IMA Conference: Two Views of an Exploding Universe: Andrew Blau, GBN & Diane Mermigas, Hollywood Reporter

(Much of these items are paraphrased. I can’t type as fast as they can talk. Audio from these discussions will be on -j.)

Andrew Blau of the Global Business Network (GBN).

I think his opening slide is my new favorite quote:

“The task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what no body yet has thought about that which everyone sees.”

–(Arthur Schopenhauer)

Media is Pervasive.
Buildings, elevators and packages are media spaces.

Media is Noisy.
Lots of media = lots of demand for attention. Media is created by everyone, even non-professionals. Today, there are no phones sold in Japan without a camera. The range of devices is is increasing which creates more noise.

Computer and video gaming are part of the media mix for both entertainment and information programming. Examples Food Force gaming, Red vs. Blue animated series based on computer game characters.

Consolidation among media companies will continue. (PacMan visual) šŸ˜‰

Media is Inverted.
Broadband and cheap digital storage will change how people consume media. People find the work that interests them.

Example: someone created an archive of publicly available 911 media. Put it up on Google Video. Gets a call from Google. “Who are you and what are you doing?” The traffic stats were going up like a hockey stick.

Individual users in the driver’s seat reaching out and changing media.

What other relationships will also get turned upside down?

Viewers are creators are viewers are creators are viewers…

Trusted guides will become more important, yet the number and type of guides is growing, too. (But we can’t get lazy and complacent about that.) The number of trusted guides is growing as much as the media itself. Guides may not be people, put algorithms.

Media is Fragmented.
(visual: Long Tail) Only a few shows, projects, or products will attract big or mass audiences — but many works attract some audience.

Media with a strong, well-defisned political or social point of view will increasingly attract supportive audiences. (Visual: The Passion of the Christ; Farhenheit 9/11)

The next generation of producers and consumers will have different attitudes, tastes and assumptions than the ones that prevail among boomers and Gen-x’ers today. Kevin Kelly wrote an article about music – “it’s fluid. your relationship changes with it.”

“How many Brokeback Mountain parody ads can we see?” šŸ˜‰

Media is Financially Reorganized.
“The traditional combination of government, foundation and corporate funding is pretty much shot…The only area with some potential for growth are wealthy individuals and they’re feeling besieged.”

— I couldn’t type fast enough to attribute the quote. šŸ˜‰

Starbucks is now positioning itself to be in the media environment. Distribution channel, trusted brand and capacity.

Media Venture Collective – funds independent work via small checks – maybe even PayPal, etc.

Ringback tones to become advertising channel? (Visual: screenshot from blog) There’s a whole bunch of new financial flows that are possible.

Selected Implications
The media landscape will be reshaped by the bottom-up energy of media created by amateurs and hobbyists.

The economic prospects for any individual media work are more precarious even as the market expands

Mind the Gap.

Amount of media generated

The distribution gap

Ways to experience media

The attention gap

Individual exposure to media


Trends indicate that this will happen, but how they add up is the big question.

Public Television Affinity Group Coalition

“We won’t get what we want by doing the same thing harder.”

Diane Mermigas, Contributing Editor, Hollywood Reporter

(Her talk makes me want to re-up my subscription to the Hollywood Reporter. -j.)


“We’re in the early stages of media’s California Gold Rush. This is our industrial revolution, not evolution.”

“Google understood from the beginning what consumers and businesses needed: to find their way, to find what they want.”

“Steve Jobs understood the technology that has empowered consumers and how they want to use it.”

New Rules of Play

1) Understanding and catering to the empowered consumer and their new behaviors.

2) It’s all about interactivity. Traditional media is static. Digital media has forced interactivity on everyone.

3) The Internet has created global communities and single person targeted audiences – and you have to serve the entire spectrum.

4) The power of user generated content cannot be underestimated. (Myspace, blogs, WoW, etc.) There are potential liabilities that go along with this, but more potential liabilities if you don’t. If you doubt user-generated content, American Idol beat the Olympics and the Grammy’s.

5) Get in front of the marketplace before you get beaten by it.

6) Experiment.

7) Collaborate. Explore strategic alliances.

8) Think outside the box. (In this case, the TV set. Don’t underestimate what is media.)

9) Know and redefine your brands.

10) Be willing to blow up your old business models in order to adopt and potentially develop new lucrative business models.

11) Make your new agreements short term in order to learn and refine. (Examples: TV Networks and iTunes)

12) There are many new ways to make money – and it’s OK to make money. You can reinvest it in new content and services.

13) The technology allows for new metrics and accountability and immediate detailed measurement.

14) Reach out to your grassroots creators.

15) Understand your strengths in the new media spectrum and then build upon them.

Examples of these new rules:

MTV Overdrive. Innovative, yet skip resistant to advertising.

AOL/Warner Brothers: in2tv. Using the resources they have that doesn’t undercut their existing revenue streams.


BBC: my BBCPlayer. Allows consumers to download and share programs.

“Public Media can embrace these new rules of play and win.”

“Consumers are empowered and calling all the shots – and that’s ok. Listen to them and you can create products and services that they will buy.”

“Advertisers want to go beyond messaging – they want to transact business. Public media can help them do that without violating its non-commercial mandate.”

“Find the new content creators. You need each other.”

“Assign new media values to streaming, on-demand, ringtones, downloads, etc.”

“What are people willing to pay for their media. Go figure it out yourselves – don’t wait for some research report to tell you.”

Learn how technology can be used for marketing and promotion.

“Advertising is not a dirty word for public media. Just make sure you allow interactivity.”

The NYTimes lost 28% of its circ, but their online readership is huge – bigger than their print circulation., NewsVine.

It’s difficult to certify “legitimate news”.

“Inability to sufficiently protect intellectual property rights is a challenge. By 2010, 160 billion of equity value can be lost to piracy and ad-skipping.”


1) Peter Morville: “Ambient Findability“. “The wealth of information that we have today brings about a poverty of attention…you can’t control the experience, but you can shape it. First and foremost, the consumer cannot use what they can’t find.”

2) Malcolm Gladwell. “The tipping point is the moment of critical mass…the unexpected becomes the expected.”

3) Dick Parsons. “Shame on us if we can’t make this thing work.”

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