Today, I am delighted to announce that a much better mobile-optimized version of the book is finally available here - and yes, it's still free. However, I really don't mind if you make a payment for the free PDF via Lulu.com;)
As you can see, below, this includes all of the chapters in an easy-to-read, mobile-native format, and all kinds of ways to share it via eMail, Twitter and Facebook. The best thing is, however, that you can now add all of the chapters of the book to your Instapaper app (iPhone only, I think) with just one click, and then read the whole thing offline, as well. Way cool! We are also working on a 'real' iPhone app.
Note: Instapaper was covered on the new Indicatr site, yesterday, as well). Please spread the word - and don't forget: if you are entirely and utterly mobile-only you can track most of my tweets and shared items here.
Google is the master of creative disruption: if you are an Android-OS powered mobile user, great maps and the best navigation tools have just become a available to you, for free. Tough to beat that one, Tom-Tom, Garmin etc - or what? Says Google's blog: "Today we're excited to announce the next step for Google Maps for mobile: Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for Android 2.0 devices. This
new feature comes with everything you'd expect to find in a GPS
navigation system, like 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and
automatic rerouting. But unlike most navigation systems, Google Maps
Navigation was built from the ground up to take advantage of your
phone's Internet connection...."
Music industry expert to Mandelson: Legalise it! Media Futurist Gerd Leonhard says that musicians, labels and government need to focus on their wallets rather than technology if they are to save music from the threat of illicit music downloads on the internet. Speaking ahead of the event, the “Future of Music / Stop Disconnection”, Gerd (who advises many of Europe ’s top InternetService Providers) said: "Music industry lobbyists are saying unpaid downloads are killing our business. In response, the UK government is now considering legislation that would allow people who illicitly download to be disconnected from the Net without a court process. This leaves many musicians scared and perplexed, some arguing for disconnection, others for their own fans to be restricted to dial up speed internet. Neither will see the artists or labels paid more or the relentless advance of online music sharing halted.”
“Back when UK radio stations were not licensed to play music at all, the arrival of the PPL (1934) and MCPS-PRS (1914) collective music licences opened the door for proper payment for music performed in public. We now need the government to legislate for music online, and mandate the creation of a Digital Music License that will put money into the pockets of the creators while giving the consumers what they want, at the same time.”
Via MidemNet blogIf you are in the content business, you may also be wondering: going forward, what exactly is the value of my 'content', when and where? The most likely answer is 'it depends'. No wonder the debate on what kind of content should be /could be /must be / ought not to be free, or bundled, or subsidized by 3rd parties, or paid for with advertising, is raging on the web. And this is happening not just within the music business, but also within the news, print and publishing, books, films and TV industries.
I think pretty much the entire content business is quickly heading towards a total business-model reset.
Since I do a bit of reading as well as some assorted writing on this topic (which I recently tagged the '21st Century Content Ecology') I thought that I would share some of the best writings I have seen on those issues that surround the Free Content debate. So here they are:
The complete title of my piece is: "The price of freedom - reinventing the online economy: Gerd Leonhard explains why ‘free’ content can still pay in the long term" and I really enjoyed writing this for them.
Following my last presentation at the RSA, in April 2009, on 'The Future of Content and Creativity' I have had many good conversations about this topic. The audio track from this event is here, btw; and the video is embedded again, below. Enjoy. And RT;)
You can read the entire thing on the RSA page, so here is just an excerpt:
"Free information, free music, free content and free media have been
the promises of the internet (r)evolution since the humble beginnings
of the World Wide Web and the Netscape IPO on 9 August 1995. What
started out as the cumbersome sharing of simple text, grainy images and
seriously compressed MP3s via online bulletin boards has now spread out
to every single segment of the content industry – and even into
‘meatspace’ (real-life) services such as car rentals. Without a doubt,
‘free’ has become the default expectation of the young web-empowered
digital natives and now the older generations are jumping in, too.
top of the already disruptive force of the good old computer-based
Web1.0, we are witnessing a global shift to mobile internet – a WWW
that is, finally, so easy to use that even my grandmother can do it.
