Convergence oracles have been preaching the gospel for the past 2 decades, the era of the tablet has finally made it a reality. Hat tip to David Carr for a nice compact sum-up !
Content has a price tag, which is reassuring, but the old dividing lines between television, radio, Web and print disappear within the four corners of a tablet. That means, for instance, that CNBC and The Wall Street Journal are not in different businesses anymore, and in fact The Journal is adding hours of live video with each passing month. The BBC and Al Jazeera are no longer regional curios, they’re here. Every cable channel with two nickels and more than a few digital enterprises are financing the kind of narrative television that used to be available only at a certain time on a certain network.
clever oh very clever indeed Mr Abrams ! Given the success of Freddy Wong et al, I agree with one of the commenters that we’re days away from a web action flick powered by this app
Director JJ Abrams has always gone above and beyond with viral marketing. We all remember the plane he sabotaged to crash safely in the Bahamas for the last season ofLost, or the actual extraterrestrial contact he arranged for his reboot of Star Trek. Now, Abrams and his company Bad Robot have surpassed even these efforts with Action Movie FX, their first iOS app. The free app comes with two almost frighteningly realistic special effects, “Missile Attack” and “Car Smash” — which do about what you’d expect. Two other packs of effects are available for $0.99 each: Chopper Down / Tornado and Air Strike / Fire Fight.
“Comedian Louis CK’s recent digital distribution experiment to sell his latest standup performance independently has generated over $1 million, he announced in a statement on his website yesterday. Revenue from the special topped $500,000 after its first four days on sale.”—http://venturebeat.com/2011/12/22/louis-cks-special-1-million/
Viewers were formerly beholden to the whims of a select group of programmers: If they wanted to watch a show, they were forced to be home and tune in at the time it was broadcast. That world has changed, thanks to the broad proliferation of time-shifted viewing options — whether they be DVRs, cable video-on-demand services or online options like Hulu. Just as importantly, viewership doesn’t just happen on the TV anymore; it happens on laptops, on tablets and even on mobile handsets.
In other words, consumers are now in charge of when and how they watch video content. No longer content to be stuck to someone else’s schedule, consumers expect to be able to access their favorite content whenever they want and on a wide range of devices. As a result, the media companies that will win are those that recognize the need to be everywhere.
When it comes to capturing consumers’ attention now, a piece of content is only as good as its distribution. If it’s not available on the device that a user wants to view video on, then they’ll watch something else. Which is why now is such a critical time for traditional media companies. If they don’t have a strategic plan to distribute their content on whichever device the viewer uses to watch content, they risk alienating and eventually losing that audience.
In September 2006, São Paulo’s populist mayor, Gilberto Kassab, passed the so-called “Clean City Law,” outlawing the use of all outdoor advertisements, including on billboards, transit, and in front of stores. Before being enacted, the law triggered grave alarm among city businesses and other economic constituents. Critics worried that the advertising ban would entail a revenue loss of $133 million and a net job loss of 20,000. Fears that the city would look worse without the mask of the media alarmed residents. Despite the concerns, the law passed and the 15,000 billboards cluttering the world’s seventh largest city were taken down. Five years later, São Paulo continues to exist without advertisements. But instead of causing economic ruin and deteriorating aesthetics, 70 percent of city residents find the ban beneficial, according to a 2011 survey. Unexpectedly, the removal of logos and slogans exposed previously overlooked architecture, revealing a rich urban beauty that had been long hidden.
“The more consumers adopt new technologies, the more comfortable they become with accessing content on every available screen and expecting the experience to be seamless across devices and platforms. The companies that are best suited to meet these formidable consumer expectations are those that can deliver hardware, software, content and social i ..read more..
Infographic: 6 media giants control 90 percent of content
Are you in to independent films? You probably enjoy the Focus Features studio, which prides itself on its indie credentials. Focus Features is owned by GE. What about music? Are you a hip-hop fan, who can’t stand the sound of country music? You might be surprised to learn that Viacom owns BET and CMT (and MTV). The world of media conglomerates can b ..read more..
The Next 5 in 5 — innovations that will change our lives in the next five years
In the latest Next 5 in 5 multi-year forecast, IBM examines market and societal trends expected to transform our lives in the next five years and emerging technologies from IBM’s global labs:Energy: People power will come to lifeImagine being able to use every motion around you — your movements, the water rushing through the plumbing — to harn ..read more..
