Report by Nico Macdonaldon on the 2007 London Media Summit, which took place on 16 November 2007 at the London Business School.
The London Media Summit is an international forum for exploring groundbreaking ideas and future trends across all areas of media. Organised by the Media Club of London Business School, Europe’s top graduate school of business, it draws together current and future leaders of the industry to develop innovative thinking.
Notes posted during the event. These notes are not to be cited as direct quotes. Trevor Cook has posted more edited and reflective notes on most of the sessions.
Keynote: Steve Purdham, CEO and founding investor, WE7
– "People hate adverts... but the love free better."
– Why am I here? Experience building global businesses in Internet area. Chaos is opportunity.
– Music industry is very complex
– iTunes forced move from album to track model
– People pay a fortune for vinyl as it is touchable. We are magpies.
– Most people don't like to anticipate change, as change hurts
– Industries usually decline due to falling demand. But demand isn't falling in the music industry.
– Music industry doesn't want to put consumer in control, but Internet has done this. "If you don't listen to your customers, you get screwed." [Key]
– [Cites Edgar Bronfman at GSMA conference on why music industry shouldn't have gone to war with music consumers.]
– Consumers walked around DRM. They push back on the restrictions DRM imposes. "The implementation was too late, and different in every environment."
– 360 degree strategy? Only works for the artist. Not about enforcing roles, but partnerships with the artists. [See new models: Paul McCartney using Starbucks. Prince using newspapers, Radiohead making more from allowing fans to pay what they choose. Madonnna.]
– Existing players aren't dead: have experience, assets, ability to buy their way out of jail
– How can we mine the full potential of a consumer. Whatever is their desire for music worth over a year. If you won't pay the full amount, who will? Pay by [urgency], advertising support, gift vouchers. Radiohead left a load of money on the table, but it was good marketing.
– Technology will keep improving. What will happen to licensing models when downloading and streaming are no different? Will downloading rates restrict [innovation]? [Key]
– Music is emotionally powerful
Panel 4: Is IP the spoilsport of the media playground?
Panel 3: IPTV 2.0: Where next for IPTV?
Jonathan Sykes, Managing Director, Tiscali TV
Annelies van den Belt, Managing Director, ITV Broadband
– Consider ITV broadband to be most advanced IPTV platform: does simulcast, live, 30 day catchup
– Things keep changing. "We need to work hard to bring new product development to the heart of the business".
Rod Henwood, New Business Director, Channel 4
Andrew Burke, Partner, Snowy Road Ventures
Tim Davie, Director of Marketing, BBC
– I don't understand technology and don't want to. I focus on audiences. And on best service, let the audience decide which is the best download service.
– Jonathan: we all know where we are going to get there: IPTV and TV experience is intertwined. Question is what will be the customer journey. Telcos are getting there (BT Vision). ISPs have to get there. Sky will use it for back channel. Broadcasters are getting there (4oD). Then Google: how to get YouTube onto IPTV with its platform demands?
– Andrew: IPTV started as an alternative to broadcast, eg: PCCW in Hong Kong and re-packaging existing content. Then VoD. But interesting thing is when back channel is used. Also hybrid 'closed' content and 'over the top' content [explain!]. With BT Vision I thought we had it stitched up as we were the only people who could deliver reliable service. How the consumer ultimately consumes it is wide open.
– Annelies: [...] YouTube has made people aware of possibility of TV on the Web. Potential with sales of flat screen TV.
– Tim: will be a radical shift in where people go. Clearout of weak channels with aggregation. What iTunes did and Microsoft with the BBC. Value of strong brand that is good aggregator, though if Joost gets it right. "Good editors will be more valuable than ever before" with more content [Key]. Average content will be toast.
– Rod: 1: on demand will grow. 2: trade-off between free and pay needs to be worked out but people prepared to pay for on demand viewing. 3: new entrants disruptive. Opportunities: moving early to establish brand as an aggregator and seen as multimedia not just TV. Winners and losers: look to leverage: customer base, great content. brand, device, or service. IPTV vs Web TV: we are making profits from cable operators and ploughing them into Web TV.
