Visualization of top iPad News apps in Australia

As part of our ongoing research into iPad and media, and also to provide some insights for the audience of the iPad Strategy Workshop we ran at Newspaper Publishers Association, we created a visualization of the top 30 paid and free iPad apps in Australia, as of 24 August 2010.
The chart shows in the left hand column free apps, and on the right hand side paid apps, each ranked from #1 to #30 in order of popularity on iTunes. The following bar shows the price (for paid), the user rating on iTunes, and the size of the download in MB. The horizontal axis for paid apps indicates price.
The color code shows the type of app, bringing to attention a number of interesting features, for example that aggregators are very popular in paid apps, and that broadcast and newspapers dominate in free apps.

See also:
* Launch of iPad Media Strategy framework
* Presentation from iPad Strategy Workshop at Newspaper Publishers Association

Presentation from iPad Strategy Workshop at Newspaper Publishers Association

The iPad Strategy Workshop at Newspaper Publishers Association Future Forum was a big success. In a large room laid out for 120 there was just standing room by the time it started, with great content and a highly engaged audience.
The Twitter stream for #iPadStrat gives a pretty fair overview of proceedings, though there were just a small minority of people on Twitter in a room full of newspaper publishers.
Here are the slides from opening presentation, as promised:


Launch of iPad Media Strategy framework

This morning I ran the iPad Strategy Workshop at Newspaper Publishers Association Future Forum in Sydney. To provide a framework for discussion at the workshop (and also as part of our ongoing research into effective approaches to the iPad for media and news organizations) I created a visual framework of key strategic issues, as below.
I will delve into these strategic issues in later posts.
This is a Beta v1 version, so as always, please give feedback on how to make it more useful, including anything that’s missing or things that could be put better.


Effective strategies for a rapidly changing media industry

When I wrote my recent article Creating the Future of Media: 4 Driving Forces, 4 Strategic Issues, 4 Essential Capabilities for Media Titles magazine, they kindly offered Future Exploration Network a full page ad in the magazine.
The ad provides a nice overview of our current work with media organizations that are having to develop and implement strategies on the fly as the industry landscape shifts.
Click on the ad image for a larger version, or the key offerings are described below. If you’re interested in finding out more, some of the strategy tools we think are particularly useful in the current environment are described in our Future of Media: Strategy Tools framework.


Achieving Enterprise Adoption of Social Media Tools

I just had a chat with Ariel Roda (formerly of PLDT) who apparently has a platform that flattens corporate communications in the spirit of Social Media philosophies.
During product road shows, every presentation of the platform to the typical target audience (IT managers and senior executives I’m guessing) results in consistent “We still don’t get it” looks on their faces.
Experiences such as Ariel’s display the challenges that slow down the enterprise adoption of social media concepts and tools.
The truth is, making an effective pitch for Enterprise Social Media should take into consideration key strategies.
Know the Market
The oft cited Mcann Wave3 Study on Social Media underlines very significant figures that should be understood and exploited. For example, some statistics vis-a-vis the Philippine internet universe of 3.7 million users are as follows:

  • 90.3% of users read blogs (#2 in the world), 65.8% have written blogs (#4 in the world)
  • 83.1% belong to at least one social network (#1 in the world)
  • 86.4% upload and share photos (#1 in the world)
  • 98.6% watch videos on the web (#1 in the world), 60.5% upload and share videos (#2 in the world)
  • 61.8% download podcasts (#5 in the world)
  • 45.2% read RSS feeds (#6 in the world)

Such numbers would at first glance be clearly valuable from a marketing perspective. However, from the enterprise point of view, the above points to two postulates.

  1. 1. The filipinos are immersed in social media and have embraced it with a passion.
  2. 2. If social media is injected into the filipino workplace, filipinos will adopt it and be expert users.

Complete the Context: Enterprise 2.0
The biggest mistake when presenting the case for Enterprise Social Media is neglecting to complete the story. The foundation must be laid to make the value leap more apparent.
Refrain from pitching a social network, or a blogging engine, or a wiki platform. What you should be introducing is a philosophy, and subsequently, tools and platforms that give life to this philosophy within the enterprise. Interestingly, the transformation into Enterprise 2.0 will not happen from the top but will instead be initiated from the bottom-up.
Value the Conversations.
The Cluetrain Manifesto is the key foundation of Social Media. The basic posit is that knowledge in a familiar context is more powerful than an encyclopedic collection of information difficult to retrieve and comprehend.
Provide the Tools not the Solutions.
The best way to solve users’ challenges is to arm them with the tools to find their own solutions based on their desire lines — their quest to get from point A to point B. Sets of tools that enable users to share, retrieve, improve, and grade knowledge is all that’s needed. Given time, the users themselves will create solutions no amount of pre-planning might foresee. One needs to keep in mind though that tools aren’t just software and systems. Tools also include processes, frameworks, and methodologies.
Evangelize Agility.
The effective transformation of a company to Enterprise 2.0 is significantly bound to the adoption of the Agile Manifesto. Agile methodologies allow tools to be implemented and put into use immediately. After which, use cases are observed and these tools are improved and adjusted according to continuous feedback. Meanwhile, users themselves continue to develop novel applications of these tools leading to a cycle of increasingly more intelligent solutions from the work of all parties.
Embrace the Ambient Webstream.
With the emergence Social Media tools, it is important to recognize that information retrieval no longer just becomes an on-demand activity with search powering the harvesting of information. A far more significant scale of information will flow to the user without consciously requesting it. This is already becoming apparent on public platforms such as twitter, friend activity feeds, RSS feeds, and other channels that constantly stream knowledge outside one’s normal frame of web activity.
Tapping the network effect.
With knowledge as the asset, the size of one’s network exponentially increases the ability to tap into crowd wisdom. The network likewise ensures the quality of knowledge and its sources through peer review. In a way, this makes every bit of knowledge that the network interacts with, a product of collective intelligence.
In light of the above, the only effective way to penetrate the enterprise with Social Media is to continue to evangelize, implement the tools for free for a certain time frame, then let the users decide to keep them and how to best use them.

The past, present, and future of location-based mobile social networking

I have long believed that location-based mobile social networking is central to how technology will connect us. The advent of next generation phones including the iPhone combined with people’s familiarity and engagement with social networks means that the space is – finally – ready to take off. Here is a very quick review of the past, present, and future of the space.
The Past
The original location-based social networking application was proximity dating, which I wrote about in chapter 2 of my book Living Networks in 2002, in describing some of the many ways that networks bring people together:

In mobile-mad Japan, “proximity dating” has had a big success. As in Internet dating, you complete a profile of both yourself and your desired partner. Instead of suggesting people to exchange e-mails with, the service rings you on your cell phone to let you know that someone with a matching profile is within a few hundred yards of you, and allows you to arrange to meet them. Since high bandwidth mobile technology is now available in Japan, the system can also allow you to see each other on your mobile videophone before you meet.
[Download Chapter 2 of Living Networks]

People were very interested in the idea, and I got a lot of media coverage at the time for my thoughts on where this was going. There were a variety of technologies and platforms available for location-based social networking in the early days, however the major constraint was that very few phones had GPS, so the location of each phone had to be determined by cell tower triangulation, giving an accuracy often not better than one kilometre. One early example of location-based social networking at the time was from Swisscom, in which people could engage in anonymous chat, with indicators of both the numbers of degrees of separation from their counterpart in their phone books, and the approximate distance between them (from low to high).


The steady shift to an RSS-based universe

The Guardian is now providing full-text RSS feeds.
Let’s dig into why this is important, and an indicator of one of the broadest shifts happening in the information landscape.
Over the last few years RSS has shifted from a geek-thing that required explanation, to the point where most people have an RSS reader of some type on their desktops. As people go to more and more information sources, it becomes highly inefficient to visit to them separately, while an RSS readers allows all of your selected information sources to be found in the one place.
Currently virtually every professional publisher provides partial feeds, meaning that if you subscribe to their news feeds in an RSS reader you only get an excerpt or the beginning of the article, and you have to click through to the publishers’ website to read the article. For some years there has been a vigorous debate on whether publishers should provide full or partial feeds. Professional publishers have almost always chosen to direct readers back to their sites, where they can ply them with advertising and make money.
The Guardian is in fact the first major newspaper in the world to provide full-text feeds, according to the Google Reader team.


Peak of Australian Twitter use was at Future of Media Summit 2008

Hitwise has just released statistics on Twitter usage in Australia, showing that Twitter usage is up over 500% over the last year. More interestingly, Australia’s share of Twittering globally has more than tripled in that time. It should also be noted that people increasingly use mobiles and Twitter clients such as Twhirl, so Hitwise would not be seeing this traffic, suggesting that the increase in usage is probably significantly greater than the figures they’re reporting.

Of particular interest is that Twitter’s peak of usage in Australia was at the time of the Future of Media Summit 2008, on July 15. This isn’t that surprising given the very strong use of Twitter at and beyond the Summit (see Twitter posts tagged #fom08), and the many people who commenced Twittering at the event.
Certainly other more recent events in Australia (for example today’s Web Directions South #wds08) are likely to have more Twitter usage than the Future of Media Summit, however that is on the back of a significant increase in the local Twitter population since then. It’s certainly great to see that the Future of Media Summit got such great Twitter uptake, especially since the event covered the entire media landscape, not just social media, and many attendees were from traditional media and unlikely to ever Twitter.
Thanks for the reference from the blog of social media strategist and Twitterer extraordinaire Laurel Papworth!
Also see the original release from Hitwise for more interesting insights, such as the fact that Twitter delivers 10x more traffic to financial institution websites than it did a year ago, suggesting that Twitterers are saying either nice or bad things about banks.

Media is becoming everything

Photon Group, in their annual results presentation today (Revenue up 94% to A$376m, Net Profit up 33% to A$21.7m – go to ASX to download FY2008 Annual Results) used three quotes to support their “media neutral, consumer driven “ strategy:

“The current agency model, producing marketing programs built around 30 second television ads, is no longer relevant for today’s business environment”
Tony Palmer, Chief Marketing Officer for Kimberly Clark
“Today almost every business and social activity is a form of media. An increasing proportion of our social interactions happen across media channels”
Ross Dawson, Chairman of Future Exploration Network
“We will spend our marketing funds where the consumer will be and that is changing rapidly”
Craig Herbison, General Manager, Brand and Communication for Vodafone Australia

The quote from me is taken from the introduction to our Future of Media Report 2008, which has been getting a fantastic amount of attention globally since its launch in July.
I have spoken and written before about how media is beginning to encompass almost everything in the economy (for example in my speech on Enterprise 2.0 at KMWorld in Silicon Valley last year). I think it’s worth reviewing the first paragraph of the Future of Media Report 2008 below. I believe this view is central to how media, business, and society will unfold over coming years.

We are entering the media economy. The traditional boundaries of the media and entertainment industry have become meaningless. Today almost every business and social activity is a form of media. An increasing proportion of our social interactions happen across media channels. Every organization is now a media entity, engaged in creating and disseminating messages among its staff, customers, and partners to achieve business objectives. As the physical economy becomes marginalized and economic value becomes centered on the virtual, media encompasses almost everything.

How smaller countries and regions can develop their film and screen industries – 5 key issues

One of the issues that I am increasingly shifting my attention to is how smaller developed economies compete in an intensely connected global economy. For example, in different sectors Ireland, Finland, Israel, and Singapore have had significant success in shifting their economic structure. While the large economies of US, Japan, and Western Europe as well as the emerging BRIC giants face their own issues, there are a particular set of challenges for smaller countries or regions. In addition to the general drivers of economic success in a hyper-connected world, there are a range of specific issues within industries, particularly in the media and technology sectors.
The Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development in the Australian state of Victoria recently commissioned an independent review of the screen industry in the state, which goes through to a proposed vision for the future of the industry in the state. Beyond this specific initiatives will be established. The review was performed by consulting firm Nous Group, and I was an ‘Expert Advisor’ on the review. The Screen Industy value chain (as below) on page 14 of the report was developed based on some of my thinking, including my Future of Media Strategic Framework.
The Victorian Screen Industry Review can be downloaded, and makes for some very interesting reading.
Below is a summary of the key trends identified in the report across sectors, followed by five key issues raised by the report.


ABC Interview: Google as an advertising aggregator

I have said for many years that the best way to understand Google is as an advertising aggregator (I would argue that even with its diversification over the last few years). Building on its successful search engine, it has sold ads that are served both on its search results, and also on a broad array of non-Google sites, initially through its AdSense program. It has for some years also sold advertising for delivery on radio, television, and newspapers. This was described in our Future of Media Strategic Framework which appeared in the Future of Media Report 2006.
Back in March I was interviewed by the ABC’s Media Report program about Google and Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo! at the time. While some of the interview topics are a bit dated now, much of it is still relevant, including my description of Google’s role in the media landscape. I’ll expand on this in another post soon.
You can read the transcript on the ABC site and below (note that there are some errors in the transcript).
Antony Funnell: Now let’s stay with search engines for a little bit longer, and look at the business manoeuvrings of some of the big players. Google last week announced it’s beefing up its presence in Australia with a new headquarters, and it’s seeking to grow in a whole range of areas. It’s also announced that it’s successfully acquired internet advertising firm DoubleClick.
Meanwhile, in another online universe, Microsoft appears to be still actively stalking the second-tier search engine company Yahoo. What’s it all about? Well let’s ask Ross Dawson. Ross is a communication strategy consultant and chairman of the Future Exploration Network.
Ross Dawson: It’s important to understand that Google is not just a search engine, and that it is in fact, more than anything else, an aggregator of advertising. What it does is it goes to advertisers and says, ‘We can present information about you, not just on our own search engine, but also on many, many other websites’.


Media Trends + Strategy: The State of Play

Media Trends+Strategy magazine (click on the link to access the magazine in interactive format) includes a piece titled Media: The State of Play – Expert Analysis which features edited interviews with a variety of participants in the media space, including John Sintras, CEO of Starcom, Belinda Rowe, CEO of ZenithOptimedia, Collin Segelov, Executive Director of the Australian Association of National Advertisers, and myself.
My interview is below. You can also read it and the other interviews by going to the magazine from the link above – my interview is on page 30.
Further context on some of my comments is available from the Seven Driving Forces of Media and Creating the Future of Advertising.
What does the ongoing consolidation In the industry mean for marketers?
The first thing to understand is that the most powerful broad trend in media is fragmentation and while mass media remains, it is becoming a smaller and smaller proportion of the overall media landscape. So within that context, what we see is that there is consolidation within particular segments and in some of the larger players. We have seen more and more cross media ownership as regulation has eased. One of the implications for marketers is that they are increasingly being offered media packages across different segments from the same owner. This is obviously not a new trend, but as we get more and more cross media ownership, more and more marketers are being presented with these offers to access an audience through a multiplicity of different channels. From a marketers or media buyer perspective , these can only be judged on their individual merits. It really needs to be driven by the media buyer as to what is the appropriate set of media channels to reach their audience with the right message, and that may or may not tally with what is being offered by some of the larger media owners.


Media and Social Networks Roundtable

Firstly, let me say congratulations again to Ross for a great conference. I was asked to moderate one of the Roundtable discussions held during the day – namely one of the three on the topic: ‘Media and Social Networks’, although we probably discussed ‘Social Media’ more broadly than we did the specific topic.
Participants in this conversation were:

  • Gavan Heaton (aka Servant of Chaos)
  • Josh Mehlman, Editor at Nett
  • Chris Saad, CEO of Faraday Media (Paying Attention)
  • Stuart Buchanan, General Manager at Community Engine
  • Stephen Collins from acidlabs
  • Ulash Tiwari, Web Analytics from IBM (sorry if I got the name/title wrong, Ulash)
  • Gemma Maughan, from Lewis PR
  • Myriam (sorry Myriam, didn’t get your surname or company)
  • Jemma Enright, from DaVinci, and myself,
  • Rob Antulov, CEO 3eep Pty Ltd
  • Some of the discussion around the table follows …
    Definition of Social Media

  • while social networking is mostly about connections, social media is more about content creation
  • personal media – enables individuals to express themselves, thereby socialising that expression with others
  • Corporate Participation in Social Media

  • employees as bloggers or social media participants – blend of individual prespective and the ‘corporate’ brand
  • many companies about which conversaion occurs online are NOT tracking this conversation, so are missing out on a unique opportunity to listen and engage with some of their passionate consumers
  • ignoring social media (by a corporate) doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist – the conversation continues even if ignored
  • invoking the Cluetrain Manifesto, Chris made the point that a company thinking that it can still strongly control its ‘public face’ is begin severley undermined by social media (and used his own example of Twittering about his poor experience with Qantas as an example)
  • companies are not resourcing internally to listen to or participate in the online conversation
  • companies’ strategies should be about listening and engaging – the tools are easy to use and relatively inexpensive
  • companies can use social media to ‘close the feedback loop’, right back/down to the product if that is identified
  • companies can use ‘crowd-source’ strategies – for example, with product support to other users
  • companies should aim to build relationships with people online in a similar way to that which they would use in a ‘face-to-face’ situation – treat them as real, use authenitc communications, enable access to real people (eg CEO, COO, etc)
  • How does a ‘corporate’ (eg Qantas) do it? – get involved, encourage employees, set boundaries; but, will require changes in the way companies hire, train and ‘guide’ staff
  • Stephen used a great example of how 10 Downing St has engaged with their online community by ‘participating in the conversation’ that occurs about British politics and the Prime Minister
  • NFP and Community Social Networks

  • NFPs often don’t have $ or resources to engage with their stakeholder coimmunities as nmuch as they’d like
  • They can use social media to communicate with their communities
  • Advertising Considerations on Social Media

  • social media ad budgets are generally miniscule for major brands
  • proposal is that companies could shift even just 10% of their ad budget into ‘new’ media for powerful and measurable results
  • ROI is not always the right metric to focus on
  • “What is the value of a conversation about your product?” – immeasurable!
  • Hope that gives you some insight into some of the thoughts that were discussed by a table-full of passionate and interested observers and participants in this very interesting time we find ourselves in!

    How will news and social networks be integrated?

    It is inevitable that news dissemination will become a largely social function. By whatever means, we will be provided with extremely low touch ways of sharing content we think would be interesting to specific people we know. This will then be filtered in various ways by the recipients, however most will value being recommended articles and sites on an individual basis.
    Digg, StumbleUpon,, and other tools allow us to recommend content to the world at large. But recommendations are far more valuable if they are specific to the person and context. The best way to disseminate these recommendations is through our social networks, if we happen to spend time there. So social networks can become a platform for the collaborative filtering of content, giving individuals the benefit of their network’s judgment and access to information.
    In this context, the announcement today by New York Times and LinkedIn of a way of providing custom content and recommendations to their network is a landmark. Over the next few years this integration of social networks and content will rapidly evolve to be a very important part of the landscape.


    Fantastic insights from the blog coverage of the Future of Media Summit

    Sorry I’ve been slow to follow up on the Future of Media Summit – it’s been a very busy time since the event, including some long flights 🙂
    To start off here are some of the most interesting blog posts on the Summit. There are some fantastic ideas and insights in these, so well worth a read. In no particular order :
    Stephen Collins: What will the future of media look like?, including the ‘artificial split’ between journalism and new media
    Chris Bishops: Monetising future content: business models as traditional content models break down.
    JD Lasica: Takeaways from Future of Media Summit, including the ‘Great Decoupling’ and media as ‘Distraction Machine’
    Phil Morle: A Future for TV: The Collaborative Crowd – the future is (crudely) present
    Seth Yates: Comprehensive Future of Media Summary including notes on all the panels
    Jay Cross: review of Future of Media Summit, including the US future of journalism panel
    Stilgherrian: Note to “old media: journalists: adapt or stfu!
    (Same post at Crikey with different comment stream)
    Jonathan Este: Bloggers: the biggest whingers since journalists (Response to Stilgherrian, originally posted on Crikey and reposted on Stilgherrian’s blog with comments)
    Brad Howarth: Live from Future of Media Summit Part 1, Live from Future of Media Summit Part 2, Live from Future of Media Summit Part 3 – detailed insights and commentary
    Craig Wilson: review of the Future of Media Summit, including discussion of the Twitter backchannel at the event
    Gavin Heaton: review of future of Media Summit: the future of media is PARTICIPATION
    Alex Gibson: compilation of ideas and annotations from the event Twitter stream
    Kathy Drasky: live blogging and commentary from the Future of Media Summit in Silicon Valley
    Gordon Whitehead: Future of Media: Opportunity or Train Wreck – believing in opportunities
    Also be sure to see the initial review of social media commentary on the Future of Media Summit. Since then, additional posts on the Future of Media Summit blog include two additional summaries of discussions on Participant Roundtables on the Sydney side:
    Media and social networks Roundtable
    Shifts in the advertising industry Roundtable

    Media and Social Networks Roundtable: moderator Jim McNamara

    Media and Social networks.
    Moderated by Jim McNamara.
    We were asked to think about the word “social” with regards to social networks – since the networks were used for many more things than just social interaction.
    What about calling them community networks for instance? A group like Advance, meant to link the Australian diaspora around the world used it as a means of business, while Financial institutions used the networks for business interaction.
    Also, since there are so many uses for social networks, should they be classified under the generic term of ‘media”?
    One of the key points about the networks was that they used ‘trust’ and word of mouth, based on the user being empowered. Rather like an Irish pub, said someone, an example of a social and communications network and also a place for distribution of material.
    There was discussion about misterminology about the words social networks – since after all they were mediated – so were they not just another form of media?
    Or have social networks morphed into another and different form of media altogether?
    Depends on your point of view, said one participant: it’s a generational thing. Older people would use them to push agendas, whereas younger people used them more for communications and social purposed.
    The definition is irrelevant, said another: whatever you want to call it – you are a target audience to the advertiser. Not so, was the reply, since the advantage of Web 2.0 was the ability to talk back and interact. It gives participants a voice.
    There was talk about traditional media being ‘closed media’, in the sense the audience was told what to look at, whereas social networks were ‘open media’.
    Should we therefore, said the moderator, be thinking about a term such as ‘emergent’ media as it was still developing.
    The conversation moved on to the issue of the audience as content generators and the day of the citizen journalist .
    We agreed on the core concepts of social media as being: Open/interactive/participatory
    We then turned to history and reviewed the fact that there used to be the marketplace and the forum in a village society, which allowed for participatory contact and interaction. Mass media had in fact taken away from people the ability to talk to one another. “We’re back to the global town hall meeting and the world as a village”.
    Final Key points to consider:
    Information vs communication
    Peer to peer influences at work
    Social for engagement rather than just to be cosial
    And so, does this now make social media a mainstream concept?

