DVD streaming ‘rental’ service Zediva just shut down to comply with US court order; see the attached email. While it was clear from the beginning (to me) that their approach to licensing the rights wouldn’t work for very long, it is a pity to, once again, see innovative ideas fail because the rights-holders aren’t ready for it - or shall we say, aren’t ready to give these options to consumers...
I am delighted to be able to share this brand-new translation with all my friends, tweeps and colleagues that speak Portuguese. The essay was kindly translated by Paula Neves, Analista de Marketing Digital at Approach (Brazil); be sure to visit her blog or Linkedin profile.
Gerd Leonhard: Conteúdo 2.0: ‘proteção’ está no modelo de negócio e não na tecnologia (pensamentos sobre o futuro da venda de conteúdo).
Abastecido pelas agitações na indústria da música e, finalmente, com a transformação muito rápida dos livros para o formato digital, há bastante debate em torno do fato das pessoas compartilharem habitualmente isto é, redistribuírem conteúdo digital sem que os usuários paguem por isso. Como se pode monetizar o conteúdo se a cópia é gratuita? Essa pergunta é uma questão chave em todos os sentidos, seja com a música, com livros digitais, noticiários, editoração, TV ou filmes. Há o medo, claro, de que a partir do momento que um item digital foi comprado por uma pessoa, ele pode ser facilmente encaminhado para qualquer um se estiver num formato aberto, assim reduzindo significantemente a possibilidade de que outra pessoa pague dinheiro real por ele também (claro que o mesmo também é verídico para conteúdo digital supostamente trancado ou protegido – só demora um pouco mais). Não ter mais controle sobre a distribuição = não ter mais dinheiro. Certo?
Apesar do simples fato da GDD (Gestão de Direitos Digitais, ou Digital Rights Management em inglês) já ter se mostrado desastrosa no mundo da música digital (e agora já é praticamente o passado), medidas técnicas de proteção ainda vêm sendo investigadas como um método plausível de se garantir o pagamento, especialmente no efervescente setor dos eBooks. Isso me preocupa muito porque medidas técnicas de proteção são caras, atrapalham ou previnem a adoção em massa, encurtam ou matam o compartilhamento social, o que derrota o marketing usuário-usuário, normalmente limitam drasticamente o uso honesto, e são geralmente inúteis no combate aos piratas reais, isto é, os que têm intenções maldosas e criminosas de roubar conteúdo e vendê-lo para outros.
Não somente conteúdo – Contexto! A meu ver, o pensamento de que a distribuição de conteúdo tem de ser controlada para que haja qualquer forma razoável de pagamento é fundamentalmente equivocado por causa dessa percepção não-tão-futurista: numa economia aberta e enredada (nota: estou falando sobre hoje e não amanhã!) editores de conteúdo têm de oferecer seus bens de uma forma que não mais considere a distribuição como o fator central. Não deve-se vender (somente) o conteúdo (ou seja, meros 0s e 1s) e sim também o contexto, os valores agregados, os vários outros itens em torno do conteúdo. Venda o que não pode ser copiado.
A tendência irrefutável é que a janela de oportunidade de se ‘vender cópias’ (isto é, iTunes, música digital, Kindle, etc) está rapidamente fechando, pelo menos na maior parte dos países desenvolvidos. A próxima oportunidade, e já muito presente, está na venda do acesso e serviços de valor agregado, e no fornecimento de experiências ligadas ao conteúdo.
A partir do momento que abarcarmos que os usuários – as pessoas dantes conhecidas como consumidores – não podem ser reduzidas a meros ‘compradores de cópias’, poderemos investigar como eles gostariam de pagar por todo o resto também. Por exemplo, ao comprar um eBook os usuários não deveriam pagar meramente pela autorização da distribuição, ou seja, a cópia legítima das palavras, e sim também poderiam ganhar acesso a comentários altamente especializados, amigos e colegas que possam ler esse livro, avaliações, explicações, apresentações de slides, imagens, links, vídeos, referências cruzadas, conexões diretas com o autor ou o editor e assim por diante. Sim: conectar com fãs + motivos para comprar (como o Mike Masnich do Techdirt já resumiu sucintamente diversas vezes)....
