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jerryking : digital_artifacts   11

The opportunities left behind when innovation shakes up old industries
November 28, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | GUY NICHOLSON.

early meetings and phone calls were casual conversations with a couple of landscape photographers who specialize in golf.

The very nature of their business had changed fundamentally...After the Internet disrupted print magazines and media, they recast themselves as digital marketers, selling online rights to images created with high-tech arrays of digital cameras, drones and processing software. But even while embracing technology to take their work to new artistic heights, there were dramatically fewer places left for golfers to come across this art in print......Had their little corner of publishing been so thoroughly disrupted and abandoned that it now had more demand than supply? .....Technological innovation can be extremely disruptive and painful – and in the digital era, capable of changing entire industries seemingly overnight. But when creative destruction puts good things in peril, slivers of opportunity can emerge. After the masses and the smart money have flocked to newer technologies, formerly ultra-competitive spaces can be left wide open for innovation – abandoned fields for small businesses, start-ups and niche players to occupy.

It helps to offer a level of quality or service the bigger players consider uneconomical. Look at the travel industry, which has been thoroughly remade under waves of innovation: cellphones, digital cameras, GPS, Google Maps. Between internet comparison shopping and Airbnb, travel agents could have gone the way of the traveller’s cheque. But in the wake of all that disruption, tiny bespoke agencies specializing in advice, unique experiences, complicated itineraries and group travel have re-emerged to offer services too niche for the big digital players.....Similar things are happening in industries such as gaming, where video games have cleared the way for board-game cafes, and vinyl music, which survived the onslaught of MP3s and streaming music on the strength of nostalgia, millennial fascination and sound quality. As the rest of the industry moved into digital, neighbourhood record stores and small manufacturers picked up the pieces, catering to an enthusiastic subset of music buyers.

“We were growing very rapidly, not because vinyl was growing, but because a lot of pressing plants were going out of business,” Ton Vermeulen, a Dutch DJ and artist manager who bought a former Sony record plant in 1998, told Toronto journalist David Sax in his 2016 book The Revenge of Analog. Vinyl is back in the mainstream, but its disruption cleared the field for smaller players.

Abandoned fields aren’t for everyone. Building a business around an off-trend service or product can be a tough slog (jck: hard work)for fledgling businesses and entrepreneurs, and risky. In the case of the golf photographers, two dozen artists signed up to create a high-end subscription magazine. It’s beautiful, but with two years of work riding on a four-week Kickstarter campaign, there’s no guarantee this particular field will prove to have been worth reclaiming.

Of course, risk has always been part of small business. But a market waiting to be served – that’s a precious thing. As long as there is disruption, it will create opportunities for small businesses to reoccupy abandoned fields
abandoned_fields  analog  bespoke  books  counterintuitive  creative_destruction  David_Sax  digital_artifacts  digital_cameras  disruption  hard_work  high-risk  high-touch  innovation  Kickstarter  new_businesses  niches  off-trends  opportunities  photography  print_journalism  small_business  start_ups  structural_decline  travel_agents 
december 2018 by jerryking
How Financial Products Drive Today’s Art World
July 20, 2018 | The New York Times | By Scott Reyburn.

How does one invest in art without going through the complications of buying and owning an actual artwork?

That is the question behind financial products for investors attracted by soaring art prices but intimidated by the complexity and opacity of the market..... entrepreneurs are trying to iron out the archaic inefficiencies of the art world with new types of financial products, particularly the secure ledgers of blockchain...... “More transparency equals more trust, more trust equals more transactions, more transactions equals stronger markets,” Anne Bracegirdle, a specialist in the photographs department at Christie’s, said on Tuesday at the auction house’s first Art & Tech Summit, dedicated to exploring blockchain......blockchain’s decentralized record-keeping could create a “more welcoming art ecosystem” in which collectors and professionals routinely verify the authenticity, provenance and ownership of artworks on an industrywide registry securely situated in the cloud...... blockchain has already proved to be a game-changer in one important area of growth, according to those at the Christie’s event: art in digital forms.

“Digital art is a computer file that can be reproduced and redistributed infinitely. Where’s the resale value?”.....For other art and technology experts, “tokenization” — using the value of an artwork to underpin tradable digital tokens — is the way forward. “Blockchain represents a huge opportunity for the size of the market,” said Niccolò Filippo Veneri Savoia, founder of Look Lateral, a start-up looking to generate cryptocurrency trading in fractions of artworks.

