Social web strategist, speaker and blogger Stowe Boyd and
futurist, speaker & author Gerd Leonhard are delighted to present
this 60-minute, free webinar based on a white paper jointly developed by
Stowe Boyd and TheFuturesAgency entitled 'social TV and the second
You can read more about here (and
download it via the link or directly, here )
"The overlap of social media and TV represents a huge opportunity
for those that truly understand and internalize, embrace and partake in
these changes, and that welcome this dawning networked, interdependent
and many-to-many society"
Stowe and Gerd will briefly present some select slides and updates
on the topic of the future of television (10-15 minutes each), followed
by a Q&A session with the participants.
The emphasis of this event is on allowing plenty of time for
questions and discussion; both via chat as well as via audio (upon
individual invitation only).
THIS EVENT IS LIMITED TO 100 PARTICIPANTS. Please sign up early and
be sure to show up at least 30 minute prior to the starting time to
Stowe and Gerd are both members of The Futures Agency network and
often work together holding seminars and think-tank events for media and
technology companies, around the globe see
Find our more about Stowe Boyd
Find our more about Gerd Leonhard:
Mobile apps: http://road.ie/futurist
The Future of Business blog http://www.futureof.biz/
More links: http://about.me/mediafuturist
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
I just ran across this video of my 2010 talk at USI (Paris) and I think it's still quite relevant, so check it out, below. The topic of my talk and presentation is TeleMedia, one of my most popular memes and speaking topics - see the links below. From the USI event page:
"Fast and powerful mobile internet devices, social media, real-time search and location-based services are bringing major changes to how we communicate, connect, interact, share, consume, buy and sell, and learn. The disruption has only just started. Telecoms are poised to move up the food-chain, into content, services and experiences, while TV is quickly and totally converging with the web, and mobile devices will become the way most people will experience the Internet. Soon, data is the new oil, and 'the cloud' is the oil-well.
The traditional EGOsystems are becoming ECOsystems and the big Networks must now deal with 'The Networked'. Where is the future going, where are the biggest opportunities (and for whom, and where), and how can we start to adapt to the future, today? Futurist Gerd Leonhard will present the key trends and foresights as well as the most likely scenarios in technology, media / content, communications and advertising, for the next 3 years..." You download the PDF with my slides here, btw.
It seems like every single day I read about how Internet and mobile companies are struggling to obtain the rights for what they want to do, whether it's about music, videos, TV shows, films, articles, text and images.
Netflix seems to have been more successful at tackling this wicked problem of content licensing, at least to some degree, by - as cnet aptly puts it - 'building relationships in traditional means' (I guess this means playing nice with Hollywood? Read the article - those are good, old-fashioned golf-club paradigms I'd say)
Spotify is a fantastic music service, no doubt; very much along the lines of what Dave Kusek and me envisioned as 'music like water' in our 2005 book 'The Future of Music', and subsequently expanded on in my follow -up book, Music 2.0 (free PDF here). Spotify is not officially available in Switzerland but I have been successfully using it via a UK paypal account (after trying simfy.de and not getting anywhere with their really awkward and crash-prone iPhone app). Unfortunately, Spotify just can't seem to get the music labels and national rights organizations to bless their launch in many other territories, including the U.S. (read this Slashgear piece for more details ). All of this - you guessed it - because the record companies and the music publishers have not agreed on the licensing and deal terms for those countries, yet, and despite the fact that Spotify is already spending most of its VC money on paying for the music licenses. The fact is that there are no compulsory licenses available for on-demand streaming and flat-rate access services so unless these deals are negotiated nobody can touch it. Read about it here, or here (my Spotify-related blog posts), or via my July 2009 blog post on specifically why I think Spotify is unlikely to survive, or peruse the Zemanta-enabled links below for more enlightenment by some smart people
So here is the point I am trying to make: I don't think a purely free-market-driven and unregulated approach will work, in the future. Many large, incumbent media companies, publishers, record labels and other traditional intermediaries (i.e. the 'industry' as opposed to the actual creators) have every reason NOT to be flexible or even slightly forthcoming with their licensing terms and thereby support the deployment of new cloud-based, access-on-demand and flat-rated services. This is simply because their very existence may quickly and irreversibly change the entire playing-field, and may make it very hard for the incumbent rights-conglomerates to continue to effectively control distribution (and by extension, advertising prices) in the same way as before. These changes aren't for the better when you currently run the entire show, so why should you agree?
