"Music used to be a product that we bought piece by piece. Now it is becoming a public utility, says media futurist Gerd Leonhard, who argues that we will soon be constantly connected to an infinite library of songs. And when music is like water or electricity, our friends become the new music critics..."
This is the complete (approx 80 minutes) video of my keynote at the HBR Poland conference in Warszawa March 16 2012. The slides are sometimes a bit hard to see as the video zooms back and forth so if desired you can download the complete PDF (high-res, 26MB) with my slides via http://db.tt/JmKiJyQh (creative commons non-commercial attribiution licensed, as always).
Topic: "The future of business: how to benefit from the global shift to a networked society" The Internet, or to be more precise, the mobile and social 'Internet 2.0' that has exploded in the past 2 years, is dramatically changing the way we find and are found, how we relate to our customers (and vice versa), and by extension how we buy and sell. In a networked society, the-people-formerly-known-as-consumers are becoming more powerful by the minute; transparency rules and more often than not, interaction comes before transaction and attention is the currency. In this digital world, data is indeed the new oil, brands are publishers, and ecommerce almost entirely becomes mobile and social - and this has significant impact on B2B sectors, as well. Gerd will share his foresights on where things are headed in the next 3 years, provide examples of best practices and illustrate the biggest opportunities and how to prepare for them. The future of business is interdependent, real-time, social, local and mobile - get ready.
"Data is exploding all around us: every 'like,' check-in, tweet, click, and play is being logged and mined. Many data-centric companies such as Google are already paying us for our data by providing more or less free services. Is data the new oil? TFA CEO Gerd Leonhard leads fellow thinkers Stowe Boyd, Jamais Cascio, and Andreas Weigend in an exchange on where data is going, and how we are going along with it. Data will become a key currency, as it is a virtually limitless, non-rival, and exponentially growing good. Do we need regulations or trust frameworks to deal with it? Can data really be safeguarded in an entirely free-market system governed by commercial interests? What will Generation AO (always-on) share with whom, when, where, and how? And if data is the new oil, how do we avoid wars and global conflicts fought over it...?"
FT's Rob Grimshaw says (defending the FT's paywall): "Many news publishers are now facing up to the reality that online advertising isn’t replacing revenues lost from print. Newspaper Association of America figures show annual print ad revenues for the industry have dropped from $47 billion at their last peak in 2006 to $21 billion today, a loss of $26 billion. During the same period, news publishers’ digital ad revenues have risen by $1 billion from $2.2 billion to $3.2 billion. The prospects for winning back those lost ad dollars look dim. Nearly half of all online spend now goes to search advertising (49 percent – IAB US / PwC H1 2011) and in the display market there is intense competition from portals, networks and social media. Facebook’s pageviews are now 1,000 times greater than the biggest news publisher sites and its display ad revenues are likely to exceed those of all U.S. newspapers combined in 2013. Google’s will too, and that’s excluding their search revenues..."
Comment: I think this is just because those ad spends were always '50% wasted' - the advertisers just didn't know which was which. In other words, these revenues were always artificially inflated by lack of competition or alternative ways to gather enough eyeballs.
The web has just made the obvious more visible; brutal but inevitable. Also, in my view, the FT may have a good case for charging people, but in general the added values is what it comes down to - and many publishers and their publications don't really have enough to offer in that respect - same problem that is facing the record labels.
I recently was invited to chime in on this snappy collection of 2020-predictions done by Amy-Mae Elliott at Mashable, along with some of my peers and esteemed futurist colleagues such as Ian Pearson, Jim Carroll and Dave Evans. Take a look. Here is my piece:
Connecting the Cloud With the Crowd "By 2020 everything will have moved into the cloud: content, media, health records, education. Connecting the cloud with the crowd will become a huge business. Related to this, access will replace ownership in almost all forms of media. Future media 'consumers' will simply have music, films, TV shows, games, etc. in the cloud, paid 'with attention,' i.e., advertising and data mining (Facebook cloud), subscription (Apple new iTV), and bundles (i.e., with mobile operators). Most importantly, many consumers will not pay for 'content' per se, but for all the added values around the content, such as curation, packaging, design, social connections, interfaces, apps, etc. Finally, all media that is not social and mobile will shrink; all that combines with their current models will prosper."