To what extent can [Web 2.0] capabilities be leveraged in [regular TV]?
– Tim: some will migrate but be different. Need quality personalisation ('the right type of recommendation'). See Amazon leverage of Listmania vs [collaborative filtering]. [Key] Will be on people's own terms, not being force fed. Many people will over-engineer the whole thing.
– Annelies: Web 2.0 is hype. Newspapers have had editors letters for years, with editors even writing back. The principles are all the same. Need to learn about being close to our audience. Most popular sites [don't trumpet features] but are well run.
– Jonathan: 1: no good way of sharing video with family via TV. 2: over-supply of mediocre TV. 3: finding right TV recommendation model, which isn't collaborative filtering. "The winners in this business will be the people who are consumer-centric".
– Rod: we need to know the market we are addressing, and not beat ourselves up for not inventing YouTube. "New entrants have got wider permission from consumers in terms of where they can go". [Key] Obsession about the consumer is more important for broadcasters, as not very good at it traditionally. Get ingrained instant response to consumer needs.
– Andrew: quality beats choice. Herbert Simon on the attention economy. Collaborative filtering done well on LoveFilm. See Innok [?] VoD for students. Wide content for small screen is key... Sky chose not to chance their UI more than once a year as cost of change (calls to call centre) were enormous. Need to find a more mainstream solution [?].
– Tim: LoveFilm's success is in finding the right film for you. More important than one might expect.
If you make the experience painless enough through technology you can be successful. See Amazon Unbox.
– Ron: need clearly articulated service with good delivery [execution]
Coordinated device strategy: same on each or differentiated?
– Annelies: ask where something will be relevant, invest in infrastructure to make things simple (eg: telcos needing multiple entry points for content supply when I was at News International)
– Jonathan: Sky done it best, eg: PC interface to movies on hard drive [Sky+?]. Make it easy for consumers to get to me wherever they are. [Key] Broadcasters should be editor of choice. Vodafone Live just wasn't interesting to the consumer. Need to be consumer-centric over platform-centric.
– Andrew: make sure brand [consumer experience] is good. Sky doing well, having held back. Avoid just chucking stuff out to the consumer: you lose track Quality is also service, marketing, support. "Don't just keep throwing stuff over the wall and expect consumers to believe we are innovators."
– Tim: see what we are doing with Newsnight, on mobile (clear what is relevant). If you know what you stand for and are consistent in terms of brand, executional flexibility can come. Masses of learning on drama vs news, that [was a more natural fit].
– Ron: businesses more part of value chain, forcing us to cover more issues. iTunes/iPod "is a cohesive ecosystem". Appetite to consumer stuff on PC for free, limited willingness to pay, and possibility for business models] around moving content across platforms. [Key]
Learnings from 2' vs 10' experience
– Ron: PC an TV viewing in same timeframe. Trails for shows result in immediate spike in VoD service. Consumption on PC seen as less seamless than using remote control.
– Tim: defining point is behaviour. Active vs passive. Will be trend towards active usage, but will vary.
– Andrew: 1-to-many vs 1-to-1.
Simon Torrenson [sp?], BT: what will be the killer app?
– Andrew: last.fm model on TV: the advocacy model with people you trust. The beta culture doesn't work on TV.
– Annelies: problem of metrics
– Tim: see how the Blackberry has taken off. Value of live update, eg: from Media Guardian information that is fresh and valid and personalised
– Ron: connecting pieces of content intelligently
Nico Macdonald: [to Tim, Ron] We have talked about platform but not what it delivers, or what impact that has. Media industry should be better with customers on service but should lead audiences on content. Could answer these questions better and judge success if we knew what is media for (the Paxman Edinburgh TV Festival question). Are we heading for that with the solutions we have discussed here?
