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nextMEDIA: The Start and Will “Free” Save the Future?

For a full index of all the posts related to nextMEDIA, check out where I will be updating everyone on various sessions.
Robert Montgomery, CEO of Achilles Media took the stage first to apologize for the various issues, from the registration line-up and onwards.
He was amusing as he introduced Mark Greenspan, Director of Digital Media at Achilles Media. Mark stood out in the crowd with his blazer and its white trim. He presented in a fairly monotone voice, but was fairly high energy, seeming excited about the event, and what it meant.
His hope is that the event gives a snapshot of digital media revenue today, a great idea, and hopefully it translates well going forward. Some of the sources for revenue building that they wanted to cover is multi-platform advertising, sponsorship and branded entertainment, e-commerce, pay per use and licensing.
“Our goal is to make the most relevant mix possible and service the industry the best we can” – Mark Greenspan.
One amazing thing that they have created this year was their Match Maker system, that allows people to connect with others in their field or people that might be helpful to their businesses.
Shelly Palmer, of MediaBytes and the Managing Director of the Advanced Media Ventures Group, was then introduced to lead the first topic entitled Economic Meltdown? Will “Free” Save the Future?
He started by getting everyone to introduce themselves to the person next to them in the room. Everyone started actually doing it, and a few real connections might have been made.
“I am going to talk about what they wanted me to talk about, and then flip the script because what they wanted me to talk about is depressing…” – Shelly Palmer.
Shelly’s way of talking was powerful and fairly commanding. He was confident, and interesting to listen to. He made a bold statement early on to say that there will never be a YouTube killer. He did concede that there were better technologies and sites for video distribution, but said that none will ever be the hit that YouTube is today.
“I’m in business to make money, everything else is just a hobby” – Shelly Palmer.
Shelly, also smartly talked about currencies online, saying that money, or cash is not the only currency worth trading online. The currencies of attention, intention, fame, respect, and passion are all important online and worth considering going forward.
He also talked about how, if the music industry understood these things, they would have been able to build bigger brands, rather than kill their business.
One question that really caught my attention was, “what is the value, pre-advertisement click of someone on your site?” He touched on the fact that there is no scarcity online. There is an oversupply of content and information, and so users are not controlling everything. He says that the CPM of advertisements must drop to zero, as only the gatekeepers like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have any control over scarcity as the ads on their sites will be the most important.
A.I.D.A. – awareness, interest, desire, action are the phases of the purchase funnel and you need to push visitors down that funnel to convert the currencies of the Internet into cold, hard cash.
Awareness doesn’t always solve the problem of translating the currencies of the web to money, as you need to build up interest and desire to continue to push them down the funnel. Shelly used the example of Coca-Cola. Everyone knows who they are and what they sell, but awareness alone doesn’t sell product.
He closed out with a few well placed questions, and everyone seemed to be interested in what he covered, since it was a great primer in advertising, new media and the direction of the industry.