BRILLIANT video by comic author Rob Reid, showing how ridiculous the calculation of economic losses due to content 'piracy' is. Absolutely amazing how he strings the facts and hypotheses together - must watch for anyone in the content industry.
Read more here: Comic author and Rhapsody C-Founder Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists. Rob Reid is a humor author and the founder of the company that created the music subscription service Rhapsody.
Snippets from the transcript:
"The recent debate over copyright laws like SOPA in the United States and the ACTA agreement in Europe has been very emotional. And I think some dispassionate, quantitative reasoning could really bring a great deal to the debate. I'd therefore like to propose that we employ, we enlist, the cutting edge field of copyright math whenever we approach this subject. For instance, just recently the Motion Picture Association revealed that our economy loses 58 billion dollars a year to copyright theft. Now rather than just argue about this number, a copyright mathematician will analyze it and he'll soon discover that this money could stretch from this auditorium all the way across Ocean Boulevard to the Westin, and then to Mars ... (Laughter) ... if we use pennies.
Now this is obviously a powerful, some might say dangerously powerful, insight. But it's also a morally important one. Because this isn't just the hypothetical retail value of some pirated movies that we're talking about, but this is actual economic losses. This is the equivalent to the entire American corn crop failing along with all of our fruit crops, as well as wheat, tobacco, rice, sorghum -- whatever sorghum is -- losing sorghum. But identifying the actual losses to the economy is almost impossible to do unless we use copyright math. Now music revenues are down by about eight billion dollars a yearsince Napster first came on the scene. So that's a chunk of what we're looking for. But total movie revenues across theaters, home video and pay-per-view are up. And TV, satellite and cable revenues are way up. Other content markets like book publishing and radio are also up. So this small missing chunk here is puzzling..."
This nice video just went up on my Youtube channel: my entire keynote speech (67 minutes) from the Future with High Speed Broadband Conference in Auckland, New Zealand on February 23, 2012. Topics: Transformational Technologies and Creating new demand for ICT services - The Future of Broadband and ICT -, in detail: the coming telemedia convergence, the future of content in a hyper-connected society, social networks are cable TV without the cable, why open standards are crucial, why and how data is the new oil, how Control is being replaced by engagement and involvement, why sustainability becomes even more important, the shift from egosystems versus ecosystems, the new drivers of Innovation. The slides are embedded below, as well.
When observing the explosive growth of the mobile Internet, the ubiquitous availability of ever more powerful digital devices as well as the global boom in social networking, it becomes patently clear that there is a common economic force behind these trends, and that force is data.
In this hyper-networked society, everyone seems to want to know what we think, all the time, what we like, where we are and who we are connected to. Data (and metadata, i.e. data about data) is quickly becoming a primary force in our digital society, and since successful advertising is forever based on having good data on who is on the other end, the consumer is becoming more powerful than ever before – if he/she opts out of providing data it’s game-over. Never before did consumers wield this much power over marketers; never before could we trade our data for free goods and services in this way (eg Gmail, Skype, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook). The quest for data has made us powerful but it has made us dependent on its benefits as well. The Faustian bargain is in full swing.
Some pundits even argue that the only reason advertising in its ‘traditional’ form (a global business worth approx. $550 billion per year) ever existed was simply because we were not yet truly connected, and had no real way to ignore it. Interruption was the game, and the loudest yelling was the best way to sell. Now, with digital technologies in the hand of billions of consumers, we are indeed ignoring what we have no use for, and from our media we expect a lot more than meaningless noise and interruptions. If we provide our cherished data we will expect perfect matches, i.e. a sprinkler system of truly good stuff not a fire-hose of noise.
Because we can now wield data as our currency, we will no longer tolerate interruptions, meaningless pitches, disruptive pop-ups or junk email. Very soon we will be open only for truly personalized offers, real meaning, solid relevance, timeliness, word-of-mouth, and yes, real transparency and truthfulness. It’s all about merit and values that are geared 100% towards us, not to everybody else, or someone else. Our data has become our weapon, and we will barter hard with it. Trillions of dollars of marketing, advertising and public relations budgets are at stake.
