I have just released the latest Music Industry Blog report:
The Socially Integrated Web: Facebook’s Content Strategy and the Battle of the Ecosystems
If you are a subscriber to the blog you should already have received your free copy. If you do not yet subscribe to this blog then simply enter your email address into the ‘Email Subscription’ form to the left hand side on this page and you will receive your free copy of the report. (If you are a subscriber but have not received your copy yet then please email musicindustryblog AT gmail DOT COM.)
Here are some highlights from the report:
The Universal Content Dashboard
Change is afoot in the Internet. Facebook’s new Socially Integrated Web strategy is set to make Facebook one of the most important conduits on the web. Facebook is pushing itself further out into content experiences in the outside web while simultaneously pulling more of them into Facebook itself.
The Timeline announcements at f8 saw Facebook establishing itself as a universal content dashboard – a 21st century cable company for the Internet – establishing its own content ecosystem to compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon. While traditional ecosystems are defined by hardware and paid services, Facebook’s is defined by data and user experience.
Joining The Digital Dots
The Socially Integrated Web is the strategic architecture of Facebook’s digital content strategy. It is a strategy that others’ are following too but that Facebook is currently doing best. Facebook has been quietly putting many of the building blocks of the Socially Integrated Web into place over the last year or so, but the most dramatic moves were announced at Facebook’s f8 conference in September. It was there that we heard about Facebook’s controversial Timeline feature. This – along other functions such as Likes on websites across the web – are Facebook’s attempts to join the dots in our increasingly fragmented and cluttered digital lives.
Four Ecosystems Now Define The Content Landscape
It was not so long ago that content ecosystems were the domain of device manufacturers like Apple, but all of that is changing. Indeed now it is possible to view the entire digital content landscape through the lenses of 4 different types of content ecosystem (see figure). If we think about content along two axis, one of ownership and one of openness we end up with four key groups of content types, each of which in-turn leads to a different form of content ecosystem:
- Device Based Ecosystems. The traditional territory of content ecosystems, these are defined by consumer devices such as the iPad, the Kindle and the xBox. They revolve around device based consumption of owned content that is either purchased from an integrated store (and typically is tied to the ecosystem with some use of DRM) or is sourced from a user’s own collection.
- User Based ecosystems. These are based upon users’ own content collections. The photos and videos we create ourselves and all of the unprotected professionally created content we have either ripped or purchased. We create our own ecosystem walls around this content by choosing who we share this content with and where.
- Open-Web Based ecosystems. These are the least structured of ecosystems, based around openly accessible web content destinations. At first sight these might look anything but like ecosystems, yet there are numerous tactics that open-web sites increasingly use to create virtual ecosystems. For example a video destination might define a narrow set of partner sites where it will make its content available, forcing the user to stay within that ecosystem of sites in order to access that content.
- Protected-web based ecosystems. Here content companies pull walls down around their content. Sometimes these walls are paid, sometimes they are free but password restricted, sometimes they are created by making content experiences app based, ensuring the content experience can only happen within the app.
To receive your free copy of the report simply enter your email address into the ‘Email Subscription’ form to the left hand side on this page.
Here is the full table of contents:
Setting The Scene
- Joining The Digital Dots
- Preparing For Long-Term Competitive Strategy
- Facebook, The Early Follower 21st Century Portal
- Four Ecosystems Now Define The Content Landscape
- Ecosystem Co-existence And Competition
- The Reach And Risks Of Facebook’s Universal Content Dashboard