    Shifts in the Advertising Industry Notes

    * Donald McBain, Head of Brand Marketing, MLC
    * Alena Jang, MLC
    * Nicholas Wong, Manager, Corporate Strategy, SBS
    * Stephen Hollings, CEO, News Digital Careers
    * Chris Bishop, BizNet
    * Caesar Wong, Web Managing Editor, IBM
    * Craig Blair, Netus
    * Roger Kermode, Prime Digital Works
    * (sorry, didn’t catch her name)?, Yahoo
    * Michael Broadhead, Folk
    * Kara Sullivan, Folk
    Marketers changing focus on CPC, wanting more action.
    Underlying metrics: Different publishers have different spins. Some
    emphasise engagement, UB’s, PI’s, CPM, etc.
    Yahoo! Gateway – performance display, connection between offline and
    online. On back of TV commercial – “Search on Yahoo for XYZ”
    Much greater fragmentation, unbundling. Takes longer to buy media.
    Instead of 5 calls, now it takes dozens.
    Agency commission gone in the last 10 years for most, but agencies
    starting to charge “consulting fee” to claw this back.
    Online consolidating to representation (e.g., “networks”)
    Clients saying they want to do innovation for sake of innovation (“I
    want to do an online ad”, vs focussing on the message and target)
    Agencies often having independent “strategy units” to tie together
    different media types
    Media agencies currently unskilled at doing the cross-media planning.
    Many set up a “new media” division. Clients don’t want that, they
    want a media plan.
    Influx of hedge fund skills into media buying. Think of them as asset
    managers vs agencies.
    Demand for data and analytics increasing rapidly.
    Can we design our sites for larger screen sizes? Are those people in
    a more valuable demographic?
    “Free will win, but it will come at a cost” – Nicholas Wong, SBS

    Quick review of social media coverage of Future of Media Summit

    I’ll do some more detailed reflections on the Future of Media Summit tomorrow. I’m just about to fall over after a very long day, but thought I’d post a few important social media references and commentary on the event.
    First stopping point has to be the Future of Media Summit Blog, where participants have been busily posting all day, notably:
    Participant roundtables in Sydney:
    Mobile Media and Content
    Future of Media and Television
    Flow Economy/ Media Strategy Workshop in Silicon Valley:
    Reviews of panel discussions:
    Global Media Strategies – 1
    Global Media Strategies – 2
    CEO Panel – 1
    CEO Panel – 2
    Future of TV and video – by Mark Pesce 1
    Future of TV and video – by Mark Pesce 2
    Future of Privacy and Targeted Advertising
    Future of Journalism (Sydney)
    Unconference sessions:
    New Media – 1
    New Media – 2
    Twitter comments:
    See the Summize search for Twitters with the #fom08 tag – literally hundreds of Twitters from attendees at the Future of Media Summit (which included a Twitter 101 session during the Unconference session in Sydney).
    Live video:
    The Ustream video from Phil Morle
    All this will give you a good feel for the event from the perspective of participants. I’ll provide some of my thoughts soon.
    In previous years the Summit blog has continued to be active for quite a while after the event as discussions continue online – hopefully this will be the case this year too! Subscribe to the blog to keep up with the conversation.

    Unconference – New Media

    New Media
    – Is consumer a dead word? It implies that they are passive
    – Does the same content player work for all audiences?
    – Participants drive
    o Content
    o Format
    o Delivery
    – Segmentation – not age but levels of interaction / media usage
    – Content
    o What you want, when you want it
    – Progression of people
    o Media literacy/interfaces
    o Demanding short attention spans of people
    – As quality increases peoples standards go up
    – Production quality not important on a 2×2 screen
    o Versus relevance quality
    – Advertising – selling a product through need or desire

    – Content
    o Interaction vs experience
    o Peer recognition
    o Sharing value with others
    – Technology
    o MID – Mobile Internet Device
    – Cheaper – increases penetration
    • Fundamental change in internet demographics
    – Variable content by device
    o Quality of the idea
    o People are not necessarily looking for production quality (time, relevance immediacy)
    – Funding notes
    o Selling product vs trafficking
    o Traditional model – aggregate – very little mass appeal content
    – We can’t make all of the good stuff free – public sponsorship
    – Wider distraction channels
    o Audience distribution / greater reach
    o What is the measure of sources and how can discussion be monetise / the value recognised

    Unconference: New Media

    Notes from the group discussion…
    Generational difference
    “Consumer” is a dead word (implies passive) > changed to participants, but not every participant is active
    Does the same content player work for all audiences?
    Participants drive: content, format, delivery
    – Differences for different cultures
    – Participants drive the creation of niches
    Segmentation: Not age but levels of interaction/media usage; how much time do they have
    Progression of people – how does it change the formats people are looking for
    – demanding short attention spans
    – media literacy/simplification of interfaces
    – unleash untapped potential in audiences
    – transferred knowledge
    Segment by need vs product segment
    what you want, when you want it, how you want it, how you will make it
    – production quality vs. relevance quality
    As quality goes up, peoples standards go up
    Production quality not important @ 2×2 screen. Therefore, free/grass roots content acceptable
    Need content – what is it people really want?
    – information vs. experience
    – peer recognition
    Variable content by device
    – Quality of the idea
    – People are not necessarily looking for production quality but time, relevance, immediacy (e.g. happy to view grainy footage of the Gulf War that has basically been filmed on a mobile phone)
    Funding models
    Selling product vs trading traffic
    Traditional model – aggregate eyeballs
    – BUT very little mass appeal content (hard to create content that appeals to everybody)
    How do you fund content?
    Community supported content models (e.g. Wikipedia) – make value judgement about what’s important then voluntarily contribute to support it
    Reality is we can’t make all the good stuff free (Australian film industry) > public sponsorship
    – Implications for creating a “user choice” model
    Wider distribution channels
    – audience distribution/greater reach
    – leverage this idea to divide content up and sell it in different ways
    What is the measure of success and how can success be monetised/the value recognised
    – Multiple forms
    MID – Mobile Internet Device
    Cheaper – increases penetration, fundamental in changing internet demographics (i.e. currently the most people on the internet are English-speaking Westerners, but predictions are that this will change)

    Predictions for the Future of Media

    Top Australian media executives discuss the findings of the prediction markets, and offer their own insights into directions for the media industry.
    Belinda Rowe (Zenith Optimedia)
    – Optimist at heart
    – Get tired of discussion around whether mainstream media will survive – most of the big media companies have moved into the digital space and are using this to enhance their customer relationships
    Angelos Frangopoulos (Australian News Channel)
    – Don’t see any option other than to grow
    – A case of embracing as many opportunities as you can
    – Digital since 1996
    – Fanastic future for mainstream media because we are all diversifying – those who don’t embrace change will suffer
    Wendy Hogan (CNET)
    – CBS integration
    – Contrary to last session, CNET employee a significant number of just for web journalists, who are allowed to blog if they like!
    – Different payment models for how you recognise the contribution of people
    – Inviting the audience to participate is a method people are using to bring their production costs down
    – Give bloggers the opportunity to be seen by audiences
    Mark Scott (ABC)
    – Positive picture for ABC – recognise they are a good content creator
    – Deliver content to audience at a time they want in a format they want
    – Advantages for ABC: has a lot of content and don’t need to execute that in a model that makes money
    – Business model relies on getting a big cheque from the Commonwealth Government, by showing they deliver unique content to Australians
    Australian media landscape is distinctive
    – Urbanisation, distribution of population
    What will make Australian media landscape distinctive in the future?
    – Global boundaries that have already been strong are broken down – Aus consumer can engage with content from all around the world
    – It will be harder for media companies than when there were far fewer content providers. Who will be able to financially deliver content created in local communities and delivered to local communities?
    – Access to 24 hour content from countries all around the world – challenge for mainstream media is about being more and more relevant to local markets. What is unique about us compared with operator overseas?
    – Australia has successfully exported content overseas (e.g Neighbours, Home & Away). Opportunity for Australia to produce more content to export, technology can pave the way – need investment in broadband for this to happen efficiently and easily
    – CNET: add content with a local context to a site that already exists (e.g. Game Spot – need to tweek Grand Theft Auto for Australian players). Deliver contextually relevant ads too. It’s all about putting decisions back in audience’s hands regarding content and where they want to read/view it
    – ABC: how to find a program that is intrinsically Australian? The real challenge for Aus program makers not that the global market is open to Aus content, but that the global market is available for audience here to see, but you still have to make your money back from the audience here as well – i.e. it’s not about selling Australian content overseas.
    – No doubt that online will be a big distribution mechanism – more and more people will watch traditional TV content online. How do you monetise it? No one wants to buy/watch pre-rolls? CNET says there’s a big drop off from pre-roll to video content, especially for 30 sec pre-rolls
    Media channels will be increasing age fragmented
    – Teenage audiences using social networking to share content experiences (e.g. MySpace page for Jamie from Summer Heights High)
    – Younger audiences are more personalised and selective about what content they consume, they are more content loyal rather than channel loyal (i.e. content is channel agnostic)
    – Advent of data

    Round Table Discussion: Mobile Media and Content

    Clearly the iPhone is changing the way that the Australian audience thinks about consuming products via their mobile devices. Where arguably the technology has been available for some time, getting your head around the application of that technology – getting excited about it – that is a different matter.
    We discussed the potential of mobile as both a medium for consuming media product and a tool for creating it. As Stephen Quinn from Deakin University suggested, the mobile sphere has an enormous potential to reach people, particularly younger people, like never before.
    Viacorp’s Ian Gardiner made the point that the Australian mobile carriers are desperately trying to maintain a kind of “walled garden”, restricting access and hoping to protect their revenue accordingly, but perhaps “Carriers need o stop trying to be media companies, because they’re bad at it,” as was suggested by Christo Van Egmond from Stripe.
    The carriers might be trying to shore up their revenue models, retain ultimate control over content (however questionable the quality), but is there a real, substantial market for the content they are fighting so fiercely to protect?
    Generally the group believes there is – at least for certain content, and assuming Australian carriers loosen the leash in terms of download limits…
    Diverging for a second, does anyone reading this know the details and dynamics of the deal that lead to Telstra acquiring rights to distribute the iPhone and why 3 was left out? Would love more info on that.
    Anyway, returning to the point at hand, there is some debate over whether mobiles can compete with free content on larger screens over the internet.
    First foremost there needs to be appropriate infrastructure in place to accommodate the desire to view any content, to make that experience enjoyable and convenient, but once that is established, really the group agreed that there should be no “for mobile” content. It should all just be content, and platform agnostic. Some sites/uses will lend themselves more heavily to mobile – Van Egmond suggests sport results and breaking news – but really if I want to shop online, if I want to view YouTube, if I want to watch a streamed TV show, I should be able to do it.
    Mike Zimmerman from Technology Venture Partners suggests carriers might find some success and continued control if they begin to supplement subscription/pay-per-usage models with ad support, so offer a cut-rate cap plan in exchange for eyeballs during use time or SMS/MMS ads.
    Ultimately, as wifi becomes increasingly prolific and accessible and various different enabling technologies undermine the telcos’ ambitions, perhaps as Gardiner suggests “the carriers are doomed”.

    Future of Journalism

    Newsrooms are laying off staff, print journalists are being asked to use video cameras, bloggers are going professional, and sub-editors are writing headlines for search engines. Who will the journalists be and how will they earn a living?
    Gen Y don’t want to read papers. But some say the newspaper is the best browser – selects the stories for you to read, rather than you going online and searching for only the stories of interest to you
    Currently the revenue for media companies comes from newspapers and online is being funded – this balance will evenutually change
    Newspapers are not as ‘green’ as online?
    Is the future of journalism only in the hands of journalists?
    – It will have to involve people who don’t consider themselves journalists today
    – Newspapers as a technology will have to adapt
    – Most people won’t read it front to back but will choose what they want to read
    – Green nature of newspaper publishing – allowing people to purchase only the sections they want thereby customising newspapers for the audiences that read them
    Skill and professionalism involved in journalism
    – The more likely user generated content will come in the visual form (rather than video) because making text requires a lot more work – being a professional journalist requires a certain expertise, it’s a craft.
    – Blogger is a columnist, not a journalist. You can’t be both.
    – Need to clearly identify ‘reporters’ versus ‘bloggers’
    – But, a blog is just a tool, a piece of paper or web page – some bloggers use the tool to report. Right now I’m using this Future of Media blog to record what is being said during today’s panels, rather than to simply express my opinions on the topics
    Why don’t journalists like bloggers and why don’t bloggers like journalists?
    Craze of blogging – everyone wants to have a blog
    That will settle down so that only the people who really have something to say in a blog will make use of one
    Need to move away from the idea of thinking that blogs are just a place for people to say ‘this is what i think’
    People are stretched right now in the amount of time they have and the amount of information they have to absorb (like Ronald Regan insisting that documents he had to read consisted of no more than one page)
    Journalists will become more required to be sythesisers of masses of information
    Fairfax Digital has employed senior, well-known journalists to write for SMH/The Age Business Day (online business site). If you have a blog that has enough credibility and funding then you could employ journalists. For now it is traditional media that are the main employers of journalists, however this will change
    What is the business model for the future of journalism?
    – Imcumbent of journalists to break news, but as is human nature there is also a tendency to cut corners to save time
    – Surprised if we see the same continuing pressure of newspapers over the next few years and no change in the status of journalists
    – Journalist at The Australian says she writes for online as well as the papers. When a story happens she has to quickly write the online story – is this the future of journalists? Reporting in a multi-media world
    – As newspapers driven by revenue and costs start to shed staff (e.g. LA Times has gone down by about half in the last 5 years) the quality and quantitiy of stories go down
    – Correlation b/w the number of jobs in the industry and the quality of the output
    Decline in newspaper market in America
    – No one has invested in them for years – no glossy liftouts like in Australia
    – Pressure on revenues requires them to cut, cut, cut
    – In Australia we have 3 very large print companies with huge earning bases from which to fund new ideas
    – Most of the cost cutting has gone into getting rid of the salaries of people
    – If we go into online, theoretically reducing paper already reduces costs
    – Jobs are there for people with certain skills – movement from print to online
    – Police force tends to lose people at certain ages, but then they go into similar jobs (e.g. driving instructers, security guards). This could happen for journalists too
    CONTROVERSY! Bloggers don’t pretend to have objectivity, journalists do
    – Journalists have let us down in the last 10 years or so with the focus on Monica Lewinsky, etc
    – Trying to set up a dichotomy b/w journalists and bloggers, but blogging is just a tool
    – Where a journalist will go off and research people, an individual has already blogged about it
    – False dichotomy to say that blogging and journlism are opposites? They are just different?
    Branding – you read something in The Australian and this guarantees a certain credibility for the content. With blogging the wheat is being sorted out from the chaff gradually. Some bloggers are gaining credibility, others are good for a laugh but you wouldn’t base your opinions on what they say
    Would journalists be happy being paid on how many page impressions a certain article gets? i.e. paid on performance
    Conversation with US panelists
    Is objectivity attainable?
    – Values of journalists: fairness, balance, choose stories that matter and not the stories that get the most page views (we know what stories those are already). It’s okay to have some Big Macs occasionally, but if you have Big Macs too often you become one sick person
    – Do we all agree about the notion of fairness?
    – Importance of certain stories
    – Goal for all of us is to become more educated and informed about the world around us, rather than just focusing on the stories or marketing products that we want (avoid star gazing)
    – Is such thing as too much of a good thing
    – Formula for reaching mass audience with the Big Macs and also providing the content that will clean their arteries of the cholestoral! Don’t know how to convey the important stories with this news medium of online

    Predictions for Future Media

    Embracing change and opportunites as there is a lot of room for diversifying. Financially, it all comes from quality content. Blogs/news content – different payment models for contributors – there will be recognition for video or photo content
    ABC – new ops in digital media offers more ways in more situations to communicate to Australia – advantages are from content and it isn’t under a business model framed to earn money – purely quality content. Online, off-line – all consumers of ABC are access in significant numbers. No-one else is in this position to do so.
    Australia is disctinctive in its media landscape – how/ what will continue this in the future?
    Distribution of population
    Global opps
    – Global boundaries have broken down around media – global newspapers etc content are now accessible. Regional and rural australia – who will be able to deliver content that is created in local communities & made for local communities?
    The landscape is much different in the future.
    Angelos – ANC
    Access to 24 hours news content – is a threat to ANS
    Being more and more relevant to each and every market – which sees them offering localised portals to various areas
    As a provider of info – what is not going to be easily replicated overseas
    Australia produces high quality content and production – technology – australia has the opportunity to produce/export more.
    Reliance on investment in broadband is needed for this to happen sooner and more easily
    CNET – content in a local context – you need a local context for many platforms – simply to make it contextually relevant to various locations (e.g GTA – may need to be censored). Putting it into the audiences hands – show what they want and what they want to know/interact with. Sport, interest, hobbies etc.
    ABC – what australian t.v product has expanded globally/domestically on it’s own
    Summer Heights High – BBC etc
    Challenge program makers – you still have to make your money back – how do you create programming here that competes domestically with global/o.s. shows – competitively
    There is a growing division in the age demographic
    Advertisers opp – amount of data and knowldge that is now available

    Future of Media and Television Roundtable

    with mark pesce as facilitator. global market. very intersting group. across a range of dinterests, content and media. interactive. also gov. aggregators, aust content, media agencies, vry exciting.
    are we operating in two different worlds. budgets, how to be interactive and deliver broadcast content as well. haveing shelf space for australia, is there need for regulation to hear australian voice? why settle for small space? australians create huge content on youtube. partiicpation as well. distrbution and content. old media world of film and tv. new age of partnership. both in distribution and content. innovation to come from fleet-footed. offset initiatives to incent production. early days lots of competitors.
    national innovation review to come out soon – to support the fleet-footed opportunistic innovators. Cutler’s review supports this. small innovators can apply to government to funding as they are the new face of innovation.
    new models of internet video NOT advertising. no one right answer. is advertising meant to be annoying? or to help meet people’s values?. metrics on p2p. large media coming to grips with the metrics. then re-eduate what they mean – not just per view – but level of engagement. study from trade body in uk tv and online buyers if they see both. Integrated sell to advertisers. tv, print, online. ad agencies margins are not as clear online. margins bigger in traditional – not as big online. need to try to talk same language details to compare tv and print ad to online. reach and frequency.
    media buyers still split – integrate online and tv. transitional phase? online is not about cpm it is about conversation. radio is doing it commercially online. push consumers to online. that radio bloke. measurability, accountability to drive away from cpm metrics.
    How to get beyond big media – media planners dont understand that the conversations online are not managed by big media. global conversations and regional marketing have a disconnect – tension between the two.
    What do broadcasters do with youtube? the new tv. tv is just a monitor – where do you want to access it? fragmented distribution mechanisms is huge for heritage media. they will never really be good at it. next step is deeper interactivity – additional media in the experience.
    government can influence by tax and incentives. new age of popularism. gov controls of internet, spam dont work. how to protect the kids. deeper levels of understanding and knolwedge so parents can influence, ethics.
    are free to air commercial scared? or are they really ocmfortable with where they re right now.

