Categories: media

The Media-Created Found-Foot Frenzie

From the Globe and Mail:

“Gail Anderson, a forensic entomologist from Simon Fraser University, said there has never been any credible indication that the feet could be linked to foul play and are more likely been found because media reports have made people more vigilant about the possibility of finding feet.”

[more…]

Speaking of quality newspaper editing, this is, I think, the funniest line in the history of cinema, from Mamet’s State and Main (2000):

Who designed these costumes? It looks like Edith Head puked, and that puke designed these costumes.


Categories: audio, books, media

arcade fire + premium digital + all sorts of other things that we might add in the title

The Montreal/Texas band Arcade Fire has just released a new album, Suburbs. Arcade Fire is about as big as indie bands get, and their plan is to stay indie – as far as I know.
You can buy the new album here:
http://www.arcadefire.com/

And some interesting notes about how you can buy:
* Premium digital ($7.99)
* CD + Premium digital ($12.99)
* Vinyl + premium digital ($24.99)
All orders come with non-premium digital (ie in lossy m4a format) … with “visuals for each song, lyrics & contextual hyperlinks.”

Finally, you get one of 8 covers … randomly assigned.

In short:
– low quality digital is the baseline
– and it’s implied that if you want that for free you can find it
– everything else is a bundle of some sort: digital + something
– high quality digital, and physical copies are premium products
– a kind of customization: only 1 in 8 purchasers will have the same cover as you.

The digital is almost a give-away, everything else you are paying because you care enough to have something more substantial.

I suspect the big problem in the book business is that most books aren’t worth caring about enough to want a memento. So the real problem in publishing is not so much the shake-up of digital, but rather that consumers (and publishers) just don’t care that much about the majority of books that are published and bought.


Categories: buisness, media, myprojects

Ten Thoughts about Social Media Marketing

I gave a workshop at the annual YES Montreal Entrepreneurship Conference about social media & marketing. Here it is:

Here are my ten thoughts:

1.
Marketing isn’t convincing people to buy your stuff.
Marketing is making sure that the people who want your stuff will find it.

2.
Social media is not a tool.
It’s a strategy.

3.
If you are using social media for business or marketing you have to know:
a. who you want to connect with
b. why you want to connect with them …
…then you have to figure out what you can do to give them value.

4.
Don’t blog to be known.
Blog to be knowable.

5.
Figure out who the influencers are.
And who they are influenced by.
Interact with them.

6.
Don’t be a social media douchebag.

7.
Blogging effectively requires discipline.

8.
When other people talk about you, Google hears them.
And Google smiles upon those who are talked about.


9.

Spread the love.
Link out, retweet, show appreciation.

10.
Social media works when you give value to others, so:
a. publish good content
b. show appreciation for others
c. point to great stuff on the web
d. interact with your readers
c. care about your readers


Piracy vs. Availability: a Parable

A Parable of the Past

An, er, friend of mine heard an interview on Fresh Air with Scottish director Armando Iannucci about his new film In the Loop (IMDB). He’d never heard of Iannucci, or the movie, or the TV show upon which the movie is based. The audio clips from the movie were so great he then went to Youtube to see if he could find more clips. He could. The clips video looked even funnier than the audio.

The movie — it appears — “comes out” on August 14. In the old days, that meant my friend had two choices:
1. Wait two weeks to watch the movie in a theatre
2. Wait six months (?) to rent the movie and watch it at home

It always annoyed my friend that he had to wait to watch movies he wanted to see, because movie studios liked to release movies at different times in different cities; and then wait months after that to release the DVD for rental.

The studios did (and do) this not because they surveyed their customers, and found they preferred having to wait to watch movies they wanted to see in the way they wanted to see them. The studios did (and do) this for various business reasons, that have proved, over time, an effective way to increase revenues on a movie.

Times Are Changing

But these are not the old days, they are new days. And a few things have happened. My friend watches 95% of the movies he watches on his computer; he rents DVDs using zip.ca (Canada’s Netflix); and occasionally when he wants to watch a certain movie right now, he looks for it online.

The movie studios so far have decided that he should not watch movies online when he wants to watch them.

Which in the old days, meant he just had to wait, despite being more excited about this movie than any other movie he’d heard about in past year or so.

A Parable of the Present

But it turns out that other people (not studios) can get their hands on copies of movies as soon as they are available — often before they are released in theatre — and those people make them available online. This is especially true for movies that lots of people really really want to see, right now.

So my friend now has a third choice:
3. Watch the movie when & where he wants.

It turns out that my friend much prefers option 3. It also turns out that movie studios don’t want to give my friend option 3 – which makes my friend shrug a little when he hears them talking about piracy.

Not because he wants things for free, but because it seems to him that “digital” means studios and moviegoers no longer need be constrained by the two choices of the old days. Option 3 is easy and cheap, and that’s the option he wants.

