Home How Web Media is Usurping Old Media – Music, Video, More

How Web Media is Usurping Old Media – Music, Video, More

Ian Rogers, VP Video and Media Applications at Yahoo! (prior to that GM of Yahoo! Music) has just published an epic post based on a talk he gave at a music industry conference in December. In it he outlines his vision for an open Media Web. It’s very long, but is an excellent overview of how current Web music and video trends are slowly usurping the ‘old media’ world of the record companies and TV networks. His central theme is that “there is more opportunity in leveraging the scale of the Web than trying to create scarcity.” He says that we can “do this together by creating a loosely-coupled value chain including users as value creators.”

This is the Media Web and it’s already happening amongst young people. In recent days there have been some great posts about the media habits of kids and teens – Fred Wilson wrote about his own kids and Alex Iskold wrote one about his sister’s early Facebook usage. Likewise Ian tells a story about asking a room full of teenagers how many of them had seen the “Lazy Sunday” clip from Saturday Night Live. “Nearly 100% raised their hands”, wrote Ian. When he asked how many of them saw it on television as opposed to YouTube, he found that “none had.”

This paragraph sums up how value is being created on the Web today in media, mostly by teens:

“Today users are creating tremendous value and for the most part we’re ignoring it. They’re writing blogs about your artists, putting bios on Wikipedia, documenting last night’s concert on Flickr and video sharing sites, showing what songs are most popular by their behavior on Last.fm, building “box sets” on community sites, etc. How has the music industry leveraged this? What tools have you created to enable or encourage it?”

last.fm chart

Rogers does take a crack at a couple of competitors of Yahoo. He says (correctly imho) that Apple’s “iTunes is a (mostly) context-free content experience”. I’m not so sure that I agree with his views on Adobe – he says that “the entire online video industry is in the hands of one technology company (Adobe), being delivered the features they see fit on their timeline? That’s never a good thing.” He also claims that Microsoft as a competitor to Adobe “is not exactly a recipe for openness.”

The following slide from Rogers’ presentation is a good summary of the open standards that he (and presumably Yahoo!) espouses:

Read the whole post for the full skinny. It makes a number of plugs for Yahoo! music products at the end, but I think that’s a fair trade for an insightful article 😉 Also check out David Byrne’s article in Wired, which is on similar themes. The big media world is inexorably changing – it’s all happening on the Web right now.

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