Starter notes for NetHui Session on Media and Innovation

I’m facilitating a discussion at NetHui today on Media and Innovation. Here’s the blurb:

Content is king but someone has to pay for it. In the days of media convergence traditional content distribution is challenged.

Copyright law has stepped in to protect these legacy distribution models but is this an enduring solution

what alternative models should be explored and what are the implication for business?

 We’ll kick this off with comments from three people, representing Big media, Internet media and end users. Each gets 90 seconds to put their case for what we want the media/content world to look like in 5 years – from their perspective.

Julie Starr will represent big media – she’s a newsroom of the future expert. Bernard Hickey, from will put the case for small media and I’ll put the case for the end user. I hope Bernard and Julie read this before hand – but then again they both know this stuff cold.

Here’s my take on the desired end user future – In five years we should see three things

  • All media is legally available in NZ, and at a fair price or free. That means US movies, Russian TV programs and French music is easy to access, purchase and consume
  • Content is consumable across countless platforms. This means pay once, consume in many ways. The Wall Street Journal just realised this, opening up their iPad app to existing online or print subscribers.
  • Quality content will drive results. Whether created for free by individuals, by large media organisations building on years of experience and standards, or by PR companies we will migrate to the best content. ‘Best’ mght men the, but while gossip news may not be highbrow, it’s the quality of that gossip news that counts.

After the quick intros we will open it to the floor to answer four questions – all at once.

1: What mediums should we expect to see in 5 years? (e.g. phones, iPads, big TVs – what else?)

2: What content should we expect to see in 5 years? Who provides it, what are we reading, viewing

3: What content creators should we expect to see in 5 years?

4: What revenue models should we expect to see in 5 years? (free, subs, ads, etc)

And then let’s change tack, and focus on the real question:

What do we need to do to get there? What are the barriers NZ has between now and the content future that we want? What can we do to break them down in order to get the future we want?

Some of those issues I see are:

  • Unobtainable content – purchasable offshore only
  • Unobtainable content – out of publication
  • Unobtainable content – DRMed to heck and thus unusable
  • Unobtainable content – Secret/too expensive
  • Difficult content – held offshore and too big to download easily

And related to the answer to these – how do we balance societal and creator/owner benefits?

  • What do creators and copyright owners want?
  • What does public/consumers want?
  • How do we treat the various types of content?
  • What does copyright 2.0 law look like?
  • Where does the money flow under copyright 2.0?

Published by Lance Wiggs


One reply on “Starter notes for NetHui Session on Media and Innovation”

  1. “All media is legally available in NZ, and at a fair price or free.” I worry that’s a huge either/or to pass over quite so lightly. Consumers always want everything for free, so asking what they want is a question to frame carefully. My take is that, in the end, consumers want good content (rather than free vs paid). But the question for good content creators is how to get paid. At the moment, that question remains inadequately answered (and remunerated!), but it can’t be forever because “good” content – however that comes to be defined – won’t disappear. It just won’t, because people will still want it. Which means the people that value it will start paying for what they want when it starts either to disappear or only appears in platforms requiring a payment. All other content will either be academic, politically or commercially motivated, or the commentary and opinions of the usual suspects, from subject matter expert to Social Crediter.


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