    Global Media Strategies

    How can content creators localise content, distribution, and audience engagement to reach multiple markets?
    French perspective: alienate yourself if you don’t consume media in English
    – More people consuming media in English in Europe even though there are so many different languages
    – When you launch something in the US it can reach a minimum of 3 million people, whereas in Europe there are 20-21 different languages which restrict the reach of a single message
    Is English becoming viable as a media language?
    Search: despite the efforts of Google in China, Baidu remains ahead in search
    Multi media consumption: ahead of the game in Australia
    People care about what is going on locally, especially in smaller places. As opposed to engaging about national/global issues, people want to complain about their neighbours
    Yahoo: challenge as an organisation is to develop platforms to deliver scale, but localise formats
    Compared to US, the diversity you find in Europe is amazing. South Europeans very active in blogging (ego led, especially if you use your name) and converstaion platforms – but the more you go north blogging is almost non-existent (e.g. Germany, Switzerland). Germans have a tendency not to expose their names, they walk under a cover.
    Linked In – dominate US first and then localise.
    In terms of where Australian businesses stand in terms of exporting content into Chinese markets, it’s going to be challenging. The relative cost of media is some $10X cheaper than it is in Australia. India is a bit of a different kettle of fish. There are a number of businesses succeeding in taking content service over there.
    What is the easiest place to get dollars? How do we get the advertising dollars in China?
    Baidu is never going to leave China, Google is never going to get there
    China is one day going to have companies that come out and compete worldwide

    There is a mention of Customer Relationship Management…perhaps Service Management should be considered instead

    There has been a thread talking about how important “customer relationship management” is. I propose we look more at the new field of Service Science:
    Services Sciences, Management and Engineering
    Service Science, Management and Engineering
    Or look up James Spohrer and Service Science…

    The Future of Live Television

    While on stage at the Future of Media 2008 Summit, I did have a bit of a brainwave, the crashing together of all my recent research on self-organizing social systems and the last five years thinking about media.
    I had a bit of a vision, and it looks like this. There’s an event – in Australia, it’s arguably a footy game – which has many thousands of people in the audience. Many of these people have high-end smart phones (Nokia N80/N95 or iPhone, etc.) which have good cameras and 3G/HSDPA radios. Add in a nice piece of software, such as Qik, and you immediately have turned every one of these folks into live broadcasters.
    OK, that’s nice, and it’s reasonably revolutionary. But that’s not where this ends. That’s where this begins.
    All of that massive live coverage is essentially uncoordinated, at least to begin with. But as soon as the capability exists to have this massive live coverage, tools will begin to be developed which can coordinate and crowdsource this coverage.
    Consider: these mobiles all have AGPS receivers – they know where they are. They can all handle a large amount of IP traffic (both up and down). This means that it should be possible to create tools which allow the users (live broadcasters) themselves to optimize their coverage. So that everyone is getting a unique shot.
    Plus, all of this will be fed into a master “console” – again, available to anyone – so that the streams can be chosen, mixed, and rebroadcast out to a broader web audience – all in real time.
    This is where Qik is going. Perhaps not this year. But certainly next year. And I can see a huge market opportunity for these tools, for the audiences these tools will aggregate, and for the events thus covered.
    That’s just the beginning. I’ve just scratched the surface. But this will be huge.

    Future of Privacy & Personalised Advertising

    Will advertisers’ and publishers’ desire for highly targeted advertising be thwarted by the desire for privacy?
    Targeted advertising: Where are we today and where are we going?
    – Changing from push to pull model of advertising
    – Holy Grail of marketing – deliver the right ad to the right person at the right time
    – Most of the marketers out there are subscribing to the same tennants that traditional direct marketers have been for years (using consumer data to deliver advertising)
    – Ask Clients – what is the state of your database? Always problems. The issue is how much time & money do they want to spend on making their database healthy
    – Lack of innovation or room for innovation at the ad delivery level because everyone is too busy trying to sort out their data. Everyone is worried about how much personal information companies like Google have, but the thing is they actually have no idea how to use that information!
    – Search is your experience (you’re choosing to search for something) – targeting makes sense
    – Social advertising – Mistake a lot of sites are making today is trying to target too hyper-optimised. Users are creating content and participating in converations about content. There is room for non-targeted advertising where the advertisers participate in a social community and inform the social context – targeting doesn’t always make sense
    Who controls or owns data?
    Key points to clarify when talking about data ownership and privacy
    – The word privacy has a number of negative connotations, very vague. Can’t implement privacy, privacy is a biproduct
    – Data is personal and should be owned by the user. The problem is not one of ownership, what is missing today is control
    – Dataportability project is advocating tools to control personal data
    – When a person discloses data to a particular company/party they might feel comfortable doing so. Starts to become scary for an individual when data is collated through merges of companies, etc
    – Usually some sort of incident leads to public outcry and the government steps into to mandate privacy laws
    – Need to develop techniques and mechanism to protect ourselves before someone else tells us how to do it
    – Put control in the users’ hands to revoke permission to use it
    Who are the players in this world of highly targeted advertising?
    From a consumers’ perspective, if you are using a service you have a relationship with that particular service. But at the moment it’s relatively easy for a third party to get
    – How to avoid getting individual data sent around?
    Goods and services that provide utility in exchange for data (e.g. Users know there is a trade off between getting free Gmail and seeing ads)
    Users are the main players. Personal digital assistant – program to receive any of the information you’re looking for and serve as a data repository
    Vendor relationship management – customer collects as much data about themselves and then provides access to vendors
    Important to remember that not all advertising leads to an immediate transaction
    Trust is missing – how do we gain trust?
    Marketing is the process of having a dialogue with the people you’re targeting. Puts Facebook and other social networking platforms ahead because they create converstaions. However, Facebook may have made the mistake of trying to monetise word-of-mouth

    some photos from today in Mt. View

    Future of TV and Video

    How existing broadcast and cable TV are shifting into an open landscape including user generated video, IPTV, and video conversations?
    Where is the TV landscape going?
    – It’s a landscape getting more and more challenging – securing distribution and getting access to consumers
    – Key is to figure out how to package TV and present to people in a way that is compelling and doesn’t lose the editorial voice, but also to figure out how to make money of this business which is always evolving
    – Innovation – bring new things to this medium
    – TV is a medium which hasn’t changed much in the past 40-50 years
    – Time to innovate, time to bring new ways of consuming and participating in television for it to prosper
    Can current TV broadcast be maintained?
    – People yearn for experience and current broadcasters can still provide some of these experiences
    – But some broadcasters have been complacent in regard to some of the changes going on and need to consider new ways of attracting revenue
    TV broadcasters as far apart from consumers now as they’ve ever been. Media should be singular
    Two components of what broadcasters do
    1. Content (primary)
    2. Distribution (secondary)
    One simple solution to the problems is content. None of it matters (how/where they get the content) if the content isn’t compelling. You won’t get any readers or viewers if you don’t produce good content
    – No one cares about ‘quality of presentation’ they care about ‘quality of content’. But you also need to produce a ‘volume of content’. If you can do that you can win in any media
    We all create content – broadcasters & consumers
    We can now as individuals go into live broadcasting – 500 people in a crowd covering events live from their phones. Can TV win this ‘live broadcasting’ match?
    Broadcasters can pull the user generated content together?
    Content creation & editing – consumers can do this too
    All of us are in an information revolution where QUALITY of content is key. If you can distribute this content then you will succeed. If you’re controlling a large amount of content (editorial) you have to have regular & effective quality control. If you have this you can win in a commodity market
    Rise of documentary as a form is attracting significant audiences (think An Inconvenient Truth), whereas previously a niche genre. This is just one example of changing content forms. If broadcasters are smart and adapt the new forms of content then they will succeed and have a successful future
    People consuming more and more short form video
    – YouTube is a fascinating example of the profiliferation of different forms of content
    – YouTube is an extention of people forwarding content
    – YouTube can promote broadcast content
    Moving towards ‘salience-based aggregation’ of content (away from time-based aggregation)
    – Sending content you think someone will appreciate
    – If I keep sending my friend crap he will no longer open my emails! This is true for broadcasters too
    TiVo launching this month
    – A bit of a yawn (i.e. not the revolution it would have been a few years ago)
    – People have already got used to the idea of consuming content on demand
    We now can be active in searching out what we want to see ourselves – at work you’ll look at your favourites (content you know you like/care about). At home you turn on the news and discover content you didn’t know you cared about – key is credible, usable content you care about
    What does the consumer actually care about? What are they looking for?
    – People want content that is more relevant for them. They don’t want a top-down media experience
    – Look at the success of YouTube! YouTube is still struggling to build an economic model – if Google hadn’t come along they would be a very different business today – but while you need to take economic factors into account, ultimately the most important thing is what the consumer wants
    Previously all you had to worry about was distribution – Large viewership, easy money. It’s much more interesting now – How do I get my audience interested in this? How do I get advertisers interested in this?
    Gruen Transfer – spend a lot of time talking about the low end ads (the screaming low end ads). They only need to get a few people viewing their ads to make money. With the changing nature of content (i.e. short form video) and advertising models, why don’t we have millions of little ads dropped into a certain, tangled video stream rather than placed on television (when people may just turn it off)?
    You’ve got to produce as much as you can at a low price, but you’ve also got to produce some Mercedes along the way. People are beginning to make choices based on content – if you have this mix of ‘base level content’ and ‘quality content’ it’s a good model for world domination!
    Three ways we consume information
    1. Read
    2. Listen
    3. Watch
    These are the three ways news/content providers need to dominate. Media organisations must be able to do all three to succeed

    Flow economy analysis of Yahoo! at Mountain View session

    My table of five here at the Future of Media Summit at the Computer History Museum analyzed Yahoo! to try out Future Exploration Network’s Strategy Tools. We looked at Yahoo! past, present, and future along the dimensions of connecivity, interfaces, relationships, services, content, and standards.
    Yahoo! began as a recommender of links and became a portal which seemed to offer anything that moves. They are in relationships, services, and content. Their services might be repositioned as time-savers, offering focus in the face of google’s breadth. Their content is good when specific, e.g. PR Newswire, so again a focus on specialty areas might differentiate them. Yahoo! would like to be sticky, but it feels like a bunch of separate sights rather than an integrated portal. We couldn’t find any viable means of repositioning Yahoo1 for the flow economy.
    Our advice: take Microsoft’s money. It’s $10 billion over the current market cap and we’re skeptical Yahoo! stock is going to rise.
    Cross-posted to FOM08/blog.

    Flow Economy Framework: CBS

    Our Flow Economy framework group chose CBS after much debate. Other contenders were TiVo, NewsCorp, and Comcast. CBS was the most interesting to the group because they are a dinosaur organization that is struggling to maintain relevance in a rapidly shifting market paradigm. As Cheryl Contee remarked, their audience is literally dying off. The audience of 60 Minutes for example has an average of 60+. We examined step-by-step the framework model, which includes six nodes: content, standards, connectivity, services, relationships (customer-focused), and interfaces.
    Standards: we determined this category was less relevant for the television industry — CBS’ primary focus currently. We didn’t see much opportunity for movement in this area, except for making sure that they are using the most popular standards.
    Connectivity: Lisa Frazier defined this roughly as the “pipelines” through which content is distributed. Their recent purchases of CNET and, plus a new relationship with Yahoo! indicates their awareness of internet distribution necessity.
    Interfaces: These are the devices used to deliver content and services, and on which standards reside. Though CBS currently using internet, broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, and publishing, this is a potential opportunity area for innovation and growth. Andrew Page helped the group think through many of the issues here.
    Content: CBS hosts a disparate suite of brands including CBS, Showtime and the CW. Yet they lack a strong multimedia interactive mega-franchise such as American Idol, the Simpsons or Dancing with the Stars. Their recent acquisitions point to a desire to diversify their content offerings across many channels to appeal to younger, more net-savvy audiences while bringing new talent into CBS’ fold. The quality of CBS’ content is in danger and in fact, it’s rumored they’ve considered scrapping their once-dominant news division entirely.
    Services: CBS has a service-based model that delivers content and generates revenue through advertising. Their current strategy appears geared to acquiring new properties which they can monetize as new advertising vehicles online, via mobile etc. The group determined that CBS can place more focus on providing new services to consumers and partners to succeed in a changing marketplace.
    Relationships: CBS suffers from weakened brand identities scattered among dwindling audiences.
    Their website has few community features such as blogs, e-newsletters, forums and so on. Their competitors such as HBO and ABC already offer these.’s videos don’t allow you to embed in blogs, share in social networks or even use the now traditional “email to a friend”. We saw CBS’ relationship with its consumers as one of the biggest opportunities for CBS to grow its revenue. One idea might be to shift some of its content to a Current TV style where viewers provide the content to CBS to share with the world in a more open and interactive framework. David Collin of American Cancer Society had some strong insights to share here.
    Thanks to all the group members for their strong insights:
    Lisa Frazier (McKinsey & Co.)
    David Collin (American Cancer Society)
    Andrew Page (Cisco)
    Sarah Walch (Chevron)
    Cheryl Contee (Fission Strategy)
    This blog post was co-written by Sarah Walch and Cheryl Contee.

    Ross Dawson: Future of Media Report

    Media and entertainment industries growing massively
    Seven driving forces shaping media
    1. Increasing media consumption – ‘we want to swim in an ocean of media all the time’
    2. Fragmentation – proliferation of new channels (mobile, video, etc)
    3. Participation – people sharing their stories
    4. Personalisation – of content & advertising, issues with privacy
    5. New revenue models – advertising networks
    6. Generational change – younger people becoming dominant in marketplace
    7. Increasing bandwidth – shifting what is currently being delivered over other channels > iPhone mania
    Personal Cloud – content we own and create
    – From this rains down the ‘precipitation of participation’ – sharing our photos, stories and lives with others
    – To what extent do we control our Personal Cloud?

    Global Media Strategies

    You will isolate yourself if you do not speak/provide content in English – this is needed in order to reach people. Think about Europe – you need to provide up to 22 languages.
    -Search – yahoo!7: local language is the biggest driver of success
    – Multimedia comsumption in australia is ahead of USA comparisions… laptop, mobiles, iPods etc
    – Across USA there is a desire of consumption in social context – large consumption in small – medium towns
    – as a way of becoming more aware about what is going on in the world and within their town – they do not use facebook at all. In fact most of middle America have not heard about/of facebook. Their online interactions are about information and keeping in touch with friends/family.
    – Revenue models/business models – should these be adapted in different countries?
    – Yes – try to standardize the advertising platforms throughout the globe – people want a single point of contact
    – Develop platforms in order to deliver global scales but level locally in pricing etc
    – Publishers – games company: USA generating $1 RPU off advertising and d/ls – while in Asia they are getting 5- 10 times the revenue
    – Social software is extremely different from Europe to USA – USA stop at UK and get the perception
    – Blogging in latin countries are very high + are willing to pay for a type pad
    – Blogs are Ego driven – the more you move in Europe i.e. Switzerland they are much more secretive as individuals and do not participate in blogging.
    – Northern Europe – a lot of young people, however they too are not blogging – therefor the social networking is very different. North East Europe is where the blogging declines/dies
    – Online advertising dollars are in the USA – not in Europe – aside from the UK which has more ad dollars than entire Europe.
    – UK is the largest online advertising spender, followed by US at 4th place
    – Australia – is Australia in a good position?
    Some business have succeeded – however from a content perspective Australia has not yet set a high example.
    China and other markets are growing at a pace that the USA will not be able to match/keep up with – this is clear. With this comes the advertising – however the Chinese government will have many restrictions on this.

    Blog login instructions

    Go to:
    Enter your blog login name (for most people it will be your email address)
    Enter your password
    Follow the blogging instructions at:

    Summit tags are fom08 and #fom08

    If you are blogging or Twittering about Future of Media Summit, use the tags fom08 or #fom08 (for Twitter/ micro-blogging).
    I gather there will be plenty of activity – it will be interesting to see what kind of insights can be gleaned by people who don’t make it along…
    Have fun!

    See if I can post something…

    I look forward to later today in Mt. View. ==bill

    Metarand: Podcast interview on the future of media and the value of frameworks…

    Rand Leeb-du-Toit, the indefatigable entrepreneur and social media evangelist, is very consistently producing interesting insights on the emerging tech landscape at his blog Metarand – well worth a look or subscribe!
    Last week Rand interviewed me for a podcast – go to the post to listen to the interview. We primarily discussed my thoughts leading into the Future of Media Summit, looking at the broad landscape of what’s happening in the media landscape.
    What I like most about being interviewed is that I often learn from my own answers. Rand wrote:

    The biggest takeout: he uses frameworks to synthesize his pattern recognition and as a communication tool for exploring trends and the potential paths we will follow in the future.

    I am very frequently asked how I keep on top of so much information and make sense of it. It was only when Rand asked the question of how I go about ‘pattern recognition’ that I realized how central is the role of the frameworks I create, which are as much for myself as for others. Of the collection of frameworks in the Future of Media Report 2008, released last week, unquestionably my favorite is the Future of the Media Lifecycle framework, which pulled together many of the loose thoughts floating around in my head.

    Future of Media Drinks in Sydney tomorrow – all welcome!

    After the Future of Media Summit in Sydney tomorrow speakers and participants will be gathering at the Firehouse in North Sydney from 5:30pm for drinks and general post-event conviviality. We’ve simply named it as a spot for all to gather to grab a drink, so anyone is welcome to turn up, irrespective of whether they’ve attended the Summit or not.
    Venue details and directions are here.
    I will be in Silicon Valley for the US side of the event and long since in bed after a long day, so will miss out on all the fun, but the Future of Media Summit Sydney Chair, Jenny Williams of Ideagarden, and Jessica Hough and Julian Hill from Future Exploration Network will be there to welcome you and say hi. Pass on word to whoever you wish. Have a great time if you make it along! I’ll hear all about it afterwards…

    The End of Radio

    Broadcast radio effectively ended on Friday 11 July 2008. While it may take some time for the implications to work themselves out – perhaps as much as a decade – historians will stick a marker in the ground, noting that the release of iPhone 3G spelled the beginning of the end for radio broadcasting.
    Why is this?
    Last year I was invited to give a private talk to the online services crew for Triple-M, Australia’s “adult rock” radio station. Radio had not, to that point, seen any serious numbers showing audience erosion – unlike television and motion pictures. This, I suggested, was simply a case of technological overhang – the facilities for hyperdistribution of media were most actively applied to television and movies, after having decimated the recording industry.
    Although television broadcasting, per se, has largely been unaffected by hyperdistribution, pre-produced (that is, non-live) television programs are now hyperdistributed globally immediately after being broadcast anywhere. There is no market for repeats, and there’s a slowly shrinking market for first-to-air broadcasts of pre-produced programming, simply because there’s a hyperabundance of it available through so many other outlets.
    While it has proved difficult (though certainly not impossible) to live stream broadcast television over the Internet, radio stations have been live streaming for well over a decade – ever since NPR started streaming “All Things Considered” using the then-brand-new RealAudio player.
    What’s to keep this off iPhone 3G?
    I note with some dismay that I can not drag an “.m3u” file to my iPhone – a data nugget which points to a streaming audio server. iTunes informs me that iPhone 3G will not play this file. This is not because of any hardware constraint on iPhone 3G. Rather, this is purely a software issue, and one that is liable to be fixed very quickly, either by Apple or by a third party. Already, Americans can enjoy Pandora, which live-streams music – though Pandora is not available in Australia due to various copyright restrictions. But the general facility to play any streaming audio source can not be very far behind. The lack of it in iPhone and iPod Touch seems somehow deliberate: both of these devices are easily capable of handling the data traffic (over WiFi, prior to the HSDPA upgrade for iPhone 3G) and playback without unduly stressing themselves. And it seems such a useful thing – Apple lists hundreds of streaming radio stations in iTunes – that there must be some business reason holding Apple back.
    After all, I can play streaming YouTube videos – that facility is part of the baseline software installed on iPhone and iPod Touch. So what is going on here?
    Update — Jono Haysom pointed me to NullRiver’s “Tuner” application – which costs AU $5.99, and has a list of several thousand participating streaming stations. This means the end of radio has truly begun. But still no explanation why this isn’t part of the basic functionality of iPhone/iPod Touch.
    From a business perspective, once arbitrary streaming audio files come to iPhone and iPod Touch, the entire rationale for radio broadcasting begins to collapse. Why listen to your local radio stations, when you can listen to any station, anywhere? Before iPhone 3G you were constrained to a local, fast wireless connection – but with iPhone 3G you’ve got the necessary bandwidth, everywhere you go.
    This presents another conundrum, this one for the carriers. The 3G carriers – everywhere – have built their networks on an assumption of low duty-cycle usage from their customers. The data plans on offer show that they really do think people will use iPhone for voice and text, not so much for data. I am beginning to believe that the killer app for 3G is radio – which is both perverse and unexpected. And, once a sufficient number of iPhone 3G users understand that their iPhone 3G is actually an excellent, worldwide radio receiver, they’ll be begin to use this feature – a lot. Then, in the words of one employee of a major Australian telco, “That’s when our equipment catches fire.”
    I warned the folks at Triple-M that the day was surely coming when 3G devices would be ubiquitous enough that they would begin to supplant broadcasting. That day has now come, and it waits only for a small software upgrade – or Apple iTunes App Store application – to bring it to fruition.

