Tag Archives: entertainment

Kevin Kelly Gets Me Thinking About What I Own

Kevin Kelly
Image via Wikipedia

Kevin Kelly has a great post on the notion of moving from an ownership-based world to an access-based world.  Here’s a taste:

Very likely, in the near future, I won’t “own” any music, or books, or movies. Instead I will have immediate access to all music, all books, all movies using an always-on service, via a subscription fee or tax. I won’t buy – as in make a decision to own — any individual music or books because I can simply request to see or hear them on demand from the stream of ALL. I may pay for them in bulk but I won’t own them. The request to enjoy a work is thus separated from the more complicated choice of whether I want to “own” it. I can consume a movie, music or book without having to decide or follow up on ownership.

In many ways, a lot of us are already there.  The truth is I haven’t bought an media in a physical format in ages.  Not a CD or DVD to speak of and even my dead-tree book purchases have plummeted.

Just what has replaced all of these hard-good purchases? My NetFlix subscription, Pandora, Boxee, Stanza, ITunes and all the rest.  When it gets right down to it about the only things I really buy-to-own these days are food and alcohol and I don’t really “own” those for long.

Of course, the idea of a subscription-based life works for goods that have little-to-no scarcity factor it seems less likely that rental will replace all aspects of ownership.

Check out KK’s whole post.

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NYT Sees Gold in YouTube’s Hills (wow, bad metaphore…)

Michael Buckley wears a pair of shorts when he...
Michael Buckley –                         Image by feastoffools via Flickr

The NYT has a splashy piece about people making “real” money posting videos on YouTube.

Actually, it’s about one guy making real money, sort of through YouTube and a lot of other outlets.

“What the Buck” is the YouTube show profiled and it is the one most often trotted out to show how great the YouTube partnership program can be for independent video creators.

The only problem with the article is that makes it seem like what Michael Buckley has done is something that is/could become common on YouTube but that’s just not the case.  The vast majority of semi-pro video makers simply don’t put the sort of time, energy and commitment into their work and thus, do not get much in the way of rev-share from YouTube.

It takes a staggering combination of artistic vision and hard work to make a go of it online, to break through all the noise and to actually produce a consistent product that keeps viewers coming back.

While there is nothing especially wrong with the NYT piece, I think it falls short of communicating how impressive it is for Buckley to have done so well.

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Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

700 MB CD-R

Remember when blank CDs cost a few bucks a pop?  Now, of course, their almost free.  Combine that with the fact that more people are downloading music than ever before and it isn’t surprising to see CDs simply being given away by bands for promotional purposes.

Of course, there is still the issue of distribution.  Distribution of hard goods is expensive.  No way around that.  Unless, of course, you piggyback on an existing platform.

That’s just what rising UK band McFly has done, partnering with a big paper in the UK to put a free copy of their album in every issue of the paper.  Not only can the paper offer a free gift, but the band reaches thousands of potential new fans.

As TechDirt said:

“As we’ve noted in the past, this is a fantastic strategy for both newspapers and musicians. It helps both sides quite a bit, which is exactly what the band sees, noting that they just want to get more fans, and are hoping more will come see them on their latest tour.”


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Sorta Famous – The Weird World of Web Fame

I really feel for Chris Albrecht over on NewTeeVee as he tried to understand what the hell makes something like “Fred” happen:

“Sometimes I just feel so…out of touch. Who is “Fred” and why is he so freaking huge on YouTube? Seriously. He has four of the site’s top 20 videos this month, attracting a total of more than 12.7 million plays. Of the 16 videos he’s posted, only three have not cracked the one million-play mark (and one of those three was just added today).”

In fact, this sort of phenomenom drives everybody in the business of trying to be successful with web video content.  Why does some seemingly random kid come out of nowhere and command 7-figure viewcounts while thousands of “professionally” created videos languish in obscurity?

If you’re hoping for an answer from me, sorry.  I truly believe that “viral” video is truly that – viral.  You can’t make it happen.  Why is this kid the flavor of the moment?  Who the hell knows.  It doesn’t really matter.  It’s cool and hard to predict, like hurricanes or tornadoes.  We know they’re going to happen.  We just have know idea where or when.