He often says: If you, as providers of content, give me what I want, when I want it, at a reasonable price, I’ll be happy to pay for it. But if you don’t want to give me what I want, when I want it, I’ll be compelled – when I really want something – to find other ways to get it.

Lessons

  1. If there is demand, there will be supply.
  2. In the digital world, media is infinitely copiable & distributable at rougly zero cost
  3. Media companies have long built their business around a restricted supply
  4. If demand exceeds restricted supply in the digital world, someone — not necessarily the owner of the good — will meet that demand by making & distributing infinite copies at zero cost
  5. Trying to stop # 4 is like trying to stop water going down hill
  6. If restricting supply is no longer a viable business, then something else must be
  7. When supply is unlimited, other factors drive the choices people make
  8. Those drivers include: ease, quality, curation, attention, service, connection
  9. Media companies – including book publishers – should stop thinking about business based on phony restricted supply
  10. Media companies – including book publishers – should start thinking about how to build business around the actual drivers that will bring their customers to them (see #9 above), instead of sending them to the pirates

Epilogue

It was one of the best movies my friend has seen in a long while; and he has urged me to urge you to watch it. You’ll love it (he says).


Media Hacks #7: How to Get Ahead in Advertising

Media Hacks
Here is Media Hacks #7, about where the bucks are or aren’t in online advertising.

This episode, an intimate trio performs for your pleasure: C.C. Chapman, Mitch Joel and me.

LISTEN HERE: Media Hacks: Episode 6.

Or: Mp3 download.


Categories: audio, media, podcast

Media Hacks #6: Twitter, Demi Moore, Facebook

Media Hacks
Man I am getting behind on my Media Hacks postings. Oops. Well here is Media Hacks #6, about Twitter and scalability, Demi Moore’s bum, Facebook’s new company features.

Tearing up the airwaves in this episode: C.C. Chapman, Julien Smith, Chris Penn, Mitch Joel and me.

LISTEN HERE: Media Hacks: Episode 6.

Or: Mp3 download.


Categories: buisness, media, web

Music Business Learning?

This is a pretty extraordinary article from Bloomberg, nominally about the hot new music site/service, Spotify (not available in Canada or the US yet).

What was striking: the execs from the music business, including Michael Nash, Warner’s SVP Digital Strategy and Business Development, finally cottoned on that the real challenge of the music business is not to fight a lost battle against P2P, but rather to find ways to make it easier for listeners to listen to their music. Check this quote:

“These types of social media are highly competitive with illegal file-sharing,” said Michael Nash, Warner’s executive vice president of digital strategy and business development.

Sites such as Spotify allow users to access the music for free rather than searching for it on BitTorrent and downloading it illegally, Mulligan said. Spotify and the Comes With Music mobile-phone music service by Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest handset maker, “are the two strongest tools that people have to drive a genuine alternative to piracy,” he said. [more…]

That is, the music business has finally understood that suing listeners who want to listen to their music isn’t a very sensible long-term business strategy. The better strategy is to figure out how to provide more music to those people.

P2P isn’t going away, and the music business’ success will depend on doing a better job of serving their customers than Pirate Bay does.


The Cisco Kid

John Chambers, CEO of CISCO on what the future holds, from MITWorld. He thinks we are about to see the most fundamental change in businesses and government that we’ve ever seen, moving from command and control to collaboration and teamwork.


MediaHacks #5: Twitter as Google Rival

Media HacksMedia Hacks #5: this one ended up pretty interesting, talking about Twitter as a search engine and possible Google rival, Google search tweaks, brands, and conferences/unconferences. On the media hacks hotline: C.C. Chapman, Julien Smith, Chris Penn, Mitch Joel and me.

LISTEN HERE: Media Hacks: Episode 5


Categories: buisness, media, web

Newspapers: It’s Not Me, It’s You (Maybe)

With all the talk of newspapers shutting down, I wonder if we might flip the traditional interpretation:

Maybe the problem is not so much online news sources killing off business for print newspapers; maybe the problem is the continued existence of print newspapers is stifling innovation in the online news space.

Since so much (local) advertising dollars are still going (being wasted?) on dying print news outlets, there isn’t enough left over to properly fund a leaner, profitable online alternative.

If print newspapers are gone, then local advertisers are going to start wondering how to get people to come to their stores; radio/TV, OK, but if the eyeballs are online, and there are no more papers distracting the advertisers, then …well there is an untapped market there for the online news sites to figure out. And since online can do a better job (in theory) of matching ads/marketing to reader preference, thru cookies, browsing habits, tracking sales (Facebook Beacon notwithstanding), then the death of the traditional news business might be exactly what it takes to kick the online news business, and online content, to real innovation, and real profitability.