While five years ago, we needed a ‘real’ computer tethered to a bunch
of wires to port ourselves to this other place called ‘online’ and
partake in global content swapping, now we just need a simple smart
phone and a basic data connection. With a single click of a button,
we’re in business – or rather, in freeloading mode.
we love ‘free’; as creators, many of us have come to hate the very
thought. When access is de facto ownership, how can we still sell
copies of our creations? Will we be stuck playing gigs while our music
circles the globe on social networks, or blogging (now: tweeting) our
heart out without even a hint of real money coming our way?
as it may seem, we can no longer stick with the pillars of Content1.0,
such as the so-called fixed mechanical rate that US music publishers
are currently getting ‘per copy’ of a song ($0.091). Nobody knows what
really defines a copy any longer when the web’s equivalent of a copy
(the on-demand play of that song on digital networks) may be occurring
hundreds of millions of times per day. No advertiser, no ISP and not
even Google has this kind of money to pay the composer (or rather, the
publisher), at least not until the advertisers start bringing at least
30–50 per cent of their global US$1 trillion marketing and advertising
budgets to the table.
expectations and pre-internet licensing agreements are exactly what are
holding up YouTube’s deals with the music rights organisations such as
PRS and GEMA: this is what the rights organisations used to get paid
for the music that is being copied, and this is what they want to get
paid now. This impasse is causing significant friction in our media
industries worldwide. Yet, below the top-line issue of money, there
lurks an even more significant paradigm shift: the excruciating switch
from a centralised system of domination and control to a new ecosystem
based on open and collaborative models. This is the shift from
monopolies and cartels to interconnected platforms where partnership
and revenue sharing are standard procedures. In most countries,
copyright law gives creators complete and unfettered control to say yes
or no to the use of their work. Rights-holders have been able to rule
the ecosystem and, accordingly, ‘my way or the highway’ has been the
quintessential operating paradigm of most large content companies for
the past 50 years.
Enter the internet: now the highway has become
the road of choice for 95 per cent of the population, the attitude of
increasing the price by playing hard to get is rendered utterly
fruitless. Like it or not, a refusal to give permission for our content
to be legally used because we just don’t like the terms (or the entity
asking for a licence) will just be treated as ‘damage’ on the digital
networks, and the traffic will simply route around it. The internet and
its millions of clever ‘prosumers’, inventors and armies of
collaborators will find a way to use our creations, anyway. Yes, we can
sue Napster, Kazaa or The PirateBay and we can whack ever more moles as
we go along. We can pay hundreds of millions of dollars to our lawyers
and industry lobbyists – but none of this will help us to monetise what
we create. The solution is not a clever legal move, and it’s not a
technical trick (witness the disastrous use and now total demise of
Digital Rights Management in digital music). The solution is in the
creation of new business models and the adoption of a new economic
logic that works for everyone; a logic that is based on collaboration,
on co-engagement and on, dare we mention it, mutual trust – an
ecosystem not an egosystem. Once we accept this, we can start to
discover the tremendous possibilities that a networked content economy
can bring to us.
Free, feels-like-free and freemium
has been written on the persistent trend towards free content on the
net. It is crucial that we distinguish between the different terms so
that we can develop new revenue models around all of them. ‘Free’ means
nobody gets paid in hard currency – content is given away in return for
other considerations, such as a larger audience, viral marketing
velocity or increased word of mouth (or mouse). I may be receiving
payment in the form of attention, but that isn’t going to be very
useful when it’s time to pay my rent or buy dinner for my kids. Free
is... well, unpaid, in real-life terms.
