their histories, movie and TV studios relied on a strategy of limited distribution to extract maximum value from their works. Movies were released through a carefully ordered sequence of exclusive windows defined by distribution channel (theaters, DVD, pay-TV, broadcast); network TV series didn’t enter the broader syndication market for three or four years after their debut, assuming the series lasted that long. In each case, the relative scarcity of the content provided the content owner with maximum pricing power. Since the advent of digital platforms, however, ubiquity has become the name of the game, challenging content owners’ pricing power and business models.”

And I fully agree. In a time where we have no control over distribution anymore, where we get networked, where every user is potentially their “own distribution channel”… in a time where we are talking about the Attention Economy… scarcity makes no sense anymore for digital media products.
We must realize: Attention is the scarcity now, not (even good) content anymore.
And immediately publishing your content for free on your own website, like NBC is doing on Hulu, would be just the first step.

Content syndication could be a very important thing in the future. Get your content in the “pole position”, make cooperations, go there where the traffic is and make your content available… and as a content owner, maybe you market your potential ad inventory yourself and the platform owner gets the content (with the attached ads) for free.

A minute attention is a minute attention is a minute attention is a minute attenion… you will be able to capitalize this attention, wherever you get it…
It`s one of this famous good old Google priniciples: Focus on products that draw users and money will follow…

People won`t automatically go to the place, where they would get the content legally, even if it`s there for free… people go where they can get it first, where they can see it first. Most users don`t care about whether it`s legal or not. The Radiohead “In Rainbows” example shows exactly this. There were far more “illegal” torrent downloads than downloads on the Radiohead website. Even though every kid knew, cause of the media hype, that there is a free legal alternative…
So… try to go where the traffic is.

Gerd Leonhard At Picnic

October 2, 2008

Gerd is doing a great job out there for years now and his blog is really worth reading.
Here a video of his speech at the Picnic Conference in Amsterdam last week.

He summarizes quite well what`s going on in the new attention economy and how the music industry can survive in it building an new Ecosystem.
Watch it. It will be 50 minutes well spent. Really great stuff.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

VIDEO

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…