    Launch of Future of Media: Strategy Tools framework

    The third key framework from Future of Media Report 2008 (after Future of the Media Lifecycle and 7 Driving Forces Shaping Media) is the Future of Media: Strategy Tools framework.
    This lays out three of the most valuable tools for building strategy in the media and adjacent industries. The high-level overviews are intended to provide some useful introductions to relevant strategy tools for those engaged in the front-line of creating and implementing strategies in an extraordinarily dynamic environment.
    Flow Economy Framework
    The central framework used here is the Flow Economy framework that I first described in Chapter 7 of Living Networks (free download of chapter 7 of Living Networks here).
    The chart gives an overview of the process of using the Flow Economy framework for media strategy, illustrated by brief examples of the strategies adopted by Apple, BSkyB, and NTT DoCoMo.
    Scenario Planning for Media
    A high-level example of the scenario planning process is described as applied to media, together with a scenario framework that is particularly relevant in the current environment.
    Game Theory: Strategies for Openness
    Traditional approaches to strategy are having to change as the industry landscape moves at a rapid pace to openness. One of the most powerful tools available to address these issues is game theory.

    Future of Media Summit blog: Mark Pesce on iPhone phails, Tom Abate on future of journalism, insights from other speakers and participants…

    Every event we do, we run a blog for all speakers and participants. Since Future of Media Summit 2007 we’ve maintained this Future of Media blog on an ongoing basis, including my blogging activity on the future of media.
    As we approach the Future of Media Summit 2008, the Future of Media Summit blog is taking off as a forum for fantastic contributions and ideas on the future of media. Summit speakers and participants are now posting, and we can expect some fantastic conversations on the event blog up to, during, and after the Summit next week.
    Some recent highlighted posts with brief excerpts:
    Mark Pesce on iPhail: A fantastic, detailed post on what is wrong with Australia’s iPhone plans, and proposing a fantastic potential solution: FAUC (Future Australian Carrrier) which will be completely transparent about its pricing and provide an alternative to the telco majors. It’s possible something big has begun on this blog.

    Never in my five years in Australia have I seen such a complete failure in marketing. Three Australian telcos – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone – have the device. All of them have completely failed to recognize the pent-up demand for the device, and the way it will change network usage. This was revealed – beyond all doubts – in the way they released their pricing plans, and the specifics of those plans.

    We could name our MVNO the Future AUstralian Carrier, or FAUC.
    Don’t like your plan from Telstra, or Vodafone, or Optus? Well, get FAUC.
    Yes, we’d still have to deal with Apple, we’d still have to promise them 10% of the operating revenues from iPhone, if we wanted to retail it on FAUC, but we could at least be completely transparent about our costs. Customers (that is, us) would understand where every dollar spent on FAUC went. That, in itself, would likely engender tremendous loyalty from the base of users – which would bring more users in, a slow tidal wave, as people abandoned the big-name carriers for a crazy mob of Australians who decided to do it themselves.
    So… who’s in?

    Mark Pesce (again) on Another Planet, Utterly Unlike Our Own.

    This is the risk Disney takes when it uses old-fashioned business models in a thoroughly modern world. They may squeak by this time, and perhaps the next, but one day – and for the rest of time – that tactic will fail them. They’ll lose their market window, because they misunderstood the audience.

    Tom Abate on Take me to your leader. Reflections from a life in journalism on where it’s going.



    At last the facts are in. Earlier today, Vodafone AU finally released their pricing plans for Apple’s iPhone 3g, being released in Australia tomorrow morning. (Midnight, if you’re among the select Optus customers.)
    Never in my five years in Australia have I seen such a complete failure in marketing. Three Australian telcos – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone – have the device. All of them have completely failed to recognize the pent-up demand for the device, and the way it will change network usage. This was revealed – beyond all doubts – in the way they released their pricing plans, and the specifics of those plans.
    Most striking, perhaps, is that this is the device the network operators have been waiting, dreaming and praying for. Seeking every opportunity to increase ARPU (average revenue per user, the gold-standard calculation for all network operators), carriers have done their best to charge for ringtones, games, and other effluvia, as well as the normal carriage of SMS (which costs them next to nothing, being a standard part of the GSM network protocols), and voice traffic.
    My own carrier, Vodafone Australia, has a market strategy which fits both its desires for high-ARPU customers and my own need for connectivity: for $99 a month, I get a “cap” of $720 to spend across most of the services they offer: in particular, voice, SMS and data. Vodafone does not bill data by the kilobyte or megabyte (as is common with other Australian carriers), but by time – hence, using my 3.5Mbps HSDPA connection with my Nokia N95, I can grab quite a lot of data in the 5-minute billing interval. An interval that costs me $1.00 within my cap.
    When I ran the numbers three years ago, this was the main reason I chose Vodafone as my provider. I knew, given my own proclivities, and desire to develop mobile data services, I would be using the data network more than I’d be using the voice network, so I chose a plan which gave me plenty of data headroom. That plan has served me well – I’ve never even come close to using my full cap, despite some very busy times developing software for mobiles.
    Now we come to iPhone 3g. It is already known, from data gathered in the US and Europe, that iPhone’s ease-of-use for mobile internet is unparalleled. Nokia, Motorola and Microsoft have been caught flat-footed, and, even now – a full year later – have nothing new to show. Their mobile web browsing is as complicated, unfriendly and ugly as it was a year ago. This is a real pity, because it means, in the near-to-medium term, Apple has decisively won the battle of the mobile Internet. Everything now hinges upon iPhone, and its ever-expanding base of users.
    Those users have been using the mobile internet in unprecedented numbers. Perhaps as much as 30x greater mobile internet usage in Germany; world-wide, 70% of all Google mobile searches happen on iPhone. It’s as if the mobile internet has been waiting for iPhone.
    Somehow, this fact has been lost on Australian carriers. Although they have long wanted to have an indispensable always-on device to drive ARPU ever-upward, now that such a device is reality, they have shown a pig-headed determination to choke the goose about to lay an endless supply of golden eggs. A typical example is Optus’ plan (general consensus holds that Optus has the most generous plans of the three carriers), which provides a maximum of 1 GB of internet usage per month – for a hefty $179.
    Let’s run some numbers here. The front page of the Sydney Morning Herald clocks in at just about a half a megabyte. That’s fat, but also fairly typical. The widespread deployment of broadband has lead to a proliferation of media-rich pages. Now, if I hit the SMH page (or a similar site) sixty times a day, I’d reach my 1GB cap. (Keep in mind that the SMH home page auto-refreshes, so that is hardly an inconceivable figure.) Add in any Google Maps activity, or push email, or what have you, and the figure could easily double. Now, instead of $179/month, I’d have that bill plus potentially hundreds of dollars in data charges.
    On the other hand, if I wanted to buy 3G mobile data service for my MacBook Pro from Optus, they’d give me a cute little USB dongle with the Hauwei 3G/HSDPA modem and SIM card, plus 5GB of data – and it would cost me only $39.99 a month.
    Have I missed something here? After all, data is data. The network usage for the dongle is completely indistinguishable, as far as the network is concerned, from the iPhone 3G. (I say this with confidence, as a network engineer with a quarter-century of experience.) The only thing that is different between these two data plans is the end device: in one case it’s a USB dongle, in the other it’s an iPhone 3g.
    Given that Vodafone offers plans competitive with Optus for mobile data, this must reflect a competitive reality: $40/month is what it costs for 5GB of HSDPA data, plus a decent profit for the operators.
    The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that there is an “iPhone tax”. In other words, not only are we asked to pay a premium to purchase iPhone 3G, we will also be paying a premium to receive every bit of data on iPhone 3G.
    I few questions need to be asked here. The first one is simply a question of anti-competitive behaviour: Is it legal for any carrier to charge me more for data received on an iPhone than, say, my N95? The network itself is device-neutral – any compatible HSDPA network equipment may be used on the network, provided there’s a valid SIM card in the device. What is the justification that “bits cost more” when received on an iPhone, versus my N95? Isn’t this simply rent-seeking?
    Some of the justification, assuredly, is the 10-12.5% backend payment that Apple has negotiated with Australia’s carriers. That may justify some increase in costs as an “Apple Tax” – but it still doesn’t add up. It is plainly apparent that the carriers have jacked up their mobile data rates because demand for iPhone is so strong. But demand for iPhone is so strong precisely because it is the first mobile internet device worthy of the name. The tax on mobile internet usage is precisely the type of regressive policy which will do most to inhibit usage of the device, the network, and the carriers. In short, the carriers are acting as their own worst enemies.
    If this had been another, and more rational universe, the Australian carriers would have closely examined the wealth of data available to Apple, Google and AT&T to understand how iPhone users actually use the device, and would have priced their data plans accordingly. My guesstimate is that the average iPhone user would use somewhere between 2GB and 5GB of mobile data a month – a figure that’s bound to rise as 3G/HSDPA units reach the field. Working backward from that, the carriers could have developed an effective 80/20 solution which would have met the needs of the majority of the users, while still providing headroom (at a cost-premium) for heavy users, like myself.
    None of this happened, nor is there any indication that the carriers even considered this. Instead, they’ve ignored their own mobile data pricing plans, and have egregiously increased the prices for data carriage by an order of magnitude or more.
    Is is popularly believed that Australians will need to shut up and take this. I believe that a good case can be made to the ACCC that a substantial amount of anti-competitive behavior has occurred. Just the difference between their competitive mobile data plans and the plans for the iPhone is enough to indicate that there has been a serious failure in competition. Bits are bits, and paying more for iPhone bits – just because they’re iPhone bits – is wrong, and, I would argue, entirely illegal.
    Furthermore, I believe there is something we as Australians can do to “put the blowtorch” to the carriers. We need to protest, and we need to do so actively. Hence, I want to suggest that Australians form their own MVNO, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. MVNOs purchase carriage in bulk from another network, and sell that carriage along to consumers. This has proven effective in the US and in Australia, where there are several examples of MVNOs. If we can’t get the deal we want from the carriers at the consumer level, we need to bargain with them to establish wholesale rates, then resell to ourselves.
    Is this a big ask? Hardly. If we put the word out through our various social networks (both human and electronic), I’m sure that in practically no time at all we’d have 10,000 or more subscribers ready to sign up for an MVNO. I don’t know how many subscribers we’d need to get to a break-even point, but I doubt it can be many more than that. Given the amazing facility of many members of the community for setting up and running online services that scale to handle many users, I suspect that much of the infrastructure for this MVNO can be created by the community, for the community, at very low cost. The power of social networks – as has been endlessly pointed out by Clay Shirky – is that it allows large numbers of individuals to self-organize quickly and effectively.
    I’ve heard people complain about the mobile carriers since before I moved to Australia. I suggest that it’s time to put up or shut up. Passive resistance is no longer enough. It is time to show the carriers that we can do this ourselves. We can service ourselves and our needs. We will do this because doing anything else is abhorrent.
    We could name our MVNO the Future AUstralian Carrier, or FAUC.
    Don’t like your plan from Telstra, or Vodafone, or Optus? Well, get FAUC.
    Yes, we’d still have to deal with Apple, we’d still have to promise them 10% of the operating revenues from iPhone, if we wanted to retail it on FAUC, but we could at least be completely transparent about our costs. Customers (that is, us) would understand where every dollar spent on FAUC went. That, in itself, would likely engender tremendous loyalty from the base of users – which would bring more users in, a slow tidal wave, as people abandoned the big-name carriers for a crazy mob of Australians who decided to do it themselves.
    So… who’s in?
    (If you are interested, join our FAUC Facebook Group – thanks!)

    Launch of the Future of Media Report 2008! We predict the media industry will be worth US$5.7 trillion in 2024

    Our Future of Media Report 2008 is now launched! (See also our extremely popular Future of Media Report 2007 and Future of Media Report 2006).
    This will be given to attendees at the Future of Media Summit 2008 next week in beautiful glossy print format to take home. If for some reason you are NOT attending the Summit, you’ll have to settle for a digital version with small print-outs of the spreads (unless you happen to have a large-format printer handy…) 🙂
    This year we’ve taken a slightly different approach, moving away from providing statistics, and focusing on developing three frameworks to help people think about the future of media and engage in constructive conversations at the Summit. We’ve always found we get a fantastic response to our frameworks, so we focused on this as a way to create value with the report.
    Future of Media Report 2008 (pdf 1MB)
    A quick overview of the report contents:
    An introduction to the report. The full text is at the bottom of this post.
    Contains our prediction that the global media and entertainment market will grow from US$1.7 trillion this year to US$5.7 trillion in 2024 (in 2008 dollars) – released in this report – as well as information on current growth trends in advertising.


    Another Planet, Utterly Unlike Our Own

    On Sunday evening, in a taxi back to my flat after an exhausting day trip to Melbourne, I had a great idea: I’d invite my friend Nicola to join me at the movies on Tuesday evening – where we could get the “nice” seats for the “cheap” price – to see the recently released and universally acclaimed Disney/Pixar film Wall-E. I called Nic – she immediately agreed it was a great idea – and we set our plans in stone.
    The next morning I went over to the site for the Hoyts Cinemas in the Entertainment Quarter of Fox Studios, and scanned around, looking for Wall-E on the list of currently playing films.
    I thought, hmm, that’s odd. Perhaps it’s playing at Bondi Junction?
    Well, surely it’s at George St.?
    It turns out that Disney has decided to withhold release of Wall-E until the Thursday, 11th of September.
    Why is this? This is what I can not get my head around. I have tried to run the maths – perhaps they feel that releasing a children’s film at some time other than school holidays would bring them better box office? Perhaps they think that leaving a 2 month window between theatrical release and its inevitable Christmas DVD release will somehow not cannibalize ticket sales?
    Or, more likely, they just weren’t thinking. These international release plans were drafted by the studios a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away… That being before teh Intarwebs became the primary distribution vehicle not just for films themselves, but for news about films. I was reading rapturous reviews of Wall-E in the New York Times, Deadline Hollywood, CNN, and half a dozen other blogs, from the weekend of its release. There is no territoriality on news, and hasn’t been since 1995: just because the Sydney Morning Herald or The Age haven’t written up a nice review, just because Margaret and David haven’t given it four-and-a-half stars, doesn’t mean that Australians aren’t perfectly aware of this film.
    Rather more significantly, the film is also perfectly available to Australians – if illegally. From a few hours after its wide release, Wall-E has been available through BitTorrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and Mininova. These torrents are well-seeded, so anyone with decent broadband could have their own copy (admittedly, without much of the high-resolution glory of Pixar’s work) within just a few hours.
    Disney is stuck in an old way of thinking that has been entirely obsolesced by a new mode of distribution. It could well be that interest in Wall-E will simply override the concerns of a tut-tutting media marketplace which (it is widely believed) simply shakes down Australians for their entertainment dollars, and screws them out of day-and-date releases in the bargain.
    This phenomenon is becoming rarer. Iron Man opened globally; as did Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; just a week ago, so did Hancock. Studios, just like television broadcasters, fight against piracy by making their products globally and instantaneously available. This doesn’t destroy piracy – nothing can effectively do that – but it does mean that the studios have the opportunity to earn back their production costs + 10% (their goal, as always) before the market becomes saturated with pirated versions.
    So, I ask again, what’s holding Disney back? Surely Steve Jobs – who sits on Disney’s board, having bought his way in with his Pixar shares – must understand the futility of artificially limiting access to content that the audience wants. The audience always gets what it wants, by any means necessary: that’s the new rule. So where was the failure? Does Disney assume that, because Wall-E is a children’s film, it is somehow exempt from piracy? Even if an eight-year-old can’t master BitTorrent, their twelve year-old sibling certainly can, and I’m sure that many of them throughout Australia are busily doing what they can to make their younger brother or sister very happy, with a freshly burned copy of Wall-E ready for playing on the family’s home theatre system.
    This is the risk Disney takes when it uses old-fashioned business models in a thoroughly modern world. They may squeak by this time, and perhaps the next, but one day – and for the rest of time – that tactic will fail them. They’ll lose their market window, because they misunderstood the audience.

    New Framework: Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media

    We are releasing our new framework: Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media.
    This is the second framework we are releasing in the lead-up to the Future of Media Summit 2008, which will be held next week simultaneously in Silicon Valley and Sydney. This and other content will be used to provide a starting point for discussion and conversation.
    The first was the Future of the Media Lifecycle, which has already attracted substantial links and commentary. In the next days another framework on strategic tools will be released, as well as the complete Future of Media Report 2008, including all three frameworks and additional content.
    Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media (pdf 700KB):


    Even more new speakers: Belinda Rowe – Zenith Optimedia, Stephen Hollings – News Limited, Bruce Meagher – SBS, Jane Schulze – The Australian, Willie Pang – Yahoo!, Jim Waltz – Traffic Marketplace, Brian Lott, Burson-Marsteller etc…

    Adding to my last post on the fabulous list of new confirmed speakers at Future of Media Summit 2008
    See the full line-up of media leaders speaking at the event.
    Others recently confirmed for the event include:
    Belinda Rowe, CEO Australia of Zenith Optimedia, one of the top few media buying groups globally, with very detailed insights into media industry structure.
    Stephen Hollings, CEO, News Digital Careers, who has probably the broadest understanding of the classifieds market in Australia.
    Jane Schulze, Media Editor, The Australian. The Media & Marketing section of The Australian is the most widely read media publication in the country.
    Bruce Meagher, Director Strategy at SBS, Australia’s multicultural public broadcaster, which has adopted a variety of new initiatives.
    Willie Pang, Head of Yahoo! Search Marketing, previously worked on Yahoo!’s Panama project and has very international perspectives.
    Jim Waltz, President, Traffic Marketplace, one of the leading advertising networks.
    Brian Lott, SAP Global Client Leader, Burson-Marsteller, one of the leading PR firms globally.
    Check out our Future of the Media Lifecycle framework, just released. More research and analysis posted here soon.
    Hope to see you at the Summit!

    New confirmed speakers: Phil Bronstein – Hearst, Mark Antonitis – KRON-TV, Robert Scoble – Fast Company TV, Tom Abate – MiniMediaGuy, Angelos Frangopoulos – SkyNews, Chris Tolles – Topix, Chris Warren – MEAA, Mark Goldman – Current TV… (mo

    Trying very hard to keep up on this blog with developments on Future of the Media Summit, which is falling into place as an amazing event.
    Check out the Future of Media Summit 2008 website for full details on the latest speakers – it’s been described to me as a “stellar line-up” and that’s about right…
    Just a couple of words in a few of the latest confirmed speakers:
    Phil Bronstein, long-term editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and all-round media star, now editor-at-large at Hearst.
    Mark Antonitis, President and GM of KRON-TV, which is one of the most interesting metropolitan TV stations in the US, with some very interesting practices.
    Robert Scoble, MD Fast Company TV, formerly the lead blogger at Microsoft and at the very heart of the social media revolution.
    Tom Abate, MiniMediaGuy, a blogger, journalist, and explorer of the future of journalism
    Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO, Australian News Channel, which operates Sky News and also distributes content over multiple online and mobile platforms.
    Chris Tolles, CEO, Topix, a Valley veteran running a leading US and international hyperlocal news site.
    Chris Warren, General Secretary, Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia’s journalism and content union), who is deeply engaged in the transformation of journalism.
    Mark Goldman, COO, Current TV, which is still one of the most exciting and interesting media business models since it was founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt in 2005.
    More fantastic new confirmed speakers in my next post – see the full list of speakers.
    We tested the high-definition video link between Sydney and Silicon Valley today, courtesy of our event Strategic Partner Tandberg. Looks fantastic. As last year, people will be commenting that they can’t distinguish between the local and cross-Pacific panellists.
    Also be sure to see our Future of the Media Lifecycle framework, just released specifically for the Summit. More frameworks and other content out over the next few days.
    It will be a great event – hope to see you there!

    Launch of the Future of Media Lifecycle framework

    Another Future of Media Summit, another framework! We are today proudly launching the Future of the Media Lifecycle framework. This is the central framework of our Future of Media Report 2008. (See also the Future of Media Strategic Framework from 2006 and Key Elements of Media Business Models from 2007).
    Over the next few days two additional frameworks as well as the full Future of Media Report 2008 will be released – check back soon!
    Media Lifecycle FrameworkMedia_Lifecyle_Framework.pdf
    While I’d like to think that the Future of Media Lifecycle framework is self-evident, it probably helps to explain it a bit :-), so here goes:


    Newspapers promote QR codes, linking print and outdoor media to online, and building tighter social-mainstream media symbiosis

    QR code for this blog
    The Sydney Morning Herald has recently had big features in its Saturday edition on QR codes, the 2-dimensional bar codes that act as visual URLs for mobile phones, taking them automatically to the linked online content. QR codes are massive in Japan, appearing in magazines, billboards, business cards, shop windows, T-shirts, and more, by dint of NTT DoCoMo’s promotion of the codes. One Japanese magazine consists entirely of free things you can download with QR codes. Now Australia’s Telstra is trying to do the same thing in Australia, shipping all of its NextG phones with the necessary software, and making it freely available to anyone else.
    It is very interesting to see a newspaper so actively promote a mobile technology. The Sydney Morning Herald is introduced daily QR codes on page 2 from this Monday, providing a link to the five most popular stories in the paper and other content. This means that you can engage with the media cycle even while reading a print newspaper. I wrote over two years ago about how each story on the online version of the Washington Post was showing links to blog posts about that article. Now this kind of immediate reflection of social media views is available in the print world.
    So far in the US there have just been tests of QR codes in San Francisco, providing links to Citysearch reviews of local restaurants and merchants.
    While there are a number of competing standards for codes that will link mobiles to online content, QR codes are substantially in the lead, and look set to become an international standard. There is a good chance these could become commonplace globally within the next 1-2 years. What is most interesting is the innovative ways they are used, particularly within mainstream media (which can include television).

