As someone who watches for trends in technology one of the many sites I frequent is Trendwatching.com. They offer a bevy of free research reports on global Trends with pithy insightful commentary and links. If your not getting their free reports or buying the paid stuff, then your missing out. Their most recent Trend Briefing is by far the best I’ve read so far. They pulled out all the stops for this, their 5th anniversary issue, covering 5 of the hottest trends that are happening right now.
Amazin’ Phasin’ hipped me to a very interesting video put on YouTube by the folks at the Italian consultancy Casaleggio Associati. The video is a look back at the media landscape from the year 2051. Its interesting for a couple of reasons: 1) its definitely wrong on the details 2) it seems directionally correct 3) its got really cool. Take look at the video and see if it convinces you that the future of big media will be spelled Google.
Cable TV service sucks! Most Americans get more satisfaction from waiting in line at the bank, visiting the post office and conversations with their insurance company then they do from their Satellite or cable provider.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Cable and Satellite TV companies perpetually scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to customer satisfaction. The numbers for cable and satellite are worse then all other industries
ranked by the ACSI and they are getting worse.
Trolling SSRN I came across another academic report destroying much of the FUD put out by the RIAA in their attempt to criminalize digital downloads. Like all good academic studies it has a cumbersome and wordy title, The Analog Hole and the Price of Music: An Empirical Study, which belies the rather simple text contained within.
The report starts off with an exploration of the analog hole , which frankly isnt that interesting but then goes into how the analog hole will effect the pricing of digital music. They set off to answer two questions: Do consumers perceive a difference between analog hole copies and the originals? Kinda. At what price would they be willing to sacrifice some quality? Twenty-five cents. The sample size is pretty small for the survey, only 66 respondents, but the findings are really interesting. Read the full report here and check out the abstract here:
Last week, I mentioned the survey from P2Pnet.net, that AllofMP3.com was promoting on their homepage. Well the good folks at P2Pnet have released some initial data and say they will release the entire data-set on Monday. So far they have over 750 respondents and what looks like some really good directional information on the thinking of at least a segment of the file sharing community. Watch for the full data, including answers to open-ended questions, to go live later this week and I’ll try to keep track of anyone that crunches the numbers and makes interesting connections.
A central tenet of the RIAA/IFPI terror campaign against file downloading has been that file downloading causes the industry to loose billion of dollars a year. This point is hotly debated by many who point out that downloading is more like sampling then buying and has probably resulted in net growth for the industry. However, the
myopic, luddite brain-dead response of the music industry has been to ignore the mounting evidence of the negligible impact of file-sharing on music sales. Instead they prefer to sue old ladies and children and further poison their relationship with their customers.
Needless to say these arent the brightest folks in business. Fortunately, our good friends in the Ivory covered halls of academia have been busy crunching numbers and running models to see just what is what. Well the latest in a string of reports from some well lettered individuals is in and the numbers show that file-sharing is likely to have negatively impacted just .7% of CD sales. Ars Technica has the full story and its not good for the labels. You cant argue with science man.
While working at a bunch of different media companies I often found myself defending the violent, misogynistic, morally bankrupt, characatures of human behavior within the industry. Religious nuts, whiner's, and political opportunities would lament the media's role in everything from the decline of American civility to the increase in childhood obesecity. I would generally retort with one (or a combination) of the following basic statements:
a) Morbid: "Entertainment companies dont kill kids, we just sell the ads that do."
b) Psedo-Political: "All speech, political or entertaining, is protected speech."
c) Defensive: "Maybe you should take your overweight, hyperactive kid outside for an hour or two and interact with her, rather then complain about the job media companies do entertaining her for the 6 hours she not in school or asleep. Were the real parents you just pay hte bills. SO shut-up and stop your ballin'!"
While that last one always ends arguments, I'm not sure it wins them. I've often held the position that parents hold the power of "the purse" and "the curse". Kids cant buy anything without the permission and participation of their parental units who can also utter the worse curse in a child's vocabulary, the word "No"! It was my firm belief that parents bore the ultimate responsibility for their children and the media had little to no influence that good parents couldn't counter act. Surprise, surprise, I may have been wrong! Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone loves research. Big companies pay big money for people with big brains to "just figure it out!" Some companies hit the mark and others dont but they all have some kernels of insights and flashes of inspiration worth noting. Capturing a few of those kernels and spotting some of the flashes is what I'm going to attempt to do in this article. All for your general edification and enjoyment.
IBM bigwig and Internet conference staple Dr. Saul Berman, and two credited co-authors put out a white paper earlier this year entitled "The end of television as we know it". A little somewhat less known Masters candidate at MIT, Sam Ford, writing for the Convergence Culture Consortium (C3) also put out a report worth noting entitled "Fanning the Audiences Flames". What these reports share, in addition to pithy writing and blunt critique, are a number of common threads. The 6 "priority actions for executives" enumerated by IBM and the "ten roles for fans" to be used by media companies promulgated by the C3, could all be summed up in three basic ideas: relinquish control, take risks and listen. I can only guess that the scholarly penchant for verbosity is why the C3 needed 10 principals spread-out over 73 pages to explain what IBM was able to do in 24 pages with a scant in 6 principals.