Category Archives: Media

Apps “locking” in customers

Apps have become a common expression after the success of iPhone/iPod application system. Its become huge business on Apple devices and Google Android Marketplace. Recently Apple logged over 10 billion downloads through the App Store. Sure, lots of Apps are free, but the numbers are interesting.

What I find more interesting is how the apps really create its own echo system for both Apple and Google. Their own digital download channels, which they own and operate. And Apple owns both the Hardware, Sales/Distribution Channels, Software, and get 30% of all the revenue generated by sold Apps.

From a customer perspective its interesting to see how this affect which device (system) we choose. For example, I am a big Apple fan, owning an iPad, iPod, iPhone and an iMac. I purchase and download new apps all the time. Mostly games, and between 1 – 5 dollars. And now when I have invested so much money in apps through Apples system, I am very unlikely to change to the Google system, cause I would then have to purchase all the apps again. Even if the apps isn’t that expensive, I still have invested quite a lot of money in Apple Apps.

In some way customers is making a bigger decisions now when they have to purchase mobile devices. The Apps will be a heavier factor in the choice of which system to pick.  Its interesting because Apps really adds value to the system and devices, so its in the interest of both Google and Apple to get the latest and best apps to their platform.

DeView: Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Chris Anderson - Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Chris Anderson - Free: The Future of a Radical Price

On my way to Germany last week I finished reading Chris Andersons book Free: The Future of a Radical Price. The expectation from the Long Tail have been sky high, and though not as good, or revolutionary as the Long Tail, its still a must read. Some part very rather slow to get through while some chapters I found felt more valued in my opinion. What I like about is how Chris don’t claim that everything should be free, rather how the concept of Free can be utilised to build business from scratch or even for big companies to stay competitive. Even some example when the big boys have to adapt to the changing digital market, thanks to the spread use of free software and services on the web. How Google is one of the biggest forces pushing and expanding free.

I really like the part were he write about combining Free and Paid, with a lot of great examples.To use Free to build a potential customer base, and then charge for a premium service for those who want more advanced features or more storage.

Maybe what I missed was a discussion of which companies that can benefit from Free, and those who don’t. I think it would be great to try to criticise his theories to strengthen them.

It is great to see that Chris take this concept into reality by giving his book away for Free in either Audio book and eBook. This isn’t new, to give away as many books as possible to get interest up and build his own brand. He doesn’t make his money on book sales, but rather on people booking him to come and speak and going into details about his theories. The same way music artist start to give away their music, broaden the fan base who then will pay for other things such as concert and merchandise.

By reading this book, after many fictional books recently, it got my business mind and thoughts start working again. It really inspired me, which is a good thing!

Increase of Free, but not for games?

Today I just started reading the new Chris Anderson book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Expectations after the Long Tail is sky-high, but I have read more before reading this new book and have some good understanding of the concept. I’m looking forward to be somewhat convinced of this new changing model or if we should call the future digital market. A review of the book will come sooner.

Despise the shaky economic in the world today, the game industry have held up high sales numbers and total revenue stream. Even though some big studios and and famous name have had to close. We see more games than before today. I see it everyday in my work, and the increase of Free-2-Play games (many MMO). How more and more game are based on In-Game Advertising and In-game items (transactions). But for this model to be successful the number one basic thing must be in place, a huge audience (or potential customers). And the possibility to sell directly to your potential consumer is huge today for smaller developers.

You think that prices on games should decrease according to the three parameters Chris talk about in his book, Processorpower, bandwidth and storage. But the cost of the biggest titles have just increased anyway. One big news on the web in recent times is the price point of Modern Warfare 2, one of this years biggest game. They when in the opposite way and increased it above the highest price point when it will be released. They will do the same on DJ Hero and the new Tony Hawk game. And they will probably still sell millions of units. I know I will get my copy anyway.

