Summary of Coming Attractions?

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Coming Attractions? book summary
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  • Analytical
  • Overview
  • Background


Business consultant Philip E. Meza has done his research on the history of entertainment technology and the growing pains that have followed each innovation. Unfortunately, his slightly muddy larger concepts sometimes fail to justify the detailed histories that support them, sometimes making the book feel sort of padded. getAbstract says you need to read it anyway, if you are a content creator or decision maker in the media, entertainment or information industries. Meza provides real value by identifying a pattern in content companies’ resistance to the very changes that eventually help them. In two particularly utilitarian appendices, he surveys the technologies that are pressuring media companies and reviews the current state of U.S. copyright law. His analysis of the content industries’ lame responses to technological change and his prescriptions for the future are useful and insightful.

About the Author

Philip E. Meza, Stanford Business School research associate who co-wrote Strategic Dynamic, is a strategy consultant in a variety of industries in the U.S., Australia and South Africa.



Technology and Content

Today’s new entertainment technologies are more powerful than the ones they replace and more impatient; they break boundaries and reduce the need for physical means of content distribution, thus undermining business models that refuse to adapt. Until recently, technology and content didn’t play well together. This must change. Likewise, content industries – movies, publishing, and music – have traditionally been separate, with distinct delivery technologies. Now they face convergence, as content becomes digital data. The entertainment, computing and telecommunications industries are complementary, each made more valuable by the others. Yet entertainment and computing remain at swords’ point.

Content owners have reason for fear, though they still can cash in on new opportunities. Typically, information content is expensive to make but cheap to copy. Now, digital duplication facilitates digital piracy, since outlaws have minimal duplication costs. The record companies weren’t ready for digital duplication, which opened the door for file sharing via Napster, a program they regarded as piracy and crushed in court. With increasingly powerful Internet...

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