In a couple of days’ time the doors will close on a decadum horribilis for the music industry. Although recorded music revenues actually grew in 2001, the seeds of the forthcoming whirlwind were already well and truly sown. In fact one single event can be identified as the trigger: the launch of Napster in 1999.Of course other seeds had also taken root in the late nineties, including the launches of MP3.com, the PMP300 and the MPMan.But according so much importance to Napster is more than a useful construct for the historical narrative: Napster was more than just a metaphor for the transition from the distribution era to the consumption paradigm, it was the crucible of the music industry’s 20th century meltdown.
In hindsight, 2009 marked a turning point for the market research industry, when technology and innovation became part of the ongoing discussion on how to move the industry forward while balancing the realities of a business world in a recession.
Canadians with online access are active users of social technologies like blogs, forums, social networks, and user-generated content: According to our North American Technographics® Q3 2009 survey, 79% of online Canadians engage with social media at least once each month.
I'll stick to my comments and continue to believe that regulation had a stronger impact on the mobile sector than the economic crisis. The recent announcement that the French telecom regulation authority eventually (after years after back and forth discussions and lobbying) granted the 4th 3G license to Free/Iliad (one of the largest ISPs) is a good example of that. The new entrant will not launch before early 2012 but aims at captuting 10% market share by introducing cheaper tariffs (a competitive 3 hour package for less than 20€), bundling Internet access and offering interesting conditions to MVNOs. Evolution of termination rates or roaming tariffs as well as other regulations on spectrum have a much greater impact on operators' bottom line than reduced spending from consumers.
Today’s news that the latest hurdle has been cleared in the development of Project Canvas – approval (albeit provisional) from the BBC Trust – is good news for most interested parties, if not rivals such as BSkyB and Virgin Media who have been vigorously opposing it.
The minutiae of the behind-the-scenes politicking are not of interest beyond a small group of analysts and policy geeks, but the future of Project Canvas itself is a huge story for the media sector in the UK and beyond.
A new and notable social commerce experiment is about to launch on Facebook. Starting tomorrow, The Limited will enable their fans to purchase products directly from their news stream. This will enable The Limited to push unique offers and products into their Facebook fans’ news feeds from which their fans can transact with The Limited while never having to jump off to their commerce site to convert. The feature is called “Off The Wall” since the fan will be interacting through their wall on Facebook.
A couple of weeks ago I published a post called 'The Future Of Research: Building A 3-Dimensional View Of The Customer'. The summary of my post was that consumers connect with companies through different channels and leave their feedback about the company in different places. They expect companies to understand that and they don't want to be asked about things they already shared.
On Wednesday, a few colleagues along with myself sat down for a briefing with ATG around their interactive help services (formally eStara). The primary purpose of the call was to review results from a recent survey ATG (see full survey) had conducted around interactive help. While much of the data I had seen before in previous surveys done by Forrester or other vendors, one piece stood out that I wanted to share.
2009 saw some solid progress made in various digital content marketplaces but it is too early to start talking about the green shoots of media recovery.The Media Meltdown (the process by which media industries are disrupted and reshaped by digitization of content) will continue to claim scalps throughout 2010 as digital content revenues do little to offset the impact of plummeting physical media sales and as analogue dollars crumble into digital cents.But consumers are not falling out of love with media, rather they are growing tired of paying for its 20th-century product iterations (and those 21st century products that try to reinvent the old products in a digital context).A new framework for media product innovation is now required to align media industry content assets with 21st-century consumer behavior and demand.Forrester proposes what form this should take in a new report ‘Media Product Innovation: Building Products That Thrive In The Media Meltdown’.
The core asset that media companies own is of course the content itself, but Content is no longer king. Or, at least, its throne is no longer undisputed. Instead, content is busy fighting off the republican advances of the channel. ISPs and mobile operators use content to fill their pipes, technology companies to fill their devices, and brands to help sell their products and to meet their branding objectives. The hierarchy is clear.