the other hand, means that real money is being generated for the
creators while their content is being consumed – but the user considers
it free. The payment may be made (ie sponsored or facilitated) by a
third party (such as Google’s recently launched free music offering in
China, Top100.cn); it may be bundled (such as in Nokia’s innovative
‘Comes With Music’ offering, which bundles the music fee into the
actual handsets) or the payment may be part of an existing social,
technological or cultural infrastructure (such as cable TV or European
broadcast licence fees) and therefore absorbed without much further
thought. Feels-like-free could therefore be understood as a smart way
to re-package what people will pay for, so that the pain of parting
with their money is removed or somewhat lessened – everyone pays,
somehow, but the consumption itself feels like a good deal...." Read on. PDF: Download RSA - The price of freedom Gerd Leonhard July 2009
Chris writes: "Gratis can be a good business. How? Pretty simple: The minority of
customers who pay subsidize the majority who do not. Sometimes that's
two different sets of customers, as in the traditional media model: A
few advertisers pay for content so lots of consumers can get it cheap
Back in late 2008, I wrote something very closely related to what Chris is saying, here: "To me, the bottom line is that most of what used to work just fine in a disconnected world of 'totally segregated consumers and producers' will simply not work in the future". In other words, the traditional media model will not work in Online Media, going forward - the mechanics are entirely different. And this is where Free or Freemium plays a crucial role - and it's a huge mission to figure out how this ecosystem will generate rivers of cash, not just data. And it will involve Collaboration between content companies and creators, telecoms, social networks, search engines and device makers.
Chris goes on: "With physical stuff, samples must be doled out sparingly -- there are
real costs to be paid. With bits, the free versions are too cheap to
meter and can be spread far and wide. That's why so many people
businesses (expensive!) are turning into software businesses (cheap!),
which is why your cranky tax accountant has morphed into free TurboTax
online, your stockbroker is now a trading Web site and your travel
agent is more likely a glorified search engine..."
Yes, indeed: this is why I think that the content business - starting with music - is turning into a software business, too - witness the explosion of app stores for mobile devices, and how much $$ people are paying for iPhone apps. Now imagine that content (starting with music) will be bundled into such apps, and people will perceive it as BUYING SOFTWARE or buying a cool app for their phone but in fact the content is included (yet paid for i.e. packaged). I think that if permitted by the rights-holders Pandora could easily sell a mobile device application that could include video, audio, feeds and images - I am dead certain people will pay for that. I will have a separate post on this sometime later this week.
Chris then hits the nail on the head: "Expect the shift toward open source software (which is free) and
Web-based productivity tools such as Google Docs (also free) to
Totally. Then, Chris warns (and I agree - that's why I am also hard at work on next-generation advertising models): "The standard business model for Web companies that don't actually have
a business model is advertising...Two problems have
emerged with that model: the price of online ads and click-through
rates. Facebook is an amazingly popular service, but it also an
amazingly ineffective advertising platform..."
And I also like his conclusion (and this is the first time that I see it spelled out like this, from Chris): "Does this mean that Free will retreat in a down economy? Probably not... "Free" has as much power over the
consumer psyche as ever. But it does mean that Free is not enough. It
also has to be matched with Paid. Just as King Gillette's free razors
only made business sense paired with expensive blades, so will today's
Web entrepreneurs have to not just invent products that people love,
but also those that they will pay for. Not all of the people or even
most of them -- free is still great marketing and bits are still too
cheap to meter -- but enough to pay the bills. Free may be the best
price, but it can't be the only one"
I call this challenge the '21st century content economics' challenge (yes... borrowed from Umair Hague's brilliant post on this topic), and it's the main topic for my work this year. If we can figure out how to generate many new revenue streams based on Feels Like Free access to content, then we can start modeling the business plans for the next 5 years. More soon! But what do you think? Comment below.
If you saw my presentations at MIDEM and MIDEMNet 2009 here in Cannes, and would like a free PDF of my Music 2.0 book, here it is: Download Music20book_hires My slideshows on this topic are all available on Slideshare.
