Two from the <a href=”http://www.ft.com/cb”Financial Times’ Creative Business section
John Howkins on intellectual property:
“There’s a dual problem. At the beginning of the creative process we want to scavenge without hindrance, picking up ideas from everywhere and re-working them. We want the public domain to be vast and to have the imagination’s equivalent of the ramblers’ right to roam. Then, as we shape our ideas, we want to claim them as our own and sell and license them to whoever will buy.”
FT Creative Business: Balancing right and reason: John Howkins
Howkins mentions an event on May 21st discussing such things, with anarchists and revolutionaries such as Lord Bell, Alan Yentob, and The Rt Hon Lord Heseltine CH. Expect fireworks!
Secondly, Patrick Barwise of the London Business School on PVRs, and the structural change wrought by technology on the media which has been discounted post-bubble:
“The first PVRs were launched in the US in 1999 by TiVo and ReplayTV, two Silicon Valley start-ups. The initial response was a lot of media hype, excitement among the digerati and some hysteria in the TV advertising world. Then the dotcom bubble burst, only about 17 people bought PVRs and everyone lost interest.
But there are three key facts about PVRs which mean the respite is only temporary.
First, once someone has lived with a PVR for more than a few days, they never go back to live TV and a VCR as their only means of time-shifting. This degree of commitment suggests PVRs will be hugely successful once more consumers understand the benefits’ essentially being able to watch what you want, when you want ? which are relevant to anyone with a TV, not just technology freaks.
Second, those who have adopted PVRs use them a lot. Estimates vary, but some studies suggest that as much as 70 per cent of their viewing is off the PVR rather than live. By contrast, in VCR households, only 1 per cent of viewing is time-shifted because it takes so much effort. And where someone watches a time-shifted programme, they tend to skip the commercials. Again, estimates vary but, typically, someone watching off the PVR skips half the commercials, usually more.
Third, PVRs are increasingly being incorporated into cable and satellite set-top boxes and marketed by platform owners such as EchoStar in the US and Canal Plus in France. US penetration is already close to 2 per cent and is forecast to reach 30 per cent within five years. With heavyweight marketing, word-of-mouth and, perhaps, lower prices, the market is poised for take-off.
There seems to be a received wisdom on the faliure of Tivo in the UK and by extension the PVR as a class of device which predominates at the moment amongst the Tristrams* of broadcasting. “Ding-dong, the timeshifting witch is dead”. Media planners are not so sanguine. The structural change of the last five years has been masked by the bust and the market data, but not the studies of actual use by actual people as is shown above.