The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for May 2010



Why the Broadcast TV Networks are toast

Why the Broadcast TV Networks Are Toast Maybe a little optimistic!!

Clay Sharkey (in an article I’ve commented on and want to write more about) talks about the Collapse of Complex systems (business models). The Broadcast Television industry is a complex business model that will be dramatically simpler in the future, so they must collapse completely if Sharkey is right (and I tend to think he is). That’s probably not exactly what Diane Mermigas means but she’s on the road:

Don’t be surprised if at least one of the Big Four broadcast networks is sold or dismantled in the next 24 months.

They are failing business models whose brand value is meaningful mostly to strained local TV station affiliates, many of whom are also fighting to survive.

Let’s hope she’s right. The quicker the dinosaurs fail, the faster the “new media mammals” can thrive.

The New Now of Television: Surviving the changing business of Television. LA for Television Academy members, starring me! 🙂

This is a custom version of my “How to grow your production or post-production business in any type of economic conditions”, which has been presented in New York in March, and will also be in San Francisco on June 19. (Along with an afternoon session on “Growing and Monetizing and audience for your independent production”.

Your personal brand defines how people perceive you: what work they’ll consider you for, what you get offered. You’ll learn how to manage your brand – and the stories you tell around your personal brand. You’ll learn how to build an internet presence by understanding how marketing, PR and social conversations have changed the business promotion and networking landscape. We will conclude with the top tips on maximizing your business’ visibility on the Internet.


  • Must Read: CCIA Sets US IP Czar Straight On Intellectual Property Long article, longer submission. Great background.

    First the CCIA demolishes the bogus arguments (and stats) of the Pro-stricter-IP-laws crowd, and then points out why more restrictions and more legislation is almost certainly the wrong approach.

    Of course, after going through the fallacies, the filing gets to specific policy recommendations, wisely going back to the ProIP bill’s language, highlighting how the purpose of the IP Czar is really supposed to be about true criminal infringement and counterfeiting, and arguing that any enforcement should be focused on those issues, rather than stepping in on civil disputes in what is, effectively, a business model problem. The filing also points out that diplomats enforcing US IP policy around the world are often uneducated in the balance of interests that IP law is supposed to hold, and frequently just push for greater laws and restrictions, without understanding the harm it causes. Along those lines, the CCIA takes the time to express its grave concerns over ACTA — noting its broad scope and potential harm both in the US and abroad.

    and the conclusion to the document:

    The spread of the global Internet has facilitated the unauthorized and at times infringing distribution of certain forms of intellectual property, especially copyright-protected content. The ease and minimal cost of copying makes meaningful enforcement costly and difficult. This widely recognized problem has stirred passionate debate about how the problem should be handled by copyright owners, the government, and third parties. This problem is amplified and complicated by the importance of both the content and Internet industries in the U.S. export market, as well as and demands for the U.S. to assert leadership at the international level. This creates a danger of rigid, oversimplified policies toward infringement that (a) make little sense in other intellectual property domains, and (b) undermine the perceived legitimacy of the global intellectual property system. 

    The solutions to the real and perceived problems the disruptive technology of the Internet has caused for certain entertainment and luxury goods companies cannot be solved by greater government intervention or by shifting more costs to Internet companies. Rather, the solution lies in the evolution of business models to adapt to the new realities of the marketplace.



    VLC continues to be swiss army knife of video playback

    VLC continues to be swiss army knife of playback. New version supports H.264 hardware accel. and WebM/VP8.

    The release of a standalone player for WebM video represents a significant step for the adoption of the new video format. Up until now, users had to download special nightly builds of Firefox, Chrome or Opera to play WebM videos on their systems, and not everyone is committed to running what can essentially be considered an unstable browser version on their machine. VLC’s website also warns visitors that the new release candidate is “aimed at power-users,” but the release will undoubtedly also get some traction with people simply curious about WebM.

    Cory Doctorow give his books away free. Obscurity is worse than piracy. Has worked well for him. His books are international bestsellers.

    Unauthorized copying (sometimes mistakenly called ‘piracy’ or ‘theft’) isn’t going to go away and truthfully cannot be stopped, so the only logical solution is to find new business models that work.

