Tag Archives: Media

So Much Streaming Music, Just Not in One Place

In the old days, you never knew which CDs the record store would have in stock.  That limitation of physical media was supposed to be solved by digital. Back in the 1990s, technology evangelists and music fans alike began to talk about a “celestial jukebox” — a utopian ideal in which every song ever recorded would be available at a click.  In reality, even a celestial jukebox has gaps. Or more precisely, numerous jukeboxes have come along – iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube – and each service has had gaps in its repertoire. And those gaps have been growing bigger and more complicated as artists have wielded more power in withholding their music from one outlet or another.

Source: So Much Streaming Music, Just Not in One Place – The New York Times

Additional Editorial:

Published music libraries are numerous, and have scattered artist coverage for one reason or another.  Music repositories may overlap, or lack completeness of coverage.

As expressed in “As a Data Deluge Grows, Companies Rethink Storage“, creating a system similar to the Internet Domain Name System for “Information Asset Libraries” would help in numerous ways.  Front end UIs may query these “Information Asset (object) libraries” to understand the availability of content across the Internet.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical decentralized naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network.

Another opportunity would be to leverage the existing DNS platform for managing these “Information Asset Repositories”

In a relatively cost restrained implementation, a DNS type effort can be taken up by the music industry.  From artists to distribution channels, existing music repositories can be leveraged, and within months, a music aficionado may go to any participating platform, and search for an artist, title, album, or any other indexed meta data, and results across ‘Information Asset Repositories’ would be displayed to the user with a jump link to the registered information asset in the library.

Small independent artists need just populate a spreadsheet with rows that contain a row for each asset, and all the ‘advertised’ meta data.  Their Information Asset library may be a single flat file, i.e. XML, that conforms to a basic record/row structure.  The independent artist places this file on their web site, e.g. in their root folder, and informs their ISP of the address record type, and it’s location.  A new DNS record specification may need to be created, e.g. MX record.

Media Companies (and Execs) in the Driver’s Seat for a Prosperous New Year

Media Companies (and Executives) on the Hot Seat in 2015 – NYTimes.com.

I respectfully disagree with the NYT article.   Media content providers, especially those who are trying to adapt to this brave new world, have significant opportunities moving into this new year.

Media needs a large cash infusion to their R&D to experiment with:

  1. Delivery paradigms.  Significant diversification in delivery mediums are still in their infancy.  Motion picture brands are, by and large, using media distribution brokers who bundle a large diversification of brand assets collectively to provide great depth of media choices.   Media brands/networks are distributed through a grouping of ‘channels’  delivered through the intermediary, e.g.  cable company.  Media content creators are competing with a crowded group of similar and dissimilar brands all within the same portal used by media bundled providers.   There are quite a few opportunities for delivery in lieu of the older paradigm, such as a distribution of brands around a genre would make it easier for the consumer to find and enjoy their media content.  For example, comedy.com, a portal for all media brands comedy, could be a great partnership across media companies.   This collective portal, an alignment of brands within the same genre,  living across media companies, may not only provide an easier, entertaining, and more enjoyable experience, it helps to innovate all those within this media partnership.   In addition to motion pictures, other formats such as text, photos and graphics, may be delivered through the same medium.  Several companies are already broaching this space such as Amazon, Google,  Microsoft Video, Netflix,Yahoo!, and AOL.  If media content creators don’t experiment with creative distribution initiatives, they may find themselves bargaining with 3rd party distribution for the cost of IP digital distribution.
  2. Creative reuse of existing assets.  This is one of my favorite opportunities media content creators can do.  Many brands are already capitalizing on the reuse of assets, which then spawn to be assets on their own.  Everything from one off episodes, or Webisodes, cast interviews, outtakes, interaction with live audiences through tweets (cast, director narration, and Q&A), mobile text contests,  mobile app for streaming, apps for audience real-time interaction, e.g. games, and actors retweeting fan favorite clip links .  Another one of my favorites are user created ‘favorite’ clips.  The media creator may limit the enthusiast / fan of the content to create e.g. 60 second clips to share on social networks.  The distributor needs to allow in and out points, and then the consumer can share through an email or social media.   These extra assets have great potential, but brands attempting  to socialize these   assets may have difficulty exposing them to viewership.  An integrated video  and dynamic , interactive media content may surface through clickable images, either through object recognition, or a simple image overlay, like a network ‘bug’.  Users may click through to the content, and instantly get a media teaser that will keep hold of the consumer, and manage the media experience.   The click through interactive experience is a whole world unto itself, which requires leaps and bounds of consumer experience usability studies, backed by wireframe prototypes.  The reuse of assets suffers from delivery paradigms, which fail due to a consumer content delivery void.
  3. New content driven by the consumer appetite for your brand will grow your revenue and audience affinity. This is an area which some organizations go ‘all in’, or have smaller budgets.  It seems that these new productions are hit or miss.  A single pilot should be exposed to several test markets, and if there is positive feedback, the brand or distributor could order more episodes.  On a tangent, there is opportunity for media production companies to go to colleges, and universities, provide budgets to, e.g. film classes to produce a trailer, or short . The best clips may turn into pilots for a show, which may be a one off distributed by web only, broadcasted, or both.