It didn't take long for the TedX NewStreet (London) people to put the videos online at the TedX Youtube channel - great! Unfortunately my own talk got started while the wireless microphone was still on 'mute' so for the first minute or so (while I am doing my introduction) the audio recording was quite bad.
Therefore, I edited the video and scrubbed those 60 seconds; the result is below (using my own GerdTube / Blip.TV channel *you can get the iTunes podcast feed here). The original TedX Youtube version is below, as well, as is the slideshow, from my previous post. I think I really touched on some very important issues here, and I would be delighted to hear your thoughts on them. Fire away via Twitter, or Facebook, or comment below. And spread the word. Thanks.
This is the complete, 75-minute video of my appearance on Brazil's most popular talk show on Public TV, called Roda Viva (on the TV Cultura channel). I was delighted to be invited to the show, and really enjoyed being 'grilled' by the super-smart journalists and Brazilian media experts in the studio. We could have talked forever! The show was originally broadcast on April 26 (on Brazilian TV as well as online, see the Twitter buzz here) but unfortunately the webcast did not work very well so this is the first time I have seen the video, myself, and thanks to Roda Viva / TV Cultura I am delighted to be able to share this recording with you, as well.
More information about the show is here. Duda Groisman made some great photos during the recording of this show, embedded below. Related activities on this trip include: my presentation for NBS Brazil "The Future of Communications and Business", and my presentation at Fundacao Dom Cabral (one of Brazil's best business schools) on "The Open Network Economy". Please note: the video is half Portuguese (the questions) and half English (my replies)
It was a great pleasure to be invited to contribute to the Sao Paulo / Brazil-based Fundacao Dom Cabral's innovative CEO leadership program, led by my colleague and Swiss-Brazilian collaborator and leadership guru Didier Marlier, as a visiting professor. Below is a fairly large and long (95 pages - do not print!!) slideshow with most of the important stuff I presented; needless to say this was not the usual 45-60 minute session but took pretty much the entire afternoon. I was extremely impressed with the organization and their hosts (FDC / Dalton Sandenberg) as well as with the fast and agile minds of the CEOs that attended - we had some very inspiring conversations. And Caipirinias, too;). Update: Low-res download of PDF here: PDF 11.5 MB Open Network Economy Gerd Leonhard FDC SP Low-res
Enjoy. Share. Retweet. And get my free iPhone app before it turns 'freemium'.
Another brilliant post by Umair Haque via the Harvard Business Review - he spells out a lot of stuff that keeps coming up in my presentations, as well; so here's a bit of a remix of this juicy post, my comments are [...]
"On one side is the old high ground of the industrial era capitalism; on the other, the new high(er) ground of next-generation capitalism. The yawning chasm in between them is the gap between the 20th century and the 21st" [I call this the EGOSystem vs the ECOsystem, see more here and here]
"Currency intervention, breaking Copenhagen, crackdowns , collusion, corruption, coercion, and censorship: China's ongoing bad behavior as global citizen is, when we connect the dots, the gigantic elephant in the world's boardroom. What's driving it? The quest for monopoly, monopsony, and control" [I wrote about something quite similar in my 2007/2008 blog-book "The End of Control", check out the free online chapters here, and a related presentation, here]
"That's yesterday's high ground, and China's focused like a laser beam on it. China's moves are the textbook stuff of b-school's blackest arts. Through larger distribution, fiercer litigation, greater exclusivity, cheaper and faster production, a bigger cash pile, advantage is gained. But the high ground has shifted. The new high ground is an ethical edge. It's
not about having more; it's about doing better. It's not about
protecting exports, pressuring buyers and suppliers, price
discriminating against the powerless, and programming consumers to buy,
buy, buy — it's about making people, communities, and society
authentically better off. It's not about caring less — but caring more.
