Want to go swimming? Try going WITH the current

At the Future of Television Forum at New York University's Stern School of Business last week, David Poltrack, CBS's chief research officer, said(via Ad Age):
We're in a position right now where no one wants to take [content off YouTube]. When you have something the public really wants, the economic value in that is to come up with a way to satisfy the rights holders and serve the consumers.

Sounds good, but here's the money quote(emphasis added):
"If they're [consumers] going to steal it, give it to them anyway," he said. "But also make it easier to access and present it better than YouTube or BitTorrent or anywhere else."

Not thrilled about the 'stealing' label, but he's at least smart enough to realize that if your community is interacting with your product in a way that they enjoy, the best solution is to ENHANCE that interaction, not to stifle it. Give the user a better experience, and THAT can be monetized. It's a lesson that Napster should have taught the music industry years ago, but one they are still grasping to understand.

UPDATE: Right on cue, and just as I was going to leave this post, I discover that Universal Music is suing MySpace, claiming the social-networking site "enables users to upload copyrighted music and videos without authorization."

Unbelievable. Keep swimming upstream against the current of the community boys. All it does it make you tired, get you wet, and eventually the community will simply go around, or over you.

Pic via Flickr user Spike n...

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posted by Mack Collier @ 10:23 AM,


At 12:25 AM, Blogger J.D. said...


Just exactly WHAT is it going to take these people to learn?????

I hate to say it, but it appears there are going to have to be a few high priced funerals at the "old boys' club" in the executive offices of these record companies before they finally see the proper paradigm shift. Maybe once the old dinosaurs start dying out or retiring and take their tired old business practices with them, then the business will be able to right itself and move with the flow. For their sake, they better hope it's not too late by then.

Oh well, all the better for us podcasters, I suppose. Why not listen to a 2 hour show from me featuring unsigned artists than pay money to get cut-rate albums from Universal.

At 2:23 AM, Blogger Asi said...

By way of the Neanderthal, these people refuse to acknowledge the paradigm shift, like there was no Napster and there is no iTunes...

As Sinclair said:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary dependes upon him not understanding it"...

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous collin said...

Sinclair is a smart man.

So many of these guys have their heads in the sand. Not just in the music business, but in TV, Film, marketing etc. etc.

I think about how big the internet is without the support of many forward looking executives and I marvel at how big the internet will be when the comet smashes their Jurassic ways.

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Michael Wagner said...

Mack you nailed it...again!

Going with the flow would make sense. But there is nothing so uncommon as common sense...even more so, as was noted, when there's money to be made.

Keep stirring the pot!

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Great quote, Asi. Michael I'm all for going against the grain when it comes to finding new ways to serve your community. But when your community has found the path they want to take, our job as marketers is to CLEAR that path for them, making it possible for them to reach their destination as quickly and effectively as possible.

We should NEVER stand out in the middle of the community and attempt to re-route their flow, and impede their progress. All it does is get us run over, and pisses them off.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Ann Handley said...

"We should NEVER stand out in the middle of the community and attempt to re-route their flow, and impede their progress. All it does is get us run over, and pisses them off."

Mack's back!

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Ann's right- that quote is brilliant. Welcome back Mack.

5 losses in a row Mack. what are we supposed to do now? Another new head coach now?

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Thanks Tim, and be glad you are on the Left Coast, it's crazy here right now. New rumor every minute, as I said in email, looks like Shula is out, with Spurrier/Brother Oliver being the replacement that everyone is pointing to right now.

But as is always the case with this kinda thing, the story is changing all the time. A few days ago Saban was a lock, a few days before that Butch Davis was.

But given the circumstances it seems the current Spurrier/BO rumor is the most credible, but we'll see.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Lewis Green said...

Great quote Mack. But on a far more urgent matter, as a die-hard Gator, if The Old Ball Coach goes to Bama, he better hire a stunt double when he shows his face in The Swamp.

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous CK said...

Mack is indeed back. We missed you.
'Twas concerned. Perhaps you were licking your wounds after Auburn kicked your team's butt?

P.S. My best to Pepper.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Tim would you like to tell CK why she's not earning points with me right now? ;)


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