December 29, 2003

A Look at What’s Coming in 2004 [9:45 am]

Media and Technology in 2004 (Slashdot discussion: NYT: 14 Media & Technology Convergence Trends)

The convergence of media and technology, long predicted but not yet fulfilled, is at last showing signs of happening - with high-speed Internet access making much of it possible. With more American households going to broadband, faster Internet connections are changing the movie, music, telephone, computer and cable businesses.

The following entry is one of the topics raised in this article. Others include:

  • With CD Sales Slipping, the DVD Steps In — and let’s think about what that means in terms of copy protection, DeCSS and other access controls — plus the laws to enforce these technological locks.

    The industry is hardly settled on how best to entice customers with DVD’s. In addition to stand-alone packages, 50 Cent and the rocker Tom Petty have released DVD sets with bonus audio discs. Many more artists, from Metallica to Alicia Keys, have offered bonus DVD’s with their traditional CD albums.

    Even the packaging is still in flux. The hip-hop duo OutKast, for instance, issued their recent DVD collection, “The Videos,” in both the jewel boxes used for CD’s and the clamshell case used for movie DVD’s.

    Label executives hope to find clues in these numbers on how to drive DVD sales in the new year.

    “Because of the plethora of releases this year, there’s certainly a lot of data which we’re in the middle of combing over now to make some decisions about what we’re going to be doing,” Mr. Katz said.

  • Personal Video Recorders: Executives Plan Now to Deal With Popularity

    Personal video recorders, which can easily skip over television commercials, may not yet be in most American homes, but they are certainly on the minds of advertising executives.

    [...] “The challenges presented by TiVo are obvious,” Mr. [David ] Ernst [of Media Initiative North America] said. “Yet there are also opportunities to develop new types of advertising not constrained by time.”

    Those include product placements within a show and interactive versions of television programs that encourage viewers to visit a Web site for more information. Initiative Media is developing advertiser-produced informational programs that could be viewed free using cable’s video-on-demand technology.

    [...] Commercial-skipping is a problem for the nation’s broadcasters as well as for advertisers. A network suffers if viewers routinely skip over its promotions for programs. And if consumers record a show for later viewing, broadcasters lose the lead-in effect that helps draw viewers from popular shows to shows that follow in the lineup.

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