It's not about ruthlessness. It's about mindfulness" [Couldn't have said it better, myself; here are just a few things I would add: in this new ecosystem that Umair is describing, we will need to develop web-native economic models and entirely new metrics for evaluating them, friction will indeed be fiction (to a very large degree) and the importance of control will be utterly eroded by the steadily increasing power of trust, engagement and transparency]
"The old high ground was built for 20th century economics: sell more
junk, earn more profit, "grow" — and then crash. An ethical edge
operates at a higher economic level. It is concerned with what we sell, how profits are earned, and which authentic, human benefits "grow." It's a concept built for the economics of an interdependent world" [A key term, imo: an interdependent world, i.e. not a broadcast world but a connected and networked world]
"An ethical edge just might be the ultimate cause of advantage.It's
how better distribution, production, marketing, and pricing — all just
proximate causes of advantage — ultimately happen. Jim Chanos's
investment thesis says: without an ethical edge, new value cannot be
created — old value can only be shuffled around (hi, Wall Street)....So here's the single question everyone should be asking. The old high
ground is the new low ground. Yesterday's mountain is today's valley.
Are you ascending to the new high ground?"
The topics of my presentation: how mobile and social media trends impact business,
in general, and the corporate travel industry, in particular; how the
social media and mobile Internet explosion is resulting in
unprecedented changes in communications and commerce. The need to
reduce CONTROL to get more SHARE is evident... but how can this be done
within large organizations? How can social media add value, and what
are the risks?
Does the French President Sarkozy have a secret wish to self-destruct, or to lead France out of the European Community? Maybe this is the reason that the ludicrous 3 strikes idea keeps surfacing in France, see the coverage by TelecomTV below (and the other links).
But here is the real morsel (from The Register UK): "France's Ministry of Culture estimates that 1,000 people a day could be cut off from the internet under the bill. After first being sent a warning email and then a formal letter by
Hadopi, those accused of illegal file- sharing for a third time could be
disconnected for up to a year and face a €300,000 fine and jail time. Even those found guilty of "negligence" for allowing others (such as
their children) to pirate online material risk a month-long internet
suspension and a €1,500 fine..."
Maybe I am wrong but I can't imagine that these kinds of ideas are very popular with the voters, no matter what the business problems and the lack of innovation within the content industry are. Sure, politicians can have nice dinners with the music industry VIPs and smart lobbyists, and get VIP concert tickets, but this will not help them to get re-elected when the time comes.
But before that, action is required, because unfortunately the same debate is also raging in the UK. So if you live in London, or are visiting, I will be contributing a speech at an anti-3-strikes event called "Stop Lord Mandelson" on October 2, in London, at 7 pm, together with David Rowntree (Blur) and Ben Goldacre (Guardian / Bad Science), organized and moderated by Jim Killock (Open Rights Group UK). Please join me, and / or spread the word.The petition is here. My slide-show response to Hadopi / French-trois-strikes is here. My summary of Cory Doctorow's 2008 (!) comments on 3 strikes are here. On a more humorous note, check out these funny 'PiratesPrisons' videos.
"As expected, the French National Assembly has approved an amended version of the three-strikes legislation, designed to curb illegal file sharing, slung out earlier this year. When will they realise that none of this is going to work anyway" writes By Ian Scales. "The three-strikes issue now appears to have settled into a familiar left v. right split in France with the right-leaning majority UMP voting 'for' and the Socialist party against. Internet rights campaigners across Europe have been trying to keep the issue de -polarised since there is a substantial body of right-leaning libertarian politicians who are against the three-strikes approach but who may be lost if it all becomes too clearly identified with the left. In France at least, that doesn't appear to have worked..."
The Google guys have just published a video with my talk at Authors@Google, in San Francisco, March 2, 2009 (see the details here Pdf: The End of Control Gerd Leonhard at Google SF PDF
*22MB). Due to some technical issues my fancy slides (i.e. the stuff on the screen) come across very nicely in this video while I am left a bit 'in the dark' - but if you use the HQ version on the Youtube site you can still get a much better idea of what my face actually looks like (I guess always wearing black is not ideal when the lights are bad;). Anyway, I do think this is one of my best talks, so... watch the entire 55 Mins 22 Secs. As far as the End of Control Book is concerned, I will have an announcement on my plans within the next 10 days...stay tuned.