Clearly, going forward, if brands and their marketers, the media, and the ads and messages we see do not provide real value we will quickly lock them out of our lives. Useful, data-rich and properly permitted advertising is indeed becoming content itself, and the-people-formerly-known-as-consumers are getting better and better at creating meta-content as well. The power has shifted from the middle to the edges ie to the users, and to the creators (and this is, by the ay, why we have so much upheaval in the content business).
Of course, the key question for marketers still is the same but has just become much more Darwinian: how can you cut the noise, how can you be relevant, be truly wanted (and possibly even loved, like Apple), make a better match, and benefit from meaningful connections? How can you turn the intent of selling into content, into engagement, into mutual appreciation? Is that even possible in the age of digital empowerment? Yelling is dead, and engagement needs permission - a tough but extremely rewarding challenge.
This is where we must consider the enormous value of data, and what it will mean to this new playing field.
Data is now generated at an exponential rate, every day, by billions of users forwarding a link, rating a site, commenting on a blog, tweeting, sharing bookmarks, allowing cookies on their devices, sharing their location, logging into websites, liking something on Facebook. Everywhere we go, everything we do, every move we make around the Net (and soon, elsewhere, as well) creates click-trails, leaves digital breadcrumbs, produces data exhaust, and creates what I like to call meta-content, ie content around content.
In our immediate future are faster mobile Internet access at a much lower cost and much cheaper, yet more powerful and smart, mobile devices, connected devices that are not phones or computers but things, objects and products; computing shifting from tethered computers and mouse clicking to tablets, touch-screens and finger-sweeping; and from downloading to cloud-tapping, which without a doubt will generate seriously more data than ever before, and at an increasing faster rate.
The mind boggles (or, as some would say, it recoils) over the possibilities as well as the challenges. data is the new oil and just like we fought over oil we will fight over data – however these fights will be visible to everyone, and will be fought in public.
Whoever gets to sift through this data, slice and dice it, move it around, make it useful, define its legal and fair use, and somehow make sense of it all, is probably going to be more powerful than Big Oil has ever been. Google, Facebook and yes, Twitter, come to mind immediately.
Something that we must certainly come to grips with is that privacy will almost certainly become something that we must act on to get back, rather than something we attain or retain by mere default. In a way, as Jeff Jarvis likes to put it 'Publicy' is now the default, and privacy is merely an option (and an action item!). Scary thought or huge opportunity? Either way, those powerful new tools of sharing and self-publishing will require that we learn to realize, accept and handle new responsibilities, as well – now that all of us can easily and constantly connect, we also need to learn new limits, new do's and don'ts – and the purveyors of this new power need to help us rather than merely seduce us.
The data that all of us are increasingly generating and constantly spreading as most of us are switching to an always-on mode, will be at the core of all future success in marketing, branding and advertising – and for that alone it's roughly worth $1 trillion already (counting advertising spend, marketing and communication budgets, data- mining etc).
If the future TV does not know who we are, where we are, what we have watched, for how long, who we have shared shows with, what we have commented on, how we rate things, then the marketers' job will become a lot harder, if not impossible. Matches can't be made, relationships can't be forced, brands can't be followed, connections are interrupted.
Getting too little or bad data – or not understanding it – will literally mean running out of gas in the middle of the desert. Therefore, the mission is to keep it all fuelled up. And just like oil, there will be a myriad of issues (hopefully, not wars) that will arise with the responsible and fair practices of drilling, pumping, shipping, refining and dispensing of data. But without a doubt these issues will be solved in due course because this Data-Oil is very potent and because the responsible use of it will light up so many households that a sufficient incentive for problem-solving exists. Telecom companies and mobile operators will want in on this game, as well – afterall, it's their networks that make this all work (for now).
My prediction is that we will see a huge influx of companies dealing with the various aspects of data drilling, shipping, refining and remixing, and that the next Exxon or Mobil may well be a data-slicing company. Hopefully, they will be more ecology minded and sustainable, though. Agencies, marketers and brands need to embrace the challenges and stake out their roles in this new Data-Oil ecosystem.
Some good points are made in this piece below. If the choice is to follow the law as it is ie. the re-Internet law, or do something that is absolutely worth doing, and a benefit to society at large, then where will that leave most people in a digital society? Be 'criminal' or be blind or...deaf? This can't possibly be the intention of a meaningful copyright law.