Link: Social Media Today. Excerpts from their list of free things that are based on Advertising:
Telecom :Skype, Mosh Mobile , Pumbby, Talkster, Jaxtr, Pudding Media [and I would add Blyk here] Airlines: From low fare to no fare? Forget low cost carriers: keep an eye on Ultra-Low Cost Carriers (ULCCs) handing out free seats by the bucketload. These include:Wizz Air, SkyBus, Spirit and AirAsia. Car rental •As-good-as-free automotive examples: LaudaMotion lets Austrian and German customers rent an ad-plastered Smart car for exactly three days at the cost of just one euro per day Photo prints • An interesting idea that’s been put on hold after an apparently too-successful launch: French MesPhotosOffertes offered free picture processing and home delivery in exchange for ads on the bottom of pictures Student textbooks • U.S.-based Freeload Press provides free college textbooks in electronic form with advertisements inserted at chapter breaks Travel guides • Dutch free postcards pioneer Boomerang Media’s
latest addition to its free portfolio is a free (paper) city travel
guide. Created in cooperation with travel guide publisher Mo’Media. Wifi •
With most hotspots still charging prohibitive fees for casual users,
ad-sponsored wireless access points could be the next FREE success
has secured agreements with several cities across the U.S. to design,
build and operate ad-sponsored, free municipal wifi networks for
residents, visitors and city workers. Metrofi is able to provide free access in these communities through online advertising supported by local and national advertisers. WIGO
offers free wireless internet to registered users and is available in
coffee shops, commercial areas and restaurants in the Manila area. WIGO
users will see a ‘WIGOBAR’ on the bottom inch of their screen,
displaying banner ads from sponsors. Meanwhile, booting out T-Mobile,
AT&T is installing wifi hotspots at over 7,000 Starbucks stores in the US,
offering two hours of free wifi a day to Starbucks Card holders.
Rollout starts early Q2 and will take until the end of this year to be
completed. Next? Google’s free wireless plans,* sponsored by, what else, Google AdWords. Stock photography • Yet another FREE LOVE war in the making: stock images. Getty Images is now competing with free sites like Britepic, everystockphoto and stockvault.. Notes and photocopies •FreeHand Advertising distributes free notepaper to students on their way to class. Japanese Tadacopy offers university students free photocopies Games • In Q3, Electronic Arts will release a new, free, online version of its popular Battlefield series, called Battlefield Heroes. Bikes • Copenhagen’s City Bikes
are free to use: users find a bike in one of over 100 bicycle racks
found around the city, throw in a DKK 20 coin (USD 3.45 / EUR 2.70) to
unlock the bike, which they get back when they return the bicycle to a
Linuxinsider has a report on a recent case ruling at U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The judge concluded that open source coders are indeed entitled to copyright protection even if they provide their software 'for free' - because they must get paid with getting credit & attention, instead.
"The original judge reasoned that because JMRI's code was given out for
free, the company shouldn't be able to sue and get money when someone
breaks its license. The judge this week, however, reasoned differently. "Attribution and modification transparency requirements directly
serve to drive traffic to the open source incubation page and to inform
downstream users of the project, which is a significant economic goal
of the copyright holder that the law will enforce," the ruling reads"
In other words, if I tell you, as part of my license requirement, that I want to 'get paid with attention' then this requirement is just as valid as the requirement of getting paid with cash. In my view, this points toward the essential future business model for intellectual 'property': I do have a right to get paid for what I create (if I want to), even though it may be free or 'feels like free', but cash is simply not the only kind of currency available - new kinds of payments are available to us now.
The online world, with its amazing capacity to create, copy and distribute anything that's digital, with costs that are close to zero, forcing producers to come up with new business models/services, which are often purely ad-driven.(*Gerd's comment: I think a new kind of advertising - advertising 2.0 - will be crucial here, but I do think that's still 18-24 months off)
The ever-decreasing cost of physical production
makes it easier to offer more (nearly) free goods in the offline world
too. In fact, many goods have actually become insanely cheap...
The avalanche of free contentcreated by attention-hungry members of GENERATION C.
C2C marketplaces enabling consumers to swap instead of spend, making transactions cash-neutral.
An emerging recycling culture.
And all of the above fueling consumers' expectations to get online and offline stuff for free"