Here is the official Google Talks description:The End of Control & The Future of Content: The tough
issue of control emerges, again and again, as the key contention point
within TV companies, publishers, record labels, and broadcasters: How
can a commercial venture that is based on so-called intellectual
property thrive and prosper in an environment that seems to
continuously and progressively remove control from the
creators/owners/providers of content, and hands it over to the people
formerly known as consumers (aka the users), effectively making them
more powerful every single day? But the reality is that every
click inadvertently makes another case for the consumers
ever-increasing rise in importance. Within all the conversations I have
had about things like commercial content versus shared content, about
the read-only or the read-write web, and about copyright versus Fair
Use, the crucial question always seems to boil down to WHERE IS THE
CONTROL HERE, i.e., questions such as Who will control this new media
universe and How much control do I need to run a revenue-generating
The creators and rights holders urgently need to understand and embrace the web-fueled paradigm of 'giving something' in return for 'getting something' - and the increasing empowerment of the people formerly known as consumers (aka the users) means that the creators will have to give more before they can get something back. Some people would call that the pressure of the Attention Economy - but this is the undeniable reality of the hyper-connected and mobile world we now live in, and it is not something we can switch on or off as we see fit. Ignore this trend at you own peril - witness the music industry's refusal to give more value before the purchase, and where it has taken them.
Now, Spotify, Last.fm, Myspace and iMeem provide free music on-demand, Hulu and Youtube provide free TV shows on-demand, Amazon and Google let people search-and-read-inside-the-book. And now the new Kindle will allow you to listen to a robotic voice rendition of a book - hardly a competition with the audio book, I would argue. In fact, this feature would probably drive people towards buying more audio books - free added values convert to sales based an getting better interfaces and higher quality. Sounds familiar?
This whole debate is very much like, years ago, the issue of Amazon's Search-Inside-The-Book feature. After a lot of deliberation, the publishers found out that the new feature really did increase sales (I think by something like 10%) and what's more, it got a lot of people 'addicted' to the book right there and then - which is usually the best way of snagging a new customer.
I think that Amazon should consider offering an additional, small monetary incentive to the publishers as well as some clever reporting on who is listening where (based on opt-in), and maybe even some promotional, highly targeted audio 'advertising' options to the participating book publishers, and thereby sweeten the deal.
But most importantly, the publishers need to start looking beyond their constant fears of cannibalization of existing revenues, and look at all these new options with less toxic assumptions (as social media expert and fellow bloggerati Neil Perkin likes to calls them). In addition, drastically lowering the price on digital books (the audio versions, too) would go a long way in boosting the take-up of electronic reading. And beyond that: what if you could use Kindle to have actual conversations with the readers - wouldn't that be a boon to writers and publishers?
The bottom line: switch to Openness and find new revenues. Now. Look at Nokia / Symbian, Firefox, Apache, Adobe, Android... Openness is tough but it always wins the users.
Ceck out this video on 'Compensation not Control' (MidemNet 2009)- this Lessig-inspired meme applies here, too!
Some snippets: Bottom Lines: The fight for Control was a fight for Distribution. The flight for Attention is a fight for Trust. The beneficiaries of Control were Monopolies.
The beneficiaries of Trust are those that Collaborate. Advertising 2.0: Information becomes Conversation. Interruption becomes Engagement. Annoyance becomes Entertainment. 'This is an Ad' becomes 'This is Content'. The Sharing Economy Logic: Sharing...the Output (i.e. publish, re-mix, co-create, life-stream...) the Input (i.e. remuneration in cash, attention, reputation...) ... the Thruput (i.e. usage data, meta content, attention trails >> New Data Economics)
people were considering ditching their accounts. Even though their new ToUs did not surprise me, and I already consider everything I do on Facebook to be kind of 'in public domain' (under the Creative Commons license I use for pretty much anything), I do think that they way they have gone about this left a lot to be desired. Their brilliant and decidedly Web2.0 move was to immediately back-paddle and return to the old ToU - very smart, and something that probably got them extensive media coverage all over the world (hey - there's a lot more room to grow, from their measly 160 Million or so users;).