That’s great, apart from one slight problem: under today’s copyright laws, all these wonderful backups that will probably ensure the programs’ survival while civilization itself is still around, are illegal. The choice is stark: follow copyright law, and watch decades of computer culture literally fade away on their unreadable floppies, or save them for posterity - and break the law. Nor is this is a problem that only concerns antediluvian forms of computing. Our cool, smartphone- and tablet-based approach is no better: take a look at the iTunes App Store, a 500,000 app repository of digital culture. It’s controlled by a single company, and when it closes some day (or it stops supporting older apps, like Apple already did with the classic iPod), legal access to those apps will vanish. Purchased apps locked on iDevices will meet their doom when those gadgets stop working, as they are prone to do. Even before then, older apps will fade away as developers decline to pay the $100 a year required to keep their wares listed in the store. This is a deep and fundamental problem with not just computing culture, but all artistic expression that is locked down with DRM. The only way that its glories will be preserved for future generations is if considerate “pirates” make illegal back-up copies, stripped of copy protection. For DRM is a guarantee of oblivion: the term of copyright is so disproportionately long, few will care about breaking ancient DRM to make backups of long-forgotten digital creations when it eventually becomes legally permissible to do so.
A few days ago, I did a fairly lengthy and deep skype interview with Toronto-based Marie Germain from Branding 2.0 (see her Twitter channel here), touching on many issues including the future of commerce, selling, marketing and branding, so-called social media (I much prefer the term Social OS), current issues in technology and the Internet (such as SOPA - the deeply disturbing but nevertheless impending U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act), and media / content trends.
There are some quite juicy snippets in this interview, such as:
"In an truly digital society we probably don't need marketing as we know it"
"We are moving from a society, and an economy, based on EGOsystems to a society that is based on ECOsystems (i.e. INTERDEPENDENCE)"
"The old days of commerce were based on handcuffing consumers, now it's all about attraction, engagement and conversations (being a magnet rather than using handcuffs)"
This video uses an interesting format in that it is based on an audio track that was recorded on the phone, and superimposes some related images over it. Interesting. If you just want the audio track, here it is:
From the TribeRadio Youtube post: "World-renown futurist, Gerd Leonhard, in this interview speaks of the very serious challenges businesses and brands face; he offers solutions. On a more sombre note he exposes the ploys of controllers on internet freedom, SOPA to be clear. The Wall Street Journal acknowledges Gerd as one of the leading media futurists in the world. Powerful! Incisive! Gerd is simply delicious to the ears. Keynote Speaker, Founder of The Futures Agency, Advisor to top corporations and governments, author of five books, "The Future of Music", "Music 2.0", "The End of Control", "Friction is Fiction" and "The Future of Content". Gerd's background is in music; however, today he is a top game-changer, inspiring entrepreneurship and guiding us into a prodigious digital world. To reach the Host of Tribe Radio, Marie Germain: at her blog, http://Branding20.wordpress.com or her biz site, http://MarieGermain.com..."
Be sure to check out the other audio / video interviews on here channel as well, including Jeffrey Hayzlett ('Running the Gauntlet' book, former CMO of Kodak).
"I am a longtime commentator on how the digital, mobile and social-media revolution has left Publishers reeling and in a state of total change or even disruption. This is a call to action to transform your business to embrace and conquer the digital age. Failure to do so will mean inevitable friction, market confusion and possibly a dysfunctional content ecosystem, when on the other hand you could stand to profit from long term revenue generating opportunities.
It is often said that where attention flows money follows (*Kevin Kelly kk.org), but the question is how, where and when to convert them. Today, digital natives are viewers, users, followers, friends, co-creators, co-producers or crowd-sourced collaborators, all-in-one. Going forward, data is becoming the new oil, and understanding, analysing, predicting and staying ahead of your ‘connected consumers’ is quickly becoming a MUST for your business in 2012 and beyond!