“I see more transactions,” added Mr. Savoia, who pointed out that tokens representing a percentage of an artwork could be sold several times a year. “The crypto world will bring huge liquidity.”......the challenge for tokenization ventures such as Look Lateral is finding works of art of sufficient quality to hold their value after being exposed to fractional trading. The art market puts a premium on “blue chip” works that have not been overtraded, and these tend to be bought by wealthy individuals, not by fintech start-ups.....UTA Brant Fine Art Fund, devised by the seasoned New York collector Peter Brant and the United Talent Agency in Los Angeles.

The fund aims to invest $250 million in “best-in-class” postwar and contemporary works,...Noah Horowitz, in his 2011 primer, “Art of the Deal: Contemporary Art in a Global Financial Market,”.... funds, tokenization and even digital art are all investments that don’t give investors anything to hang on their walls.

“We should never forget that in the center of it all is artists,”
art  artists  art_advisory  art_authentication  art_finance  auctions  authenticity  best_of  blockchain  blue-chips  books  Christie's  collectors  conferences  contemporary_art  digital_artifacts  end_of_ownership  fin-tech  investing  investors  opacity  post-WWII  provenance  record-keeping  scarcity  tokenization  collectibles  replication  alternative_investments  crypto-currencies  digital_currencies  currencies  virtual_currencies  metacurrencies  art_market  fractional_ownership  primers  game_changers 
july 2018 by jerryking
The Coming Productivity Boom: Transforming the Physical Economy with Information
March 2017 | Michael Mandel and Bret Swanson.

DIGITAL INDUSTRIES VERSUS PHYSICAL INDUSTRIES

Physical Industries
Where the main output of the industry is
predominantly provided in physical form
All other industries, including agriculture;
mining; construction; manufacturing
(except computers and electronics); transportation
and warehousing; wholesale and
retail trade*; real estate; education; healthcare;
accommodations and food services;
recreation.

Digital Industries
Where the main output of the industry
can be easily provided in digital form
Computer and electronics production;
publishing; movies, music, television, and
other entertainment; telecom; Internet
search and social media; professional
and technical services (legal, accounting,
computer programming, scientific research,
management consulting, design, advertising);
finance and insurance; management of
companies and enterprises; administrative
and support services
atoms_&_bits  booming  digital_artifacts  digital_economy  e-commerce  knowledge_economy  paradoxes  physical_economy  productivity  productivity_payoffs  value_migration 
august 2017 by jerryking
Digital Generation: Is this the beginning of paradigm shift in ownership? : ACM - Computers in Entertainment
By Robert Niewiadomski, Dennis Anderson

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAMs) are already grappling with the migration of content (records, correspondence) from paper to digital, including challenges of scale and readability. Now we face an additional complication: increasingly people don’t even own their digital collections of music, books or video content—they rent, borrow or pay to play.

Content that used to be contained in physical objects (books, records, photos, DVDs) is increasing being leased to us via digital devices. What does that mean for the legacy people can (or can’t) leave to document their life and work? Instead of an historic figures’ beloved book collection, will we be able to preserve her Kindle library? Would that collection even be stable over time? Will it contain (digital) marginalia? Photo collections increasingly live on the cloud, and if a service unexpectedly disappears, years of documentation can simply disappear. The podcast Reply All recently devoted a sobering episode to one such story, about a mom named Rachel who panicked when PictureLife folded, erasing her visual record of her daughters’ childhoods. What if one of those girls grows up to be president?
millennials  ownership  sharing_economy  paradigm_shifts  experience  decluttering  minimalism  physical_assets  content  artifacts  digital_artifacts 
november 2016 by jerryking
When Diamonds Are Dirt Cheap, Will They Still Dazzle? - NYTimes.com
APRIL 19, 2014| NYT | ROBERT H. FRANK.

In many domains, perhaps even including signed baseballs, it’s becoming possible to produce essentially perfect replicas of once rare and expensive things.

That’s true, for example, of diamonds and paintings. Renowned art originals will always be scarce, and so will high-quality mined diamonds, at least while De Beers holds sway. But what will happen to the lofty prices of such goods if there is an inexhaustible supply of inexpensive perfect copies? Economic reasoning can help answer this question. It can also shed light on how new technologies might alter traditional ways in which people demonstrate their wealth to others, or might change what society embraces as tokens of commitment and other gifts....Not even perfect replicas, however, will extinguish strong preferences for original paintings and mined diamonds. In the short run, price premiums for such goods are likely to persist, as collectors scramble for certificates of authenticity.

Longer term, those premiums may prove fragile
...Tumbling prices will transform many longstanding social customs. An engagement diamond, for instance, will lose its power as a token of commitment once flawless two-carat stones can be had for only $25.