So Zuck wrote in this blog-post: "Our main goal at Facebook is to help make the world more open and
transparent. We believe that if we want to lead the world in this
direction, then we must set an example by running our service in this
way. And... we came to an interesting realization—that the conventional
restrictive to achieve these goals. We decided we needed to do things
differently and so we're going to develop new policies that will govern
our system from the ground up in an open and transparent way. Beginning today, we are giving you a greater opportunity to voice your opinion over how Facebook is governed"
Well-done. Sure sounds a lot like Facebook will be more like a 'Public Utility' ... kind of like the BBC, maybe? Now, there's another blog-post, right here!
But here is the key point, for me: It is now abundantly clear that the WE-THE USERS can control and influence what happens - not (just) the 'Network Owner' or 'Provider' or 'Media Company' or 'Studio' or 'Label' or "TV / Radio Network". If we-the-users, the people formerly known as consumers, don't like it, we'll leave, taking all our friends with us, deflating the platform's value very quickly - just imagine what would happen to Google if we pulled our trust from them. Control has now shifted to the Users - and that's a good thing.
of course, the topic of my next book (download some previews, here). More soon. Facebook ToU tag cloud by Flickr, AuntieP
I am continuously working on my new book "The End of Control", even though I have lately been wondering quite a bit about whether it still makes sense to publish a dead-tree version of a non-fiction epic these days - I may yet decide to remain entirely in the realm of bits and bytes. Stay tuned. Or better yet, tell me what you want!
In any case, a big part of "The End of Control" is about how, all around us, Control is declining in importance (as well as in feasibility!), and our emphasis is gradually shifting to Trust. Not to become too Obama-ish here but I have observed this trend pretty much in all sectors that I work in, from media & content to travel to telecom, and it is an amazing change. And a real challenge.
So, rather than trying to control what people do with a service or product they get from a company, many businesses are now starting to focus on earning, keeping and expanding the users' trust in what they do and how they do it, so that at the right time their users will indeed make the choice to pay them. Because that is pretty much what it comes down to, now: people make implicit (bundled) and explicit (i.e. voluntary) choices to pay for what we offer them. This is especially true for content, software, media and entertainment, of course - given that many of those goods are already digital and thereby payment can often be avoided if you so wish.
Examples for how trust is starting to replace control abound - here are a few:
Twitter users make the choice to follow me (hey... don't ask me why), and now I have to constantly earn their attention with what I share on Twitter. If they like what I do, they will retweet my stuff (apparently the highest honor these days) or forward the links to other people via email or the various social media sharing tools. Yes, in case you were wondering, I have indeed been booked for speaking gigs via connections I made on Twitter (just like those that I make on this blog) - something that was a total miracle to me when it happened but now I am starting to get it. In any case, I'll be the first to advertise on Twitter when they offer it.
Flickr: they offer a fantastic platform for sharing images (and now, video), and once people trust them, quite a few of them end up buying the Flickr Pro account for $30 or - in fact, being a Flickr Pro user has become a bit of a status symbol among 'sharers'. The bottom line: earn my trust and attention with the free stuff, and then ... allow me to pay for something else.
Amazon's best-selling MP3 album in 2008 was 'Ghosts' by Nine Inch Nails, even though that very same album was made available under a creative commons license and free downloading by the band, itself - people made the choice to pay for something they could have had for free. Think again - compelling people to pay is starting to look like a real alternative to forcing them to pay (music industry readers, take note;)
Google. Of course, Google is the Master of this new art of business; constantly adding value, wielding ever higher attraction and receiving copious amounts of attention - all of which converts nicely into people trusting Google, and subsequently giving Google their money; whether it's AdWords, Apps, storage space, search tools. Google is indeed the master of giving control to us, and then have us return the ultimate favor of trust. Loads of Attention which, you guessed it, turn into serious cash for them.
Thinking cap on. A quick illustration below, borrowing Wired's Tired or Wired fancyness.
More on this soon. Please comment below. And retweet. now. yes, you.