So yesterday, The Pirate Bay sent a message to the RIAA, a pretty loud and clear message. Regardless of how you feel about the freedom of online information, online piracy, or downloading music, the RIAA is going about this all wrong. This isn’t about piracy…it’s about offering the consumer what they want, and how companies try to control how the consumer consumes. Pre the internet, it was easy to control what the consumer consumes.
Ultimately, then and now, it’s all basic economics…Supply and Demand. The supply was limited, so demand was high. Now supply is essentially unlimited. The media industry needs to move faster to change and accommodate the needs of the consumer. We are taking in more information than ever before. In today’s New York Times, the have a great article on how the editorial industry is evolving.
Then there is the PR battle. Back when I worked on the National Hardware Show, we had it our with our partner association. We were determined to offer the customers what they wanted, and the association partner didn’t want change, so we split. The year long campaign was filled with the ex-partner bashing us in the press, calling us names, and even suing (sound familiar). We were determined to solely focus on our customers and offer the best trade show we could. Focus on the value. Focus on the Venue. Focus on the ROI for our customers. In the end, their show only lasted one cycle, and my favorite (as it was in Chicago), was called the Wake on the Lake by many in the industry.
The moral of the story is, don’t fight change. Embrace it. Focus on your customers. Find our what they need and create a product and experience for them, the way they want to consume it.