“What has Media Visionaries Jazzed for 2011,” “VerticaI Integration on Trial,” Konrad von Finckenstein “Unplugged,” these are only a few of the sessions 560 delegates enjoyed at this year’s Prime Time in Ottawa. The 3-day conference provided delegates with a wealth of up-to-date research and thought-provoking views from strategic thinkers and industry leaders about the future of the broadcasting industry in Canada.
Content guru Robert Tercek kicked off by outlining how the foundation of modern broadcasting has been shaken to the core. And as traditional hierarchies break down, we need to be looking out the windshield, and not at the rear-view mirror.
Keynote Don Tapscott echoed the theme and described why broadcasters, distributors, producers and telcos alike must rethink media from the consumers’ perspective to truly embrace the Internet age. OTT companies like Netflix (a big elephant in the room during the conference) understand the modern consumer who demands collaboration, openness, sharing and interdependence. This is the new business model.
The conference also provided great networking opportunities, and some laughs with a special comedy presentation from CMPA member and delegate Brent Butt.
The CMPA will be posting many of the sessions online on YouTube. We will update what is available in the Daily News Flash.
For members who could not attend Prime Time, Norm Bolen set the table for this year’s conference with a strong message about the important milestones the CMPA is focusing on in the months ahead on behalf of its members.
Thanks to all members who attended Prime Time 2011.
It was great that so many of you participated in the ongoing dialogue that will inform our conjoined futures as content creators, broadcasters and distributors.
This essential dialogue, fueled by the information and inspiration offered by our speakers and panelists, will contribute to the creation of a plan for the survival, sustainability and prosperity of all of us in the Canadian media industry.
I say this with resolve, not because I'm an eternal optimist, although I am, but because the alternative is unacceptable.
Over two days we heard some very interesting thoughts on how the Internet is transforming social interaction, from tweeting about what you ate for breakfast to the spontaneous, leaderless organization of a revolution.
We heard about the need to ensure we're looking at the windshield, not at the rear view mirror.
We heard that the current hierarchical world of broadcast, distribution and consumption is coming to an end.
We heard that regardless of whether we are broadcasters, cable providers, producers or distributors, we need to embrace an architecture of abundance that will insist we leave behind our current commercial models; models that have no place in the emerging "Will of the Age", as it was termed.
We saw a beautiful video in which starlings gathered in the evening sky to perform a dance of unbelievable grace and precision. A dance without leaders, and therefore without followers, but with instant group communication and responsiveness that defied imagination. This dance, we learned, is called murmurisation.
I had the pleasure of witnessing this dance myself one spring evening in the medieval town of Siracusa, Sicily. Just after sunset, as my wife and I strolled along the waterfront, a gathering of birds occurred and their aerial dance began. It was indescribably beautiful, and remains one of our most cherished memories. So when I saw the video at the end of Don Tapscott's talk, complete with heavenly music, I was transported back to the beach of Siracusa, and I felt myself getting misty eyed. And then I heard a little voice in my head ask, “How do you monetize murmurisation?"
What we weren't told, with any specificity, and shouldn't really expect to be told, is how, in the Architecture of Abundance, we create new commercial models - models that respect consumer demand for instant access to content on all platforms and devices, but that also provide for the prosperity of all of us. And even if you don't believe in the complete disintegration of our current systems and commercial models, it's clear that a transformative change is upon us.
So, in the next year, our challenge as an industry is first to complete the work necessary for survival. That means ensuring the renewal, and hopefully the long term funding of the CMF, the successful negotiation of Terms of Trade, the conclusion of group license renewals, and the implementation of appropriate new benefits packages.
With that short term stability in place, we can focus collectively on the windshield (that's the big piece of glass at the front of the bus apparently), and put our creative minds toward sustainability via the architecture of abundance, to prosperity through an understanding of "murmurisation".
I look forward to seeing you at Prime Time next year, with short term survival achieved, to share and refine new commercial concepts and business models befitting the new Will of the Age.
In the interim, CMPA Board Elections are on the horizon. Our current Board will be ending its two year term later this spring. In the weeks to come we will be letting members know the timelines of the nomination process and how to participate.
In the News
The CRTC Regulatory Committee
The CRTC Regulatory Committee has been very active lately given that the Commission gazetted both the BCE-CTVgm application and the Group Licence Renewal applications in December and, in both cases, set very short timelines for the filing of interventions. Thus the Committee had to quickly provide direction on the CMPA’s strategy for responding to these applications, as well as review and offer input on the CMPA’s draft interventions in order for the CMPA to meet the Commission’s tight deadlines. Contact Jay Thomson.
Terms of Trade Working Group – The CMPA Terms of Trade Working Group is providing strategic guidance and direction to the CMPA Terms of Trade Negotiating Team in its discussions with Astral, Corus, CTV, Rogers and Shaw Media. The CRTC has indicated that it expects Terms of Trade agreements to be concluded in time for the April group licence renewal hearing, failing which it will impose Terms of Trade. Contact Reynolds Mastin.
CMF Working Group– The CMF Working Group will be reviewing the new digital content requirements under the CMF Guidelines to determine how they can be improved for next year. A regional task force has also been established to review the CMF’s English Language Production Incentive program. Contact Reynolds Mastin.
International Business and Production Financing Committee
The Committee is preparing a response to the Department of Canadian Heritage’s consultation on its audiovisual policy for co-production treaties. The Department is seeking input on the following themes: the ideal audiovisual treaty between Canada and partnering countries, key countries with which to negotiate or renegotiate treaties, the alignment of co-production promotional activities, the simplification of co-production-related administrative procedures at Telefilm Canada and CAVCO, and policy monitoring. The deadline for submissions is March 17. Contact Susanne Vaas.
Copyright Committee – The CMPA appeared before the legislative committee reviewing Bill C-32 to offer its feedback regarding key aspects of the Bill, including those relating to technical protection measures, Internet piracy, fair dealing, user-generated content, ISP liability and authorship of cinematographic works. Stephen Ellis, co-chair of the Copyright Committee, also recently participated on a panel regarding the Documentary Organization of Canada’s proposed guidelines for the interpretation of fair dealing in the making of documentary films. ContactReynolds Mastin.
Membership Development and Outreach Committee
The Membership Development and Outreach Committee had its first meeting in January and is made up of 13 members from across the country, specializing in different areas of the industry. The committee is working towards the development of a strategy with two streams – Retention and Outreach. Retention focuses on our existing members and will assess and improve the membership framework as well as raising the value proposition of the membership. The outreach component looks to the future and growth of the organization – our areas of focus will be Lifestyle and Digital Media but we will also be looking to grow our member base in other genres of production. Our first step is to create a membership survey – this is already in development and is planned for roll-out in the next couple of months. We are also conducting a framework review to identify procedural and categorization improvements, which will be recommended for board approval. Contact Katie Jeffs.
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