Oh, here’s Fred:

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Vinyl Strikes Back – CD’s Cower in Fear

Vinyl record.

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TechDirt has some more news on the resurgence of vinyl LPs:

“Unlike the declining sales of CDs, Vinyl LP sales are expected to grow 60% this year over last year. However, the actual volume of vinyl sold (1 million albums sold versus 450 million for CDs) is very low, so clearly the resurgence is not an indication of a shift in consumer’s primary demand.”

While digital files are great for their flexibility it turns out that there is still something special about buying the record complete with cover art, liner notes and the physical disc itself with real grooves that produce the sound.

This is in important lesson for everyone in a business model that is being threatened by the digital revolution.  Take a hard look at what you’re selling.  It might be time to shift the focus.

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NBC Moving Backwards “100%”

I had to love the article the other day in the NYT about NBC’s partnership with insurance company Liberty Mutual to develop and produce back-door pilots in the form of sponsored TV movies.

“Branded entertainment efforts were a mainstay of TV in its early days — and of network radio before that. Series were developed jointly by advertisers and agencies and brought to the networks, which frequently named them after the sponsors.

Thus, NBC once offered programs like “Colgate Comedy Hour,” “Kraft Television Theater,” “Philco Television Playhouse” and “Dinah Shore Chevy Show.”

“We’re going backward, 100 percent,” Ben Silverman, co-chairman at the NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios divisions of NBC Universal, said, laughing.”

It’s nice to see the same language I used in our recent New Media pitch a couple of big corporations – except in my pitch you don’t really need NBC at all.  Really, all they truly offer is distribution and that has become nearly free.  True, they can drive a lot of eyeballs through marketing power, but so can magazines and blogs and the brands themselves.

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Branded Entertainment a Juggernaut

Article in AdAge looking at recent studies on the future of Branded Entertainment.  Since it is a reg. req. website here are some highlights:

“The branded-entertainment marketing sector is expected to continue seeing double-digit growth through to 2012 despite a slowing economy, according to PQ Media. By shifting their ad dollars to alternative channels, more marketers will seek to maximize their value in the face of faltering traditional media and elusive audiences.

Branded entertainment, which covers event sponsorship and marketing, paid product placements, and advergaming and webisodes, has seen spending nearly double since 2002 to an all-time high of $22.3 billion in 2007, making it one of the fastest growing segments of the $254 billion marketing services sector. Spending in the category is expected to reach $40 billion by 2012, according to PQ Media’s “Branded Entertainment Marketing Forecast: 2008-2012,” which was released Feb. 12.

“The overall trend is movement away from traditional advertising — that is to say in broadcast television, radio, etc. They are all experiencing low single-digit growth, and with things like the writers strike, brands have definitely been looking elsewhere,” says Patrick Quinn, president-CEO, PQ Media. “A lot of these alternative mediums are entertaining by nature, and therefore create powerful impressions on consumers. Brand recall on [them] has been much higher than the traditional 30-second spot. In the long run, they will come to play a more important role.”

But advergaming and webisodes remain at the forefront of marketing efforts to reach the 18 to 34-year-old demographic, and showed the largest growth in PQ Media’s survey: The segment grew 34.8% to $217 million in 2007. “Marketers are trying to reach a demographic that is digitally multitasking and exposed to more media than in the past,” Mr. Quinn said. “It’s also a demographic that consumes 48% of its media outside the home and on the go. A lot of heat and focus is here because of that.”

And the heat is on: PQ expects spending on webisodes in particular to increase by as much as 46% in 2008 as the major broadcast networks deploy full-length online episodes to tap into the youth market. Despite recessionary fears, PQ projects 2008 event sponsorship and marketing spending to reach $25.4 billion (up 13.9%), and product placement, especially with the influx of reality TV shows, to reach $3.5 billion (up nearly 25%).”

None of this is surprising, but it sure is encouraging for the areas I am currently seeking to grow for our company.

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