Occasionally, it's good to stand back and try and identify recurring themes amidst the flux and change taking place in the media and creative industries. With that in mind, I'd like to share what I've grandiosely called my '10 Principles of Digital Media'. Here they are.
1. Re-think, not re-invent, the wheel: The core principles and values on which the creative industries are built remain valid in the digital age. But they need to be re-interpreted and applied to meet the demands of an 'always on' world.
2.Design for loss of control: This phrase was coined by J.P. Rangaswami. As media businesses are becoming increasingly a web of collaborative relationships, both 'human to human' and 'machine to machine' (e.g. content via APIs), we need to build flexibility, extensibility and adaptability into contracts.
3. Make transparency and clarity watchwords of your business: Direct relationships with consumers make it essential that terms of business, consents for using personal information and for granting copyright licences are expressed clearly and transparently. This will build consumer trust and shareholder value. This was exactly the subject of the BBC World News interview I did the other day
4. Think 'work', not format: Copyright provides the basis for developing the narrative of the work or brand in distinctive ways across an ever expanding range of media formats. Whether alone or in collaboration with others, this enables you to build your brand and create valuable derivatives of core creative works.
5. IP is strategic: Make sure that there is a line item in your business plan for your strategy to build, exploit, share and protect your intellectual property in order to create value for your business.
6.'Give to get': A 'command and control' silo strategy for rights will not work in the long term. Be creative in rights ownership and licensing in order to facilitate creation of new works and the generation of revenue for your business.
7. Curation is here to stay:The need for human editors to play a role in gathering, organising and filtering content is here to stay.
8. Use technology: To clear rights, to communicate permissions, to obtain consents and, by so doing, to hide complexity and make life easier for users. In turn, that will lead to bigger and better digital businesses.
9 Collaboration is the name of the digital game. But remember that collaborations come in all shapes and sizes, and can involve partners and competitors too.
10 There is always a solution: Well, almost always! Think "glass half full".
I'd welcome hearing from your additions to the list.Have a good rest of week.