Mobile content delivery adds more leverage against this fulcrum, providing more ways to collect and disseminate content services, and accelerating the need to make intellectual property, agile, cross-platform, easy to integrate and multi-functional - or else. It isn't that intellectual property is obsolete, but owning rights to content is only of limited use if extracting value from the rights to that property is not as lucrative as extracting value from how it's used through agile repurposing. Licensing matters, but if your licensing doesn't get your content to the best opportunities fast enough, then you're missing increasingly large parts of the available market that rewards valuable content.
You'll find links to my live-blogging of individual sessions below, followed by my highlights and summary analysis.
- President Ken Wasch and Content VP Ed Keating Kickoff
- Jonathan Knee on the Curse of the Mogul
- Previews Companies - QRSynq, Confab Circuit, REonomy, Panjiva
- The Mobile B2B M&A Landscape - Will you Partner, Purchase or Poach?
- Lessons from the Front Lines Delivery to Mobile Road Warriors
- Marty Kahn - Bold, Daring and Unafraid: Finding Opportunity in a New Information Landscape
- Semantic Technology - the Future is Now
- Previews Companies - Transparensee, Verisma, VisibleGains, RapidBuyr
- Mobile Social Data Revolution - Ted Shelton, CEO, Open-First
- CEO Outlook: Winning the Platform Wars - Betting on the Next Digital Wave
- Clare Hart - Your Secret Competitive Advantage in the On the Go Wireless World
- The Enterprise App-Gap: Research on Slow Adoption of Mobile Content in the Enterprise
- Business Models for mobile platforms: Is your business a $9.95 app?
- Top Mobile Technology Trends - A Moving Target
Marty also highlighted key barriers to success such as overcoming barriers between public and private institutions, dealing with inconsistent content formats across platforms and the need to face up to the realities of buyers who are less willing than ever to pay for content in its traditionally packaged forms. This last point lead to a powerful and somehow ominous observation: "Too often we find users who are trying to do serious research hitting paywalls. The process is too imperfect, leads to frustration and lack of true discovery." In other words, of what use is intellectual property if it's not getting to the people who need it when they need it most?
Coming from the CEO of ProQuest, perhaps the world's largest source of licensed periodical literature, this was a profound statement. It cuts to the heart of the margin issues that Jonathan Knee highlighted; if your efforts to protect the value of IP in fact reduce your ability to realize its value in its markets, then there are fundamental issues to address in how you return value to your investors. With governments less willing to pay for content in tight times, the answers are hard to come by for many forms of content that are essential for economic growth. New partnerships, new attitude towards what creates value for IP in content markets and new kinds of staffing at information companies are essential to overcoming these barriers.
Having come up to speed with the Web for the most part, content companies now find themselves adapting to The Second Web, in which content must succeed in ever more far-flung and mobile contexts in more languages on more platforms using more sensors and data inputs with more personalized value than ever before. Thinking back to the information systems of Wall Street and other financial communities, it's as if the average content user today has become as demanding as the typical investment bank securities trader was a decade or two ago - and now they want that information in real-time for next to nothing, 24/7/365, anywhere they go, on any platform that they desire. The content business isn't your father's all-singing, all-dancing Web site anymore. You get your content to where people need it and want it and can share it the way that they want to - or you're gone.
The heartening news is that in the middle of this challenging landscape are content and technology companies that are learning to adapt to this changing terrain rapidly and effectively. Especially heartening were this year's batch of SIIA Preview companies, which were tackling complex content opportunities with very powerful business models. Also heartening were the many conversations that I had with executives at the conference, which demonstrated a high level of awareness of many of these issues and a strong desire to tackle them head on. Read further for the details from the great presenters at this conference, but rest assured that the content industry seems to be getting ready to prepare for far better days ahead.