Allow me to add my voice to the chorus of those applauding the fall of the Berlin wall twenty years ago this month. It was this event that taught me firsthand why revolution is simultaneously impossible as well as inevitable. In 1986 I sat with other students from around the globe just blocks from the wall and debated whether it would ever come down. The naïve among us insisted freedom was imperative: It was inevitable. The others asked if we had stopped to think about the massive relocation of people, economic resources, and government structures that such a revolution would require: It was impossible.
Until it happened, just three years later.
The author, pictured left, photographed in front of the Brandenburg
Gate from what was then the East German side
In the past year, we've seen a palpable shift from newspaper and magazine publishers with regard to paid content--they still don't know how to make paid content work, but they know they want to try. A recent report from the American Press Institute underscores this trend: The API reports that 60% of newspaper executives say they're considering paid content options, even though currently 90% don't charge for any content online.
Consumers, though, have different ideas. In a new Forrester report, we find that most consumers (80%) say they wouldn't bother to access newspaper and magazine content online if it were no longer free (no surprise), and the rest are split about how they'd like to pay for content:
It's especially notable that, while publishers talk about micropayments so much you could design a drinking game around the word, only 3% of consumers say they'd prefer this method of payment for newspaper and magazine content.
What is interesting in the current scramble for the killer online music business model is that there is an implicit assumption that the only place people would want to go from the CD is online or mobile.The iPod heralded a new paradigm in music consumption, but it has done little to counter the impact of the CD's terminal decline and may even have helped accelerate it.
As things currently stand, the mass market music consumer isn’t being catered to with any form of new product and the fight for these consumers’ living room is being lost.It wasn't too long ago that the home hi-fi system was the flagship piece of living-room technology but over the past decade, living-room tech spending has shifted firmly to the TV while the aging home hi-fi system is either gathering dust or has been replaced by a docking station. (The latter of which is an awkward attempt to make a personal device a household device, and besides, the majority of households don’t even have one).