Wednesday, January 6, 2010

quick thought

So, yeah, technology-minded people are all a-flutter over Google's new Nexus One phone. But I found this quote in today's New York Times by Andy Rubin, a vice president of engineering in charge of the Android technology, interesting:
“There is an opportunity to make some margin on the unit sales, but that’s not the objective here, our primary business is advertising.”
I think there's an interesting parallel to our own concerns in film, television, and print media -- namely, a drastic change in the consumption habits on the part of consumers.

The difference is that while newspapers, movie studios, and, now, cable companies try desperately to prop up outdated modes of transmission and deny that there's anything remarkable to see here, Google is looking at the landscape, accepting its change, and trying to find its way in a new one. (Granted, it helps that they have billions of dollars to try and influence that change.)

So, minus the enormous pile of capital, maybe the rest of us -- content providers as well as its distributors -- should be looking for ways to keep innovating with what we make, and how we get it out there, instead of fretting about cutting up the pie.

1 comment:

  1. Steve Albini frequently has similar things to say about the music industry. His specific point is usually that the parts of that industry that are fading away are generally the outdated parts designed to "cut up the pie" as it were.

    Today we can have more direct contact with bands and musicians, and they can have more direct contact with us. With the relative ubiquity of cheap recording software and internet access it's quite possible to envision a future where producers and distibuters are no longer needed.

    In essence the whole pie goes to the band, provided their willing to pull a Fugazi and book their own shows, tour, interact with their fans and develop a lasting relationship with them.

    There's probably a similar way to apply that kind of ethic to, say, internet televison and radio (see The Sound of Young America, Bloggingheads, etc.)

    News gathering seems to be a different animal, however, not so different that much of the same rules don't apply.