Laura Sydell did a piece today on NPR's All Things Considered on the controversy about amateur vs. expert content on the Web. The report's audio, a text version, and links to a number of related stories are available at NPR.org. --Dennis
Doug Kaye has started a new "channel" on The Conversations Network, a non-profit distributor of worthy audio and video programming. The new channel is called Media Conversations and starts with three interviews by Ralph Simon with Glen Hiemstra and Gerd Leonhard (separately and together) on the future of media. I'm a big fan of Leonhard's work in the audio space, but am less familiar with Hiemstra. In any case, these interviews are well worth your time. Link: Media Conversations channel. --Dennis
I was happy (though I had to follow two of my tech heroes, John C. Dvorak and Mark Schubin) to give a presentation again this year as part of the Iowa DTV Symposium, a national event held annually in Des Moines and organized by Dan Miller's great staff at Iowa Public Television. My topic was the title of this post and attempts to use information theory to find a middle ground between legacy media and new media, the former group too often suffering from hubris and the latter often characterized by naïvté. I made a preliminary series of four posts on this topic back in early June (here's part I and you can get to the other three from it). My wife the professor and I are writing a book expanding on the topic. Stay tuned.
I think they'll be posting audio to their web site, but for now, you can look at my PowerPoint deck which I've posted in the Files area on the left of this blog's main page. Here's the direct link. --Dennis
Accenture has published a new paper by Jamyn Edis and Alexis Rose that's worth reading. The executive summary:
Accenture’s Global Content Study 2007 surveyed more than 100 leaders and decision-makers in the media and entertainment sectors, including television, film, music, radio, video games, publishing, interactive entertainment and advertising. The study solicited opinions from executives around the globe — across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific — to gauge their views of where the greatest opportunities and challenges will come over the next five years. Key findings include:
62% of executives look to “new platforms” as being the most important key to growth, followed by 31% “new content” and 7% “geographic expansion” as the key growth lever.
Of these new platforms, online and mobile dominated; a combined 43% viewed online as most important (of which 17% represented a distribution of content through online portals or entertainment/information sites, and a further 13% through social networking sites and 13% through eCommerce sites), while mobile drew 17% of responses.
53% of executives surveyed indicated that “short form content” offered the largest opportunity for “new content,” with “long form” or “full length” video content (greater than 60 minutes) garnering 11% of responses. In addition, “video gaming” was viewed as a key growth area, according to 13% of executives.
Asked what they believed was a top threat to the business, over half of the executives (57%) identified “consumer-based competition” or “user-generated” content; 46% of respondents viewed “piracy or IP theft” as a top three issue.
However, despite the perceived threat, 68% of respondents believe that they will be able to harness user-generated content to create revenue within one to three years.
Nearly 80% of those surveyed believed that there was no bubble in the Web 2.0 space, with 70% of respondents also observing that social media was a natural, “evolutionary” progression for media (versus 25% calling social media “revolutionary” and 5% calling it “a fad”.) As a reflection of this upbeat perception, over 90% of the executives said that their companies would become involved in social media over the next 12 months.
Half of executives indicated that advertising could grow to become the most prevalent business model in the industry within five years, with digital advertising driving growth.
Content remains king (according to 37% of respondents), although the crown is under attack by technology companies (26%) and telecommunications players (9%).
Critically important is the need for digital readiness and a future technology road map. Only by transforming their organization and capabilities can media and entertainment expect to maximize the opportunity that digital offers. This includes increasing reach (through multi-platform distribution), engagement (through social media and interactivity) and monetization (through digital advertising). ...
In June, Bear Stearns issued a very useful report with this title authored by research analysts Spencer Wang, Shub Mukherjee and Stefan Anninger. It displays lots of good data and, though it focuses on video content, it has a great deal of validity for audio content as well. The authors write:
... Value Will Reside in the Middle of the Supply Chain. If our thesis is correct, one major problem with infiinite choice is the potential for overwhelming confusion. Said another way, how do consumers navigate a world of unlimited choice and find what they are looking for? ¶ We think this conundrum (the "Paradox of Choice") will increase the value of "middlemen," or packagers of content that can appropriately filter out the noise and connect users with the content that appeals to their interests. This can be done through strong brands, editorial discretion, technology, and harnessing user recommendations. ...
Andrew Keen's book, The Cult of the Amateur, has attracted a lot of incoming missiles. Last month, I linked to critiques by Clay Shirky and David Weinberger. Michael "Mr. Attention" Goldhaber has just published Part I of a response to the book on his weblog he's titled, The Cult of the Professional. I'll link to Part II when he posts it. Link: Michael H. Goldhaber.
Updated 31 August 2007: Here's Part II, Social Networking vs. Gulags. --Dennis
The best "freebie" white paper I found last year relating to my electronic media responsibilities was IBM's The end of TV as we know it: A future industry perspective, to which I linked in January 2006. It holds up well today. So when David Leroy (thanks) pointed me at a pair of related new ones from the IBM Institute for Business Value and with two of t he same authors, I was hopeful.
The authors (Saul J. Berman, Steven Abraham, Bill Battino, Louisa Shipnuck and Andreas Neus -- Berman and Shipnuck being two of the authors on The end of TV...) didn't disappoint. Navigating the Media Divide: Innovating and Enabling New Business Models and The fight ahead on media's main streets are, as the titles imply, about more than television -- but then last year's report was relevant beyond television also. The papers explore issues around the familiar scenario framework that creates four quadrants with the X-axis being "Distribution and device platforms" ranging from "proprietary" to "open" and the Y-axis being "Content blend" ranging from "Produced by professionals" to "User/community contribution." They view the upper and rightmost dimensions as being particularly disruptive amd posit that these four quadrants will be the four business models in use over the next 3-4 years. The figure here (click for larger image) depicts these business models.
The authors provide ten specific recommendations for media companies some of which seem pretty obvious (e.g., "Put consumers at the center of your business and boardroom"), while others more insightful (e.g., "Give control to get share").
Rob Paterson describes working with two public broadcasting organizations, writing:
... I think that it is clear that not only will markets be conversations where
consumers have a voice - think Dell Hell
and Jeff Jarvis - but also the media. The media will have to listen as well.
They will have to host conversations as well as have them. Their relationship
with their listeners, viewers and readers will have to change as it will have to
change in all enterprises. They will have o change their voice and their
relationship with their customers and inside. ¶ The challenge is - How do you do this when you never have done this before?
For it’s not just about will - it’s about habit. It’s about learning a whole new
way of being. This post is an introduction to how hard this is to do. How hard
it is when you want to do this but don’t know how. ¶ Over the last 2 years I
have had the honor of working with NPR and with
some stations in both TV and radio as they struggle to make the same shift
from “One to Many” to Hosting
a Trusted Space where Many to Many could have a safe conversation. As a
system we learned what we had to do and how important it was to do this for our
future. The new challenge is - to find out how best to put these ideas into
action. ¶ I am working directly with 2 stations right now. KETC, St. Louis and WOSU Columbus. We are struggling with
what do we have to do to change our relationship with our audience from a
“Kinetic” to a “Participative” relationship? ...