Friday, September 25, 2009


Exactly a week from now I shall, I'm sure, be sitting outside a Paris café enjoying un grand crème and talking myself into the outgoing extrovert mode which I need to adopt in order to perform as required during the week of MipCom 2009.

Then will follow a week without any blog posts. This is partly because I'm not in the habit of using laptop-and-WiFi when on the road.

But it's also because I prefer to use the time to digest and ruminate about things at leisure, rather than formulating quick conclusions.

Take, for example, the 'paying for content' discussions which are taking place all over the inter web. How can it be, we are asked, that downloading a ring-tone costs as much if not more than downloading a complete music track? Is this not, the argument goes, a further sign of digital iniquity?

As if there was a time when things were fairer!

Were they? Consider book publishing. I read an average of two paperbacks each week. They are priced mostly at about $8, more if in 'trade' format. But am I paying for the content? Possibly, yes, but not in proportion to the quantity delivered between the glossy end-papers. If the line spacing is generous and a large font size used, then the book will last me two evenings - about a six hour read. But with a smaller font size, less interline and, of course, far more printed words then I can have reading pleasure over my dinner for a full week. And yet, the price remains the same.

Not a fair deal, really, but one we have come to accept. Imagine if when buying your cinema ticket you might have to accept that The End would flash on the screen after only an hour!

The whole 'paying for content' brouhaha is going to be hard to resolve. But harking back to times when things were supposedly fairer and simpler - they weren't - won't help.

[Click on the flyer at the left to see what we're offering this year at the MipCom program market.]

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