In this Dec. 13th, 2010 interview (from The Institutional Risk Analyst), Michael Whalen, Emmy award winning composer and new media observer, offers provocative insights into where the the business of creating and delivering content might be headed. In Michael Whalen's view, the makers of specific mobile hardware will matter less and less - while companies like Apple - with huge investment in providing access to the ocean of content - may be at the forefront of developing revolutionary new models for how content (like your film) gets monetized.
For example, here's Michael Whalen on "bendable" content and how filmmakers might be paid for the content they've created in the new digital world:
"In the new "ocean" of content that we will all swim in soon - all content will be "bendable". Bendable means that all media can be played on any device, anywhere, anytime. It also means that that the material can be reordered, edited, manipulated and re-contextualized. Yes, someone at the US Copyright office is weeping now. If you have a sophisticated computer, you can do all this manipulation NOW. In this new future, you'll be able to do this on a handset or a tablet computer and get the content back OUT there - wherever that is! How do you monetize this? We'll see. Investors may have to stop asking that question like there will always be a transaction out there that can be tracked. In the new media ocean - part of the service that you are pay for monthly will be reconstructing content.... I think the record business, the film studio system and the television networks are over as we think we know them. I think there is a new business emerging in gathering creative investment, content and creative marketing.... It will be in a structure that's more akin to a stock market than the traditional structure we've seen for artistic and creative content and the platform for it will be the digital ocean we have already discussed. Based on the "buzz", there will be a "futures" market and the idea is commoditized and funded in days - not months or years. For decades, most record companies and networks have been little more than funding sources for artists - now the truly visionary artist won't even need these ancient businesses - the market itself will generate everything it needs to create content efficiently. It's a little overwhelming the change that is here now vs. five years ago and that will be coming in torrents in the next few years. Amazing."
And here is what Michael Whalen has to say about owning the copyright vs. owning the "rivers" that reach the "ocean" of content (Note: Mr. Whalen's comments about streaming services and how they will generate revenue were prompted in part by the observation that Apple [AAPL] has apparently decided to let Droid phones take market share for physical devices, while betting big on the future of streaming content - which includes a massive new building AAPL is constructing in North Carolina for cloud computing):
"What if iTunes or whatever AAPL calls their new streaming service is broken into TWO parts - the actual delivery and streaming of the programs, etc. and on the other side - - the administration of the copyrights in the digital realm including collecting fees and licenses from OTHER PLATFORMS. This would be HUGE.... revolutionary and it hasn't happened on this scale since Edison tried to own the whole content "jungle" himself at the turn of the 20th century. Mr. Edison didn't have to deal with 17 companies who will be screaming "antitrust, antitrust" when AAPL wheels this out… In this possible future, the fusion will be complete and unlike any paradigm that we have ever seen."