I spent the week before last at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, hoping to see the latest convergence of music and electronic devices and new media. While the show floor was filled with hundreds of new tablets, Ultra HD TVs, app-filled car dashboards and wireless everything, the next level of artist-centric electronics and new artistic expression in digital media seemed pretty lacking.
The tech world is abuzz about the impressive features of recently released “Google Now,” Google’s voice-powered digital assistant. Google Now’s features compare favorably to Apple’s own voice-powered digital assistant, Siri. But, in our minds, “Siri,” as we all know and love her, already has one leg up on this generically named product ”Now”: Siri has a brand name, and as of now, Google Now does not. It seems that Google has, once again, confused consumers. Indeed, even Siri appears to be at a loss as to what to make of Google Now.
Remaining relevant for more than a decade is an unusual feat for a Pop icon, but Madonna certainly pulled it off for quite a long time. Over the years, she credibly re-invented herself and found her way back into the spotlight long after many would have expected her career to have waned. For her latest release “MDNA” her marketing team pulled out all of the stops, mounting a marketing push that included both traditional and digital media.
Nothing is better than getting something for free. Or is it? The coffee at your office may be complimentary, but how many of us go pay for that premium brew at Starbucks instead? There is something about the hand-ground coffee beans, the friendly barista, the extras you can get (whip cream anyone?) and the distinctive atmosphere that make you willing to dig out your credit card many mornings despite the free alternative.
You can’t talk about the music industry these days without hearing discussions of how to fix the business model and bring an end to rampant piracy. Anyone involved with selling music wants to know how to recapture profits in our increasingly digital world and stem the tide of “free music.” How do streaming platforms like Spotify, Rhapsody, Pandora and YouTube change the purchasing behaviors of consumers? How can music artists and labels ramp up sales and convince consumers to buy rather than stream or steal?
For a generation, the “Kodak moment” branded family memories. Your family didn’t just visit Disney World—it had a “Kodak moment” there. You would think that such a timeless concept would sustain a brand long into the future, but Kodak’s recent bankruptcy proves it takes more than a memorable slogan to succeed long term. So what did Kodak do wrong? What could it have done to successfully transition into the digital realm? Is there still hope for the Kodak brand even though the corporation looks like less than the picture of health right now?
Rumor has it that Apple wants a bite out of your living room. The tech world anxiously anticipates the introduction of the “iTV” in the near future—a significant remodel of the traditional television set that is more able than cable featuring Internet connectivity, streamed live cable & network content, direct on-demand digital content and more. Samsung, Sony & Google have already made a foray into this realm with their smart TV designs, and others like LG and Microsoft have ideas up their sleeves as we’ll likely see at the Consumer Electronic Show next week.
When was the last time you watched TV with just a remote control and a bag of chips? Instead, I bet you have out your laptop, tablet and/or smartphone—multitasking—checking email, tweeting, Googling for more detail on the content you’re seeing, shopping online, watching YouTube, checking the weather or something else. If you are, you are not alone. Viewing the “second screen” as it has come to be known has become common practice for many users and it is only going to become more prevalent as smart devices proliferate.
3D movies are no new phenomenon in the world of film technology, but their newfound success has many filmmakers considering 3D revamps as a ticket to profit in a time when making money in the movie business is increasingly difficult.