Last week I was invited to attend the Digital Directions conference hosted by Fairfax Media in Sydney Australia. On March 4 2011 I gave this keynote speech.
This talk explores the question of why Pay TV companies are so bad at innovation. But in fact they are not bad at innovation: it's just that their business model is based on a completely closed architecture and private infrastructure. So it's not optimized for collaborative creativity. Instead, Pay TV is optimized for coercion.
The contrast of coercive architectures and cooperative architectures explains a lot: why internet companies are able to scale their audiences much faster than traditional media companies; why internet companies die an ugly death after they are acquired by major media conglomerates; why vertical integration is the dominant theme in old media; why Hollywood studios and broadcasters are hooked on predictable formulaic plots and two-dimensional characters; and especially why internet video is likely to be the biggest challenge to traditional media conglomerates yet. Brace yourselves. We are about to watch the battle of the century.
Mies Van Der Rohe said, "Architecture is the will of the age conceived in spatial terms." Which architecture best expresses the will of our current age? The open architecture of the web? Or the completely closed architecture of pay television?