    Heading to the Future of Media Summit

    Originally posted at:

    I’m heading up to Sydney on 14 July to attend the next day’s all day Future of Media Summit at Luna Park.

    Run by Ross Dawson’s Future Exploration Network, the summit will explore issues around the ongoing change in the media landscape.

    It should be a great event, running parallel with a matched event in the US and with a wide range of really interesting old and new media types.

    The site claims it will be very participatory, so I figure it’ll have strong thematic and interactive links to PubCamp, but I’m guessing that the harsh (but entirely fair) treatment of the ivory tower dwelling old media types may not happen quite so vigorously. I hope it does.

    Personally, I think the backchannel will run hot, and people like Mark Pesce and Chris Saad will mess with the heads of the old media. Fingers crossed.

    Consumers want information, not “media”

    For years now, we’ve been hearing how technology is a generational thing. Apparently, these unpredictable Gen y’ers had a keyboard and mouse grow in place where the umbilical cord was cut – and everything needs to be different for them. And whilst growing up with technology is a major factor on the adoption of things, is the traditional publishing industry in denial? Arguments for print seem to centre on it being a better experience, but take a look on the other side – we are time poor with the complexities of modern life, and whilst print is a more enjoyable experience, online makes it an easier experience.
    To get a reality check I asked my father, a 72 year-old battler who continues to practice in his law firm, on how he consumes the news.
    I first realised a change in his approach to buying the daily newspaper, when court listings for the day became available online (or at least, when he realised). Apparently, it was easier, more likely to be accurate, and more accessible. Fast forward a few years later, to the last week of June 2008 about his current news consumption – and his relationship with print has changed quite dramatically from that first warning sign. Apparently, he no longer buys the daily newspaper and only the weekend newspaper. As for the reason why he buys the weekend paper, it’s for two reasons. The features, perhaps? Possibly for the news summary? Not quite. He buys it for two regular columnists whose opinions he has come to admire. As for the rest of it: “It’s full of ads and crap; I don’t want to read it”. He buys the weekend paper for fun; but he now solely gets his news online. This is in stark contrast to the pre-internet days when he bought the newspaper not for fun, but because it was the sole source of information for his generation.
    Cut to another day, when receiving a fresh e-mail alert that day from one of my subscriptions, I saw an announcement that newspaper executives were confident in the long term viability of their business. So I couldn’t help but ask a colleague of mine a simple question, as he works on a newsprint company that supplies most of the needs of the newspaper industry. I asked: “So how is that company going?” His response – newsprint is a declining industry, if you assess it on the amount of newsprint purchased each year. For all the temporary spikes and boosts in optimism, the long term trends are telling are different story.
    A friend of mine, is the online editor of a high-profile magazine in Australia. He hates his job for the simple fact, that the executives in that organisation simply do not get new media. Its got to the point, where he is looking for a new job, because he believes with the current changes not enough resources will be devoted for online, and it will effectively make his job obsolete. He’s 26 years old and doesn’t get why they are cutting resources online to focus on print instead. The current website may not be optimal, but rather than cutting resources, shouldn’t they simply be upping the ante on experimenting what is right for their demographic?
    On my Apple iPhone, and for years previously on my Nokia smartphones, I’ve been able to catch up with the news on my phone whilst waiting for the train, waiting for girlfriends at the time getting ready, or stuck in traffic on the roads. During the day, I get newsbreak flashes up on my computer screen through several methods I’ve experimented. Both methods rely on me using RSS or Syndication technology that enable the decentralised distribution of content. I’ve bookmarked some news websites, but I rarely browse them other than when my browser fires up. I’m still the same news junkie I have always been, back from my days when I read a daily newspaper: I just now prefer to have my information in different ways, which in fact, has increased my consumption because of the variety of ways to access it. Newspaper companies are dead to me; but information companies are still heavy in demand.
    The solution? A change in attitude: experiment until something works
    Old money is driving strategy, and because no one has really worked out how to do it better, strategy is not changing enough. Why is a cash cow company going to cannibalise its existing business, despite being in for inevitable decline? Of course what shocks me, is not the fact executives recognise the times are changing – instead, there almost seems denial in the fact. And unfortunately, until better business models can be developed that don’t rely on a page view (which is really just a replication of the offline mass media circulation model), we won’t be seeing any change, other than those with the courage to experiment. Change is needed – and the longer this reality is avoided, the more likely this will not be a decision but a forced reality, with no buffer for the transition. The result: Expect to see a lot more bombs being dropped in the newsrooms.
    The first step to progress comes with recognition new solutions are needed. The recognition bit comes on the back of the fact that online does information better than any other method. And it’s information consumers want – the medium that delivers that information is just that: a mechanism to deliver the end product.

    Take me to your leader

    Original post at:

    Tom Abate is speaking at the Future of Media Summit – Silicon Valley

    Collage by Doug Millison of NonHuman Communications

    My name is Tom Abate and I’ve been a daily newspaper reporter since 1992. I was 37 when I got my first daily job after I reinvented myself out of the typesetting industry, a craft that was then disappearing. Now part of me feels like it’s deja vu all over. The newspaper industry seems to be crumbling. Eric Alterman practically wrote its obituary in his New Yorker article Out of Print. The cartoon depicts web maven Ariana Huffington throttling the paper tigers of dead-tree journalism, and the article explains how her team is blending professional and amateur news-gatherers in a news engine that aspires to be both profitable and responsive.

    But despite such gloomy reports, and the layoffs such as the one I survived last year, I see a ray of hope so powerful that I feel compelled to bring it to light.

    Newspapers can do what seems to be working for the Huff Post — they can report and write with more attitude, and in a symbiosis with readers as opposed to the prevailing pontiff-to-parishoner mode. And it’s a simple fix if we have the will — push the power to publish way down into the editorial ranks through blogs.

    I packed a hint of that hope into a comment that I e-mailed to media reporter Steve Outing some weeks ago. Steve used some of my thoughts in a piece he wrote for Editor & Publisher. (It’s behind E&P’s firewall but if you have access to the archives, look for “What’s Needed in 2008: Serious Newsroom Cultural Change.”). Here is my entire comment:


    The symbiosis of media: Journalists find stories on Twitter

    This is cool. Renai LeMay, a tech journalist for the Australian Financial Review (just now returning to CNET Australia as News Editor) attended our Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications event the other week. While he was there, he sent a message on Twitter asking if any companies had a good story to tell. Richard Slatter of Plugger, one of the companies showcased at the event, twittered Renai back. Renai found it a worthy story, and it appeared in the Australian Financial Review, the major business daily in the country, this morning as Plug in to keep tabs on directors’ board links. (See Renai’s telling of the story on his blog.)
    This harks back to what I was talking about a couple of years ago on the ‘symbiosis of traditional and social media’, as illustrated in the Future of Media Strategic Framework we released then (as below). While many have compared social media to parasites on mainstream media by feeding on it, increasingly mainstream media finds its sources and stories in social media. Things happen and are seen in social media before they are discovered and disseminated more broadly in traditional media. Each has their role, and they feed off each other in a highly complementary symbiosis.

    The future of privacy and targeted advertising

    One of the key themes at our Future of Media Summit 2008 (Silicon Valley July 14 simultaneous with Sydney July 15) will be the future of privacy and targeted advertising. The panel run across the locations will include top executives from Traffic Marketplace,, Acxiom, and Electronic Frontier Foundation (see event site for details).
    This topic is at the heart of the future of media. In a world awash with advertising, shown to a fragmented and increasingly cynical audience keen to avoid it, the value (and thus the price) of advertising is falling. Media proprietors are finding it harder to pay for content production, and in many cases media properties are getting smaller.
    Source: eMarketer
    What could entirely change the equation is targeted advertising, in which people are shown advertisements that are relevant to their interests, profile, and forthcoming purchases. Often the best way to understand people is to study their behaviors, thus the current emphasis on ‘behavioral targeting’. This would make the advertising far more valuable to advertisers, media companies would make more money, and media consumers should be happy because they get relevant and interesting advertisements.


    I found my mojo at FOM

    Technology is one of the key drivers in today’s media world. The mobile phone is one of the most interesting tools available to journalists. At the conference I will be talking about the arrival of the mojo, the mobile journalist who reports with only a mobile phone. You can follow my blog on the subject at

    Free webinar this Thursday on SmartCompany: Six Driving Forces Changing Media is one of the most interesting online media ventures in Australia. Established in February 2007 by Amanda Gome, formerly a journalist and editor at BRW, it is targeted at entrepreneurs and owners of small to medium size businesses.
    While the site initially had both free and subscription content, within the first six months they decided to make the site entirely free. The site reaches a highly targeted audience, so attracts good advertisers, and has excellent content and resources.
    As part of SmartCompany’s media partner role in the Future of Media Summit 2008, SmartCompany is running a free webinar this Thursday where I will be presenting on Six Driving Forces Changing Media, in conversation with Amanda Gome – click through to register.
    The framework I present in the webinar will be in the Future of Media Report 2008 (following the extremely popular Future of Media Report 2006 and Future of Media Report 2007), so this will in effect be a sneak preview for the webinar audience. I’ll put it up in summary form on this blog shortly after.
    Other special content being developed for the Future of Media Report 2008 include a Future of Media Participation framework (I think this might turn out be our most popular framework yet) and a Future of Media: Strategy Tools spread. Coming soon!

    Mark Pesce wows the Personal Democracy Forum: see Mark at Future of Media Summit 2008

    Mark Pesce is one of my favorite media visionaries. Back in the late 1990s I was a big fan of Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), which was co-invented by Mark. I proposed using it as a tool for concept representation, among other applications. Mark has since focused largely on the media space, doing some great work. I wrote about a report on IPTV by Mark last year, and his insights at a conference on public affairs we both spoke at a month or two ago.
    Mark will be speaking at our forthcoming Future of Media Summit 2008 in a couple of weeks on the Future of TV and Video panel, which will be run between Silicon Valley and Sydney. I’m particularly looking forward to this panel, which will uncover how existing broadcast and cable TV is intersecting TV and video on the Internet to form an entirely new landscape.
    Mark spoke earlier this week at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York. A review of the event in The Huffington Post described Mark as “the best speaker at PDF”. A brief excerpt:

    In the morning the digital ethnologist Mark Pesce gave a bracing corrective to crowd wisdom. Speaking from a sociological and philosophical perspective, Pesce talked about the hyper connectivity that the internet provides. We are being asked to believe this will help political campaigns, he said. We are asked to believe things and politics will be different. “Bullshit.” Under an iconic image of Barack Obama, Pesce’s PowerPoint presentation showed YES WE CAN HAS. In other words, the fact that Barack Obama now has over a million friends on Facebook (mentioned frequently at PDF) may not be such a happy portent.

    What do you think will happen in media? Participate (and win!) in the Future of Media Prediction Markets!

    We have just launched the Future of Media Predictions Markets, run in conjunction with the Future of Media Summit 2008. These will tap the collective wisdom of participants at the Summit in the US and Australia, as well as other media leaders globally. Anyone can participate in the prediction markets.
    The predictions will be used during the Summit itself to help generate more pointed discussions and specific views, and to garner international attention and coverage for the Summit.
    For those who haven’t come across prediction markets before, they mimic financial markets to aggregate a large group’s opinions on what will happen (see Wikipedia definition and Prediction Markets Cluster). Specific questions are posed on what will happen, and participants place bets on the outcome by buying and selling in the markets.
    Our partner for the Future of Media Prediction Markets is Inkling Markets, one of a handful of commercial providers of prediction markets. Their clients creating public markets include CNN to predict the 2008 presidential elections, while many companies such as Cisco, Chrysler, O’Reilly, Procter & Gamble, and Wells Fargo are using their prediction markets for internal applications such as product development and sales forecasting.
    In the Future of Media Prediction Markets we have just launched five markets:
    * Which IPTV channel will generate the most revenue in 2009?
    * Will Yahoo! exist as an independent company at the end of 2008?
    * When will the New York Times stop printing on paper?
    * What will global digital advertising revenue be in 2010?
    * Will The Bulletin be relaunched in Australia by 30 June, 2009?

    If you have opinions on any of these topics, go to the Future of Media Prediction Markets and make your opinion heard!
    Register on the site and you will be given $5,000 to place your bets on the markets. Either buy or sell whatever predictions you think are mis-priced. As the markets move with further participation (and maybe changing circumstances), you will make or lose money. As the markets evolve you can trade actively by buying and selling positions.
    Let us know if you have suggestions for prediction market topics other than these initial ones. We’ll be expanding the range of questions as more participants join.
    See you in there – may the best media futures trader win!

    Mark Scott, Managing Director of ABC, at the Future of Media Summit: thoughts on the future of media

    The Future of Media Summit 2008 is designed to have a far broader reach and impact than for just those who attend. Part of the way we do this is to get contributions from the speakers beforehand on the Future of Media blog and websites, setting the scene for deeper discussions on the day, and providing context for those who can’t make the Summit.
    The CEO Panel on predictions for the future of media will be held at 1:20 – 2:00pm in Sydney, just before the Unconference session, and will be the final session at 8:20 – 9:00pm in Silicon Valley, over drinks. Panelists for this session include Mark Scott, Managing Director of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
    Mark’s pre-event contribution is two papers:
    * A recent op-ed on the role of the ABC in 2020 that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.
    * The ABC in the digital age – Towards 2020, about the ABC’s shift to digital media.
    The ABC shares with a few other organizations such as the BBC and CBC the special issues of public broadcasters in a rapidly shifting world. The papers describe the evolving role of publicly funded media in a world awash with information, and the steps the ABC will take to fulfill that role, including the new digital channels it will implement.
    Below are a few excerpts from the papers that are particularly worth highlighting in the lead-up to the Future of Media Summit:


    UK and Australia lead the world in online advertising per capita

    Techcrunch has just published a very interesting analysis of valuations of social networks. Here is its methodology:

    Our model takes Comscore data for available countries and regions. We’ve graphed each of 26 well known social networks with the data we have been able to collect. We’ve then calculated the average advertising spend (estimated by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in a recent report ) for each person online in each of those countries. For example, in the U.S., the total 2008 estimated Internet advertising spend is $25.2 billion. We’ve divided that by the number of people online in the U.S. according to Comscore (191 million), to get an average Internet spend per person of $132.

    I have charted the figures of interactive advertising spend per Internet user from this data below.
    Source: Techcrunch, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Comscore


    What marketing executives think about your privacy

    An article in Forbes titled What Privacy Policy? quotes data from a study by the Ponemon Institute, summarized below.
    What it shows is distinctly fairly different attitudes and perception from privacy and security executives at large organizations, compared to those of marketing executives.
    At the Future of Media Summit 2008 held in mid-July in Silicon Valley and Sydney we’ll be looking at the future of privacy and targeted advertising. Broad behavioral advertising requires either dominant players that have the breadth of relationships that they can serve relevant advertising to many viewers wherever they go on the Internet, or sharing of detailed information and profiles between market participants.


    Mapping newspaper layoffs – where will the journalists go?

    Erica Smith of Graphic Designer has done some great map mashups of US newspaper layoffs so far in 2008 (4,490+) and in the last seven months of 2007 (2,185+), as below.
    While you can pick out trends from the maps such as a big rise in layoffs in the North-East, this is more about underlining the trends in newspaper jobs.
    One of the key topics at the Future of Media Summit 2008 on July 14/15 will be the future of journalism. I absolutely believe that journalistic skills and training are immensely relevant in the economy today. However many current newspaper journalists will have to adapt their skills to new jobs and roles, often outside traditional media. We will explore, among other issues, how this transition might happen.
    US newspaper layoffs: 2008 to date


    Ad networks for the long tail: Technorati enters the fray

    One of the most important developments underlying the transformation of media is the emergence of advertising networks, that sell advertising and place it across a wide variety of online media properties. Back in the Future of Media Report 2006, describing the role of ad aggregation in supporting the growth of the long tail, I wrote:

    “… now anyone can publish online and get advertising revenue without having to sell [the advertising]. This is transformative in enabling the many of the “long tail” to move towards becoming viable – though small – media properties.”

    Getting others to perform the advertising sales function means media becomes completely scalable. Certainly many of the ad networks are targeting major media properties. Sixteen of the 20 online advertising groups with the greatest reach are ad networks, with online four (Yahoo!, Google, AOL, and Microsoft) distinct online properties (more on this in a subsequent post).
    In this world, Technorati, still the leading blog search engine, though far more precariously than before, is today launching an ad network, Technorati Media, according to Techcrunch. Techcrunch says:


    Radio National interview: The state of Australia startups and major online media players

    Last Thursday’s Media Report on ABC Radio National features an extended interview with me on the state of Australian Web 2.0 and major online media (there is both a podcast and transcript available from the link). Some of the points we covered:
    Major online media players
    * The well-publicized challenges of NineMSN (the Australian 50/50 jiont venture between Microsoft and PBL Media) are partly company-specific, and partly a reflection of the difficulties of the incumbent position.
    * Australia’s major media companies have done far better than their international peers in dominating online news (and other aspects of the online space including classifieds). Blogs and micro-publishing are now finally taking off, taking market share from the majors, leading to the major online publishers losing readers in a growing market. The long tail is the natural distribution of readers, and it has always been inevitable that the majors would lose their dominant market share.
    * In media conglomerates that are experiencing revenue challenges in traditional channels such as TV, newspapers, and magazines, expectations for growth in the online business are often unrealistic, leading to disappointments when budgets are not met.
    * PBL Media, which owns 50% of NineMSN, is 75% owned by private equity company CVC Capital Partners. Private equity companies, for reasons including their debt structure, are often biased to short-term over long-term revenue, relative to their listed company peers. This leads to pressures on management and staff, which can make attracting and retaining staff more difficult when other companies are enjoying participating in a rapidly growing market. The 50/50 ownership structure doesn’t make things easier.


    Registrations open for Future of Media Summit 2008 – Sydney early bird still on

    The Future of Media Summit 2008 is now open for registration in both Sydney and Silicon Valley. After the great success of the Future of Media Summit 2006 and Future of Media Summit 2007, the third annual event is quickly rolling up!
    See Future of Media Summit 2008 website for full details.
    Note that there is an early bird offer for the Sydney Summit until June 16, then full price applies.
    There’s too much to cover in one blog post, so I’ll be providing more detail on everything that’s happening in coming days and weeks. However some of the key features of the event include:
    * Simultaneous events in Silicon Valley and Sydney merged seamlessly by video, online discussion, and cross-continental panels and conversations
    * Highly participatory Conference AND Unconference formats at both Sydney and Silicon Valley events
    * Discussions on global media strategies, future of journalism, future of privacy, and the future of TV and video
    * Peer video discussions by participants across continents (world-first)
    * Prediction markets on the future of the media before and during the Summit to tap collective wisdom of event participants and global media leaders
    * Future of Media Summit blog for insights and discussion by all speakers and participants
    * Detailed content and analysis, including the Future of Media Report 2008


    The rise of professional-quality user generated media

    The launch of Blogger in August 1999 opened the door to anyone and everyone creating media. Since then platforms to share writing, photos, video and more have enabled an extraordinary volume of content to be made available to the world. The media world has at least doubled in size this decade, adding many new content formats to the existing professionally produced media on channels such as TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers.
    Despite cries from many that all user generated content is crap, that’s not true. It’s just that most user generated content is crap, and a small proportion is outstanding. Anyone who has browsed through the best photos on Flickr, for example, will see some extraordinary images they never would have seen otherwise. The best industry blogs are certainly considered on a par with mainstream reporting and analysis.
    There are now some compelling examples of businesses that are based on professional-quality submissions from their users. A great article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle titled Everywhere, JPG – magazines for the future describes how these glossy magazines are compiled from people submitting their travel stories and photos, with the promise of being paid $100 and a year’s subscription to the magazine if their contributions are published. The selections are in fact made by the readers by voting on the site.


    Search engines and journalism: Seven key issues as news goes online

    Recently the Future of Journalism conference was held in Sydney, run by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, the body that represents workers in media and entertainment, including journalists. One of the broadcast media channels which covered the event called me last week to get some ideas for their interviews with the keynote speakers at the conference.
    Their first question to me was about the impact of search engines on journalism. While our conversation went off in quite different directions regarding the future of journalism, I think it’s a very interesting issue to address. There are seven important issues for how search engines impact journalism:
    Traffic from search engines provides a significant proportion of online media income. In some cases up to one third of traffic to online news sites comes from search engines. With the primary revenue from most online news coming from advertising, search engine optimization is not an optional activity for news sites and editors.
    Headline writing is becoming a completely new art (and now science). As many have written on headline writing for search engines before, including the New York Times and an article I wrote on newspapers, search optimization, and old-school editors, publishing online requires a very different approach to headlines. The cute wordplays that have characterized newspaper headlines through the last century (Headless Body In Topless Bar; Ice Cream Man Has Assets Frozen; Two Convicts Evade Noose, Jury Hung etc. etc.) don’t tend to bring search traffic. Morever, visitors will usually find the content was not what they were looking for, and will leave in seconds.