I’VE been doing a little reflecting on my view of the world, amid the (relative) quiet of the holidays, and it seems to me that my thinking about things has undergone a subtle shift. In a nutshell: I’ve become far less confident about our ability to accurately describe possible outcomes more than a decade out. Correspondingly, I’ve become increasing ..read more..
During peak hours — after dinner time until around midnight — Netflix already accounts for somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of all US Internet traffic. So what will happen to the Internet if the 14 million Netflix subscribers who send and receive DVDs via the mail suddenly start streaming everything they watch? Well, that traffic will jump by 50 percent, according to Thomas Barnett, Senior Manager of thought leadership marketing at Cisco. Barnett’s team spends their time thinking about the future of the Internet’s traffic, so his guess is as good as anyone’s when it comes to this subject.
The comedian now joins the alternative rock group Radiohead and DJ mashup artist Girl Talk (both of whom have released “pay what you want” downloads”) as an example of how successful a direct-to-fans approach can be. And Louis CK’s experiment shows that this approach can have the same kind of disruptive effect on television and movies as it has had in music. So what can media companies — or other would-be independents — learn from his example? It pays to be human: Louis CK likely got a lot of support in part because he opened himself up to his fans, via both his blog and the Q & A he did on Reddit, one of the site’s popular “Ask Me Anything” features. His openness on the site about his financial stake in the video no doubt helped encourage that support. Media companies too often focus on their corporate brand, not the human beings who actually create the content. You have to make it easy: As the comedian described, he didn’t want to give his fans something with DVD region-encoding or DRM padlocks or other gimmicks because they are irritating. Instead, he made it as simple as possible for them to get something they could use in any way they want. This is the exact opposite of the approach most media companies take, and it virtually guarantees that their content will be pirated as much as possible. It’s better to be cheap: CK could probably have asked for $20 or even more for his video special — and a TV network or media conglomerate undoubtedly would have. But $5 makes it an easy choice for just about anyone who likes the comedian’s work or is even mildly interested. E-book prices have demonstrated the same thing: if you price it low enough, you can sell orders of magnitude more units than you would if you put a higher price tag on it.
"Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater," which has been selling online for $5, has made a profit of around $200,000, according to the comedian.
The special, Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater, has sold more than 110,000 copies of the special, which became available Saturday for $5, the performer said in a Tuesday night post on louisck.net, according to the Times. More than 50,000 of the sales came in the first 12 hours.
From the gross sales of more than $500,000, Louis C. K. said he subtracted about $170,000 for production costs, about $32,000 for the development of his site and other costs, getting him to a profit of about $200,000, according to the Times.
A few years ago, banks wouldn’t dream of lending against the libraries of indie film companies. Some are still skeptical, but others are starting to appreciate the long-term value of older content thanks to the digital distribution deals inked during the past two years with rising platforms such as Netflix and Hulu. (…)
At this point Miramax is only a library, with no firm plans as yet to return to production. Since investors purchased the company for $663 million a year ago, it has closed $332 million in new agreements, half of which have been digital licensing pacts. According to its initial offering agreement, Miramax is expecting more than $400 million in cash flow from new digital deals over the next decade — a larger number than its estimates for traditional home entertainment.
“The banks have said, leave us deregulated, we know how to run things, don’t put government in to meddle. Then with that freedom of maneuver they took huge gambles, and even made illegal actions, and then broke the world system. As soon as that happened then they rushed out to say ‘bail us out, bail us out, if you don’t bail us out, we’re too big to fail, you have to save us’. As soon as that happened, they said ‘oh, don’t regulate us, we know what to do’. And they almost went back to their old story, and the public is standing there, amazed, because we just bailed you out how can you be paying yourself billions of dollars of bonuses again? And the bankers say, ‘well we deserve it, what’s your problem’? And the problem that the Occupy Wall Street and other protesters have is: you don’t deserve it, you nearly broke the system, you gamed the economy, you’re paying mega fines, yet you’re still in the White House you’re going to the state dinners, you’re paying yourself huge bonuses, what kind of system is this?
When I talk about this in the United States, I’m often attacked, ‘oh, you don’t believe in the free market economy’, I say, how much free market can there be? You say deregulate, the moment the banks get in trouble, you say bail them out, the moment you bail them out, you say go back to deregulation. That’s not a free market, that’s a game, and we have to get out of the game. We have to get back to grown-up behaviour.”—Jeffrey Sachs, the controversial economist talks about the collapse of the global financial system and how to end the crisis with Al Jazeera (via mohandasgandhi)
it may not be long before a generation of Americans grows up without ever having laid hands on a Kodak product. That’s a huge comedown for a brand that was once as globally familiar as Coca-Cola.