The lack of exposure to the brand, or network, is a huge issue which is deepened by leveraging the bundled content distributor as your primary source of distribution.   How to draw consumers to a brand in a saturated world of content is a daunting task.

Are media content creators looking to make large investments to innovate, or are they looking to stabilize their reduction of profit from falling ad sales, with methods such as stagnant or reduction in headcount, and slowing the breaks on CapEx.  It seems like even a temporary retreat to see who is the new trailblazer, and follow that model can be a costly mistake for the brand running into obscurity.  Companies are already following some of the leaders in the marketplace today, but their success is not guarantee for tomorrow’s performance.

Bundled content providers may also take a page from the proposed model where we have STB customized portals, e.g. based on user’s previously viewed content,  a jump page for your viewing experience.  A new STB may incorporate a Wii type sensor, and a new remote,  interacting with the sensor to provide a more fluid experience.  A lot of opportunities,  for talented people, as well as the investors who believe in them.

Key to Success for Content Providers Offering Stand-Alone Web Subscription Services

CBS to Offer Stand-Alone Web Subscription Service – NYTimes.com.

The distribution channel must provide unique content through their channel or they run the risk of being a commodity rights owner that is only providing archived content.

Amazon brought it home for me when they hosted a single pilot produced by a partner production group. If the test markets had strong viewer ratings, more episodes can be ordered.

This will turn the dial from just an archive distribution rights platform ‘business model’, eventually a commodity, to a creative media value added service. This shifts the focus to creative content along the brand focus.

  • CBS produces or sponsors a pilot episode. CBS then advertises, short on air promos, web ads for the target demographic methods, etc. CBS gauges the popularity of the show. If market demand is strong, the provider can order more episodes.
  • Content providers can also provide unique content from their existing proprietary, content. ‘Web subscription only’ series episodes, available through their web subscription service.

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2013 CES Highlights: A New Take On Remote Controls

I am going through my photos to delete, and deleting CES pictures. I just noticed this neat Android app from the show for a pad device. The application had 5 custom cool, and highly functional remote controls for electronics. I spent time with the development lead, and provided a few pointers, like making buttons, large image buttons available on the remote. The TV user should be able to program these buttons with the user’s favorite DVRed movies, with a thirty second clip of the movie playing, eg. their favorite scene, selected during a playback session. It would be great if I can remember the application name, but it is still not yet released, all of u ambitions programmers.

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Digital Media Platforms: BI Competitive Edge for Businesses & Consumers

This post applies to any digital media platform that distributes news articles, books, music, movies, and more.

As I was looking online at a New York Times article, when I scrolled to the bottom of the screen, a popup appeared and told me I had 9 of 10 free articles left for the month, and I thought that was brilliant.  As digital media becomes more competitive, and the content on the platform varies, regardless if it’s the pay as you go model; trial, with unlimited after trial;  or free until max per month or week as the lure; all companies need to allow their clients or potential clients to see how they are using the digital media platform’s products.

As an example, I would like to see what percentage of Technology articles I am viewing per day, week, or month verses Business articles for a certain periodical, and then I can make an informed decision regarding which periodicals I choose to subscribe to for business and also for Technology.  Maybe digital media companies will evolve to have mixed business models, such as, pay per consumption option for all articles after free until max, then for select sections, such as Business or Technology, they may offer unlimited option for the Business, and eventually even a particular editor of Op-Ed pieces.  It could be a price that is significantly less then getting the whole periodical, but at least you are able to attract consumers that have been less willing to go for the full paper, and don’t want the hassle of a pay per go, or monthly chargeback per use model.

If I want to choose a magazine for photography, and I am into archeology from a specific region, as a perspective buyer, I might want to know from the publisher’s entire content, and not just what I have read, a drill down pie chart of subject matters for all photos, and then after I selected Archeology, what percentage of those articles are from a particular region, a subject, and then a photographer.  This is also a powerful business intelligence tool for existing consumers, and may give you a competitive edge.  Also, alliances, that are able to partner for other content, index, and transform that content, say using NewsMLG2, and then perform sharing margin and chargeback.  The lure to their portal would be the driver for the competition as well as the vast of content, and partnerships.

