Fellow mobilist and DotOpen Founder Rudy de Waele has drummed up some great predictions, bottom-lines and other assorted wisdoms from 20+ really great people (including myself...for some odd reason; in any case I am really delighted to be asked to contribute - thanks Rudy!), asking us to provide input on out top 5 mobile trends for the next decade.
This effort produced a very nice slideshow that really packs a punch, see below. It includes some serious nuggets of wisdom from people such as Howard Rheingold, Douglas Rushkoff, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Gerd Leonhard,
Timo Arnall, Carlo Longino, Katrin Verclas, Atau Tanaka, Alan Moore,
Marek Pawloski, Ajit Jaokar, Nicolas Nova, Inma Martinez, Tony Fish,
Jonathan MacDonald, Willem Boijens, Carlos Domingo, Russ McGuire, Raimo
van der Klein, Michael Breidenbruecker, Robert Rice, Steve O’Hear, Ted
Morgan, Martin Duval, Andreas Constantinou, Fabien Girardin, Matthäus
Krzykowski, Rich Wong, Andy Abramson, Ilja Laurs, David Wood, Stefan
Constantinescu, Henri Moissinac, Kevin C. Tofel, Enrique C. Ortiz,
Felix Petersen, Tom Hume...
Here is my stuff, excerpted (from slide #9)
1. Mobile advertising will surpass the decidedly outmoded Web1.0 & computer-centric advertising - and ads will become content, almost entirely. Advertisers will, within 2-5 years, massively convert to mobile, location-aware, targeted, opt-ed-in, social and user-distributed 'ads'; from 1% of their their budgets to at least 1/3 of their total advertising budget. Advertising becomes 'ContVertising' - and Google's revenues will be 10x of what they are today, in 5 years, driven by mobile, and by video.
2. Tablet devices will become the way many of us will 'read' magazines, books, newspapers and even 'attend' live concerts, conferences and events. The much-speculated Apple iPad will kick this off but every major device maker will copy their new tablet within 18 months. In addition, tablets will kick off the era of mobile augmented reality. This will be a huge boon to the content industries, worldwide - but only if they can drop their mad content protection schemes, and slash the prices in return for a much larger user base.
3. Many makers of simple smart phones - probably starting with Nokia- will make their devices available for free - but will take a small cut (similar to the current credit-cards) from all transactions that are done through the devices, e.g. banking, small purchases, on-demand content etc. Mobile phones become wallets, banks and ATMs.
4. Quite a few mobile phones will not run on any particular networks, i.e. without [I mean unlocked] SIM cards. The likes of Google (Nexus), and maybe Skype, LG or Amazon will offer mobile phones that [may eventually] will work only on Wifi / WiMax, LTE or mashed-access networks, and will offer more or less free calls. This will finally wake up the mobile network operators, and force them to really move up the food-chain - into content and the provision of 'experiences'
5. Content will be bundled into mobile service contracts, starting with music, i.e. once your mobile phone / computer is online, much of the use of the content (downloaded or streamed) will be included. Bundles and flat-rates - many of them Advertising 2.0-supported - will become the primary way of consuming, and interacting with content. First music, then books, new and magazines, then film & TV.
"How can music be like water? Providers will be offering music as a small portion
of payments you already make. It may be your hosting provider fee, your
e-mail account, or even part of your telephone subscription, but you
will have access to an unlimited quantity of music without even
"There should be a provision for me to pay along
with the DSL or the mobile phone subscription. [...] In most contexts,
this would be paid for by advertising so [music] would be subsidized
[...] like we have now for BlackBerry."
Allowing people to have an "unfettered, unrestricted and unlimited"
access to music on the web, may also lead music piracy slow down.
Copying and sharing music illegally no longer makes sense when you
listen to as much music as you like, without paying for any single song. Basically it is a model that says that music should
be included in the network access, just like music is now included in
radio. We do not pay for music when we listen to radio and, of course,
television. Similar to that, music should be included when I go on the web.
