Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Give control to media consumers

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey recently gave the keynote address at the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival. In it, he challenged broadcasters to give control to viewers, as his own example has done. He points out that if people are able to access content when and where they want, and at a reasonable price, they will pay for the content rather than stealing it. Numerous studies back him up on that, as does real-world experience with services like iTunes Store.

However, despite the success of iTunes and other services, the music industry is still fighting change. How much more likely is it that television and films will adapt to the new realities? I think they’ll be somewhat less likely to do so. But adapting to the new realities isn’t optional: If they don’t, they will whither and die.

Podcasts, YouTube, streaming video and ebooks all give control to consumers of content, and much of it is quite profitable, thank you very much. It’s also highly democratic: Modern technology lets anyone with an idea, a computer and a bit of know-how the ability to produce and sell their own publications, music, films, shows, broadcasts, etc. This is the new reality in the world.

Old media companies must adapt. Kevin Spacey’s remarks provide a spirited explanation of why that is.

Tip o' the Hat to my nephew, who posted this video to Facebook.

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