– Tim: we are passionate about audiences but won't let creativity be lead by audiences. Blue Planet, etc, didn't come out of audience research. [Last part of question restated.] Not sure what you mean. Our content is fine [?].
– Rod: [missed]
– Annelies: need to have quality content to start with
– Tim: pity when good shows are broadcast and then disappears. But good programmes are bubbling up with iPlayer, eg: Panorama Afghanistan documentary.
– Andrew: [to Tim] in five years we won't talk about audiences
Greg Brookes, Media and Marketing magazine: net neutrality issues?
– Jonathan: [missed]
– Andrew: there will be a two tier service... See impact of BT C21 network... Importance of HD is a long discussion.
– Tim: our service offer is the best content, and adding value to the service
– Andrew: won't work on the Web
– Tim: will be standard. We care about basic TV in the UK being good.
– Jonathan: there was no demand for HD in this market!
Keynote: Mark Wood, Chief Executive, ITN
– Creating Setanta Sport 24 hour sports news channel
– See upswing of Channel 4 News and ITV faith in new News at Ten
– Moving to digital news-gathering, to broadcast ready, and digital productions systems
– Introduced the one wo/man news channel with 15 minute looped channel on a phone. One person produces: selecting material from server, voiceover, piece to camera, production.
– We are all having to get used to UGC content. [Shows video of Glasgow airport bombing.] [Discussions commercial issues.] We now get the pictures more often than we used to. Also need to be able to authenticate material. See Uploaded news bloggers network.
– People will look at crude footage as long as it tells a story. But still need strong journalists to get the stories, put them in context and verify stories, increasingly from UGC contributors.
– Up-skilling your staff and reducing cost base
– [Shows Telegraph TV video] We helped the Telegraph make video more watchable, bring graphic and archive footage. This programme is widely watched in the City as people want to know what the Telegraph is saying. Hard to learn how to be televisual. Also issue of pacing broadcasts.
– Also distributing more directly, inc. to Bebo, YouTube (see ITN channel) and Joost. Starting to see advertising made for the medium (ads have to be short or not intrusive in some other way). Expect ad revenue to grow quickly, from a low start.
– ITN News on 3G phones for [a number] of years. Have learned a lot from this about packaging news for a younger audience, who may not be immediately interested in Gordon Brown
– Includes Reuters, Channel 4 News, British Pathe Fox News and Movietone
– Key markets: broadcasters, new media companies, and increasingly education
– Enormous growth anticipated with increased use of video
Nico Macdonald: what was your thinking about how to help people navigate this large dataset, going beyond the Google 1,000s of items
– Quality of (human created) meta data is vital. Also using data from what is most popular. And creating channels around subjects. Can get metadata outsourced (to India) and can be good but sometimes problems identifying significant people in footage
Is news-gathering retrenching
– Appetite for foreign news and analysis growing. Compliance key as risk of being sued is greater, so professionalising journalists with qualifications.
Robin Ashton, ESPN: syndication alternative or driver to ITN.co.uk?
– We are B2B and like to drive people to C4 or ITV. Stuff on Bebo, etc, more about revenue generation.
– [Not related to question] How to deal with rights of people who don't want to have video of them online. [Shows Rolling Stones - Little Red Rooster on RSG video on YouTube] Commercial impact of stuff getting out with no control.
Panel 2: Targeting creative ventures - where will investors go next?
Panel 1: Compromised content or immersive experience?
"In this panel, media executives from the worlds of advertising, content and new media will discuss the positive and negative impact of the convergence of the online and offline world on today's content"
Chair: John Bates
Nick Wrenn, Managing Editor, CNN International
– Danger of hoaxes
– Does media stifle debate and proper thought
Jamie Kantrowicz, SVP Marketing & Content, MySpace Europe
– UGC isn't just stealing content but [has value itself]
– Value for offline companies of MySpace or online. Can't expect customers to come to you.