There should be a provision for me to pay along with the DSL or the
mobile phone subscription. I would say in most cases, in most contexts,
this would be paid for by advertising, so it would be subsidized or by
bundled subscriptions, like we have now for BlackBerry. We can see the first couple of models about online music evolving already in:
It is already happening with Google in China:Google is paying for the music, and all Chinese that use the Google search engine get free music downloads and streams for free.
These models make a lot of sense, because the future of music, in my
view, is basically an unfettered, unlimited, unrestricted access on a
revenue-sharing basis, so that we go away from the climate of having a
certain file format or a certain price or a certain way of delivery and
we can open up the ecosystem. I think that is true, in general for all future of
media: we are moving to an open platform, a connective platform, a
revenue-sharing platform. Basically an ecosystem of how the money flows
rather than monopolies of how the money flows, which is what we had so
Hugh MacLeod is one of my favorite cartoonists that covers geeky web and technology stuff, over at Gapingvoid.com. Below is a quote from his blog that makes a ton of sense to me, so I wanted to share it with you.
He says that as a working artist, he divides his day into two parts: “Bleed and Feed”.
"The Bleed Part. Taking care of business. Doing work for my clients. Working on new Cube Grenade ideas etc. Trying to find new clients etc. Trying to get my bills paid etc etc.
The Feed Part. I go and make drawings for myself. Completely non-commercial. Often no more than doodling in my sketchbook. Just me and a pen, trying to feed my well. Often accompanied by a nice glass of red.
I try to do both every day. “Bleed” gets my morning and afternoons. “Feed” happens mostly after dinner, before bedtime.
Don Tapscott (whose voice eerily reminds me of Marshall McLuhan) is one of my favorite writers and thinkers. As part of the really cool 'Penny for your Thoughts'(PFYT) series, the FreedomLab people have just published a great video with Don's comments on what's really happening in this economic crisis - the headline is "Re-Industrialize the Planet". A quick summary:
The web is creating a global infrastructure for collaboration (which leads to disruption and confusion)
As a result, all of our institutions have come to the end of their life-cycle
The current recession is a crucial punctuation point in human history - the point where we said that we need to reset, the point where the industrial economy has finally run out of gas
This paradigm shift is creating a crisis of leadership
The Digital Natives are inheriting this situation - and they think very differently
Don Tapscott - the Wikinomics guy - is just a great speaker, with seemingly endless knowledge, and one of the people that constantly inspire me in my own work (check out the new Futerati.com for all the others...) This video has so many great pieces of wisdom in it that you'll just need to watch the entire 62 minutes! Thanks to Sander Duivestein at VINT / SOGETI for sending this my way. From the Vimeo site:
"The global economic crisis is a wakeup call to the world: we need to rethink and rebuild many of the organizations and institutions that have served us well for decades, but now have come to the end of their life cycle. The financial services industry, for example, does not just need fresh infusion of capital or some new regulations; it needs a whole new operating model — one based on transparency, sharing of intellectual property and global governance.
As the crisis has spread to other sectors in the economy and even other sectors of society, it is exposing structural weaknesses and modes of operation that no longer nurture social and economic growth. The recent collapse of many newspapers is just one storm-warning of more to come: conventional wisdom isn’t going to cut it for success in this century. We need to reinvent our institutions..."
One of the most important realizations that has recently transpired via my Twitter pipeline is how much I am gaining from the ever increasing Sharism i.e. by what others are sharing with me. I am indeed very, very lucky to be connected to so many brilliant and like-minded people that are publishing their thoughts freely and openly, using platforms such as Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, Slideshare and of course, their blogs. All of you deserve a big THANK YOU.