So far, technological content protection measures have not been successful. Instead, future ‘protection’ will need to come from the business models and from social cohesion. Delivering tangible value and inventing new free, freemium, feels-like-free models will be crucially important. Just look at Skype, Spotify, Amazon and the undisputed master of ‘free’ – Google. You need to asses the role ‘free’ will play in your business. How will you monetize your content and which new and innovative revenue generating concepts will transform the commercial prospects of your business? Yes, methods of monetizing content are fragmented, but also much more powerful, immediate and liquid than ever. This industry, this transitional period and the World e-Reading Congress 2012 are all key opportunities to harness your digital footprint and develop strategies that will pay dividends in solid revenue. I look forward to meeting you all at the World e-Reading Congress next May.” Gerd Leonhard, CEO, The Futures Agency – Opening Keynote Speaker 2012.
Of course I would be very happy if you would consider buying the book for yourself (only $3.90, Kindle-only) but beyond that it would be really great if you could help me spread the word via rating and / or 'liking' the book on the Amazon.com page, tweeting about it or just forwarding this mail to some friends that may be interested.
This review is from: The Future of Content (Kindle Edition)
"I challenge you to expand your brain and read this book. What Gerd Leonhard is always doing is informing the global brain (or the collective brain) in ways that help us all get where we're trying to go. He builds the buildings in front of us.
This collection points toward several compelling answers for content creators. As a writer who is already swimming in the changing currents of "content," I found it intensely informative. Leonhard shores up my courage to continue embracing a digital world without DRM, and ebook prices "for the masses." He makes the all-important concept of curation crystal clear. If you are providing any kind of content in print or on the web, it's relevant. If you want to stay on the front edge of content creation and publishing, it's basic. I'm making this book mandatory reading for my epublishing circles"
ABOUT "THE FUTURE OF CONTENT" Futurist Gerd Leonhard has been writing about the future of content i.e. music, film, TV, books, newspapers, games etc, since 1998. He has published 4 books on this topic, 2 of them on music (The Future of Music, with David Kusek, and Music 2.0). For the past 10 years Leonhard has been deeply involved with many clients in various sectors of the content industry, in something like 17 countries, and it’s been a great experience, he says. “I have learned a lot, I have listened a lot, I have talked even more (most likely:) and I think I have grown to really understand the issues that face the content industries - and the creators, themselves - in the switch from physical to digital media.”
This Kindle book is a highly curated collection of the most important essays and blog posts Leonhard has written on this topic, and even though some of it was written as far back as 2007 - “I believe it still holds water years later. I have tried to only include the pieces that have real teeth. Please note that the original date of each piece is shown here in order to allow for contextual orientation.” Leonhard’s intent to publish this via the amazing Amazon Kindle platform, exclusively, and at a very low price, is to make these ideas and concepts as widely available as possible while still trying to be an example of what digital, paperless distribution can look like, going forward.
The panel discussion afterwards can be viewed here, as well (all in Spanish). Note: even though I am actually presenting in English the overdup is Spanish and very much in the foreground. I will try and get an English version, as well - stay tuned.
El suizo GerlLeonhard, líder futurólogo experto en modelos de comercio electrónico, medios de comunicación e innovación fue el encargado del cierre de la Primera Cumbre Nacional de Contenidos Digitales, Colombia 3.0, realizada por el Ministerio TIC entre el 5 y el 8 de octubre. Después de cuatro días de análisis en los que se reunieron emprendedores, inversionistas, animadores, desarrolladores de aplicación y representantes de la industria de los contenidos digitales del mundo terminó Colombia 3.0. En la cumbre participaron 30 conferencistas nacionales y 50 internacionales, quienes se reunieron en 14 eventos simultáneos.Las distintas actividades y conferencias fueron seguidas en línea en 23 ciudades del país y 15 países. De igual manera se tuvo la participación de Siggraph, una asociación mundial de animación gráfica y técnicas interactivas, espacio en que 19 expertos en animación compartieron sus experiencias exitosas en las firmas más importantes del mundo de esta industria. Bogotá 7 de octubre de 2011.En su intervención GerlLeonhard, realizó un detallado análisis de los cambios que han sufrido los medios tradicionales al migrar a los medios sociales como Facebook, Twitter y otras redes sociales. Además,Leonhard anotó que en la actualidad se vive una cultura de la banda ancha y son los “prosumidores”, consumidores activos, los que producen contenidos digitales.