This is why Warner Music Group's Edgar Bronfman has said many times that he will not license any unlimited streaming-on-demand service, why Netflix - despite of (or because?) its vast growth - has been back and forth with the Hollywood studios on getting more content deals done, and why Hulu is losing steam because of the studios' concerns over future cable-TV revenue streams. Clearly, this is all about controlling and milking the market (i.e. the 'people formerly known as consumers') as long as possible. Yes, sure, just like the big telcos used to do before they had to let competition in. This is not about 'getting the artists / creators paid' or about fighting digital piracy - it's about maintaining a comfortable and lucrative monopoly position for the longest possible time. Which is OK, too - if it wasn't for the criminalizing effect it has on every single Internet user.
Most large, international media companies (disclosure: many of which are or have been my clients in some way or the other) and almost all major TV, film and music rightsholders are used to absolute control over the distribution of the works (and artists / producers) that they own or represent, and this simple fact used to result in getting much higher license fees - the other party had no choice but to take it or leave it; no license simply meant no (legal) business. This may sound somewhat reasonable in a mostly offline world (i.e. until just recently, when the mobile Internet started to take of), but on the Net, in a truly networked society, this kind of thinking plays out quite differently: refusal to license at a price that is affordable(and / or financially viable for a new, potentially huge but legally unprecedented player) simply encourages and produces piracy, because the desired content will become available anyway, legal or not, one way or the other. The reality is that there is no real control of distribution of digital content, any longer, and all models based on re-achieving that control will fail miserably. Witness the 100s of illegal movie sites that now stream pretty much any movie on-demand, or the many new IP-cloaking and re-routing services (commonly used to access locally restricted content services) that are currently flooding the market. Not licensing content to new players on actually survivable terms simply lets other, parasitic entities prosper by offering it without permission. Everyone loses.
My thesis is that - just like telecom deregulation - we urgently need new, open and public mechanisms that first significantly encourage and then possibly even enforce the licensing of copyrighted works for new services that require a new and more experimental approach, and that may end up serving the consumers much better than the traditional services. A 'use it or lose it' rule may be useful to that end; and as far as music is concerned I have been proposing a new, public digital music license for a long time.
In any case, I think that a system that continues to be based on deriving future benefits ONLY for the largest and most powerful rightsholders (again, by that I do not mean the actual creators, but the industries that represent them) is, in my view, simply unsustainable and socially indefensible in this dawning broadband-culture and in a connected, networked and interdependent society. We need better and more transparent EcoSystems and less EgoSystems; less empires and more Open Networks.
Let me have your feedback please!
Note: if there is some kind of problem with my comment box on this blog, please use Facebook or Twitter for comments, for now, or email me and I will post them.
This interesting video was created by the cool Amsterdam-based crew of FreedomLab and is part of the "Penny for your Thoughts" series which has a great selection of key people and influencers contributing their thoughts on many current issues. I am tickled to be part of this (this video will be added on their page soon - so you are indeed getting it on my blog first!)
This video juxtaposes some sound bytes from an interview with me with some cool graphics, ticker-text animations using my spoken words, and various illustrations. Topics: well, as you may have expected, this is mostly about media and the future of content: distribution is no longer the core business for media companies. Why open licensing platforms are so important. The move from selling copies to selling access - how will that be monetized? How will content be curated, recommended and then... monetized by the Creators?
Apart from my Youtube channel (click below to go there), you can find many more videos at my Blip.TV channel (includes downloads to iTunes for offline viewing). My entire Futuretalks DVD with my collaborator Glen Hiemstra can be downloaded here (yes... for free)
I just finished with my first-ever Music 2.0 - Webinar using Drop.io's new presentation service (see the previous post). I really enjoyed doing this, even though it did feel kind of strange to have some people on the conference call phone line while others are watching the stream on uStream while yet others did not have either. We also had several images missing on quite a few slides - still lots of room for improvement by the Drop.io team I would venture to say. In comparison, my Webex experience for the Content / Marketing webinar in Australia, yesterday, went a lot smoother (guess that's why Webex charges a few more $$;) .
Anyhow, we had about 50 very attentive people which is great - hope they liked it.