    Thoughts from the Walkley Public Affairs conference

    Today I spoke at the Walkley Public Affairs conference, organized by the MEAA, the peak body representing workers in the Australian media industry. I spoke on the Enterprise 2.0 panel, running through many of the issues I’ve raised on the Enterprise 2.0 Forum blog.
    Here are a few summarized comments and reflections on what I heard while I was at the event from late morning to the end of the first day.
    As I walked in, Sam Mostyn of IAG was saying, reflecting on what she’d seen at the insurer, that ‘what builds loyalty and commitment is trust’. That is a fundamentally important point. Corporate loyalty is evanescent today, particularly with younger workers. The only potential source of loyalty is trusting your employees. Not trusting them automatically results in zero loyalty. This is deeply relevant to the issue of blocking or allowing social networks in the enterprise.
    On the next panel, Mark Pesce commented that social networks in Australia are extremely shallow. Outrageous news travels very fast. At the Future of Journalism conference comments that Roy Greenslade made about Andrew Jaspan, editor of The Age, were immediately heard. Messages propagate ubiquitously, in this case enabled by journalists in the audience live-blogging the event. Those who were interested in what Greenslade said heard about it almost instantaneously. Mark describes Twitter as his twenty-first century brain trust, extending his capabilities by giving him access to many with complementary knowledge. He describes this as ‘hyperempowerment’.


    The many layers of collaborative filtering – news and entertainment comes to us

    For the last ten years I have believed that collaborative filtering will be one of the most fundamental platforms for business and society. In a world of massively increasing information overload, the only way we will cope is to collaborate to filter what will be most relevant to us. Early this decade I was finding myself very surprised by how slow progress had been over the last five years, despite some interesting research and initiatives. However the last five years on the Internet could almost be characterized as the rise of collaborative filtering. Our Web 2.0 Framework is in a sense a description of how we collectively filter information. Almost all the significant developments on the web I would interpret as related to this evolution of collaborative filtering.
    An article out a few days ago in the New York Times titled Finding Political News Online, The Young Pass It On described how young people share political news they are interested in by email and on social networks. In the same way, many young people primarily read articles that has found them in this way. In short:

    “..they rely on friends and online connections for news to come to them. In essence, they are replacing the professional filter — reading The Washington Post, clicking on — with a social one.”


    BRW Digital Edition: new-style journalism and some insights into Web 2.0

    BRW magazine’s annual Digital Generation Flagship Edition came out today. It’s an excellent report and review of the digital space in Australia. Foad Fadaghi, the technology editor of BRW, has come to the media business from the research industry, having held senior analyst and director positions at Frost & Sullivan, Jupiter Research and IDC. This way of looking at the world results in the BRW Digital issue showing how journalism at its best is becoming a lot more like analysis, creating real value-add and insights that can’t be found elsewhere.
    Data in the report (with a few snippets available here) includes market shares in online publishing (Google #1 at A$389 million with 89% growth), relative online ad revenues (e.g. NineMSN earns $99 million), surveys of corporate activities in online advertising (e.g. 37% of companies measure their online advertising ROI), shares of online social networking advertising (MySpace wins at 75%), and far more, complemented by a neat visual map segmenting the players in the Australian digital media market.
    The report’s article on Web 2.0 draws extensively on an interview with me, with quotes from me as below. The article goes on to cover in more depth some of the players in the space.

    The costs involved in web 2.0 development are so low it has spawned a large number of small one and two-person companies that can be profitable with a small user base, Future Exploration Network chairman Ross Dawson says. This means web 2.0 development is unnoticed by venture capital and other investors.


    Regulation could shape the future of targeted online advertising… and of media

    Reuters has just reported that the European Union’s advisory body on data protection intends to scrutinize targeted online advertising and its implications for privacy in 2008. The Facebook Beacon debacle this week has brought to public attention the ramifications of targeted advertising for privacy, and the EU is already taking this to heart.
    The EU’s machinations are among the most powerful forces shaping global business, and in particular the online world. To take just a couple of examples, Microsoft has come afoul of the EU on monopoly abuse, and Google’s mooted acquisition of Double Click is being delayed until April while the EU extends its probe. On a far broader canvas, extremely strict EU data protection laws shape how online business is conducted all over the planet.
    There is no question that targeted advertising is one of the most fundamental forces shaping the entire media landscape. The greatest power of digital media (which is evolving to eventually cover almost all media, including many forms of TV, much outdoor advertising, and will also encompass newspapers come the advent of e-paper) is that it allows advertising messages to be targeted to the individual. This is not just about showing advertisements to those who will find them relevant, but also about customizing advertising content so that it is more likely to influence the individual viewer.


    Predictions for the marketing and media industries in 2008

    The December/ January issue of Marketing magazine includes predictions for 2008 from an array of industry commentators, including myself.
    One of the quotes they took from me was:

    Social media shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, with more advertisers looking likely to jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon in 2008. According to Dawson, a new trend could see a proliferation of smaller, more targeted social networking sites. “The social network landscape will be highly dynamic, and new specialist social networks are likely to do well,” he says. “Open, independent platforms for storing social network information will become a real force in how people use social networks.”
    Dawson also forecasts a challenge for Second Life. “ A major competitor for Second Life will emerge, taking advantage of its technical problems.” He also suggest virtual worlds will be used more frequently in work settings.

    Some of the other predictions for 2008 I made include:

    “Inevitably the marketing industry will consolidate. In just the same way as happened in the accounting industry several years ago, consolidators will actively acquire smaller operators in an attempt to build large businesses. A few will succeed at this, and more will fail.”


    The convergence of the Internet and TV: how will it happen?

    Several media executives have asked me about the convergence of the Internet and TV over the last couple of months. I now have a nice reference point for them about the short-term obstacles and possible solutions, courtesy of Nick Wingfield in an article in the Wall Street Journal titled The Internet. The TV. They have even created a brief video – as below – to provide a quick overview of the topic.

    Nick frames the issue as a series of problems with potential solutions:
    THE PROBLEM: Too Many Boxes
    THE SOLUTION: Blend Boxes


    Regulation could shape the future of targeted online advertising… and of media

    Reuters has just reported that the European Union’s advisory body on data protection intends to scrutinize targeted online advertising and its implications for privacy in 2008. The Facebook Beacon debacle this week has brought to public attention the ramifications of targeted advertising for privacy, and the EU is already taking this to heart.
    The EU’s machinations are among the most powerful forces shaping global business, and in particular the online world. To take just a couple of examples, Microsoft has come afoul of the EU on monopoly abuse, and Google’s mooted acquisition of Double Click is being delayed until April while the EU extends its probe. On a far broader canvas, extremely strict EU data protection laws shape how online business is conducted all over the planet.
    There is no question that targeted advertising is one of the most fundamental forces shaping the entire media landscape. The greatest power of digital media (which is evolving to eventually cover almost all media, including many forms of TV, much outdoor advertising, and will also encompass newspapers come the advent of e-paper) is that it allows advertising messages to be targeted to the individual. This is not just about showing advertisements to those who will find them relevant, but also about customizing advertising content so that it is more likely to influence the individual viewer.


    Community quality and network leadership trump numbers: Digg loses contributors to Mixx

    An interesting article on Techcrunch says Digg refugees may be heading to Mixx. Mixx is one of literally hundreds of community-based collaborative filtering tools that is competing with Digg, yet it is getting significant traction.
    It is particularly instructive to read what some of the “Digg refugees” are saying:
    “I have already had quite a lot of success with getting my submissions voted on, this may be partly due to the fact that many of my digg friends have joined the site.” Dave Eaves
    “Mixx has a much more positive audience than Digg. It always amazes me that even the most popular and highest quality articles can get so many negative and unnecessarily degrading comments on Digg. So far the users of Mixx have proven to be quite a bit more pleasant, something that I know will be welcomed by most users.” Vandelay Design
    The context here is that while Digg gets millions of readers, the way stories get voted to the top is based on relatively small communities. As discussed in an article I wrote on the structure of social opinion, 30 people out of a million-odd are responsible for the original submission of 30% of the articles that hit the front page of Digg. The reason for their success is that their friends follow what each other Digg and vote on these stories, at which point the general mass of readers pick up on it. Someone who is prominent in the community is highly regarded, and can be an overt as well as a covert influencer. The community starts to become highly social, with personalities, exchanges, likes and dislikes.


    Convergence 2007 in New York December 3: media becomes one

    I’ve been a good friend and frequent collaborator with Business Development Institute since just after if was formed back in 2001. Since then it has become one of the best-established as well as one of the most innovative and interesting events and business development companies in the US. While their base is predominantly in New York city, they are rapidly expanding into other markets.
    While I have been organizing the Future of Media Summit for the last couple of years, Business Development Institute have organized a series of related events in this space, including Web Video Leadership Forum, PR Leadership Forum, Communications 2.0 – Future of PR, New Frontiers in Online Advertising, and Blogging goes Mainstream (which I spoke at).
    They are now pulling together all these themes into a major one-day event called Convergence 2007: The Future of Advertising, Communications, & Media, in New York on December 3. The event is highly focused on case studies, with senior executives speaking from organizations such as McDonalds, Toyota, Casio, and Audi, and themes for the day including web video, ROI, and industry careers. The entire event will be webcast for free. I think this is something which should become standard in the industry, making the cost of attendance less for the pure content, and more for the connections and immersion.
    Future Exploration Network is an event partner, which is unusual for us, but it shows we think it’s going to be a great event. Hope you can make it!

    Will all newspapers be free? Moving beyond the traditional boundaries of news

    With the New York Times recently dropping all charges for its online content and now Rupert Murdoch openly discussing making the Wall Street Journal Online free, it seems that the days are likely numbered for paid subscriptions to online newspapers.
    It is also useful to remember that there are now 169 free daily print newspapers around the world with a total circulation of 27.9 million, according to the World Association of Newspapers. In Spain 51% of print newspaper circulation is free, and in Denmark it’s 32%. The trend to free print newspapers is strong, with new free newspapers springing up all over the globe after the business success evident across Europe.
    The trend to free online newspapers has sparked a major debate on whether online content should be free. Most recently an article in the Wall Street Journal itself titled Murdoch’s Choice: Paid or Free for discusses the issue. It includes the following chart to illustrate its key point that growth in online advertising is far from matching print newspaper advertising revenues (see comments on the chart later in this post).


    Who is capturing the new industry of online classifieds? Analysis and global comparisons

    In the Future of Media Report 2007 we published some original research on the ownership of online classifieds in the US, UK, and Australia. One of the biggest industry fractures in the shift to digital media has been the emergence of online classifieds. Classifieds used to be the sole domain of print media. As classifieds have shifted to a medium that is superior in accessibility, searchability, and cost, new entrants have taken part of the pie. It has been possible for incumbent media to leverage their power and position to be successful in online classifieds, but in many cases other players have taken the opportunity and seized prominent positions.
    As such we looked at the jobs and real estate online classifieds markets across the three countries, dividing the owners of properties into five groups: Traditional Media, Large New Media (e.g. Yahoo, eBay, Google), Small New Media, Industry (e.g. recruitment or real estate firms), and Other. We used traffic to the sites as a proxy for their prominence. We would also have liked to have compared online classifieds with print classifieds, but it is difficult without financial data. Perhaps a project for our 2008 Report… The analysis is below – click on the charts for full details in the Report.



    A rapidly growing advertising segment: compelling content people flock to watch

    A few months ago I wrote a piece about new business models for content, sparked by a fascinating dream I had. In the post I mused:

    My dream sparked off many thoughts about content business models, including the evident one of replicating the model in the dream – getting people to pay to skip ads. If you extend this far enough, you get to a model where you can price advertising by how much people are prepared to pay to skip it. Consumers should be able choose how they pay for content – by payment or attention. Ultimately we should be able to move to dynamic content markets, where there is a different cost depending on whose attention you are capturing, and the context in which it is embedded. Perhaps people will pay a lot of money not to have an ad inserted in the middle of a chase scene in a movie, but they will even be prepared to pay to see the ads during the break in the Super Bowl.

    Now the model of ads being presented as content is rapidly gaining prominence. People are not quite yet paying to watch the ads, but they’re certainly choosing to watch them. An article in the New York Times titled Now, the Clicking is to Watch the Ads, Not Skip Them and a piece in AdWeek called Ad Portals: Will Viewers Tune In? lay out some of the current and forthcoming offerings:, an online version of a TBS show, is predicted to have reached 75 million viewers in its first year. The ads are mainly 30 second TV commercials.
    Honeyshed, from Publicis and Droga5, will be an online space dedicated to branded entertainment.
    (as in ‘didja like it?’) is due to be launched in early 2008 by NBC Universal will feature outstanding TV commercials, as well as other branded content.
    AdPerk is an advertising network for opt-in viewers who choose to watch ads and branded network (this model pays people with magazines for watching content, but has a similar intent, says Gregg Hano, publisher of Popular Science, which has just launched AdPerk on its site, in a Beet.TV interview )


    The evisceration of traditional media – advertising flows to digital

    The naysayers of the dot-com era took particular delight in the demise of Henry Blodget, the Internet analyst at Merrill Lynch (where I used to work in the late 1980s) who was caught out promoting Internet stocks that he apparently privately thought were “a piece of junk” or “a dog”. As part of a subsequent settlement he is now not allowed to work in the securities industry. However Blodget continues to research the Internet industry on his blog Internet Outsider, where he has recently been writing provocatively titled posts such as Dead-tree media deathwatch: RIP Business 2.0, Running the Numbers: Why Newspapers are Screwed, and The Great Advertising Share Shift: Google Sucks Life Out of Old Media.
    In this last post, Blodget analyzes the top 19 media companies (with supporting spreadsheets provided), indicating that advertising has shifted to online by 7% over the course of one year. The top-line figures are that US advertising at Google, Yahoo!, AOL, and Microsoft grew by $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2007, while advertising at the 15 largest other media organizations fell by $280 million in the same period.
    Or from another perspective, total advertising increased by 8% to $13.8 billion over the last year, with online increasing from $3 billion to $4.2 billion (23% to 30%), while offline advertising decreased from $9.9 billion to $9.6 billion (77% to 70%). Blodget comments:


    Media industry network analysis – tools for better strategic decisions

    Among the most powerful applications of network analysis is understanding industry structure and the implications for strategy. While this is still a relatively new field, we are beginning to uncover some very specific approaches and applications to industry network analysis. If you go to a large strategy consulting firm to provide strategy recommendations, you will get a thorough analysis of your industry. However this is almost always highly linear, looking at market shares, value chains, and industry trends. This hides the richness of highly interconnected industry structures. The next 5-10 years of strategy analysis will see a far greater use of network analysis to understand leverage points for
    In the Future of Media Report 2007, we included some new analysis by Laurie Lock Lee. In the Future of Media Report 2006 we used Laurie’s analysis of shifts in media industry networks from 2001 to 2006, and earlier this year I featured some high-level analysis on the network structure of the Australian media industry. This new network analysis goes considerably deeper, analyzing the change in industry structure before and after a significant acquistion, by Macquarie Media Group of Southern Cross Broadcasting. An overview of the analysis is below. See the Future of Media Report 2007 for the full details.
    There are a wide range of highly practical applications of industry network analysis. One, as illustrated in the example below, is analysis of industry structure before and after potential acquisitions or divestments by your company or your competitors. This can show the industry impact of major transactions, and provide further insights into their value. Another example in the media sector which we are currently exploring is examining the rich networks between advertisers, ad agencies, media buyers, and publishers. Viewing this from a network (rather than a simple market share) perspective enables very specific insights into how advertising spending can be shifted from one publisher to another. I’ll continue to post high-level views of some of this work and the kinds of benefits our clients are deriving from this.
    Laurie Lock Lee, Optimice


    Media industry transactions are now transcending the boom years

    In our Future of Media Report 2007, we did an analysis of all media industry transactions of more than US$1 billion from 1993 to mid-year 2007. The transactions are not legible in the image below, so to get full details and analysis on the media industry transactions, click on the image for the complete Report.
    Even at a high level of the general trends in activity, two things stand out. The first is the sharp rise in activity in 1999-2000, highlighted by the massive US$166 billion AOL/ Time Warner merger (remember that?), which still dwarfs any other transactions in the media sector, followed by a spectacular slump in activity in the following three years.
    The second is how fast activity has risen in the last 18 months. Remember that the 2007 figures in the table are for the first half-year only. In fact if you take out the AOL transaction as an extraordinary one-off, there is a far faster pace of activity today than even in the boom years at the turn of the century. The question is, of course, whether this pace will be maintained or even accelerate, or whether it will again decline. While the answer is significantly related to stockmarket levels, since so much of the activity has been private equity-based, there is the potential for transactions to continue even after a fall in equity prices, as private equity firms snap up opportunities.

    Eight key developments in the global media industry: July 2006 – June 2007

    In the Future of Media Report 2007 we included a quick overview of eight major developments in the global media industry in the year to July 2007, with prominent examples of each. Full details in the report. Developments continue apace – we’ll be keeping track…


    Global comparisons: Fastest Growing Online Properties

    Continuing our series of excerpts from the Future of Media Report 2007, in this post we will cover the Fastest Growing Online Properties, which features some of the research done by Nielsen//NetRatings for the Report. The relevant data and commentary from the report is below – click on any of the images below to get the complete Report with full details.
    One of the great things about having Nielsen//NetRatings as a research partner for the Report is that we were able to bring together global data in new ways to provide original research and insights. There are some very interesting perspectives that emerge from the differences in how new media properties are taken up across countries.
    The US leads in usage of all leading social networks. The pace of growth in UK and Australia is extremely high, however they still signifi cantly lag the US in terms of breadth of usage. MySpace is the incumbent globally in terms of market presence. Facebook began as a US college-only social network, however since opening to other users has had strong international as well as domestic uptake. Opening up the Facebook platform to thirdparty developers in May 2007 has contributed to phenomenal global growth as consumers integrate increasingly more interactive tools.


    All business is media: Institutional media usage surges

    There is much excitement at the release of private equity firm’s Veronis Suhler Stevenson’s new measures and prognostications on the media landscape, with most commentators focusing on their prediction that Internet advertising revenues will exceed those for any other media form by 2011.
    The single thing I find the most interesting in the report is the different paces of growth across different media users. “Consumer” usage of media is actually DOWN 0.5%, driven by shifting from long-format media such as TV to short-format media such as online news and video. In contrast, “Institutional” usage of media (comprising business, education and government) is UP 6.9%, outpacing the increases for “marketing” and “advertising”.
    I have long said that we are moving to a world in which ALL BUSINESS IS MEDIA, and that is supported by these trends. Almost all of what businesses do today is gather, process and disseminate information or knowledge-based products, making what they do essentially a media business. This is reflected by a massive 7.4% difference in the growth trend in consumer versus institutional use of media.
    The second key aspect to pick out of the report is the 6.8% total growth in spending in media over the last year. While global GDP growth for 2007 is forecast to be 4.9%, suggesting just a 2% outpacing of the rest of the economy, this masks the fact that media is heavily overrrepresented in the US, which accounts for 42% of media globally, where the GDP growth is expected to be just 3.3%. In other words, a very rough view suggests that media will double it’s share of the global economy in around 25 years or less. This just happens to be the figure I’ve been quoting for some time, so we seem to continue to be on trend for this.


    The future of video search

    One of the transformative technologies over the next 5-10 years will be improved video search. With video becoming the majority of digital content on the web, the ability to find what is relevant and useful is a vital task. Imagine being able to find, in a world dominated by video content (accelerated by eventually most mobile phones including video capabilities), the video segments most relevant to what you. In an interview on Beet.TV, Google’s Gabriel Stricker talks about Google’s ambition to search all video on the web, including the content on YouTube and the dozens of other video hosting sites. As he mentions, only a tiny fraction of existing video is on the web, so part of the task is helping video to migrate or be accessible on the web. On one level, this is about making it easier and more compelling for video creators – professional and amateur – to post their content on the web. Another innovation that will advance this is when all video cameras and video processing software come with one-step functionality to get content on the web.
    One thing that Gabriel didn’t mention in the interview was the mechanisms that Google intends to use for video search. At the moment most video search uses only the title, any tags given by the author or others, and potentially words used in links to the video. To be truly useful, video search needs to index both the words and images in the video in a meaningful way. The first phase of this is now possible, with fairly good voice recognition technologies allowing traditional text search capabilities to be overlaid on the video search. Examples include Blinkx and Nexidia, which allow video search using its voice recognition and text indexing capabilities. One of the applications is to have contextual ads next to the video changing depending on what people are speaking about as the video proceeds. However the next phase, of recognizing and indexing the images in video, is largely beyond current technologies. Image recognition of even simply objects has proven to be one of the most difficult tasks in artificial intelligence. Massively greater computing power than we currently have available, along with far better evolutionary algorithms, will be necessary to be able to reasonably accurately identify what is relevant in video content.


