Pirates & Spoilers: What I Learned From The Film And Music Industry

Pirates & Spoilers: What I Learned From The Film And Music Industry 1600 701 Raymond Blyd
I’m watching a series of short interviews from a recently held conference by the music industry. Seeing our future challenges unfold in real time I imagined our industry to rise above and leap ahead. I observed the similarities such as our deep passion and optimism we feel in our pursuits. So while old media (Books, CD’s, DVD’s) fades to black, new media companies are lighting up the skies. What have I learned?


Don’t Sue but Seduce

Over 10 million people in the US and UK have stopped buying music altogether. So not even visiting concerts or migrated to subscription models according to Mark Mulligan (Midia Consulting). The main reason, he points out, is that these previous customers quite frankly are bored with the current music experience and they would much rather download for free. Strangely enough, research also indicates that music piracy is in decline while video piracy is increasing as presented by researcher Joost Poort from IVIR(my alma mater so irrefutable :-).

Joost also concluded that clinching to existing business models is actually aggravating the problem for especially the movie industry. Mark encourages to not just copy new entrance business models (e.g Spotify or Deezer), but explore new experiences and thus new business models.

My takeaway: Even though the disruptive effects in the traditional B2B publishing is more gradual, I suspect it will endure the same fate. To counteract in the same fashion might not necessarily result in a more positive outcome. So while there’s still time, experimenting with new models early and redefining our position continually will help not hurt.


Spoiler Alert

Licensing issues are what most point to as a core problem. Copyright regimes based on geographical parameters is at odds with a borderless Internet. It is inhibiting media industries from exploring alternative models and thus new experiences. Yet, within these confines there is still room for maneuvering. There was one particular quote which indirectly made me aware of a possible solution. Joost warned of the possibility of renting a video stream when the same film or TV series might air the next day on TV.

I wondered what would possibly drive someone to indeed proceed with such a purchase. Contrary to music, with videos there is a real danger the experience might get ruined if your surroundings are already aware of the content. Similarly in a business setting, if you are the only one not in “the know”, you run the risk of being “left out”.

My takeaway: While exclusivity will increasingly get harder to enforce and maintain, we still can control speed of delivery. Moreover, for media companies and end users alike: owning the experience will trump owning the content.

Conclusion: As the saying goes “repeating the same mistake twice is not a mistake but a choice”. So is blindly following others down a doomed path. As we ease into a new world we must experiment and learn new things within the confines of our current models but also look beyond. In the end, it is just a matter of figuring out what experiences to choreograph to seduce new and old customers.

Legal Research On Your Television Screen

Legal Research On Your Television Screen 1337 765 Raymond Blyd
A quiet Sunday morning, I’m channel surfing on my big screen when I come across an enticing teaser on the Wolters Kluwer Channel. I carrousel through the Health and Tax panels and select Legal. I start reading the news articles and a particular phrase intrigues me. I spread my arms to zoom in and make a left to right swiping gesture in the air to select it…


Now this is not the opening to my upcoming Sci-Fi drama but rather an imminent reality. At the end of 2011, there were 82 million connected TVs in homes worldwide according to research group Informa. By 2016 it forecasts that number will have ballooned to 892 million. I also predict Smart TV’s will be into corporate offices quicker than you can spell: iPad. At Wolters Kluwer’s HQ in Alphen a/d Rijn, Netherlands, you are greeted by the latest news displayed on a large screen in the lobby. These are scattered around the building and in board rooms. The fact is, the TV screen still dominates and it will continue to do so by convergence with the web.



Actually, my first web-like experience coming to Europe was ‘surfing’ TeleText pages on my TV. I still use it occasionally for looking up flight status from my comfortable couch at home. And it’s not just flight status lookups but also legal research that is being domesticated. While doing year stats analysis on research portals, I discovered that engagement peaks during weekends with hours instead of minutes spent on the site. Imagine you could utilize the biggest screen (TV) in your home for research. It’s the same argument why you would use your smallest screen (Smartphone) for quick lookups.

Dipping toes

Natural interfaces such as the touch on Apple’s mobile devices or motion on Microsoft Kinect are slowly replacing mouse and keyboard. I wouldn’t go as far as using my eyes to control the screen but I think it isn’t farfetched that a minority report style of an interface will enter our television sets. And some in legal technology have already been wondering when it will appear for legal research. Traditional print publishers are already dipping their toes on Apple TV, Google TV or Roku.

In the end, the trick is not looking objectively at what’s happening now but intuitively at what will happen. More after the break…

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