Replication technologies also raise philosophical questions about where value resides.
...Technology won’t eliminate our need for suitable gifts and tokens of commitment, of course. And such things will still need to be both intrinsically pleasing and genuinely scarce. But technology will change where those qualities reside.
art  De_Beers  collectibles  artifacts  collectors  authenticity  inexpensive  replication  scarcity  valuations  digital_artifacts  high-quality 
april 2014 by jerryking
Internet’s creative destruction in retail just getting started - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT CYRAN

Published Monday, Apr. 29, 2013
the Web's creative-destructive powers are best seen in the overlay of the Internet on traditional industries. Online sales of shoes, furniture and fashion all made the list of rapidly-growing sectors. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart.com usually offer lower prices than traditional retailers – and convenient home delivery. That's bad news for struggling retailers like Sears, Best Buy and J.C. Penney.

Specialty websites, like Zappos for shoes, also offer a wider selection than can be found in rival DSW's bricks-and-mortar shops. The shoe retailer warned that same-store sales are now falling. And the Web's ability to remove middlemen with high fixed costs means nimble startups can dislodge entrenched players. Warby Parker sells eyeglasses for a fraction of the price of the local optician. That also threatens the $25-billion business Luxottica has built in making and selling high-margin spectacles in its LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Oliver Peoples shops.

The impact of electronic delivery of digital goods, from books to music to games, has long been evident. And it hasn't been pretty for the incumbents. If this latest survey is on the mark, traditional retailers will soon feel the same pain.
creative_destruction  digital_artifacts  retailers  e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  Amazon  Warby_Parker  value_destruction  home-delivery  Sears  Best_Buy  department_stores  J.C._Penney  bad_news 
may 2013 by jerryking
The Lease They Can Do: What the Fight Over 'Used' Music Reveals About Online Media
April 03, 2013 | Businessweek | By Paul Ford.

What is a song worth to Spotify or competitors such as Rdio? To them, a song is an entry in a very large database—and they solve the licensing problem by managing the licenses in bulk, then allowing listeners access to their libraries of music. At some level, Spotify is not a music service but a license clearinghouse that specializes in music....So far, the large music labels have been able to negotiate with streaming services, but as the streaming music players get bigger their power will increase; Spotify is apparently looking for price breaks from the major labels.

The big question now is not “whose album gets made?” but more “who gets to listen?” Not just who, but when—and who gets paid for the privilege? Oh, for the days when record stores featured bootlegs and cats. The clerks might have been snotty, but at least you didn’t have to have endless discussions about databases and doctrine. No one, anywhere, had to know how often you listened to Supertramp.

That’s another part of the puzzle. Streaming services generate a tremendous amount of data that has value of its own; sooner or later it will be used to make decisions about what gets produced....So this is not about technology. Nor is it really about music. This is about determining the optimal strategy for mass licensing of digital artifacts. Songs are the commodity but the licenses are currency....So this is the task: Figure out how to make money, reward artists enough that they continue to make new things, and pacify the labels and studios, while also creating something that doesn’t rip off, confuse, or upset the audience. If someone can do that, then why stick to movies, music, or perhaps books? New forms of media could be sold as well. Tumblr blogs, animated GIFs, casual games, and the like could all flow into such systems. Right now, when media objects are sold, it’s often as art (like the six-second Vine video called “Tits on Tits on Ikea” that artist Andrea Washko recently sold for $200). A massive marketplace in ridiculous pictures could emerge. Flickr (YHOO)could turn into a mall. Pinterest could become … Pintere$t.
clearinghouses  music  online  Rdio  Spotify  streaming  licensing  licensing_rights  downloads  musicians  music_industry  databases  digital_artifacts  artists  markets  data  music_labels  Flickr  Pinterest  music_catalogues 
april 2013 by jerryking
The Branding of Damien Hirst
Spring 2008 |SIR|by Pernilla Holmes. Damien Hirst, 42, may be
the world’s richest artist. While most of his money comes from the sale
of artwork, he finds ways to turn his artistic reputation &
notoriety into successful sidelines. His company, Other Criteria,
licenses his imagery, creates products, & sells them on the Web. In
addition to Hirst’s own prints, editions, books, posters, &
T-shirts, the company mkts. the wares of other artists. This is just 1
piece of an umbrella corp., Science Ltd., that oversees Hirst’s studios,
120 employees, & other business interests...Over the yrs. those
have included a popular London restaurant; backing musicians &
artists, a restored inn in North Devon; a widely shown art collection;
& plans for museum & gallery spaces...Hirst has a line of
clothing that's part of the Warhol Factory X Levi’s label from Levi
Strauss—he's become a global brand...The result is a steady
rev.stream...Hirst’s fortune will soon surpass £200 million ($400
million).
artists  digital_artifacts  personal_branding  entrepreneur  business_interests  brands  impresarios  art  back-house_opportunities  Damien_Hirst  side_hustles 
september 2011 by jerryking

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