A Note for Advertisers

There are other forms of Business Intelligence for your digital medial consumption that can be offered, such as indexed content, text, images, and video.  You can not only capture image descriptions, and objects within a video to be indexed, which can be used for advertisers to see what the demographics of consumers are watching videos with the most  sneakers, or smartphones, and descriptions that may include dancing clowns.  This may assist the small to mid side startup digital advertiser to understand the consumers in their target markets, and abstract the data.

A Successful On-line News Media Business Model

When I went to click on a Wall Street Journal tweet, the URL brought me to a registration page, just to read the article.  This is an inhibitor to reading any of their articles, especially on a mobile device.  I just looked for another tweet from another periodical without a registration process, and read a similar article, typically, with the same headline.  The New York Times, so far, in my opinion, has amazing business model backed by great, unique and insightful content. Simply, the New York Times Business Model for Subscriptions: The first 10 articles are free to view per month, and after that, a starter rate of . 99 cents.  After reading a few articles, and citing them, I was hitting my monthly limit in no time.  I took out the credit card and paid, after a few frustrating, “You’ve reached your limit”, page.  No brainer, and believe I am most likely to continue, at the normal rate, when the starter rate expires.  The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal want you to register BEFORE reading their articles, not even a preview.  The New York Times briefly experimented with showing the first paragraph of the article, then you must register.  Long story, short,  If the content is unique and insightful, you will be back for more, and more. I did a similar post on this subject when I contrasted the NYT verses the Financial Times. I am interested to review market news segmentations, e.g.  financial verses a general news periodical.  In this case, the Wall Street Journal tweet was a general news article, which I easily found another, similar article. Maybe the business model for financial periodicals have an alternate strategy?  I am not  buying it, in the literal or physical sense.  The New York Times Business Model just makes cents!

Secure Digital Cards to Replace DVD and Blu-ray

Some of the SD card classes, and software copyright protection offer the ability to already replace DVDs, see SD Standard Overview » Speed Classand we are at the cusp of the most performance SD card being cost effective, and one may argue based on the highest specifications of the Blu-ray disk both in capacity and performance overcome, if not, equate the performance of the Blu-ray disk.  So why not the shift?  Well, one has to make new drives to manufacturer players, produce read only cards, and so on.   Also, why have the large player device all together? Many Televisions are equipped with inputs for SD, and even if they are not, there are very small readers today, which you could, add either infrared (IR), Bluetooth, or WiFi.  There’s the next generation.  I wouldn’t get to hung up on those Blu-ray disks for long.  I did have stock in SanDisk, but had to sell it to pay the bills.

Winning Business Model for On Line Periodicals: FT verse NYT

I’ve noticed that both the Financial Times and the New York Times seems to have articles I want to read, but the Financial Times, on clicking the title link in Twitter makes me take the time to register or become a subscriber, which discourages me to open the article even though it has an eye catching title.  On the other hand we have the New York Times, which also has eye catching titles, but allows me to read 10 articles a month without registering or subscribing.  The content was so good I became fustrated every time I reached my limit and eventually, since I quote them so much in my own blog posts (or students for school), they get me thinking about opportunities, I finally payed the initial .99 cents and also will probably renew for the $35 USD. It’s a good business model for online periodicals. The New York Times experimented with showing the first paragraph of the article as a preview to help move forward the consumer with the subscription purchase; however, that was not enough to entice me to purchase, AND only annoyed me further which caused me to want to go somewhere else for my news, a detraction to the content no matter what the preview said.  If the preview was very good, it almost enticed me, but it was  a detractor in a quantifiable way, outweighing the + & – of the psychological effect .

Thanks for sparking the idea Newsweek with your announcement, Newsweek Will End Print Magazine in 2013.  It has been floating around in for a while in my head, but thought it was fairly straight forward.  I was wondering why very periodical didn’t adopt the NYT #subscription   #business  model of how to charge for #periodicals .  Then I thought, maybe it’s just different cultures, different people, different mind sets on acquisition of news / media, which could still be true.  The Financial Times headquarters is in #London , #UK, but these periodicals both have diverse cultures where their headquarters are ‘posted’, so no that can’t be it.  Is it the target market?  No, not really both audiences seem very busy, time is money, so that can’t be it.  Maybe  the spark flashed, the New York Times #nytimes  just has a better approach to getting subscribers than the #financialtimes , so here’s the post I whipped up.