So I figured it's time to give some more explicit credit to all those great people that have influenced me, and I maybe a good way to do that is to list them on a special, Twitter-API-based site such as Futerati; and maybe send some attention their way, in return. Futerati went online a few days ago, and much like Electric Artists' cool TrackingTwitter site (but a lot more personal) Futerati is presenting 6 constantly updated categories (Futurists, Thought Leaders Authors, Activists, StartUps and Others) with people that I follow, their latest tweets, the current number of followers, and with some brief comments on why I like them. With each featured twitter user, you can click straight through to their tweets or their profiles and easily connect with them, as well.
Please note that Futerati is a constant work in progress and therefore not complete at this time; I will be adding a lot more people as I dig through my 7400 network connections, during the next 4-6 weeks. So, if I should have listed you but have not done so yet please post something on Twitter (use @gleonhard) or use the hashtag #futerati or DM me via Twitter, or email, or comment on this blog. If we haven't 'met' yet but if you still want to be listed please ping me with your details so that I can take a look at you; in any case please note that every single connection I list on Futerati is personally selected by me. Enjoy - and RT!
Sander Duivestein, senior analyst at Sogeti's VINT, and one of the co-writers of this powerful ebook that provides a huge amount of both information and inspiration for anyone pondering the Future of Media, just send me the link to where his great book can be downloaded as a free PDF. Go get it before they run out of server juice;)
The full title is: Me the Media: Rise of the Conversation Society - Past, Present and Future of the Third Media Revolution
The authors are Jaap Bloem, Menno van Doorn, Sander Duivestein. There are some pretty cool illustrations in the book as well (see below).
I will be chewing my way through this during the next few weeks - hey, I may even take advantage of this opportunity and start using my new Sony Reader, i.e. without printing all 292 pages.
The main topic of the book (as far as I have read it, at the time of this blog post) is how drastically things have changed because WE 'the people formerly known as consumers' are becoming more empowered by the minute, i.e. it's increasingly more about MEMedia than about THEIRMedia; about conversation and engagement not (you guessed it) about Control. The video below provides a nice intro as well, more vids are
here. This is a must-read, imho! Be sure to pass on the news of the release.
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.
Image via Wikipedia
Jeff Jarvis is a leading thinker as far as the future of media is concerned; I have been reading his blog and his books for a few years already, and I can guarantee you: he's inspiration pure! So, I just ordered his new book "What would Google do" and really look forward to reading it - the topic is a perfect theme for anyone looking at future trends, obviously. Here is a short video with Jeff where he talks about the lessons we can learn from Google ("make mistakes and make them well")- check it out.
AlwaysOn's Jonathan Handel has published a nice column on what is happening with the content industries, and what the future holds for Hollywood and the 'big content' companies. Here are some of the best snippets and, as usual, some comments (links and images
are mine, too)
First, Jonathan defines the issue: "This battle turns on whether it’s true that “content is king,” as many
people believe, or whether content is becoming a mere commoner while
the technologies that distribute it become ever more valuable"
I have written about this juicy topic several times, and even made a few videos on it: the question is somewhat academic - I think that in the future, everyone gets to be king at different times. Sometimes it's Context (and filtering) that matters the most, sometimes it's metacontent (i.e. tags, ratings, bookmarks etc), sometimes remixes, sometimes the packaging, sometimes the platform. What's more, content does not need to be King any longer in order to make money - lots of new revenue streams around content (rather than solely off or within content) are in the oven - we just need to tune them up a bit more. And that's the tough part: we will need to let go off the old vine before the new vine has proven trustworthy; this trend is faster than our revenue modeling.
Jonathan writes: "There’s no doubt that traditional content is in trouble. Theatrical box
office and admissions ...have generally been flat for a number of years. The DVD
business is declining... The
network television business is harder than ever, and also in trouble
are other traditional content industries, such as those centered on
music, newspapers ...books, and magazines. People still consume media the old-fashioned way, but fewer and fewer do so every day, especially younger people" A key phrase: fewer and fewer do so every day. Chew on that. The question is not IF but WHEN this sea change will flood your beach.