    There is only one thing worse for an artist or creative than having work downloaded without authorization and that’s to be lost in obscurity so no-one knowns about it. I’ve written about my views on my own materials but it’s interesting to read the opinion of someone who depends on his writing for his livelihood and still gives it away free.

    As a practical matter, we live in the 21st century and anything anybody wants to copy they will be able to copy. If you are building a business model that says that people can only copy things with your permission, your business is going to fail because whether or not you like it, people will be able to copy your product without your permission. The question is: what are you going to do about that? Are you going call them thieves or are you going to find a way to make money from them?



    Kudos to Adobe

    Kudos to Adobe Now, what are those “additional Adobe publishing technologies” that turn InDesign to iPad app?

    Seriously Adobe, spill. This is the sort of innovation we’re hanging out for: publish rich media versions of InDesign documents?

    Created with Adobe InDesign CS5 and additional Adobe publishing technologies, the WIRED Reader is the first in a series of steps for Adobe to enable magazine publishers and retail catalogers to deliver groundbreaking experiences across tablets, smartphones and other devices. By reaching readers in new ways on these emerging devices, publishers can increase circulation (because these new apps count towards audited ABC circulation) and deliver incremental digital revenue.

    This is in the App store, approved by Apple, so it isn’t likely to be Flash based – compiled or not – and apparently passes muster as a native app. If that’s the case, then I see a bright publishing future for Adobe creative tools for content on the iPad.

    Pretty flash, without Flash. (Possible reference only understandable by Brits and Aussies and the odd New Zealander.)

    Lady GaGa doesn’t mind if people steal her music, she makes it up in touring

    Lady Gaga admits she’s fine with people downloading her music in unauthorized forms because she makes it up in touring revenue:

    She explains she doesn’t mind about people downloading her music for free, “because you know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $40 million [£28 million] for one cycle of two years’ touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music — then tour. It’s just the way it is today.”

    The music, and the record contract, have rarely been the source of a band/artist’s revenue. The Label always seems to have as many costs applied to the artist as the artist generates in revenue. Mick Jagger said, last week, that the Record Labels never pay out. So touring is/has/will be a primary source of a musician’s income. Plus other reasons to buy stuff from the artist at a profit.

    The music – free to distribute in infinite amounts – is a promotional tool for something scarce: performances.






    James Murdoch needs remedial Copyright intervention.

    James Murdoch needs remedial Copyright intervention. Totally gets it wrong. Hard to imagine the staggering ignorance.

    In fact this is such a long takedown of Murdoch’s speech that it’s hard to quote just one egregious example. James Murdoch willfully (or just plain ignorantly) gets the purpose and practice of copyright wrong; puts up false strawmen to tear down; and just so comprehensively gets it wrong that it’s just plain frightening that he is likely heir to one of the major media companies.

    Read the whole thing, and weep.



    Required Specs could Make Google TV too expensive?

    Required Specs Could Make Google TV Too Pricey? Maybe to start with, but it’ll all get cheaper over time.

    Requirement for a hefty (for a TV) processor and RAM would make Google TV equipped sets fairly expensive compared to their rivals. But we all know that digital electronics comes down in price over time.

    In the interview, Dureau said that connected devices needed more memory than regular HDTVs for buffering while streaming over the web. “If you do the math on decoding an HD video signal, it actually takes a lot of memory — 100 to 200 Mbytes. If you start looking at connected devices in the market that support streaming over the Web they basically have quite a bit of additional ram for buffering,” he said.

    At least one consumer electronics manufacturer has decided against introducing the Google TV platform into its connected devices because development of those products would be too pricey. In March, Panasonic EVP Bob Perry told Bloomberg that the Android OS would require too much processing power to make it a viable solution.

    Amanda Palmer , OK Go Get Together To Celebrate Being Dropped From Their Record Labels Better off solo than with label because it allows them to better connect with fans, and give those fans a reason to buy something.

    For both these artists the label was a hindering factor, not a help.

    It’s yet another reminder of how the role of the major labels is totally changing. Historically, the only way to be successful in the music business was to get a major label deal. They were the gatekeepers, and without a deal, you were out of luck. Being dropped from a major was effectively the end of your career as a performer with a very small number of exceptions. But, these days, artists are realizing that there’s so much more that can be done without major label help, and that actually being on a major can hinder or block those opportunities, that it’s become a cause for celebration when you get “dropped” — or, perhaps, more accurately, freed!

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