20-04-07

Experi-mentality

What a fascinating weeks it have been. Even during my free days, femke found me studying, discussing, trying out and getting a grip on new media. From understanding the strategic directions in radio to gaming, from freetv to pay-tv, from new web to renewed web. Besides that, the cultural, usage and media differences between the Benelux, the Nordics, Eastern Europe or Greece are fascinating.

 

This week it is the yearly mipcom and milia fair, and not unsurprisingly the focus was very much on new media. There was a lot of talks about technology, but even more how to bring great content in an intriguing way. Or how to convince viewers to become users, and vice versa. Yep, everyone wants “viewsers”.

 

I had some good discussions, with all kind of persons. Thanks to the one guys I had a discussion with Joseph Jaffe – who wrote an interesting book named “life after the 30 second spot”. I don’t necessarily agree with all he says – and I actually think he doesn’t either - but he has some interesting views. But Cannes saw the arrival of Joost, Bablegum and other P2P platforms, Endemol, Fremantle and BBC presented interactive and digital formats and concepts – and some doubt arose related to the relevance of IPTV. Last year a hype, this year nearly a footnote. Good to see that Belgium does great – I once spent a lof (A LOT) of time to launch BelgacomTV, a bit unfortunate their speech got cancelled this week.

 

Everyone is embracing the digital world. Finally.

 

And one interesting and recurring notion: experimenting is back in town, and that’s a great ignite for innovation!

 

bart

26-01-07

The incredible DLD conference in Munich, Germany

From Sunday to Tuesday I attended the DLD conference in Munich. DLD means Digital, Life, Design – and was (surprisingly for me) one of the best conferences I attended over the last 5 years. Similarly to the incredible Google Zeitgeist in California, DLD programmed a conference very widely: from art to science, from technology to media, from profit searching to environmental care. Plus with a vision that all of the above don’t need to be in contradiction.

 

On top of that, the incredible Herr Burda and his Leiterin of Burda Frau Steffi were incredible hosts at this 1500 attendees conference. They made us all feel part of something special, introduced us to each other, and had a daring vision about the future. And there is the young but very talented Sebastian, just off school, but an incredible talent to watch who organized many of the practical and social elements.

 

I was the European representative that discussed audience fragmentation and evolutions in media, advertising en entrepreneurship. Fantastic panel, with 4 great American expert leaders, although I find we can and should be more proud of what we Europeans are currently achieving.

 

I met and talked with some fantastic people like Tariq from Netvibes, Craig Newmain (Craigslist), people from Yahoo, Marissa Mayer from Google, Caterina Fake from Flickr/Yahoo, Beth Comstock from NBC, Walt from Wall Street Journal but also Nicolas Negroponte (MIT), James Murdoch (BskyB), Niklas Zenstrom (Skype, Joost), the chief designer of BMW, …. So much sharing, caring, talking, searching – so different than those narrow self-defending ones we all go to regularly.

 

I am alive J And a bit trapped in this snowstorm here in Finland today…

bart

21-01-07

Vegas Part 2: NATPE

Early up to attend Natpe Mobile, the mobile congress of the Television industry. NATPE stands for National Association of Television Programming Executives, and it’s quite comparable to Europe’s Mipcom. A cool dinner, where speakers of the conference are invited by the Natpe Board, PwC and KornFerry. I learned quite a lot about the television and studios view, methods and way forward on mobile productions, be it via sms, DVB-H or others. Very international participants: mainly US, but Asia and Europe well represented. Interesting!

 

Today I spoke on a panel, to discuss IDTV and digital media in general in Europe. Over 20 questions from the audience, that’s always a good sign. I attended this one together with the VP innovation of Telefonica, the person in charge of content from Microsoft, and the marketing director of Thompson – while the moderation was done by Marcel from PwC who lives in Hong Kong since over 20 years. Afterwards got invitations to speak in Hong Kong, Spain, NY – but I declined to avoid having a full time job doing speeches. Time to do some work.

 

Overall, very good conference, and some sessions were real eye openers, such as the TV network bosses explaining first run series, vertical integration, syndication and digital distribution. Although I’ve been dealing with the media industry to launch services across different media, I’m now looking from inside the industry towards the world of movies and its different windows, series, programming, platformed distribution and the challenges they are facing. Interesting to see that the Media industry doesn’t quite know how to deal with, or what to expect from, telecom companies and internet companies. And vice versa. I’m happy I understanding one somehow, and getting to understand the second.

 

Half of the conference was about online, interactive television, mobile tv, user vs professionally generated content, etc. Europe is a lot ahead of mobile and IPTV, US is clearly leading on online streaming, on demand services and other models. Interesting period coming up, cool to be part of it.

 

bart