Lets play musical chairs today: You sit atop $60 billion worth of businesses selling media content ranging from movies, tv shows, music distributed across an arsenal of channels such as satellite tv, cable, network, radio, cinemas.
But something’s bothering you. Low growth in your existing business model. And ONE, singular new channel called broadband internet that you do not own but show extremely high growth and potential to be the next Holy Grail.
Did i mention your are 75? Yes, you are Rupert Murdoch. Would you chase this elusive Holy Grail and bet billions of dollars (and incumbent business partnerships spanning the globe) to understand the shiny new toy of Internet “chaos” ruled by a bunch of kids scarcely half your age who, when combined, dun really even make half the money you are making now?
Apparently yes, almost $600 million and 3 startups in InterMix (MySpace), IGN.com and Newroo later, the revolution has officially started. What began as garage ventures and stereotyped seat-of-the-pants decision making fuelled by beer-guzzling, pot-smoking, caffeinated college kids has moved mainstream. The battle field is no longer in the suburban garages of San Francisco Bay Area but the mahogany tables, marble-d corridors, posh skyscrapers and suited inhabitants of Manhattan’s Media Capital.
So, ALL HAIL the new Media revolutionaries: Podcasters, Bloggers, Burners, P2P Buccaneers, Mashup Artists, Phonecam Paparazzi and those One-Internet-Minute Fame-Seekers..
The Organizational Disconnect – Corporate Control VS Community Chaos
Coroporate seek control to dominate the monetization process. The MySpace Community has no overaching control structure and yet that is the core of their success. Which existing successful business has a biz model that doesn’t control its customers? How do you build a platform for all these independent participants/ players and still make truckloads of money from it?
A Global Idol and Hosting an Omnipresent audience of Judges
The platform is : (Help) audiences create hits. “Make that happen more quickly, cheaply, and reliably, and you have a philosopher’s stone for media: a Net-fueled word-of-mouth machine.”
In other words, refine the internet model of on-hit-wonders, be more efficient in scouting them plus bundle that with incumbent NewsCorp expertise to transform online one-hit-wonders to offline global celebrities through its media warchest… IN other words, a Global Idol with talent search beginning within MySpace profiles, letting the community of friends filter and decide on the good ones through monitoring page views, downloads, adding them as friends…
Think of all this as an ever-present audience of SimonCowells, Randy Jacksons and Paula Abduls.. Conventional logic: millions deciding beat 3 deciding, especially when the millions are also customers…. (and oh yeah, the MySpace judges can do much more than the mere 35 million text messagers on American Idol)
Imagine the amount of merchandise, the number of reality TV shows showcasing all these web celebrities and all those faces plastered across magazine covers and newspaper articles will result in an endless stream of web celebrities coming through MySpace. Now, thats control.
As a parting note, here’s a paragraph I like:
“As lucrative as those ideas may be, they’re based on an old media conception of audiences as consumers. But MySpace members are something different: They’re participants. The site’s greatest value isn’t connecting people to products, people to information, or eyeballs to advertisers. It’s connecting people to people. The MySpace team is light on information theorists, but DeWolfe happily quotes Metcalfe’s law: “The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users.” In other words, MySpace multiplies the value of each member by connecting one to another. It’s a virtual nation of people instant-messaging their friends a link to Gnarls Barkley’s new track and decorating their pages with Family Guy clips. And that’s where MySpace could strike gold: It lets News Corp. host the cultural conversation.”
Full article here