Thursday, October 1, 2009

Post Medium Publishing

Keith Lango found this great article about the dying of current media distribution systems:

In fact consumers never really were paying for content, and publishers weren't really selling it either. If the content was what they were selling, why has the price of books or music or movies always depended mostly on the format? Why didn't better content cost more?

Almost every form of publishing has been organized as if the medium was what they were selling, and the content was irrelevant. Book publishers, for example, set prices based on the cost of producing and distributing books. They treat the words printed in the book the same way a textile manufacturer treats the patterns printed on its fabrics.

If audiences were willing to pay more for better content, why wasn't anyone already selling it to them? There was no reason you couldn't have done that in the era of physical media.

Keith then points to this article here which summarizes to:

1. Redefine the market based on the benefits
2. Break the benefits down into scarce and infinite components.
3. Set the infinite components free, syndicate them, make them easy to get -- all to increase the value of the scarce components
4. Charge for the scarce components that are tied to infinite components

and his example is a music band, give their music away, to build their popularity, so they can charge more for concert tickets and commissioned songs because they are so popular.

All interesting ideas and possibilities. Whether their framework (schema) is true remains to be seen, but one thing is sure, holding onto the old ways isn't gonna work forever. The obvious question to me is how do you create your scarcity product that is actually strong enough. In other words what if you are only a mediocre rock band, you have a medium amount of fans, but you're not big enough to ever sell expensive tickets, because you not big enough to have enough fans in one area of the planet. It's such a long way to get to the point where you find out if you will or will not get paid.

Definitely some things worth thinking about.

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