Gerd Leonhard

The Future of Media
53 minutes, 24.3mb, recorded 2007-08-17
Gerd Leonard

Gerd Leonhard's new book "The End of Control" is available online, for free, and expands on the key topics introduced in his first book "The Future of Music" while escalating the debate out of the music realm and into media at large. The new book addresses the single most important issue underlying many debates about the future of media: who controls what, why, when, and where, and how can digital content still generate revenues when most of the traditional ways of controlling its flow ( i.e., distribution) are no longer available. The book argues that in the future, controlling distribution is replaced with earning, receiving, and maintaining attention; that in media's future friction is fiction; and that the "people formerly known as consumers" now literally run the show.

As part of his talk, Gerd reviews the differences between “Digital Natives”, “Digital Immigrants”, and “Analogs”. It is clear from these differences that the relationship with the audience has changed. Gerd assesses what has caused the change and how the music company’s role has been altered. Musicians are getting involved with their fans on a more direct level, but in the end, promotion is still necessary. As the business model shifts from unit-based to access-based, new pathways to the music creator will continue to appear.

This program is also available in video. You can click on the player below or download the video file (QuickTime/MP4, 198MB).

A native of Bonn / Germany and now residing in Basel, Switzerland, Gerd Leonhard has spent over twenty-five years in the technology and entertainment industries, both in the U.S. as well as in Europe, and recently, in Asia. In 2005, Gerd co-authored the critically acclaimed book "The Future of Music" which has become a must-read for music industry professionals around the globe, and which is now available in German, Italian, and Japanese. Gerd's second book "The End of Control" has been released for free online distribution in October 2007, expanding the scope of his work into TV, Film, Radio and Print Media. Gerd's many clients include the EBU and ABU, Nokia-Siemens SonyBMG, the BBC, ITV, Unisys, Gracenote, AIM / Impala, MediaCorp Singapore, SUISA and the European Commission. He is much in demand as a speaker at many leading events and conferences around the globe, and is considered a leading blogger at MediaFuturist.

Gerd is an expert on the drastic changes that are impacting content and media companies as a consequences of the new, disruptive technologies, and of convergence. His presentations address issues such as the advent of the user-creator (aka the usator), the attention economy in media, the wisdom of the masses and the rise of user-generated content, content syndication and pull-vs-push marketing, new business models for digital content, the culture of participation in media, copyright versus usage right, and the consequences of mass media becoming personal media. Gerd is equally fluid in technology, legal issues, social and cultural contexts, business models and general trends that affect media.

Gerd is also a serial entrepreneur, with a focus on digital music; he currently serves as Co-Founder and CEO of SONIFIC, a company that provides music for blogs, social networks and online communities. Gerd also works with many cutting-edge start-ups and new ventures in the entertainment and technology industries worldwide, as well as with investors and venture capital companies. Gerd also holds a Jazz Performance (guitar) Diploma by Berklee College of Music (87), and is the recipient of Berklee's Quincy Jones Jazz Masters Award (1985).


This free podcast is from our Future Talks series.

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