    Review of Future of Media Summit from Public Relations Institute of Australia

    I just found this detailed review of the Future of Media Summit 2007 written live by Sue Kirkland Smith, Lloyd Grosse and Sarah Creelman of Public Relations Institute of Australia.
    It contains a detailed review of every panel session, and concludes by saying:

    In conclusion the event was fantastic and really addressed a number of important issues facing the future of media. It was also great to have the experience to have the forums presented via a streamed pipeline between Sydney and Silicon Valley.
    I found it interesting to hear everyone talk about advertising as the great white hope. The only mention of PR was the Edelman Trust Barometer. There was no talk about how public relations or corporate relations might create a greater offer in this space. Clearly advertising has this space in its crosshairs. So many of the presenters said that the only way forward was to use an advertising business model but juxtaposed that with the assertion that users are both numb to advertising and that advertising impairs social networks.
    It really reinforced for me that PR needs to do more to develop thought leadership in this space.
    Two analogies were used that are still ringing in my ears – “the right nut for the right bolt” and “filtering the noise from the signal”.

    It’s well worth reading the entire post – there are many great insights and nuggets from the Summit there.

    Global comparisons: Why bandwidth drives Internet participation

    One of most interesting snippets in the Future of Media Report 2007 was a chart showing the relationship between bandwidth speed and time spent online across a number of countries, in the second diagram below. The data supporting these charts was provided by Future of Media Summit Research Partner Nielsen//NetRatings, which was able to provide original and valuable insights by drawing on its global coverage.
    (Click on the images for full details in the Future of Media Report 2007)


    Are virtual worlds an over-hyped waste of time for marketers?

    Below is a short piece I wrote for Marketing magazine on the topic of “Are virtual worlds an over-hyped waste of time for marketers?” Four other people also contributed, including executives from Sulake (creators of Habbo Hotels) and Naked Communications.
    If marketers have a time horizon of 6 months or less for their employers’ success and their own careers, then virtual worlds are in many cases an over-hyped waste of time. Online spaces such as Second Life, Entropia, World of Worldcraft and many others are now a significant phenomenon. However this is just the beginning. Online interaction began on bulletin boards, then shifted to Internet browsers. The next phase will allow people to immerse themselves completely in online worlds. Eventually the experience of interacting online will be difficult to distinguish from real-world interaction, and be used extensively in our work and play.
    There are three reasons why marketers would want to get involved in virtual spaces now, when they are nascent, rather than waiting until the majority of the most attractive consumers spend significant time there.
    1. Lead consumers and influencers are already heavily involved in virtual worlds such as Second Life. If you want to access or learn from the most interesting, influential, exploratory people around, there is no better place to go.
    2. By being active in Second Life, you demonstrate to your clients that you understand the leading edge of where society and marketing are going. (Of course if you don’t understand that this is the case, then don’t bother.)
    3. By exploring and engaging in virtual worlds, including trying out marketing campaigns, you will discover – and in fact create – the best ways to get results in this booming new domain.
    If you don’t believe that virtual worlds will be a significant part of how people interact and engage in the future, stick to what you know and don’t waste your time. If you recognise the potential then get involved now, forge a path in this new space, and leave the others behind.

    Engaging people rather than advertising in virtual worlds

    I’ve had several media appearances lately on marketing and advertising in virtual worlds, including writing a short piece in Marketing magazine on “Are virtual worlds an over-hyped waste of time for marketers?”, and a recent interview on an ABC TV program. The ABC TV segment was largely about billboard advertising, so I showed the TV crew billboards in Second Life, Habbo Hotels and Coke Studios for them to film for the program and to go along with my interview. The thrust of the TV segment was that you can’t escape advertising, even in Second Life. Another person they interviewed on the show said that it could backfire to advertise in virtual worlds, since people want to escape to somewhere different. However I think people implicitly understand that something they get for free has to be paid for somehow. As I’ve written before, some people will choose to pay to avoid advertisements. The TV crew managed to find a real-world version of a Telstra billboard I showed them in Second Life. While Telstra BigPond Managing Director Justin Milne gave the party line in his interview on the TV program, I doubt he was happy that I was wearing a free T-shirt with advertising from Deutsche Telekom as I guided the TV crew around Second Life.
    However I’m hardly a major proponent of advertising in virtual worlds, and I think the TV program was starting from a misguided premise. Given that advertising – in the sense of annoying people with messages – is getting less useful wherever it’s done, it’s hardly any better in a virtual world. Marketing, in the broadest sense, is a completely different matter. It is far easier to engage people in meaningful ways in an interactive space. You can create experiences that people respond to, learn from their responses, change what you do in real and virtual worlds, and build both brand and relationships over time. That is just part of the power of being involved in virtual worlds.

    Startups from Australia

    Originally posted at:

    I recently got back from a fascinating conference in Sydney which brought back about a hundred of us expat Australians to talk about the Australian diaspora and how we could continue to help Australia from overseas. Peter Costello, the Australian Treasurer, said in his address that there are about 750,000 Australians working overseas. For a country that only has a population of around 20,000,000 that is pretty remarkable. Unlike most other diasporas, this hasn’t been driven by turmoil or disaster at home, but rather by opportunity abroad, and as a result the Aussie expats have tended to do pretty well.

    Aside from the self congratulation, mutual admiration and networking (which is always fun!), I also really enjoyed the discussion on how to drive more innovation from Australian companies. A number of Australian tech companies and tech companies with Australian founders have seen some degree of success, including Hitwise, Looksmart and Massive among the better known ones. Other Aussie tech companies that have come to the US more recently and are getting some press or conference coverage include Bluepulse, Minti, Veetro and In The Chair.. And Eurekster has its roots in nearby New Zealand. So I took the opportunity during my trip back home to meet with a number of the local Venture Capital firms to get a flavor of the market.

    The VC Industry in Australia is still young, with most firms currently raising their second, or at most third fund. The early part of this decade was as tough for the Aussie market as it was for firms of the ‘99 ands ‘00 vintage in the US, and since this was the first or second fund for many of the Aussie firms, they are just now getting their portfolios into shape to be ready to raise new funds. The consensus of opinion seemed to be that the Israeli model of Venture was the way to go.


    USA! USA! USA! We’re number one!

    Originally posted at:
    For many US based startup online media companies, intenational users are largely an afterthought. As I am an Australian, this has always annoyed me. But it is becoming increasingly clear, much as it pains me, that US based startups are right to focus on their home market. When it comes to creating value, non-US users largely don’t matter to them.
    I was looking at some research pulled together by Yazid Aksas, a student at Stanford Business School. He pieced together estimates for the 2007 internet advertising market size and the number of internet users in each of the ten countries with the most internet advertising in the world, from various sources*.
    The obvious analysis is to look at online ad spending per internet user by country to see where marketers are spending their money to reach internet users


    Why less blogging is a matter for national concern

    A feature article by Graeme Philipson titled The Lost Art of Blogging in the Sydney Morning Herald last Tuesday covered some of the analysis I released before the Future of Media Summit, comparing Australian blogging behaviors compared to the rest of the world.
    The article quotes me as follows:

    “Of the top 25,000 blogs globally, around 9000 are in English”, says Mr Dawson. Of those, only 75 originate in Australia. But there are 420 million native English speakers in the world. “With Australia’s population of 21 million, we comprise 5 per cent of English speakers. But with 75 blogs out of 9000, we comprise less than 1 per cent of English blogs. We are underrepresented by a factor of six or so.”

    “I think one key reason is lack of bandwidth in Australia, and of its high cost. Australian internet connections are slower than they are in the rest of the world, and Australia is almost unique in capping usage at quite low levels.”


    Future of Media: Panel discussion on emerging business models

    A quick review of the first cross-continental panel at the Future of Media Summit 2007, which was on Emerging Business Models, featured Keith Teare, CEO of edgeio, Anne-Marie Roussel, Director – Stategic and Emerging Business for Microsoft, Chris Gilbey, CEO of Vquence, and Rob Antulov, CEO of 3eep. A few reflections on the discussion (from memory, so please excuse misquotations 🙂 ):
    One of the themes of the discussion was whether business models are changing. Rob said that after much consideration, he’d decided that there were no new business models: the three that continued to exist were 1) customers paying directly for your content; 2) a third party paying to be associated with or incorporating your content; 3) third parties paying to distribute your content. Keith in particular disagreed, noting the new approaches possible through social media. Edgeio’s business model itself suggests new possibilities for intermediating value. Chris, a doyen of the music industry, said that it is moving to a point at which it is no longer possible to monetize music directly. Consumers are no longer prepared to pay for music, so advertising or other indirect revenue models are becoming essential. Anne-Marie talked about the web as a basis for social entertainment. People are primarily influenced by their peers in buying entertainment, and it is now possible for people to buy from or through their peers. Keith used the phrase“selling content through peer relationships,” noting that edgeio will shortly release tools for monetizing sales of content through third-parties.


    Media and blog coverage on Future of Media Summit

    The Future of Media Summit has received a stack of coverage in print media, including all of Australia’s major broadsheet newspapers featuring various aspects of the event:
    The front page of The Australian’s weekly Media & Marketing section had a large piece titled Internet TV Push ‘Unstoppable’, drawing on commentary at the Summit.
    The Sydney Morning Herald had a long piece on The Lost Art of Blogging discussing my research and commentary on the blog space – more on this article soon.
    The Australian Financial Review had a feature article on the discussion about micro-payment on the Emerging Business Models panel (the article is not available online).
    Communications Day featured extensive coverage of the panel discussions on mobile media and user generated content.
    For blog coverage of the event, the best starting point is on this blog, where quite a few speakers and attendees have already blogged about the event. Both on the Summit blog and elsewhere, there has been some great commentary in particular from:
    Noric Dilanchian
    Chris Gilbey
    Stuart Henshall
    Brad Howarth
    Nichole Khan
    Hugh Martin
    Phil Sim
    Other great pre-event content on the Summit blog from speakers includes insightful comments from Dan Fill, Laurie Lock Lee, Mark Pesce , Des Walsh and others.
    Let me know if I have missed some interesting comments. If you were there, please add your thoughts and reflections on this blog!

    Thoughts on Summit 2007

    Panel discussions about ad personalization and targeting were especially interesting as panelists did a really nice job of providing real-life experiences – with which we could all relate – for each new trend. For the most part, those in attendance seemed to be in favor of the value proposition with seeing ads that are targeted toward their own interests (this way Anne-Marie Roussel doesn’t have to watch beer or truck commercials, but is able to get commercial about wine – further expanding her breadth of knowledge on the best wines! )
    With regard to personalized shopping trends, Keith Teare, Edgeio Corporationproved the success of the ‘client relations meets personal shopper’ approach that a lot of big brand clothing stores are adopting. He pointed out that because he is not very excited about shopping – he appreciates the stores’ efforts to flag him with deals and new product offerings in his own size and style preferences. He also noted the significance of a job board – providing personalized job offerings within specific content niches.

    With my experience with ad targeting and personalization, it seems these trends have really taken off in the past year. Not only are bloggers interested in writing about the monetization capacities for advertisers with these trends, but they seem to be really excited about the opportunities they present for users:
    -offering streamlined avenues for shopping research (I want to find a nice shirt from Banana Republic without leaving my desk. Can I find the exact shirt, at a specific location, in the right size. Amazon keeps flagging me with book and movie recommendations. I was irritated at first…but to be honest, I really enjoy getting that email now…cause the recs are, in fact, targeted toward my interests.
    – promoting online content venues by association with the ads they serve (top advertisers will only advertise with good/quality content and readers get to define how good the content is according to their preferences)
    -most importantly, the more recent development of geo-targeted ads. It really works for me to be able to go onto an online mapping application, click on my destination city and learn about all the best restaurant deals, concerts, and even parking availability all within a given five hour time-frame.


    Can anyone help me find two references?

    Great conference. I am struggling to find two references referred to at the event. Tony opened by quoting a McKinsey report which showed that if someone contributes to a site, then are many times more likely to make a return visit. In the same session, Scott referred to a video showing YouTube’s ad revenue sharing model. Does anyone have URLs for these? Cheers

    Some Thoughts About Video And Media

    What do we want from video on the web?
    Over the past week I have posted quite a bit of video to my blog.
    Some of the video that I posted were in the form of vquences – mashed up thin slices of content – with fairly random themes – and some were full videos of pieces of content that I thought it would be good to share.
    The ability to share, or socialize, video and to do it rapidly, seems to me to be in the process of becoming a serious part of internet activity. OK, I know this is not new. That is not the point. It is about our desire to share extremely rapidly.
    Videos happen to be an extremely efficient way to transmit memes – idea viruses.
    Now what we want is to be able to have the water cooler conversations that we used to have about the latest Seinfeld episode, about the hottest new video on YouTube. It may also be that the hottest new video on YT was also the hot piece of programming that was on network TV last night – something from John Stewart’s Daily Show, a piece of footage shot on a mobile phone of the latest shooting at a US high school, a bomb going off in Baghdad or Tel Aviv…
    These water cooler conversations are what enables all profitable media organizations to stay profitable. Because they maintain and grow the consumer engagement with the core media brand.
    We also know that video on a web site makes that site much more sticky. I heard the other day at the Future Of Media conference that the CNet game site, Gamespot, gets user engagements averaging over 2 hours per visitor! I understand that YouTube’s time of engagement runs out to about 20 minutes per viewer. Big numbers.
    Since all of us have a finite amount of discretionary time, one would have to deduce that the impact of video on traditional media web sites must be huge.
    So it is not surprising that they are rushing to include video in their offerings.
    What they havent figured out yet, for the most part, I believe, is that there is no universal panacea in just putting video onto a web page.
    The real answer in building an ongoing value in the relationship between media brand and consumer is to give the consumer the tools that will enable him or her to instantly share a video with his or her network of friends. An automatic alert that enables the meme to connect as rapidly as possible. And for the meme to be branded to the media outlet, regardless of where the underlying content comes from (or is hosted).
    Surely the delivery of a service that provides this solves the pain of the consumer/user and the media brand?
    However, it also raises huge questions about ownership of the underlying content, attaching a new brand to that content etc….

    Ten topics at the Future of Media Summit

    This post records speaker commentary at the Future of Media Summit today. All commentary is paraphrased as best as I recorded it in handwriting – add comments to make any required clarifications.
    The aim here is to make the topics, structure and content of the post provide a snapshot of current coordinates and future directions in the digital media business. Beyond this, no analysis is attempted here.


    Thank you to all!

    A quick thank you to everyone involved in the Future of Media Summit, including the speakers, the Sydney-side Chairman Hugh Martin, the organizing team (Jessica Hough and Sally Farrow), and all the attendees in Sydney and San Francisco.
    The video link and technology worked well, we had some fantastic panels and presentations both during the SF-Sydney link and for the independent sessions in each location, and the feedback has been excellent. A well-earned beer was drunk after the close…
    We’ll provide some more content from the event in various forms over the next days. In the meantime, please contribute your perspectives and reflections from your participation in the event. There’s only so much you can cover in a brief event, so let’s build a rich discussion from that starting point. Looking forward to your thoughts!

    Jeremy’s xuqa story

    The link to Sydney was lost just before Jeremy delivered the punch line on why xuqa has been so successful in Turkey …. Jeremy?

    Tapping the Power of Influence Networks

    Interesting comment from Mitch Ratcliffe on this topic – somewhat paraphrased: “Including the customer in the value chain rather than think of the value chain as ending just before it reaches the customer is critica”

    The Price of Popularity

    Both the New York Times and the Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series, has been released widely online – and is avaiable both on the Web and through the various peer-to-peer file sharing resources.
    I’ve done my own investigation, and on The Pirate Bay it was quite easy to find.


    Should Companies Go Second Life

    The Future of Media summit has kicked off in Australia and will shortly connect with Silicon Valley. This is a neat initiative led by Ross Dawson working to connect global viewpoints. The starting point is the Future of Media Report.
    First speaker in SF is Cindy Gordon and John Jainschigg in a presentation from within Second Life. “Title Publishing Implication from the Second Life Experiences”. The connection is via Skype. By showing the slides inside Second Life they load very slowly. The slide or billboard appears in Second life. Subscription sales from online works rose to 526 million in North America in 2006. Claims that wit will reach over 40 million US users. (I think these numbers are way over inflated). World of War Craft dominates.
    What are the new ways to reach customers using a Second Life type environment. Why should you have a branded site in Second Life? At the moment it is just a learning opportunity. It may provide some awareness for your brand. In the end it is experimenting with a new channel. No one has figured this out.
    What they have been learning…. Conclusions.


    What Filmmaking Looks Like in 2007

    A little project I worked on over the weekend offers a view of what filmmaking looks like in 2007.


    Day and Date

    It’s interesting to note that most of the “summer” movies (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) are all being released globally on the same day throughout the world.


    What will “Privacy” mean in the world of Social Media?

    While privacy can be a very personal issue, the sheer attraction of social software, particularly to the younger generations, could soften what we have come to accept as the norm for privacy protection. Consider the relationship data that a Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube has stored on its servers and the gold mine this data would be worth to prospective vendors. These sites currently have mechanisms for protecting ones privacy and quite rightly put the user in control of who they can be contacted by. However, would they lose current users if they softened the protection to enable demographic attributes and other low risk (to identification) profile information to be used or on-sold to marketing research firms? Should we even be concerned? I would suggest that the relationship data currently held by the popular social software vendors is a sleeping giant for a new phase in business/market intelligence.

    Influence Networks

    While there is a huge volume of user created content out there, it is the influence networks that continue to be the key. There may be tens of millions of blogs, but some are of huge importance and some are not on the radar at all…
    So I was interested to see that Get Up have a competition running at the moment for user created 30 second political ads. You can browse the entries here. The big take away for me is that these ads are by and large not going to go viral. They are not going to influence.
    Why? Because regardless of people’s passion, they have to be able to express themselves using the medium in such a way as to leverage the influence networks. Lackluster scripting, flat voice overs, bad audio….. etc etc – they mean that the message gets lost.
    So lets be careful when we get all glassy eyed about the raw numbers of people who are part of social networks to understand that it is the influence networks that are going to continue to hold sway. And they are going to be run by people with professional skills and an ability to succinctly communicate

    Beware of Web 2.0 crossing the chasm

    Yesterday I wrote a post on my firm’s group blog titled Beware of Web 2.0 crossing the chasm.
    Today I’ll be researching another post. The topic being – how existing Australian and New Zealand businesses which are built on or rely on Web 2.0 (either as technology or service suppliers or users), can improve their chance to survive the inevitable fierce competition as the market grows exponentially, now that locally Web 2.0 seems to have crossed the chasm.
    Tomorrow at the Summit I’m hoping to hear over the horizon insights.
    Noric Dilanchian
    Dilanchian Lawyers & Consultants

    Future of Media Summit – speaker changes and additions

    We’ve had a number of recent changes and additions to the speaker line-up at Future of Media Summit in both Sydney and San Francisco. A number of urgent board meetings and international trips have taken several people off the list, while some fantastic additonal talent has come on board. While it’s a pity some of the original speakers cannot participate, the quality of the new speakers we have on board overall results in an even stronger cast for the event, which is very pleasing.
    Originally announced speakers who cannot attend:
    Michael Birch, CEO, Bebo
    Stephen Conroy, Shadow Minister for Communications (Sydney only)
    Wendy Hogan, CEO, CNET Networks Australia (Sydney only)
    Ian Smith, CEO, Yahoo!7
    New speakers:
    Rob Antulov, CEO, 3eep
    Dan Fill, Head of Multiplatform Production, ABC TV (Sydney only)
    Chris Gilbey, CEO and Co-Founder, Vquence
    Cindy Gordon, CEO, Helix Commerce International (San Francisco only)
    Kathryn Hamilton, Head of Entertainment and Lifestyle, Yahoo!7
    John Jainshigg, Director, Online Technology and New Business, CMP Technology, LLC, CMP World2World (San Francisco only)
    Freddy Mini, COO, Netvibes
    Scott-Bradley Pearce, Strategic Adviser Content Syndication and Multimedia, CNET Networks Australia (Sydney only)
    Mark Pesce, Director, FutureSt (Sydney only)
    Keith Teare, CEO and Founder, edgeio

    Key elements of media business models

    In the lead-up to the Future of Media Summit 2007 held in Sydney and San Francisco next week, we will feature some excerpts from the Future of Media Report 2007, recently released to accompany the event.
    In this post we will cover the Key Elements of Media Business Models frameworks which are the centerpiece of the Report. The centerfold image and commentary on each of the four elements of the framework is below – click on any of the images below to get the Report with full details.

