From Copy Economy to Access Economy: The media industry must prepare itself for a future in the cloud, claims a digital future expert.
Media futurist Gerd Leonhard was the keynote speaker of the Future Media Days conference in Oslo, Norway this week. Leonhard is a media strategist and popular keynote speaker on the future of media. He lives in Switzerland and also writes the Mediafuturist blog.
The Future Media Days conference was held for the first time by the New Media Network in Norway. After his speech (you can download his slides here) I made a short video interviw with Leonhard that you can watch above.
- A tornado is coming for the media industry, warns Leonhard. He points out how some big mega trends will affect the very essence of how the media companies have been used to running their business.
One of the most important trends is the transformation from a Copy Economy to Access Economy.
Traditionally media business models have been based on selling copies of content: A printed newspaper, a book, a DVD, a music record, even a digital copy of a song.
That model is about to disappear, claims Leonhard. He compares Internet to a giant copy machine. Selling “copies” is a model of the past. Instead the entire world shifts to a world of access.
“If you are in the media industry you better get used to this. It is a whole new industry.”
We must review our assumptions, says Gerd Leonhard. Like what is a copy in this new world? How do you define “a copy” when you have unlimited music streamed to you like in Spotify? If we cannot even define a copy, how can we speak of copyright?
Gerd Leonhard’s answer: Access (to the cloud) is the new copy!
We used to live in what can be described as the Broadcast Culture. It was a disconnected society, based on everybody watching or reading the same content. For the media it was a one way stream of publishing.
Now it has been transformed to the Broadband Culture, which is based on millions of links between people.
“What matters on the Internet is not the noise, it is the trusted connections that you have generated”
The future of the media is not a fight for distribution, it is a fight for attention, says Leonhard.
In the past the media made money through control and scarcity.
“The future of the media is not a fight for distribution, it is a fight for attention.”
What then about media companies’ attempt at putting up paywalls in such an economy, like what The Times is doing.
- The paywall is an attention wall, unless it is so cleverly done that you don’t really notice that you pay, says Leonhard.
“Forcing people to pay cannot possibly be our future!”
Leonhard wasn’t necessarily agains asking users to pay, but underlined how i all depends on how it is done.
- It is very important to make models that keep 95 per cent of the population engaged. Then you can create uppselling options, he said.
Related articles about Gerd Leonhard
- Gerd Leonhard: The Future of IPR and Copyright (presentation at TedX NewStreet London) (slideshare.net)
- The Future of Advertising: Gerd Leonhard at Adtech London 2010 (slideshare.net)
- Gerd Leonhard: The Journalists Formerly Known as the Media: My Advice to the Next Generation ( /Jay Rosen) (mediagazer.com)
- New video: 5 customer engagement trends by Gerd Leonhard (future of marketing) (mediafuturist.com)
- Gerd Leonhard: Hot Trend – Tools To Find Relevant Web Information (gigaom.com)