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Europe is poised to become the global nexus for content distribution, as evidenced by the incredible growth of conglomerates such as Bertelsmann and Vivendi. Europe's Internet industry has grown in recent years, and now has unprecedented impact on the new economy.
In keeping with the tradition of prior Webnoize events, Webnoize Europe www.webnoizeurope.com will bring together the digital entertainment elite -- top-level executives hailing from the music, film, broadcast, new media, technology, telcom, consumer device, research and financial industries.
Participants will join Webnoize Research analysts in considering the global impact as disparate industries intersect, and the resulting effects on the new economy and the evolving digital entertainment industry.
For years, new media advocates have said that file downloading is a stop-gap system, a system for consumption that will eventually go the way of the 8-track tape once streams of digital entertainment can easily flood convergence devices...with or without wires.
But in addition to technical constraints ã waiting for science fiction to become reality ã there will be market constraints; are consumers aware of the advantages of this sort of new media world?
On-demand television could be the killer app for rich media streaming. Eventually, programs won't need scheduled broadcast times, only "street dates" that represent the first possible availability.
Consumers could choose between watching with commercials for free, watching without commercials for a modest fee, or for answering a few questions about their buying habits. Will open-source or proprietary technologies support this whole ideal? How are leading developers of PC-based technologies for streaming and animation preparing for these new opportunities? Who will be the big business winners?
Within the next several years, creators will gain more control over their work than entertainment industry infrastructures have historically allowed. Particularly prolific artists will control several leveragable assets: unique content, a personal brand, relationships with followers, and their appeal as icons.
But artists are not immune to the market forces that have caused new media companies to buckle; additionally they face a glut of entertainment content diluting the impact of their work. Given the viability of new revenue streams, how comfortable are creators with wrapping their content around marketing messages? How do they feel about their work being bundled into blanket licensing models and subscription-billed services? How are their relationships with managers, agents, lawyers and other supporters evolving amid the new media evolution?
Are "hits" -- long crucial to the mainstream music, movie and television businesses -- essential to the new media world? Mass audiences are where the money is, but on the Internet personalization has become central to customer loyalty.
Clearly, catering to individuals conflicts with the entertainment industry's mass-market, hit-making mission. How can new media ventures reconcile these two contradictory pursuits? What technologies, tools and services enable a bridge between mass-market content and targeted appeal?
Shopping malls are 'portals' to shops with niche appeal, and multiplexes provide easy access to hit films made by several competing studios. Who will be the online equivalent of these offline commerce successes? If mass media is required for the 'hit,' what role will the major portals, big media and other mass consumer consolidators play in the future of niche communities? How will online communities work to evolve the sponsor/media relationship into avaluable commerce partnership?
Content plays have recently cooled, but high-profile creators and experienced industry veterans are developing daring Internet media ventures, looking to combine clout, experience and strategy.
A number of first movers have survived the flameouts but face a much tougher capital market. The brief but high-profile history of Pop.com suggested that certain entrepreneurs are watched more closely than others. Do new media visionaries with high visibility face a different sort of pressure to succeed? Regardless of the how high media hype raises the bar, the next wave of rich content ventures face tough business model scrutiny. How does their experience and creative ingenuity differentiate themselves from other content plays?
Is the new media world any closer to finding viable relationships between commerce and content? What lessons have new media ventures learned from those who've come (and gone) before? What is their response to the tough rap content is getting -- and their subsequent plan to achieving viability?
(C) Æliens 04/09/2009You may not copy or print any of this material without explicit permission of the author or the publisher. In case of other copyright issues, contact the author.