Friday, June 19, 2009

Broadband Mobile's Fierce Factors: A Futurist Explains

Futurist Gerd Leonard notes that all content industries are “seriously challenged by the Internet’s disruptive forces.” All content industries -- television, print, broadcasting, entertainment -- and all current business models, copyright, and value traditions are in chaos already, but about to be upended further by exploding mobile device use.

On June 19, Gerd presented in Singapore at CMMA, where he noted that, "Together, broadband culture and mobility will redefine how we think about privacy, authorship, ownership, value selling and marketing, R&D and production, work, and education." Here are some notes from his presentation:

Gerd sites seven Fierce Factors of Mobile:
• first truly personal mass medium
• captures the social context of media consumption
• always within 1 meter reach
• always on, interconnected
• available at the exact point and time of inspiration
• built-in payment options
• offers most accurate audience measurement

Gerd notes that "selling copies" to make money is a dead deal.
1. When copies are free, you need to sell things that can’t be copied.” Kevin Kelly
2. Rather than changing the existing model, publishers are fumbling around for a solution that requires readers to fundamentally change their behavior.” Fat chance. Xark blog
3. Hoarding content is not a good move.
4. Attract, don’t enforce (that is, get your users hooked first, then ask for their money).

I've been struggling lately with defining what content actually is. Gerd has this to say about "Content in a Broadband Mobile Future."
• It's created by the users and shared
• It includes meta-content: the users’ data and click-streams layered around other professional content.
• It's professional content “appropriated” by users.
• It's the users themselves.

Fierce Mobile also includes the shift to "Freemium," a zeitgeist in which:
• Nobody pays actual $ anywhere.
• Everything "feels like it's free" because the payment is bundled or hidden and no individual payment decision is required every time.
• All users get real value free of charge, but a good percentage selects to buy premium offers.
• "Third party pay," in which someone else pays for my usage because they want access to me and my data, becomes commonplace.

Bottom line: The Future Mass Market is a Mass of Niches. The characteristics are personalization, customization, sharing, engagement, transparency, and participation.

Bottom line 2: The Mobile Consumption of Digital goods is the #1 growth story of the next decade.

- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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