This defines it very well: the hunger for content is bigger than ever but the way that the digital natives consume it is totally different. And with a change of 'how' comes the shift of payment; i.e. with time-shifting, place-shifting and device shifting comes a much more troubling control & money shifting. While working on my next book I have looked at this trend in great detail, and it seems that if we compare traditional revenue models (such as 'selling copies') with the emerging new models (such as 'selling access' or advertising-as-we-know-it) we may be looking at a revenue reduction of 5:1, i.e. what made a dollar then makes 20 cents now. The NYT is not going to make as much money with their online ads as they made with their print ads, and they certainly won't sell RSS feeds for $1.50 per day. This is the challenge: new revenue models (as Kevin Kelly calls it, the New Generatives) must be developed than can lead to entirely different sources of remuneration and monetization, many of which we don't even know of, yet, and worse, which will become only apparent after the dismantling of the current revenue model. I sometimes call this the YouTube curse: we know we need it, we know we want it, we know it will work, we know it can make $$ but we (they) don't have the recipe yet!
Jonathan then talks about why traditional content is in trouble: "One [reason] is supply and demand. Demand for entertainment is relatively static, because leisure time is constant, whereas supply (online content) has grown enormously. Some of this is professional content, but even more is user-generated content (UGC). Other factors are the loss of physical form... the low-friction nature of the Internet ...and ad-supported new media business models....Market forces are also key: Computers, Web services, and consumer electronic devices are more valuable when more content is available and, in turn, these products make content more usable by providing new distribution channels. That encourages the growth of UGC and pirated content, reducing the market share of paid professional content, and, not incidentally, increasing the sales of new technological devices and services"
Brilliant explanation, and ending with a fitting if somewhat worrying quote: "As NBC Universal’s Jeff Zucker lamented, the content industries are
being forced to “trad[e] today’s analog dollars for digital pennies.”
I had to chuckle while reading the next few sentences: "In contrast to the stagnation and decline of the Los
Angeles content industries, the technology business is marked by
innovation....The pace of change in Silicon Valley is breakneck; in Los
Angeles not so much. Hollywood now finds itself yoked to an industry
that evolves at a much faster
rate, and the result has been a struggle over revenue, distribution
channels, and control" - simply because it sounds so much like a quote / snippet from my many keynote speeches and presentations on the topic of control. This struggle over revenues and control is what we are seeing everywhere around us, right now, and it's going to get even more brutal.
Jonathan's final paragraphs conclude: "Whether Hollywood will thrive, rather than just survive, is a harder question... While experiments with new media may yet bring profit to old media companies, the question remains: Will Internet-based distribution (much of it ad- supported) and mobile ever generate as much gross and net revenue as traditional distribution? If so, how much of that revenue will be captured by Hollywood, and how much by the technology companies that own the new distribution platforms? No one knows, but there’s been little good news in these areas for Hollywood. If the studios continue to lose their grip on distribution...they’ll be left with content as their core business. That’s a problem because, fundamentally, the economics of content creation are inferior to those of distribution. The former is an industrial process, painstaking and manual. The latter, in the digital age, is post-industrial and automated. ...Like the British, whose monarchy is now a mere appendage to a parliamentary government, content may find its kingdom ever more circumscribed by technology" Gotta love that one!
Here is my take on this: the telecoms' future plans need to converge or at least intersect with those of the studios so that content and distribution can work hand-in-hand; albeit at the utter mercy of the people formerly known as consumers - since it will be them (us) that will dictate what they like to both the telecoms and the content producers; and they will be talking about it very loudly, on 3 Billion connected and socially-networked devices. I agree with Jonathan that this is the challenge of course: now that CONTROL is on it's way out, and mere copies lose their meaning as chief instruments of money-making, what will take its place, where will that other 80% of the 'disrupted value' come from... and who will get to feast on these new pies?