TED Conversations

Tim Pastoor

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What business models are outdated and what are the alternatives?

One example to begin with:

"SOPA & PIPA are not about copyright. It is about protecting a dying business model. (...)
This isn't about stealing for the movie industry bigwigs and their high priced lobbyists. It's about desperately trying to maintain the old familiar business model that afforded them a lifestyle of Armani suits, lunch at Nobu and limos. It didn't work for music and its not going to work for movies."

- David Meerman Scott


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  • Jan 27 2012: I'm not an economist, but it seems to me the business model for success in the Internet age has already been well established. You give a little away for free in hopes that either a) users will want more and be willing to pay for it, or b) you will get enough users to attract advertising dollars. That's how every Youtube partner made it, how every special interest message board and social networking site pays for itself. Yes, this means you initially have to lay out money without knowing whether you'll get any back, but that's true when starting any business.

    If I were a record company or movie studio, I would design my own website. I would offer samples of my content and an easy way of buying it. I would include other things to attract users - the blogs of some of the artists on my label, perhaps a discussion board or a game. Hollywood had (and still has) the opportunity to get in the game themselves - they're just too technophobic to use it.
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      Jan 28 2012: I would add crowdsourcing to the 'freemium' and 'platform' models. Indeed, crowdsourcing/crowdfunding is starting to disrupt some industries, including the showbiz: Wikipedia which is causing troubles to encyclopedias, one can easily substitute manuals by googling fora and the likes, soon we will be able to learn languages while helping translate the Internet (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/luis_von_ahn_massive_scale_online_collaboration.html), crowdfunding could modify (at least a little bit) capital markets, Youtube offers so much entertainment (free from copyright) etc.
      Freemium, platorms and crowdsourcing essentially concern intangibles. Still, I wonder whether these three business models (which exists thanks to, and on, the Internet) will have an impact on the economics of hard goods. Some clues are already there: ebay and Amazon enable the 'long tails' of manufacturers and consumers to meet and 3d printers will do much more.
      Probably the showbiz is just the first industry trying to resist the disruptions caused by the Internet.

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