It’s hard to think of a company whose onetime dominance of a market has been so thoroughly obliterated by new technology. Family snapshots? They’re almost exclusively digital now, and only a tiny fraction ever get printed on paper.
Great sumup of our interesting times by Mathew Ingram from GigaOm:
Am I taking jobs away from Americans by writing blog posts from Toronto, and should the U.S. be concerned about that kind of activity? I honestly don’t know. All I know is that anyone living anywhere theoretically has the ability to do what I do, for any company based anywhere in the world — just like anyone can be a journalist, or write software or develop apps or design products, or edit books or movies or music, or do a thousand other things that only require a PC and an Internet connection. That can cause problems for governments, obviously, since they are used to seeing jobs as things that can be contained by national borders and put in discrete little boxes for neat categorization, so that the visas can be issues (and taxes can be assessed). But the reality is that many of us don’t live in such a neat and tidy world any more, and while that may look like a threat to some, it’s also a huge opportunity — and that’s part of what we mean when we talk about the future of work.
Late last week, Verizon Wireless signed a deal to purchase 122 spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, for $3.6 billion. As part of the deal, which awaits approval from the Federal Communications Commission, the Comcast will now be able to sell Verizon Wireless service as part of their communications packages. To the casual observer, this might not sound particularly significant — in fact, it will likely prove to be one of the most consequential partnerships in the US communications industry. And Comcast executives agree. “Talk about content, you got NBC. And wireless, you got this. In perpetuity,” said Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis during the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, as quoted by Variety. “This is a deal forever. We don’t have to invest in building a wireless network. We aren’t going to acquire a wireless network. It’s quite a significant transaction.” If you’re a Comcast customer, this means that you will eventually be able to purchase cable television, Internet service, home phone service, and cell phone service, all through your cable company. It also means special deals if you buy into the the “quadruple play” option; and you’ll eventually be able to watch live TV on your Verizon smartphone, then resume watching on your television. This and other “great new innovations” will result from this partnership, Comcast Cable president Neil Smit told the group of investors at the UBS conference. For Verizon wireless customers, it means great access to a faster and faster 4G LTE network, which will come as a result of the spectrum buy. In essence, this deal is a merger without any companies actually merging. It is a substantial condensation of power in the communications industry. And while this may indeed lead to innovation for these companies, it also means other companies will either have to make partnerships of their own, or risk falling behind. And anytime that happens, it’s bad for customers.
“Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he sees an “arms race” to dominate Web-based TV viewing, with Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s HBO Go service his top competitor. “The competitor we fear most is HBO Go,” Hastings said today at a UBS media conference in New York. “HBO is becoming more Netflix-like and we’re becoming more HBO-like. The two of us will compete for a very long time.”—Netflix’s CEO Sees ‘Arms Race’ to Dominate Video Streaming - Bloomberg
“imagine the massive retaliatory response that would be triggered if Iran were found to be flying drones over American soil, let alone simultaneously killing U.S. scientists, causing explosions on U.S. soil, backing U.S. Terrorist groups, and launching cyber attacks on U.S. nuclear facilities, all while occupying Canada and Mexico with more than 150,000 troops).”—George Orwell on the Evil Iranian Menace - Salon.com (via turkeyjaws)
There is something wrong with modern Hollywood – we can agree on that. Too many remakes and sequels and prequels; far too many computer game and toy adaptations. Everyone thinks the profit-focused, top-down system is too busy chasing “pre-branded content” to find new talent, and too risk-averse to take a chance on original stories. Industry inside ..read more..
On February 8th, 2012 I am boarding the Hanse Explorer for a 33 day journey from the end of the world, Cape Horn, to the beginning of humanity, Cape of Good Hope. NOMAD Industries has chartered the amazing vessel with the capacity to safely carry a few selected individuals across the sub-antarctic sea, to the most remote place on the planet, Bouvet Island.
The EXPEDITION for the FUTURE will return with a vision of the future created by three poles of human awareness; knowledge, philosophy, and creativity. The idea is to bring together three individuals representing these poles and capture their exchange throughout this difficult adventure to generate insight toward a hopeful future for humanity’s place on Earth.