Sunday, July 02, 2006

Surveying the content field

This week I have prepared the monthly issue of the Content Market Monitor. It is a spin-off of the EU ACTeN project of which Electronic Media Reporting was part of. It used to be a monthly newsletter during the project. The intention was that members of the European Academy of Digital Media (EADiM) would be contributing to this newsletter from their activities or their countries. In August 2004 at the end of the ACTeN project the newsletter was terminated.

By January 2005 I decided that it was a pity to let the newsletter go to waste. There was a content management system in place; a provider in Romania, I.T.C., to distribute it; a mailing list of some 2000 e-mail addresses in 100 countries and editorial services from Electronic Media Reporting. So we decided to continue and by now we have done so for 1,5 years. In principle every last week of the month I (left) gather material, edit it, put an order to it, spell check the newsletter and send it off to Romania, where Ioana Petcu (right) handles the distribution routines.

The last week is always an interesting week. To me gathering the editorial items has two objectives: do my desk research to keep up and signal trends. So at present I can make a list of trends that I see happening in the content field, not necessarily in the order of importance:
- Video;
- Blogging;
- Civic journalism;
- Mobile television;
- Mobile content;
- e-Books;
- Digital paper;
- Digital newspapers;
- Games;
- Open Access
- DRM for movies and music;
- Digital preservation;
- Internet safety and digital literacy.

In the last newsletter there are some exciting items. The fact that the iLiad, the digital paper reader, is on sale now and will start being delivered, is all excitement. I can not wait to have my copy in my hands. You will hear about it in extenso.

Another news item drew my attention: RIAA Says Illegal Song-Sharing 'Contained'. The items basically tells me that the American trade association for the recording industry sees that their methods of pursuing music swappers is working. It has been a long way of legal persecution and education. Still I think that the stress is still too much on pursuing and not enough on educating youngsters, but also older people. Besides I still think that RIAA did not take a pro-active stance. They knew that they had to go with the digital train, but they were all the time working on the brakes. The association nor the members did not design and start music services like iTunes, combining songs and acceptable conditions.
The same goes for video and text. Movie makers in Hollywood cry murder about piracy, but it were not their members that designed the video on demand services nor did they solicit a co-operation. Of course the movie makers are not the end-user handlers, but they are the main partners in the production and distribution chain.
Also the print publishers keep shouting that their news items are being copied and that they have to offer their newspaper services gratis, for nothing, nada. When print publishers still did have a chance in the late nineties, they did not want to work together in order to explore alert services, pooling their news resources. They rather started services for themselves with their brands. And presently they still do not understand that the brand of the newspaper is not the main USP for buying news from them. Certainly in business people do not want to be caught unprepared. So they want an alert service in the morning telling (mind you!) them in the car about the developments in their branch; in that way they can move into their business meeting or sales call. It means a common subscription service of the main newspapers, delivering news items from various sources, based on a profile.

As you can see, there is more behind the selection of an article. The word ‘contained’ triggered some aggression against the laid back attitude of content providers. They should be more pro-active and look for new alliances.

Click here to read the 38th issue of the Content Market Monitor.

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Blog Posting Number: 428

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