The Activision CEO have said that he would like to increase the general price point even more than it is today. When every trend is pointing in the other direction, its a bold statement to want to increase prices. And  the economy still haven’t recovered, so potential consumer will have to re-think their game spending money, and people will buy fewer games. I think it would be smarter, specially as a smaller company to lower price even more to sell more units.

Also a interesting even increasing trend is DLC to increase the life time as well as value of a game. But for DLC to be successful, the game have to be good to begin with. As with everything, the most important thing is the quality of the initial product! Any time, anywhere.

Greedy king, call in an Entrepreneur

One of the biggest news (or farytales for those who prefer) here in Sweden right now is the upcoming wedding between our royal princess Victoria and her fiancé Daniel. Most of the Swedish people were very delited  to hear the engagement, thou I have to say i really don’t care that much. I was mostly annyod cause it took to much media space. According to me the royal family get to much media attention the rest of the time, but now they get even more. So next year there will be a big wedding, and discussions have already began to fire up.

Just a week after the wedding was announced the King Karl Gustav, wrote a letter to the state, asking for money to finance the wedding. This made many Swedish heads spin! The royal family already have a big fortune, and with regards to the latest finance problem in the world and Sweden were many many people have lost their jobs, this is a real insult. And it have began a debate whether the peopel should pay for their wedding, or them self.

Many of those who are for the state playing, argue over the PR value and exposure this is for Sweden as a country. How this will result in extra income from tourism, media and export industry. I’m not that convinced. I only think this is big in Sweden, and why should other countries bother with our small royal house? Also, in our neighbouring states the royal weddings were paid for with there own money, so why shouldn’t our do the same? I joined a Facebook group for those who don’t care about the wedding, and also don’t want to pay for the wedding, and the number of member today is about 43 000!

Many Swedes believe its important with a royal family. Obviously I don’t! I stongly believe we should change the structure, and make the royal family into a registered company! Let people who care for them, buy shares. Also the family have to think and work more like a real business. Instead of just getting money for the state and other more diffuse incomes, they have to work like the rest of us. For example, instead of just getting money for the wedding, Victoria and the King should think as an real Entrepreneur. Call in a entrepreneur consultant that can help them to find new ways to finance the wedding.

If they truly would like to promote Sweden and all our good companies, they should look to attract sponsors! Volvo could sponsor the transportation, TV4 pay to send the event on tv and get the rights to sell it worldwide, ICA can provide the food and H&M could do a special Royal wedding cloth collection! There are endless openings to do smart collaborations and sponsor deals to fund the wedding. Sad that the royal family can come out of their shell and start thinking business wise.

"They begin to become costy!"

"They begin to become costy!"

Michael Moore Free documentary

The latest documentary movie from the controversial film maker Michael Moore will apparently be released for Free, through the wonderful medium called the Internet. Called Slacker Uprising, turning the attention to the youth of the US, urging them to actively participating and to vote in the presidential election of 2004, like a follow up to his smash hit Fahrenheit 9/11. Now those “lectures” have been cut together into a new documentary, just in time for the next presidential election of 2008, and therefore highly relevant.

Maybe its the smartest move for Michael if he truly want this new movie to be viewed by as many teenagers in the right age to vote. To meet them on their own level and not make it complicated or illegal to download the movie. He want people to listen and understand, and what better way to reach and appeal to young people than through making it Free for them to download. He only want young people to be enlighten and to vote, upholding democracy so the republicans or what ever corporate-Mafia sitting behind the wheel know we won’t tolerate how they try to hold on to the power.

“This is being done entirely as a gift to my fans. The only return any of us are hoping for is the largest turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November.” – Michael Moore

Another way the reach the young audience and make them vote will be through Xbox Live. To get gamers to vote really. We all want it to be as easy as possible when we’re voting. And maybe this is the way for the future when it comes to voting, as long as its secure and accurate. We don’t want any bad guys in suites to fool us for their own bloody profit!!