    Below are the frameworks and commentary for the four elements of the media business model framework:

    The emergence of the long tail has created a complete spectrum of media of different scales, from the mass media at the “head” of the curve, through mid-sized professional publishing at the “shoulder”, and on to an extended “tail” of micro-media outlets, each with small audiences. Media have significantly different characteristics along the curve, leading to a variety of business models and approaches to scaling businesses. Characteristics that differ include:


    Thoughts on user generated content meets mainstream media: Scott-Bradley Pearce, CNET

    As part of the lead-up to the Future of Media Summit 2007, I did a video interview with Scott-Bradley Pearce, who is Strategic Adviser Content Syndication and Multimedia, CNET Networks Australia. Scott-Bradley will be speaking at the Summit on the User Generated Content Meets Mainstream Media panel, on the Sydney side of the event.

    The video interview covers issues including:
    * What kinds of media organizations are best positioned to take advantage of user generated content
    * Legal and other issues in using user generated content in mainstream media
    * Global and Australian trends in the media landscape
    Lots of interesting ideas here!

    User Generated Content Cross Over to Television

    User submitted content on mainstream media platforms is one of the most fascinating developments online. For many broadcasters it’s created new challenges to find the right mix to create a social networking space of value. Firstly there is the technical issues – finding the right tool to support uploads, publishing and aesthetically interesting display; then there is administrative issues of how you manage all of the user uploads; There are Editorial requirements, what is the responsibility of a broadcaster in regards to the content? What vetting tools need to be in place? How do you deal with the large level materials that are potential copyright infringements? Then there are the issues of creating a compelling user experience which allows for rapid and valuable sort and search for relevant materials.
    Another issue is that many broadcasters see the user generated content as an opportunity to deliver television output content. Conceptually this is a terrific idea, who wouldn’t want to see their works on television? But in practice there are a number of challenges to consider.
    Firstly, the vast majority of the content that is submitted is of value to only a small number of people — most of the content is rough, often with poor audio and video.
    Despite having great ideas about generating the content, it is really important not to lose sight that as a broadcaster you need to ensure a high level of content at all times.
    While it may be really exciting for me to see my own video on television, it may not be that interesting to anyone else.
    If only 1% of the content uploaded is of value to the users, sorting through to find the best possible content, can be a lengthy and expensive process. Broadcasters thinking that UGC is a cost effective way of acquiring content, may be surprised at the actual costs to get really good broadcast content. In many cases it may only be fractionally less expensive than producing content professionally — this is not to say that it shouldn’t be undertaken, you cannot argue with the massive benefit you gain from engaging in user submitted initiatives – I highly support and encourage further development, I just suggest walking with a sense of caution.

    Launching the Future of Media Report 2007!

    The annual Future of Media Summit held simultaneously in Sydney and San Francisco (the Future of Media Summit 2007 is on next week) is as much about providing new content, research, and insights as it is about an event. Last year the Future of Media Report 2006 certainly succeeded in its objective of sparking debate and discussion on the future of media, with over 70,000 downloads, commentary generated in seven languages from over 20 countries, and use of our content in magazines across three continents and in at least one government submission on the future of media.
    This year we are following the example of last year, creating an entirely new report that looks at different angles and perspectives on where the media landscape is today and where it is going. The Future of Media Report 2007 is now officially launched – download it here.
    Some things you’ll find in the report:
    Eight Developments in Media July 06 of June 07. Examples of key developments, including industry transactions and acquisitions, layoffs, new channels, intellectual property, and consorship.
    Shifting Global Advertising Channels. Data and commentary on shifts in advertising spending, and a comparison of ownership of the online classifieds segment in the US, UK, and Australia.
    Comparison of Fastest Growing Properties and Internet Access. Exclusive original research from Nielsen//NetRatings, comparing uptake of new media properties in the US, UK, and Australia, and different online browsing behaviors across nations.
    Key Elements of Media Business Models. Following the extremely popular Future of Media Strategic Framework from last year, we have created four complementary frameworks looking at Scalability, Value of Distribution, Value of Advertising, and Media Personalization. These can be applied to understanding emerging media business models. Each of the frameworks is explained in detail.
    Media Industry Network Analysis. An analysis by Laurie Lock Lee of the recent acquisition of Southern Broadcasting Corporation by Macquarie Media Group, and insights on the impact on the Australian media industry landscape.
    Media Transactions. A list of media mergers and acquisitions of at least US$1 billion over the last 15 years, putting the massive surge in recent media industry activity into context.
    Download the complete Future of Media Report here.
    Please feel free to pass on word or comment. As with all our work, the Future of Media Report 2007 is released on a Creative Commons license, which allows anyone to post it, use it and build on it as they please, as long as there is attribution with a link to the Report on this site or to this blog. The framework is intended to be a stimulus to conversation and further thinking, so if you disagree on any aspect, or think you can improve on it, please take what is useful, leave the rest, and create something better!
    We’ll be releasing parts of the Future of Media Report separately over the next days and weeks.
    Attendees at the Future of Media Summit 2007 in Sydney or San Francisco get a very nicely printed copy of the Report, so get along! Hope to see you there.

    Digital Music: Managing Download Overload

    Anne-Marie Roussel, who will be speaking on the San Francisco side of the Future of Media Summit, has a great blog. One of her recent extremely interesting blog posts was on collaborative filtering, a topic I believe will be central to the Future of Media.
    The original blog post is here – full text below.
    Digital Music: Managing Download Overload
    The recent acquisition of the music recommendation site by CBS served as another indicator of the explosive growth of the digital music market. Analysts and record companies estimate that digital music sales will multiply 20-fold by 2010.
    That’s significant growth –driven by four key factors:
    o Large increase in the number of music players sold and the wider device choice for consumers;
    o Increased penetration by music-enabled mobile phones
    The importance of social networking in shaping demand;
    The ever-increasing number of online music retailers: Currently, iTunes commands 90 percent of that market. Today, it is a numbers game – the more content a site offers, the more consumers it’ll draw.
    BUT, the digital music market is at a turning point
    Tomorrow, it will no longer be a matter of quantity, but quality – ie, the value offered to consumers on top on plain content. The winner in the digital music war won’t be the one who can simply offer the largest music catalog. It will be the one who can help consumers manage the thousands of songs on their playlist. For music device/service providers, best way to capitalize on this digital music explosion will be to innovate – or acquire innovation – in the tools that enable consumer to 1) pre-select what they download and 2) manage the thousands of songs in their music collection (playlist). According to iTunes Registry, the average iPod user has 3,542 songs in his /her collection and actively listens to only 23 percent of them. Sixty-four percent of the songs are never played.


    Australia needs a debate on why it lags in online and network thinking, the online-only business magazine which launched in February and is already doing very well, has an article titled Left behind Down Under (second story on the page) based on our release from last week and an interview with me. Some of the quotes from the piece:

    Ross Dawson, founding chairman of Future Exploration Network, says the average bandwidth of Australian broadband is around a third that of the UK and a fifth that of the US.
    “When you go to access video and audio it is so slow and clunky many people give up, so people spend less time on sites,” he says. The average time on an internet site in Australia is just under a minute.
    Cultural issues also affecting Australians’ online usage. “We are less inclined to put forward an opinion in a social environment,” he says. “This means that we are slower in participating on blogs, forums and social networking sites.”
    Dawson says the takeup of Web 2.0 by businesses is also trailing other countries, which is affecting productivity and marketing. “In the US in companies like Disney and McDonald’s use less email and do far more collaboration on projects, which contributes to better outcomes.”
    Australians are also slower to use blogging platforms and other Web 2.0 for marketing.
    “Organisations need to be far more innovative in how they use technologies internally and externally because as we shift to the global network economy we must be connected to other ideas and knowledge or we will be disadvantaged as a nation.”


    Huge rise in social media in Australia: Future of Media research release

    IT Wire has just written an article about the press briefing we did earlier this week on the research being released for the Future of Media Summit, titled Social Networking Shows Explosive Growth in Australia. They’ve largely used our press release in the article, so thought I might as well provide that below, even though it was mainly a teaser for what we covered in the briefing. More details of all of this will be available over the next week or two leading into the Summit.
    A brief summary of today’s release of research findings (4 July, 2007):
    From Nielsen//NetRatings:
    How bandwidth affects media usage: Low Internet bandwidth in Australia is playing a major role in the lower time spent online by Australians, and in how their media consumptions habits differ from other countries. Average home user connection speeds in Australia are 21%-43% of the speeds in comparable developed countries.
    The rise of social networking online. In the year to May 2007, growth in use of YouTube by Australians was a massive 239%, resulting in 20.6% of online Australians accessing the site each month. That still leaves us far behind our peers, with 30.2% of Americans and US and 25.5% of British accessing YouTube. Australians are behind in the use of blogging platforms, but close to the lead in usage of Wikipedia.


    New approaches to user-generated content for broadcast TV

    Great news – Dan Fill, Head of Multiplatform Production for ABC TV, will be speaking at the Future of Media Summit 2007 on the Sydney side, on our opening User Generated Content meets Mainstream Media panel. In this newly created role, Dan oversees the strategic development of multiplatform content creation experiences across all platforms. Prior to joining the ABC, Dan was the Vice President Interactive of Decode Entertainment in Canada, where he developed a number of multiple projects for Console, Interactive Television, Broadband, public broadcasting screens and mobile.
    To provide some context for attendees at the Summit, Dan has provided three very interesting examples of what ABC is currently doing in the user generated content space. The intention is that this is just the beginning of a major thrust into this area.
    Zimmer Twins:
    Zimmer Twins is an online tool that allows kids 8-12 to create broadcast quality animated movies online using a simple tool. Since launching about 2 months ago, over 30,000 short movies have been created. A selection of the best of these are being voiced over with professional actors and will air on ABC TV and ABC 2.
    Life @ 2:
    ABC TV is part of a multi-year series that follows a group of 11 children at various stages of their lives. The television component is a series of documentaries that air every two years. The first LIFE @ 1 aired last year. To keep the interest in the kids and to follow their development, we have a website that continues to update throughout the course of their childhood. Right now we are in year 2. As part of our offering, we allow our audience to also upload their own audio, visual and text blogs about their own Aussie kids and they can track their own development. It’s sort of a competition to be 12th child in the series, but it is also a great ugc blog space.
    The Global Warming Swindle:
    This is a controversial documentary produced for Channel Four in the UK, the program refutes Al Gore’s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ . Because of the nature of the program we anticipate a lot of feedback from the audience. We have set up a video feedback forum that allows users to submit their own thoughts as video responses in addition to the science blogs and user polls and forums.

    Media trends

    One of the problems with trends – and trend lists in particular – is that they often obscure the fact that the writer has absolutely no idea what is going on. Instead they are lists of things that have recently happened which the writer supposes might continue to happen into the future. Media trends are no exception. According to lists of media trends (including my own) we are entering year two of a revolution whereby user created content (from ‘citizen journalists’ and ‘citizen reviewers’) is radically altering the media landscape.Moreover, the speed at which the media are converging is intensifying and the separation between ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ or ‘social’
    media is becoming increasingly meaningless. In the midst of all this, hard-copy newspapers will continue to experience falls in circulation whilst network television will start to look increasingly anachronistic as information and multi-media entertainment moves online and goes mobile.
    Indeed, the phrase ‘the media’ will itself become almost meaningless because everyone (and every company) will become a part producer and part-consumer of media. Or at least that’s the theory.One immediate problem is that consumers now expect all Internet content to be free, which creates something of an issue for anyone wanting to create revenue or heaven forbid profit from digital content. As any budding economist will tell you, value is a by-product of scarcity so to create revenue content must be made scarce. This may actually happen. One trend that hasn’t received much attention is the flight to quality.In short there is too much mediocrity and rubbish online so people are seeking out – and paying for – quality information and entertainment. One implication of this could be a flight to trusted brands – and journalists- for no reason other than consumers want their news from a trusted source and want reviews from people that are actually expert in their field. This is not to say that user generated content has no value and no future but it is hyped and we are all losing our sense of proportion. Equally the importance of personalisation and aggregation is, in my view, over-played. Sure we sometimes like things ‘our way’ but at the same time we don’t want lowest common denominator aggregation or personalisation, especially if it takes up too much of our time to get it or it means that we miss the bigger picture. As the writer JG Ballard once said, “If enough people predict something, it won’t happen”

    Emerging media business model frameworks

    Today we ran a press briefing on the Future of Media Summit, featuring a sneak preview of some of the research and content that will be included in the Future of Media Report 2007. Last year the Future of Media Report 2006 attracted excellent interest, with now over 70,000 downloads. This year’s report should be even more interesting than last year’s.
    The centerpiece will be a number of frameworks that together are useful for thinking about how effective business models for emerging media. Today I’ll share one of those frameworks, with a couple of others coming over the next days before the release of the final report. We’ll also shortly release some of the findings from Nielsen//NetRatings, who as a research partner of the Future of Media Summit has come up with some fabulous global comparative data.
    Our framework below shows the differences in business model required for the three major parts of the overall spectrum of media, from the head to the “long tail”.
    A few initial comments on the framework.
    Audience focus. Mass media only accesses broad audiences, whereas further down the tail highly selective niche audiences, by geography or interest, can be garnered.
    Advertising models. At different levels of scale, dedicated, aggregated, or combined advertising sales models are appropriate.
    Cost of content creation. Cost of content creation can be taken as a given, requiring a certain audience size or revenue, or considered as a variable to match revenue.
    The most important take-away of this framework is that there is no right or wrong place to be on the curve, simply that advertising or other revenue models and content creation mechanisms need to be aligned with the audience. As related frameworks to be included in the Report will show, going for niche audiences can attract stronger revenue relative to costs. A “multi-niche” model which is effectively monetized can be more effective than traditional mass media approaches, by allowing sharing overheads and sales efforts, and gaining more value from highly targeted audiences. Scaling costs and overheads and extracting premium revenue is as viable a strategy as increasing audience size.

    The rapid progress of personalized advertising and the changing role of creative

    Yahoo! has just announced a new product, SmartAds, that enables advertisers to create customized advertisements on-the-fly to be relevant to the individual viewer. As revealed in an article in the New York Times, the advertiser gives the visual and text components of the advertisement to Yahoo, as well as access to its inventory, so the advertisement can promote specific products relevant to the individual that are available from a local outlet, such as a car dealer or branch of a chain store. The targeting is based on Yahoo’s at-times deep information about its audience, which is a critical advantage in these kinds of initiatives. The ads are being launched with three major airlines and several travel aggregators.
    While this is being branded “behavioral targeting”, that depends on the richness of the data that Yahoo! has available, and is largely limited to people’s online behaviors. However this initiative illustrates just one element of a powerful and long-term trend towards greater personalization of advertisements. The other day, in discussions with a large national advertising assocation, I talked about how online is changing the role of creatives in agencies. Moving beyond user-created advertising, the next phase will be creatives having to create campaigns that can be customized on-the-fly depending on who is viewing it, when, and it what circumstances. SmartAds is only integrating data into a given advertisement. Certainly what is new here is the breadth of data which is being used, and how this is being pulled together. However personalized advertising has a lot further to go, where the actual advertisement and creative is tweaked for the individual.
    Our Future of Media Report 2007 will be released next week, shortly before the Future of Media Summit 2007, held simultaneously in Sydney and San Francisco. In the report we will include some frameworks on models of personalized advertising, drivers of the value of advertising, and how these can be applied in creating new media business models. Keep posted!

    The IPTV landscape

    SmartInternet CRC, which was one of our partners for our Web 2.0 in Australia event, has recently released a very interesting report titled IPTV: Order, Chaos and Anarchy, examing the state of IPTV. The author is Mark Pesce, noted for being the co-inventor of VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language) (which I was a big fan of when it came out – I wrote about it in my first book which came out in 2000) and his immoderate thoughts on the future of media – in other words an extremely credible commentator on an often muddied field.
    Mark defines IPTV as “delivery of audio-visual programming via packet-switched networks,” which as he points out, doesn’t in itself help us understand what forms this will take as it matures. Mark picks out three key forces:
    * Centralization, driven by commercial issues and incumbents
    * “Hyperdistribution” allowing anyone to create and distribute content
    * Social activists and entrepreneurs reinventing broadcasting as a peer-to-peer medium
    In the report Mark covers issues including Internet bandwidth requirements for the evolution of IPTV, government policies, the role of BitTorrent, IPTV on the Microsoft Xbox 360, Joost, and the role of democracy. Well worth a read.

    The Web 2.0 Framework and the future of media

    A few weeks ago we launched our Web 2.0 Framework. This was intended to provide a clear, concise view of the nature of Web 2.0, particularly for senior executives or other non-technical people who are trying to grasp the scope of Web 2.0, and the implications and opportunities for their organizations. The Framework is highly relevant to the future of media, and part of the content we’re providing in the lead-up to the Future of Media Summit 2007.
    Click here or on any of the images below to download the Framework as a pdf (713KB). There are three key parts to the Web 2.0 Framework, as shown below:
    Web 2.0 Framework
    Web 2.0 Framework
    * Web 2.0 is founded on seven key Characteristics: Participation, Standards, Decentralization, Openness, Modularity, User Control, and Identity.
    * Web 2.0 is expressed in two key Domains: the Open web, and the Enterprise.
    * The heart of Web 2.0 is how it converts Inputs (User Generated Content, Opinions, Applications), through a series of Mechanisms (Technologies, Recombination, Collaborative Filtering, Structures, Syndication) to Emergent Outcomes that are of value to the entire community.


    Review of Future of Media Report 2006 and the Future of Media Strategic Framework

    The annual Future of Media Summit is intended to be at least as much about generating high-value content for the community as it is an event. Over the next few weeks in the lead-up to the event we’ll be releasing substantial content in the form of research, analysis, frameworks, and commentary, both from Future Exploration Network, as well as from our research partners for the event (including Nielsen/NetRatings), event speakers, and other thought leaders on the future of media.
    The biggest single release will be our Future of Media Report 2007. For those who haven’t seen it yet, I suggest having a look at the Future of Media Report 2006, which has been downloaded over 70,000 times, generated commentary in seven languages from over 20 countries, and been featured in several magazines globally. A brief table of contents is provided below.


    The centerpiece of the Report was the Future of Media Strategic Framework, shown above. A full explanation of the Strategic Framework is contained in the 2006 Report. We (and others as well we are told) have used this extensively in our consulting work, to help organizations understand their current positioning across the media landscape, identify how the landscape is shifting, and build effective long-term strategies. The Strategic Framework is still completely relevant today, though we will be creating additional frameworks and perspectives for this year’s Report.
    The full Table of Contents for the Future of Media Report 2006:
    * Introduction
    * Highlights of the Global Media Market
    * Global Media Comparisons
    * Emerging Media Relationships
    * Content Creation and Usage
    * Media Industry Networks
    * Future of Media Strategic Framework
    * Future of Media Strategic Framework: Explanation
    * Five Ideas Transforming Media
    * Media Snippets

    Prometeus: In the media revolution, experience is the new reality

    David Casaleggio, a media and network consultant based in Milan, let me know about an extremely interesting short video he’s created on the future of media. He has created versions in English, as below, and also subtitled in Japanese and Spanish (recognizing the global nature of media markets).
    A few highlights in the second half of the clip:
    In 2020 Lawrence Lessig becomes the US Secretary of Justice and declares copyright illegal.
    Devices that replicate the senses are available, and reality is replicated in Second Life. Everyone has an Agav (Agent Avatar) that finds information, people and places in virtual worlds.
    In 2022 Google launches Prometeus, the Agav standard interface.
    In 2027 SecondLife becomes Spirit, where people share their experiences and feelings. Memory selling becomes normal trading.
    In 2050 virtual life is the biggest market on the planet and Prometeus finances space missions to find new markets.
    In conclusion: “Experience is the new reality”.
    A nice thought-starter on where we might be heading…

    Welcome to the Future of Media Summit participant blog!

    The Future of Media Summit participant blog is now launched. This will be a forum for speakers, partners, and attendees at the Future of Media Summit 2007 to discuss the issues covered at the Summit before, during, and after the event. When you register for the event you will be given a login and instructions to post on this blog (for those who have already registered you will receive your login shortly).
    Last year we only launched the participant blog for the Future of Media Summit 2006 at the time when the actual event kicked off, so we garnered a range of comments during the event itself, then a very healthy and extremely interesting discussion between the event participants in the month after the event.
    Last year the blog also provided a forum to capture the discussions of the audience panel sessions. As at all events we organize, we ran panel discussions between all conference attendees, where everyone chose the topic they wanted to discuss, with themes ranging across “New business models: how to monetize content”, “What advertisers want today”, “Online social networks and media”, “The drivers of mobile content”, “User Generated Content”, “Bloggers. Are they newsmakers, newsfinders, opinion shapers or annotators”?, and many others. Some great insights came from many of the audience panels.
    This year we’d like to build an conversation beginning before the event, and extending far beyond, so we will continue with the same Future of Media Summit blog for Summits in subsequent years, rather than create a new blog each year.
    Please participate! We will be sharing content and insights from the speakers and many other leading thinkers on the future of media. We expect all of the participants at the Summit in both the US and Australia to have great perspectives to share, so want to make this an open forum. If for some reason, such as not being in Sydney or San Francisco at the time of the event, you can’t attend the live event but want to participate in the blog, please email us at fen [AT] futureexploration [DOT] net and we’ll provide you with a login. I look forward to your contributions!