Brendan Condon, Managing Director, Advertising.com
– I am involved in monetising content, inc. across any 3rd party advertising house
John Davy, Jongleurs
– Moved from owning clubs to exploiting rights
– Issues: how to exploit content [?]. Whether to moderate content, and split off premium, and legal issues. Also producing an IPTV channel. And artists publisher, merchandiser and live representatives.
– Tensions between content and talent
Issue of moderation
– Nick: "I don't want to be associated with moronic trash that gets posted on the Internet"
– Jamie: online will reflect what is going on in society. But communities are already somewhat self-policiing. [Discusses Nike early role in MySpace on post-purchase customer relationship/advice.]
– Brendan: advertisers very wary about effect of un-moderated UGC on their brand
– Nick: [interesting point about re-designing site to address new needs for stats (?)]
Conflict of ads and content?
– Nick: users are becoming very savvy and quickly determine if an ad is relevant to them
– Jamie: users using an iPod background on MySpace is amazing branding
– Nick: need to target sophisticated users in a non-identifiable way [ie: not scanning their emails literally]
– Jamie: real power in marketing is in the dialogue in communities
– John: danger of advertising moving into sponsorship area[?]
– Nick: know when line has been crossed between advertising and content [?] [Key]
[Who?], Burston Marsetllar: protecting IP rights of content
– Nick: needs to be more discussion within the industry
– John: do you want a moral or commercial answer?! [Missed next point.]
– Jamie: we have a strict take-down policy. How to allow multiple partners to benefit from revenue streams.
– John: with correct meta-tagging we may be able to do this
– Brendan: the old water-cooler moment didn't allow you to share the actual thing. Consumers are now saying 'This is how we want to communicate'.
Greg Brooks, C2 Communications; opting out of tracking or behavioural targeting
– Brendan: advertisers need to deliver engaging continue... Consumers have to realise that if they are getting free content
Nico Macdonald: meta information that allows for content or be monetised is interesting. See Ashley Highfield, BBC Future Media & Technology, on BBC content free to use in UK but with an advert in the US. But need ease of use, which we don't have with UK video on demand. Or is the model more likely to be content free and value elsewhere, eg: Prince album free and income from touring. To CNN: we are putting old wine in new bottles and it is easy to rip off. Should we be creating material that is of the medium?
– Nick: "For some old brands, tackling new media is like watching your uncle dance at a wedding". Need to be relevant to people. Needs to be some business plan to avoid failing quickly. Need to be more cautious. New viewers and new ways o doing it. See Finnish shooting: coverage done by younger Web developers, who researched social networking sites and found videos before they were taken down. Second nature for them to upload this stuff, more familiar than TV. Our advertisers want cross platform exposure.
– John: products that are difficult to use will find people don't come back
Nico Macdonald: [clarification] Where is the leadership from the media sector in ease of use
Chair: Get it right [ease of use]
Susan Dean, BBC: distinction of traditional advertising [?]. Issue of regulation, eg: children's TV.
– Brendan: should be no regulation regarding content providing within the law
– Jamie: we do work within the law. Content hosted in US. Have 500 people viewing content every day. Finnish video didn't break the law but did help police apprehend criminal from profile.
Jonathan [?], [affiliation]: appropriate content for appropriate medium (extending earlier question). Mobile content, multiple platforms, monetising.
– Nick: using mobile for news and sport. Still need some re-purposing. Putting video on mobile, but people still want WAP model of text, not even pictures. Will differ market to market, eg: Africa.
– Jamie: "People aren't interested in watching 30 minutes of video through a stream yet". We use mobile for communication.
– Brendan: we purchased Third Screen Media to deliver text and video to mobile. But we are not the generation for mobile. In Japan [nearfield communication] used to purchase sodas. Also in developing world will be more important. And screens will get better, etc.