YouTube Preview Image

“Pirate hunting” season everywhere

Pirates
It seems theres a hunting season for online Pirates going strong right now. First, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) have send a letter to the Swedish government. Pushing them to take action against  Pirate Bay, after finding out they distribute videos from the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing. IOC claim the copy right for the opening ceremony have tremendous value (which I have a hard time understanding), and what the Swedish government to help them getting the videos down from the site. Well, their not the only one who want stuff on Piratebay down.

Next up is an assault against British game pirates. Five game developers have sent out warnings to 25000 people, pay or get sued. The amount they have to pay isn’t huge, just 300 pound (GBP), it seems to be a new tactics. Reach many, and still make their wallets hurt. Usually in media its been the movie and record industry battling the pirates and their download sites. But the gaming industry are starting more raptly to counter the sharing of games illegally, specially in the PC segment. Speculations have indicated this to be one of the reasons why many developers focus on console development. Still, reports show the PC gaming market is stronger than previously believed. Much thanks to “new” online revenue streams. One way to cope with illegal game-sharing have been developing new business-model, especially strong faith in the free-to-play model. Although its important for the Western market to embrace and adapt to a model more built around in-game ads and micro transactions, it may not be the best solution for the industry as a whole.

“We must get away from the idea of new business models as the only solution to the pirate problem. It is misleading. We have to deal with copyright infringement. It is not about protecting an outdated physical distribution, but to protect the new, legal digital alternatives.”

– Per Strömbäck from Dataspelsbranschen. Source DN.se

The only segment that seems happy about PC piracy is the hardware manufactures, but not official that is. People can spend more money on hardware if they don’t pay for games?

[Update]

EA Sports boss Peter Moore raise a warning to the video game companies threating to sue people who file-share. Comparing this with the failure for the record industry’s attempt at the same thing.

“I’m not a huge fan of trying to punish your consumer,” he said. “Albeit these people have clearly stolen intellectual property, I think there are better ways of resolving this within our power as developers and publishers.

Peter Moore at Leipzig Games Convention.

And the last news concerning piracy revolves around the site Mygazines.com. Focused on uploading and sharing physical magazines from allover the world, for everyone to easy and free view and read. Well, it was just meant to steer up some angry magazine publishers! But it seems the publishers of big US magazines have run into trouble. Since the site is hosted outside of the US there will be problem to get to them. For now the site have escaped the long arm of the law.

But for some magazines this could be a great opportunity. Magazines usually make most of its money from advertisement, the more people reading, the better for advertisers. There are many more great advantages with this model. The technology is already developed. The work of scanning and editing the pages are done by fans, not by the publishers. You get a much bigger distributions channel! You can (in theory and if you could like) make the magazine measurable. Imagen be able to track how many read/watch a page, zooming and for how long they watch. And just thing of how much paper we can save by reducing the physical copy of the Ikea catalog in digital format.

Corny TV Advertising

I just can’t stop laughing at this TV clip from BBC. What better to really muck the corniness of TV advertisements, then a bitter grumpy British dude? The funny thing is I have the same view about traditional advertising as him, in general. Often commercials and ads in magazines and on town have the purpose to create a image and/or message in the head of the consumers/receivers. Famous big luxurious brands often play on the notion that if you buy their products or just something from that brand you will get the feeling portrayed in the ads. They strive to build a feeling around their products and brands. And many times that feeling is just a fake reality. Marketers and advertising people are good at painting a image of their products and brands with no reality connections. Those people and media are truly masters at “deceiving” regular people.

How actors in the ads act isn’t usually resembling how regular people behave. If you view them from the right perspective they really appear corny as hell!

YouTube Preview Image

Newspaper advertising decrease

From the war and oil loving land of US, reports show that the newspaper industry are having problems with attracting and keeping ad revenue. One of the big villains appear to be the online digital medias who now a day steel much of the attention. When the number of easy accessible media channels increase, the competition for the ad-dollar harshen.

