Category Archives: entertainment industry

If Content is King, Access (or LeAnn) Must be Queen

I’ve been wondering lately why I bother paying for content when what I really want is ease of access any way I see fit and, in some cases am willing to pay for if needed, to that content. I want the ends. I don’t want to deal w/ the means the media industry has been historically built on to encumber me in fulfilling my wants and needs. I’d rather pay for access than content – and the more digital and portable, the better.

Isn’t it nice when life provides the context needed to articulate stuff that’s been kicking around in your head? The following dramatization is not entirely real. However, the characters and drama are…

Setting: A typical Wednesday night in the Courtney home in the southwestern suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. TV is on. Jerry is catching up on tweets and Facebook status updates in the recliner. LeAnn, his wife, is flipping channels on the couch, waiting for Dirty Sexy Money to start. The Kids, Jackson, 8, and Addison, 2, have recently been put to bed. The Dog, Razzle, is curled up next to LeAnn.

Jerry: Hey, let’s take the kids to go see Madagascar 2.

LeAnn: OK. Jackson has mentioned he’d love to see it, and since Addison was able to make it through Kung Fu Panda so we can take her, too, and save money on a sitter. Check times and ticket prices for Friday…maybe you can come home a bit early.

Jerry, chooses not to comment on his continued disappointment that the family went to see Kung Fu Panda w/o him even though he’d mentioned a number of times his desire to see it, though makes that face his wife can’t stand, checks online: $10 apiece for us, $5 apiece for the kids. If we do a weekend matinee, it’s $5 apiece for all of us.

LeAnn, ponders: And that’s before popcorn and drinks. Why don’t we just wait since it’ll be on demand and DVD in a few months anyway? The kids won’t care, we can just stay home and watch something else on demand that we haven’t seen, or rent something, maybe even a game for the Wii. And, as I know you know, Kung Fu Panda will be out on DVD soon as well – at least that’s what Jackson says he saw on Yahooligans.

Jerry, impressed and bemused, smiling as he looks forward to Jackson getting Kung Fu Panda for Christmas and relatively confident LeAnn remebers he wants Tiger Woods golf for Wii: You should be in my line of work, you know it?

LeAnn, rolling eyes: Great, you’re going to put this on your blog, aren’t you?

Fade to black as Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland discuss how to get a Baldwin elected Senator from NY.

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Filed under digital distribution, entertainment industry, future of media, media usage, monetizing media

Exporting US Culture

I’ve been wondering quite a bit lately just how flat the world is in light of the re-enactment of Cold War-ishness seen by Putin and the Bush Administration (whatever happened to lame duck presidents just playing out the string and Eastern European countries realizing the shiny, happy ways of capitalism). Seeing reports the past couple of days that the European economic situation is very much akin to ours confirms the inter-connectedness of certain global markets. But is that really a good thing or that new of an insight for that matter?

Regardless, US culture has always been a huge export that has allowed us influence the world over. So seeing that 20th Century Fox is picking up where Sony did by developing a joint venture w/ Bollywood and looking to see how that may expand into China makes me feel somewhat more secure in our flatness.

Of course, I’m in the middle of a book claiming that the consumption of US pop culture is making all people under 30 stupid.

So, I guess whether you interpret exporting our culture as a sign of our influence or as our subversive way of making the rest of the world stupider than us so we can maintain our standing in the world is irrelevant. It’s flat nonetheless and we continue to find our place in it.

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Filed under books, entertainment industry, pop culture

I’m over this, too

OH, NO! SAG might strike now! The horrors! That whole writers strike diversion really did in the media industry, didn’t it? Joe and Jane Public wringed their hands in agony about the dearth of new “scripted” programming whilst watching American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Hills, not to mention catching up on months of missed viewing of “scripted” programming via Tivos, DVRs and the Internet. Or just spending more time w/ their laptops, gaming consoles and other neat-o electronic devices instead (hopefully their families, too). Oh, yeah, that’s right, that whole strike thingy was about not being paid fairly for distribution via “other” means.

Some of you are now mentally pointing out this will affect that ever popular TV commercial, too. Joe and Jane Public stopped wringing their hands long enough to zip through those, check their email/IM/ social network of choice when they came on, or were more old school and just headed to the kitchen or bathroom instead.

I’ve already posted about the fact that means of distribution are ch-ch-ch-changing and the former arbiters of things that all think good on TV, radio and movie screens are losing their grip. So, add this to the list of things I’m over – apparently my vitriol was not sufficiently relieved. I’m hoping the day progresses with no more incidents.

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Filed under digital distribution, entertainment industry, media usage, monetizing media, pop culture, video

Old Dogs Learning New Tricks?

I was going to have this post simply be a link to the A-Rod/A-Rod’s wife/Madonna/Lenny Kravitz story and just ask if anyone really cares or maybe comment that I now agree w/ the thought that digital media is leading us to be stoopid. However, when I Googled “a rod and madonna” I noticed something more interesting. Sun-Sentinel.com – aka the website for the Orlando Sun-Sentinenl – is running a sponsored link tied directly to this story.
I decided to test a bit further in the celebutainment area of journalism. No paid links for Christy Brinkley and Peter Cook or Angelina Jolie’s twins. Nuts. When looking at news of a bit more substantial nature, Time.com is buying Barack Obama related terms, but no one is touching the current president or the presumptive republican candidate for his office. Interesting.
All this to say that pure play editorial products have always paid for traffic. We in the media space should always make sure we understand how a website has built and maintains it’s traffic. However, I am encouraged to see that those tied to products made of paper are starting to catch on as well.
I am cyncial by nature, but now two Florida newspapers – The Tampa Tribune and The Sun-Sentinel – are giving me hope that we are getting to a place where media mix becomes irrelevant and the old guys start playing by the new rules. Let’s hope they’re not just crazy from the heat.

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Filed under entertainment industry, local, media coverage, monetizing media, newspapers

Radio Unfree USA

The RIAA and their various associates (musicFIRST? whatever…) would have us believe AM-FM radio is piracy. This quote from the post on Wired’s blog sums it up nicely:

“The argument boils down to this: Radio is making billions off the backs of recording artists and their labels; and the recording artists gain invaluable exposure because they’re on the radio, so royalties should not have to be paid.”

Been awhile since I was in a biology class, but I’m pretty sure that’s close to the definition of symbiosis.

A note on radio station ownership in the US for those not aware. I don’t know the exact stats but something like 4 companies control most of the stations in the country (ever noticed on long drives that there’s always a “MIX”, “X” and some station with a one syllable dude’s name? The fruits of too few owners of media outlets, my friends). And in case you haven’t noticed, that’s done a lot in terms of limited genres and artists now heard over the airwaves (Thank God for The Current here in MSP, though I do still pine for REV105 on occassion and still drop in online to good ol’ KGSR down in Austin, TX).

So we’re talking about whether or not the relatively limited number of artists – and the labels that represent them – that receive the majority of airplay on commercial radio are compensated enough for their music. What do you think?

Separate but related – just finished a book called “The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism.” It’s an interesting look at how “punk capitalism” and “the hip hop generation” are making major corporations (and industry groups for that matter) determine if piracy empowered by digital technology is just a new form of competition. Good and fast read.

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Filed under books, digital distribution, entertainment industry, monetizing media, RIAA