Ground Zero in a Digital Age
DVDs, the first real salvo that heralded the dawn of the new age, solidified the “how” and opened the doors of the bright new shiny world of digital consumption to the unwashed digital masses. After this, the flood of devices that began to reign introduced a key component to the Digital Age’s success.
Everything is always better and always smaller. To the common person on the street, a luggage- sized stereo blaring loudly and hugged snuggly to a person’s ear thankfully only brings about fond memories of the good times well remembered but long gone. Today digital music players are the norm and even then they are on the ancient-end of the spectrum, as they are being replaced with newer devices which integrate many functions allowing for more portability, larger hard drives space (yet smaller hard drives), home networking, to global cellular 3G networks, the door has been blown off of the Physical Age for good.
Where once there were limited means to consume content, now there are many. And along with this concept, Digital Media creates a perceived problem. With the creation of multiple digital delivery systems, the power of content consumption has been officially transferred from the content owner to the content consumers. On the surface this would seem to be a problem because the traditional methods or controlling delivery have been removed or changed creating what ostensibly appears to be an environment that would facilitate a decrease in revenue generation from the traditional streams.
This belief, while appearing logical, is out-and-out false however. As plainly as it was demonstrated in the early days of VHS and Beta, more methods and means of content delivery actually creates more opportunities for its monetization.
Yet herein lays a dilemma. How exactly does one monetize these streams efficiently; not just equaling past profit margins across available content delivery options, but exceeding them? Certainly companies such as Apple (iTunes, IPod, iPad), Netflix, or Hulu are better leveraged to take advantage of these questions and turn them into solutions.
Monetization is both the question and the key. As we move further into this new Digital Age, with its HDTV, and blu-ray, and 3D and with all of its yet-to-be discovered gadgets and doohickeys, we can explore some ways that capture these streams currently and conceptualize future solutions to help content owners and distributors better take advantage of the opportunities before them on the new media landscape; helping them to effectively monetize their content/assets.
One thing is sure however. As the number of content consuming devices increases, we are most assuredly looking at another “good ol days”.