NewspapersBefore the web newspapers, television and radio were the best choice, but it came with a huge price tag, and still does.  In todays connected and digital world with increasing media channels, the possibilities for big and small companies become better. Not to say the online medium always prevail. The diverse digital space have made it more important than before to fully understand and differentiate the mediums. According to me, one of the biggest advantages with online marketing, is the measurement one can track. Total overview of how the spent ad-money converge. And how the advertiser themself can control the ad, images, text and messages, in realtime! Take Google Adwords for example, my primary work tool. You have the ability to write your own ad, choose keywords, budget to spend over a day/week/month. And best of all, you connect with people who are out actively searching for something and you can track exacly how your ad converted.

I think print press have (as indicated in the news linked top of the post) some though years ahead when companies find the digital space to be a more efficiant and cheaper way to market and communicate directly to their audience.

[Update] Search Engine Watch published a long good article of the decline in newspaper ad revenue, and how this leads to job cutback in the journalistic profession. Some changes must be made to stand a chance competing with the high pace of free up2date-minute news the web provieds.

Media, a murderer?

A with many of my strange ideas, they struck when I least expect them to. The other day me and my room mate view a documentary about hiphop beefs. A though struck me, how big of a role has media played, how much have they (unintentionally or not?) helped fuel the battles?

For many people media constitute the only source of information about the world around us. Even in this modern information age, the regular media still play a huge roll to provide us with news. And by media I refer to published media. Classical media like tv, newpapers and radio, often owned or sponsored by a huge corporation with the mission to earn as fucking much money they can. Still, I’m sceptical whether media truly live up to what to expect of them, to supply society with relevant news, which also should be true. Many times media actually delivers true news, but how many times do they miss or simply print false story’s with the intent to entice readers?

Regular media or what I would like to call “Popular media”, are according to me, good examples of easy consumed news deliverer. Often paid for by advertisers and a small part from the people who pay. What they care for is a high number of readers (Including viewers and listeners), to they can sell more and expensive advertising. To attract readers selling story’s is a must, unfortunately. The result from this leads to the important news sometimes have to step down for more “selling” news. Like all this crap with gossip news surrounding celebrities. What does those news really contribute to society, NOTHING!

Now, my main point, or rather question/though was… how many people have died (direct or indirect) from media reporting? A very controversial question indeed, but nonetheless interesting. To develop my though some more and explain how I think:

Looking in the review mirror of media history, media was the only way for people to get news from around the world and in some way, create their view of the world through media reporting. Media have been the medium for politicians to spread their message, critics to spread the truth and corporations to market their brand or products to lure people into the buying cycle. Especially news media should be impartial and not influenced by outside powers. To deliver good and true news. And these news, affect people in many ways. They can create strong reactions, sorrows, emotions and happiness. And these reactions can sometimes lead to actions, which can end in horrifying endings. That’s not to say that all media is responsible, and how could one measure this anyway?

But still I think it raises the question of medias responsibility in there news reporting. Can they be hold accountable for deaths? Its hard to prove, and they shouldn’t stop to report important news. All I would like is for news media to really be causes and aware of the power they hold in our world view and how they report it.

Then the next question of cause becomes, what about the new media like blogs. When classical news media compete with the small people who write about news and other read. Even if they’re not educated within the journalistic profession, in today’s digital world the possibilities are endless. Today, the amount of information is endless, and the ability to aggregate information from different sources doesn’t require to much time or education. Regular media have lost credibility, and alternative (more trusted) sources are becoming more common, and threatens paid media. Never underestimate the power and energy of the little people will to find the truth.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5701596208372895005

Good video sum up of the old, present and future(?) digital age

This video was send to me a few days ago. It was completely my taste, and one can only hope other old (backward) thinking people view it, and try to learn from it. The new age is here to stay, and to be the best you have to look what’s next. I surely know, I work hard to learn more about the next step in business and what’s to come.

I’ve been dreaming, how it would have been to be there when it happened. The computer revoluttion, rise of the PC and Apple, the early internet age, birth of the video game industry and other revolutionary technology wonders. But I can just look forward and work towards being there next time it happens.

YouTube Preview Image