– Nick: breaking news via SMS is still key
– Jamie: success of Sky News on mobile
– John: [...] we had to re-shoot content specially. Content provision will need to be done in a dual way.
Mark [who?], BBC: on- and offline activity [around CRM]. People want tickets to Strictly Come Dancing filming. In the past, a single could be a loss leader for an album. Now album could be a loss leader for a tour.
– John: use to be told that 'Live is dead'. But giving away free stuff to drive consumers to real experiences is key... "People paying for Second Life avatar gigs! We can only gasp sometimes, sit back and let this stuff happen".
– Jamie: "live is alive and well"
– Brendan: see Kate Modern, which was online only. Will be UGC online and [professionally produced] content. [Key]
– Jamie: we are working on new [content forms]. It is going on now. [Key]
– Nick to Brendan: problem of things becoming too popular? Brendan: see Burger King attempt to use MySpace. See Loopt. Up to use as major media providers that we keep in touch with these kinds of consumers, as they will
Stephanie Chamberlain, project management consultant: future of advertising in product placement?
– Nick: CNN launched news-gathering hub in Second Life last week. "Second Life... is for people who are not really happy with their first life!" [Key] Shouldn't be rushing to monetise this immediately.
– Brendan: need to be creative to use new platforms, or will experience backlash. Definitely monetisable in future.
– John: looking at comics and payment in Second Life
– Jamie: we are far from making money from video advertising. See Mark Penn 'Microtrends' book on marketing to people. Behavioural targeting going forward... "The world is moving towards free."
Anand Verma, Sapient: longevity of Facebook and MySpace given current rates of growth?
– Nick: we were told CNN wouldn't survive as well...
– Brendan: Fortune, Life and People all started as sections in Time magazine. Make the most of successful sub-brands.
– John: we are finding new ways of interacting with people
– Jamie: there will always be big winners but also more nice audience. The Web is becoming a socialised experience. Use of widgets to drive data. Networking of how we see the Internet [?].
Keynote: Tim Brooks, Guardian News & Media
– Is the Internet just another medium (as you have heard today)?
– ITV launch had a more rapid and profound effect on UK ad market, getting 25% of ad market in 7 years. Managing an 'old' media company in the 1950s probably felt like a perfect storm.
1: Overall ad revenue for newspapers didn't fall.
2: No media companies succeeded (cinema chains and technology companies [Redifusion]).
3: No non-UK companies as ITV license UK only, unlike today
4: Overall cost makeup for Web 2.0 business can focus on sales and marketing as content creation and distribution costs are low. See Google UK (1.3 Bn revenue in UK this year on 500 staff) vs radio industry (£582 M for 9,100 staff). Nationality is important as precious little of Google revenue invested in UK content.
– Support Google but don't support DoubleClick acquisition
– [Shows Pew research on (decline) of newspaper readership] [Shows nation press circulation 1955-2007] [Shows profits of national quality press, showing all losing money]
– See decline of one time star Emap. Decline of music sales. Problem for content aggregation businesses is decline in scale.
– "Will you still tune to E4 when you can download The Sopranos directly?" See Japanese HD over IP model Vudu.com movie model.
– Online is not about bland aggregation but [point of view]
– From 6m/quarter to 18m/month consuming out products
– Media companies will only survive if what they produce is Distinctive, Authentic, Trusted and Original content. Which is why Murdoch bought WSJ. The species that are most responsive to change are the ones that survive [Darwin].
– [Shows Baghdad 'A Doctor's Story']
Natalie, Media Age: to what extent are you cannibalising your offline offering? And do you care?
– A bit like the BBC, we don't really care. We would still be losing sale if were weren't online. Online also bringing in younger audience.
Andrew [who?], LBS: to what extent can you become a news distribution organisations.
– Can't compete with Reuters, AP, CNN, etc. But won't see new entrants. They have adapted well, eg: we show Reuters video on site.