Now, as promised, here is the media from the event:
The PDF comes via slideshare, below - you can download it from there
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
Lorraine at Rostant Advertising in Trinidad send me the link to an interesting Web 2.0 tool called Kwout. They provide tools that allow you to take a snapshot of any piece on any webpage - mostly for quoting purposes I would think -, make a widget out of it, and re-use the quote, intact will all links etc, on your own page - pretty cool, even though the image quality could be better. Talk about Sharism!
Below is a snippet from one of my favorite essays called 'Better than Free' by Kevin Kelly, and from a blog post by me that is based on the same concepts... check it out.
When ads become so targeted, personalized, contextual, location-based, meaningful and relevant that I will want to see them (or at least not try to avoid them), then we are getting somewhere. I think that "Advertising IS Content" will be the key to web-native (and therefore mobile-native) advertising and marketing - all else will fall short of getting great results. I wrote about this in June 2008, here, and in yesterday's presentation at CMMA 2009 (the future of mobile marketing).
Some nice examples that are heading in this direction are the BMWZ4 Paint by Powerslide iphone application (a great example for branded apps), Jeep's 'have fun out there' campaign, and Apple's 'second opinion' commercial on the NYT website (thanks to Frank at MediaArts in LA, btw). What we really need is cutting-edge creative work that is based on a complete and real-time understanding of how people are starting to mix real-life experiences, the web, mobile and social media.
This is from the Picnic Conference blog, taken from a telephone interview with me, last week. Please note that I am firm believer that there is NO COOKBOOK for success in social media (whatever that means!), at least as far as I can tell. And there is no certainly not a definitive correlation between your mere numbers of followers or friends, and the quality or merit of your work. We are still very much in the very first, embryonic phase of social media marketing (and the related personal branding options), and it would be very premature to equal success in numbers with success in business or even any real degree of influence. I am experimenting with this just as much as everyone else... so, read this below, in that spirit!
Btw - the Picnic conference in Amsterdam (Sept 23-25, 2009) will be well worth attending (and not just because I'll be speaking ;). Last year's event was thoroughly entertaining as well as inspirational, if sometimes a bit overwhelming due to the sheer number of topics and attendees. Check out my 2008 Picnic presentation on The New Music Ecosystem, here.
"Last Friday, the team
at PICNIC had the opportunity to pick Gerd Leonhard’s brain about
social media marketing and what has made him successful. Gerd is a
well-known media futurist and a regular PICNIC participant. He travels
the world speaking about the future of media, content, technology,
communication, business and entertainment.
In less than six months Gerd accumulated over 5000 followers on
Twitter and his website traffic [and RSS feed users] increased by 300% (60% of which comes
from Twitter). As a result he decided to completely stop communicating
with his 17,000-strong database by email and his business has continued
to thrive. It was a pleasure to chat with Gerd on the subject of social
media marketing and we are excited to share some of his top tips with
Pull, don’t push: Get people’s attention by
providing value and earn their love by engaging with them. This will
naturally lead to increased website traffic and increased sales.
Choose a plausible position and objectives you want to achieve
Find out where your target audience is, i.e. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube…
Listen to others and decide carefully who you want to follow and get feedback from
Track replies and keywords to help you actively participate in the conversation
Set up multiple accounts if necessary (by topic, employee, etc)
Jump in: don’t be afraid to start, there is no right or wrong way to use social media for marketing
Provide value: link to content on your website or blog like videos,
slideshows, tips, interviews; provide useful resources from other
sites; don’t be afraid to re-package existing content by putting a new
spin on the story.
Avoid sales pitches: but do offer special offers or rewards to members of your network
Participate: develop conversations with members of your network; ask for feedback or advice
Be transparent: people will feel more connected with your brand when they know what is going on behind the scenes
Establish yourself as a thought leader or authority: dialogue with the right people
Social media marketing is not a replacement for other marketing
tactics. Success with social media tools requires time and effort, not
money. Success has to be defined by the individual or company.
The number of followers or members is important, but not the only
measurement of success. You can also track traffic to your website
generated by social media sites, number of RSS subscribers, and
increase in comments or leads.
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
This video provides a nice summary of some of the key computing and communication developments that we can expect in the near future. Whether MSFT will be a big part of that... who knows, but they did a great job with these videos; be sure to check MSFT Officelab's other cool stuff, here, as well - quite impressive, I think.
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)