Bye Bye Physical Media

Want to see record and movie companies RUN, not walk, away from physical media like CD’s and DVD’s to digital downloads?

Do THIS. (if you have an invite – it’s in beta until July).

What is LaLa? And the host of other sites like it popping up?

They are sites that allow users to trade physical media like cd’s and movies, for very little money, if not free.

You sign up with LaLa, they send you a bunch of postage PAID envelopes, and then you list your cd (or on other services, you can list movies too) collection, then look at other people’s collections, and trade what you want. With LaLa, each trade costs a dollar.

One Dollar.

This service rocks.

How can they do this legally and not pay the artists or record labels anything? Simple. The nice big BOLD statement in the user agreement that says you cannot keep a copy of a CD you trade. This absolves LaLa of the fact that many people are most likely trading CD’s just long enough to rip them to their collection, then trading them to somebody else.

Without real probable cause, it’s very difficult for the RIAA or anyone else to start litigating on the idea that you *might* have a copy of a CD or movie on your hard drives.

Trading like this can, and I think WILL kick the wobbly legs of physical distribution out from under it, hopefully for the final time.

‘Nothin like another nail in the coffin.

(PS. Media companies, how about making pricing and download options that make sense and make users feel like they’re getting their money’s worth? Instead of charging more for a King Kong digital download, with NO bonus features, that it costs to go to the store and buy the DVD with tons of features? Duh. Dumbest. Move. Ever. Stuff like that just begs users to rip off the publishers just out of contempt for them.)

Doing it Right

I have waited, a long, long time to say this.

I Love My Job.

After my first two days at Endemol USA, I am excited, challenged and very impressed by the company, the people, the ideas & creativity, and the reality of the business.

My job, starting off as their Interactive Producer, encompasses a huge range of projects that run from mobile media packaging, delivery, branding and development, as it does production management, and budgeting.

There are some really innovative ideas being not just floated, but presented, collaborated on, and being turned into things that are very cool.

Here’s what I mean when I say doing things right though.

Within my first 4 hours (HOURS) of my first day, I was presented with all the necessary HR paperwork (in a *very* well put together binder), along with restroom access keys, garage & building access cards, given directions for ordering office supplies, spec’d out the first edit system and had it ordered, had a phone extension assigned and voicemail box setup, and my email address was active.

Comparitively at CBS, after 4 MONTHS, I had no parking access badge, no access card, and stuff that had been ordered still hadn’t even arrived, or if it had, it had been sent to the wrong place. It took 1 month to set up my first email address, 5 WEEKS to get a phone, 8 WEEKS to get office supplies (a pen, a pad of paper, anything).

At Endemol, a “welcome” email went out letting everyone know I was starting, and in what position and where I’d come from. On top of that, my direct boss spent close to an hour with me at the end of the day, actually walking me around and introducing me to everyone.

At CBS, there was no welcome email, no introductions, and when I left, no one was told I was leaving unless I had told them.

Totally different companies, and obviously, totally different priorities.

Also of interest to note is that it took a month of discussions with Endemol to get the job, and jumping through a number of (fair) hoops. Totally worth it.

By contrast, it took like, a day, to get the job at CBS.

The question is, which set of priorities results in a happier, healthier workplace, lower employee turnover (and therefore lower costs), and real innovation and follow through?

I think the answer is clear… and boy I Love My Job.

(One other note, I must give many thanks to my immediate boss at CBS, for all the things he did try to do, and for the excellent reference he provided, thank you sir.)