The Tyranny of Choice

Choice is good right? Malcom Gladwell does a great talk on how Howard Moskowitz revolutionized marketing by understanding the dynamics of choice. His example here is spaghetti sauce. Traditional marketing strategy had been to get together focus groups and ask them what they liked in a good sauce. Then groups were asked what characteristics they liked in a sauce - should it be chunky? Zesty? … [Read more...]

Ticket Sales, Business Models & Community – Five Ideas To Build Community

I was a bit surprised by some of the reaction to my last post on the unsustainability of the ticket sales model in the Attention Economy. Boil down my argument and it's essentially this: products used to compete primarily with other products in their sector. Jazz competed with other jazz, dance competed with other dance. In the Attention Economy, dance competes with video games competes with … [Read more...]

Pay Attention! If Selling Tickets Is Your Business Model, You've Got A Problem

Another lifetime ago we were in the Manufacturing Economy. We made things. Then we were in the Transportation Economy. We outsourced making things and brought whatever we needed to us. Then it was the Experience Economy. We created entertainment around the things we buy (how we justify paying $4.50 for a 50-cent coffee). Now we're in the Attention Economy. In the infinite choice marketplace, ideas … [Read more...]

A Future For Journalism About The Arts

In the past couple of years, half of all the staff arts journalism jobs in the US have been eliminated. In some cases, newspapers offloading their staff critics have replaced them with freelancers. In some cases, the freelancers have done a better job than the staffers they have replaced. But mostly not.Running a good freelance section requires editors who have the time and talent to know what's … [Read more...]

Microsoft CEO Predicts All News Content Online In 10 Years

Steve Ballmer, speaking at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, said he doesn't see a recovery for the news industry after the recession:"I don't think we are in a recession, I think we have reset," he said. "A recession implies recovery [to pre-recession levels] and for planning purposes I don't think we will. We have reset and won't rebound and re-grow."So how will we get our news? "All … [Read more...]

Power Curve: Four (Short) Stories About Empowering Audiences

A few years ago arts organizations had the bright idea that they should sell tickets online. Not wanting to invest much in the effort, they turned to the obvious ready-made ticket seller: Ticketmaster. It wasn't an encouraging experience. Orchestras reported mediocre online sales. It wasn't until a customized ticket-selling web application came online that online sales proved their worth. What was … [Read more...]

Bill Ivey Talks About Obama and the Arts and Whether America Should Have a Secretary of Culture

Bill Ivey was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts during the Clinton administration. More recently he has been director of the Curb Center at Vanderbilt University, and, after last year's presidential election, ran the Obama administration's transition team for culture. So what place will the arts have in the new administration? Ivey says the jury's still out. As for another big issue … [Read more...]

Will Technology Make Our Intellectual Property Laws Obsolete?

Interesting take on the future of copyright and patent law by Eric Reasons:Every business model relying on intellectual property law (patent and copyright) is heading for massive deflation in our lifetimes. We've seen it with the music industry and newspapers already. The software industry is starting to feel it with the maturity of open source software, and the migration of applications to the … [Read more...]

The Text Revolution – Why Text Is More Efficient Than TV

In the TV Age the tube has dominated breaking news. Watching crucial moments of a big dramatic story on TV can be compelling, and the TV news audience has dwarfed newspaper readership. It is accepted wisdom that TV owns the dramatic breaking story; newspapers bat cleanup.But maybe not. Watch a big story on cable news and you're in for acres of boring vamping and conjecture wrapped around the … [Read more...]

Is Working For Free A Threat Or An Opportunity?

Google has asked prominent illustrators if they'd like to create new skins for the company's Chrome browser. Here's the catch: Google isn't offering any money for the designs. Google expects artists to contribute for free. Understandably, many illustrators and artists are protesting; a rich company like Google can afford to pay, and asking people to work for free devalues the work.Stan Schroeder … [Read more...]