Follow-up by Andrew: on open source news
– Dangers of opening up site, eg: Comment is Free, people sending us news where we are not sure o their fact checking or motivations. "I am not a big believer in open source news. I believe it will end in legal grief for people who go down that track."
What will generations look like 20 years from now, eg: young people not being able to spell?
– Number of news consumers continues to increase
Guy Elliott [sp?], Sapient: someone has to create the content. If they go out of business how will the ecosystem re-balance.
– [Missed reply]
[Who?], Reuters: will creating distinctive content get us through?
– Successful business are essentially
Jonathan [who?], strategy consultants: impact on quality press of free papers?
– Free papers in London are bleeding money and killing the Evening Standard. 93% drop in paid for newspapers in London. This is bad for newspapers.
[Who?/Affiliation?] Have you given up on charging for content?
– Never gave up on it, but never embraced it. Decisions taken by sagacious people before my time. See WSJ going free to access.
Keynote: Derek Morris, Zenith Optimedia
– We are just merchants. We don't invest in assets. We don't make it happen, we just stick it together.
– It is disruption and opportunity
– Ecology vs economy
– There is just more. Consumers better informed. No longer a 'push to...' economy. Also danger of getting caught [doing something wrong].
– Used to be able to get to 50% of the population with one slot: Saturday night at the Palladium. Now more media items (magazine) and more media (Internet, etc). Decline of recall of advertising. More brands and products.
– Consumer has always been in control [shows Zenith advert for TV remote control from 50s. But now it is instant, and now all powerful. [Key]
– Is my industry keener on talking about change than getting on with it
– Digerati pushing us to believe old media is dying. But it is an ecology not an economy.
– Remember when TV was going to destroy the newspaper? Today would destroy (tabloids at least) if you took the TV out of it.
– The Web will not kill these media, it will just be the highway to bring these media to us. Need for single minded, cross platform communication they [consumers?] can own.
– [YouTube may get a lot of views but still not same impacts advertising around Coronation Street]
– [Quote from Coca Cola "creativity is vital, and so is a broader, holistic view" of how to reach the consumer.]
– But little research that presents a holistic point of view [print, broadcast, online, outdoor (check?)]. We setup such a programme: 287,00 interviews, 33 countries. Shows need for experiential marketing (esp. for undifferentiated products), brand advocacy and word of mouth.
– Need to move from ratings and tonnage. YouTube has exposure but not impact [check?] [Key]
– Guardian making progress. Need change from media owners.
– We do need to bring content and channel back together [Key: but needs explaining]
– Data is king and has to have status
– Clients love the Internet, but in reality are moving towards "short-term, countable response". Advertising and marketing people didn't come into business to work with data, but will need to.
– Moore's Law shows force is unstoppable
– [Discusses American Idol and Fructis ad]
– [Shows Nike Mambo ad] No budget
– All media survive, some is fantastic, and bedrock of consumer communications... We have all
got to get comfortable with data.
Patrick Barwise: danger of focusing on creativity and failing to execute
– Still a role for fame. Will have 1-to-1 but also need fame and collective experiences.
[Missed question and answer]
Nico Macdonald: what do you mean by "need to bring content and channel back together"?
– Need to marry insights into consumers/channels with great content (the 40 second ad of old). We have split them up, and I don't think they will come together again, but they need to [learn to collaborate better].
Mark Kellaher [sp?], BBC marketing: will old media really survive?
– 800m views on Corrie is a hard fact. [Future evangelists.] Isn't video on demand just television?! Convergence will be back "My mum will call it telly". TV brings people together, eg: Dr Who. May be a new highway, but still great entertainment.
Alan Burmah [sp?], Sapient: how does intellectual property work, eg: person from Sheffield who created Apple ad?
– Not sure. See Current.tv. I have no idea about intellectual property. Need to find a way to get some
Greg [who?], Media and Marketing magazine: are social networks where we will get the collective references you mentioned and disintermediate your business?
– People still want great content. I don't see the average Joe being able to do this.