Contemplating Disruption: Will Internet Evolution Hurt Big Media?

disruptionLooking back through centuries of history only a short list of communication technologies have fundamentally changed the way people and societies share information; things like written language, the printing press, the telegraph, the radio, and television.  Each, over years of evolution, utterly disrupted existing practices, pushing aside the antiquated and expanding the depth of possibilities.  Each, in developmental years, had critics predicting there’d be little long term value.    Each also has had champions who eagerly predicted the innovations would drastically reshape the world.

The Internet falls in to the same exclusive club but its functionality and contribution are still evolving.  It will take decades before the breadth of its impact and transformative power are fully understood.  Still, that won’t stop many  from predicting where things will go or how the Internet will continue to shape our world along the way.

Monday, Lehman Brothers took a stab at such a prediction.  Citing the disruptive power of the Internet, and its likelihood of changing business economics in the entertainment industry, they downgraded stock ratings on several companies.  The recent history of the music industry was cited as one partial justification.

The view seemed extreme.  This METUE review takes an in-depth closer look.

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iPhone 3G: Around the Globe

iphone 3g With iTunes, buying music has always been easy.  Apple insured that with a clear pricing structure.  They enforced it through aggressive negotiations with music labels and video producers.  Buying the new iPhone won’t quite be as easy.  The 3G phone is due in a blink, 8am on July 11th.  In anticipation, global carrier partners have been rapidly revealing their pricing plans and service agreement requirements.  While the 8Gb model is likely to stay near the projected maximum unit price of $199 as Steve Jobs promised in his Developers Conference Keynote, service offerings and subsidies are set to vary widely.  The details will be in the fine print.


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Blockbuster Sees Light, Drops Circuit City

bbi circuit city offThe proposed marriage of Blockbuster and Circuit City always seemed wrong; like two actors that peaked early, fell from favor and were looking for mutual salvation in a questionable, improbable union.  It didn’t make sense.  It didn’t feel right.  The common ground seemed to be troubles not opportunities.   Given that, the odds of one company salvaging the other, of Blockbuster resuscitating the struggling business of Circuit City, seemed small.  Luckily for Blockbuster shareholders, CEO Jim Keyes reached the same conclusion before he walked the company into the Elvis Wedding Chapel and said “I Do.”

Wednesday, Blockbuster officially withdrew its $1.35billion ($6 to $8/share) offer.   All it took was a close inspection of Circuit City’s books.

The review process began in May Click to Read More

Gaming and Music Convergence: Guitar Hero Aerosmith Debuts

gh-up.jpgAerosmith has sold more than 150 million albums (66m + in the U.S.) over four decades of Rock but they haven’t released a new one since 2001.  In today’s music world, that may not matter much when it comes time to receive royalty checks.   Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, the first single-band specific version of Activision’s bestselling video game, released Sunday.  If it does well, the band stands to draw a sizable income without having to hit the studio anew.

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