Mencionó el experto suizo que el mundo digital está regido por la relevancia y no solamente por la distribución, según Leonhard, los contenidos digitales deben ser depurados antes de ser distribuidos a los distintos públicos y subrayó que la nueva economía digital que se está viviendo en la actualidad debe iniciarse desde Internet y especialmente desde los dispositivos móviles. Anotó también Leonhard, que el usuario es quien genera los contenidos digitales en la actualidad através de distintos dispositivos móviles. En su intervención, señaló además que la tendencia actual se desarrolla a través de lo móvil, lo social y lo local. Ademásindicó, en este sentido,que para el 2015se esperaque 7.1 trillones de dispositivos móviles sean usados en el mundo.
We certainly live in challenging and exciting times. Disruption is a constant companion; permanent beta the default. Tablets, now-ness, social commerce, alternative currencies, multi-platform story-telling, augmented reality - every week something new may end up remixing our business plans.
Globally, telecoms and mobile operators are moving up the food-chain into media and advertising (someone coined this development 'TeleMedia':)), and social networks are quickly becoming the next global broadcasters – but without owning the cables or the satellites.
Soon, most of the world's Internet traffic will be generated by a huge variety of mobile devices instead of computers, and 'the other 3 billion' users aka consumers in the BRIC countries are coming online at a very fast pace. Remember: 10% more broadband and / or wireless equates to 1% growth in GDP – but also a 1000% percent increase in disruption:)
Give it another 3-5 years and it's very likely that almost 5 billion people will be connected with fast and very cheap (if not free) mobile devices - and they will not 'consume' media and so-called content in the same way that we did when renting a movie still meant getting a piece of plastic that embodied it, or becoming a faithful and constant visitor to the quite beautiful but nevertheless super-walled iTunes garden.
Most importantly, these digital natives, those pesky millennials, the inadvertent micro-pirates of our cherished digital files, are people of the screen, not people of the book, as Kevin Kelly right summa-rises. To them, the world looks and feels different and many pre-screen, pre-networked rules seem hopelessly antiquated - they won't buy if we don't change how we sell.
To add to Kevin's meme, I think 'people of the screen' are people that increasingly prefer access (i.e. not copies); they are people who want total and unfettered control over when and how they use their media and who they share it with, and they are people who often co-create and participate, as well.
We must embrace the reality that we are at the beginning of a global shift from copy to access: many of us will be happy with just having access to content, anytime, anywhere, on the best screen available, rather than wanting to 'own' (i.e. download) it. If 'the cloud' proves that it works we will make the switch - just like we switched from printed maps to navigation devices. Sure, it may take longer if you don't live in a major urban centre, but we are going from broadcast to broadband - or better, plus- broadband, from wired to / plus mobile, from 'the network' to / plus 'the networked' - and our world is no longer linear, it's not yes or no, it's… an ‘it depends’ world. Fragmentation, aggregation, curation - but not mere distribution.
This shift is impacting all media, starting with music (see Spotify, Simfy, Rdio etc), movies and TV shows (see Netflix, Amazon, Youview etc), to books, newspapers, magazines, games and software. This 'from ownership to access' trend is even visible in the physical domain of ‘stuff’ such as in the rise of car-sharing, home-swapping and 3D printing: if we can use it why do we need a copy of it, for ourselves? I believe that the switch from 'owning to accessing' will be an extremely lucrative turn of events for creators and their various middlemen and industries.
Once we have overcome the need to package media in expensive physical formats we will see tremendous growth here. In a digital world, our costs will be much lower, marketing will be done via those that love what we do and are yearning to tell others, and many new revenues will be generated via many new combinations of I Pay, You Pay, They Pay (to quote Shelly Palmer). We just need to allow it.
Be ready: value is shifting from distribution to attention, and while this is happening we are also swiftly moving into a complete reboot of advertising, i.e. to with-vertising not @vertising, to engagement rather than interruption, to conversation rather than yelling. I predict that between 30 - 40 % of the entire global advertising, marketing, PR and promotion budget (currently approximately $1 trillion) will merge to digital, mobile and interactive means of reaching consumers: advertising and marketing (and selling!) are being reinvented along with media. Exciting times.
In a totally networked and always-on society, skills, creativity, curation, filtering and expert-ship will be more important than ever before - and if we keep our eyes on what the 'people formerly known as consumers' really want rather than follow our own assumptions and outmoded orthodoxies, the media business has a great future.