Tendências emergentes, factos e dados reveladores da evolução dos media, cultura, economia e sociedade. Impacto social, económico e cultural da tecnologia.


domingo, maio 25, 2008

Downloads Replace CD's as Revenue Streams


Songwriters and publishers for the first time earned more from broadcasts and legal downloads of their music in 2007 than from the copyright from sales of CDs, new figures show.

Despite an 11 per cent fall in rights income from physical sales, reflecting the accelerating collapse of the CD market, the main body that collects rights on behalf of UK performers and publishers reported overall growth of 2.8 per cent last year.

The figures show how such fees charged to broadcasters and online outlets for their use of music are becoming increasingly important to musicians and music companies.

They underscore a growing argument in the music industry that artists and record labels will have to adapt to the idea that recorded music sales – once the core of the business – will become just ancillary revenue streams.

The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Rights Society, which together – as the MCPS-PRS Alliance – reap the rewards of musical creativity for UK artists, said income from broadcasting and online sources increased 7 per cent to £155.5m ($306.7m).

The money paid to copyright holders from CD sales, by contrast, fell 11 per cent from £170.7m to £151.8m. Overall income reported by the MCPS-PRS Alliance grew from £546.8m to £562.1m.


Financial Times

The bad news about the news: Alisa Miller on TED.com

Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, talks about why -- though we want to know more about the world than ever -- the US news media is actually showing less. Eye-opening stats and graphs. (Recorded March 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 4:29.)

Broadband may just need more time before its real benefits show through.


The OECD released its latest report on May 19th. It surveys the broadband landscape to December 2007, and tells a warm tale. The number of broadband subscribers in the world's 30 biggest countries grew by 18% to reach 235m, or one-fifth of those countries' total population. Between 2005 and 2006, prices fell by an average of 19% for DSL connections and 16% for cable lines. At the end of 2004 the average speed was 2 megabits(MB) per second; in 2007 it increased to almost 9MB.

But the excellent report, written by Taylor Reynolds and Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, goes beyond the numbers and examines why broadband is actually useful. And here the authors face a problem: there simply is not good data to show that broadband matters.


Ultimately, the report makes a strong case that the chief benefit of broadband is its creation of a participatory culture on the internet. This is a new form of collaboration, both for work and fun. Again, though, this is most evolved in laggard America.

All of this has public policy implications. First, it suggests that focusing on the sophistication of the infrastructure is only one part of the story. The rankings miss something crucial about how broadband is used, regardless of where a country stands. The OECD readily admits this.

Second, it is still early days. The countries that currently lead in broadband have little to show for it because the substantial uses that it can be put towards have yet to be created. So there is time for the slowpokes to catch up.

How long? Paul David, an economist at Oxford University, has shown that electric power, introduced in the 1880s, did not immediately raise productivity. Not until the late 1920s—when around half of America’s industrial machinery were finally powered by electricity—did efficiency finally climb. New technologies need a 50% adoption rate before the effects are seen, he reckons.

Broadband, too, may just need more time before its real benefits show through. After all, the top six countries only have penetration rates between 30%-35%. Although policymakers and the public might feel that super-fast broadband is essential, that view is based more on faith than fact.


The Economist

sábado, maio 24, 2008

Will reading and writing remain important?


So, where in this brave new world of post-literacy are we heading? Er, not sure...


In Mr Federman’s view, the quest for truth has given way to the quest for making sense of the world as experienced. For anyone under the age of 20, the world being experienced is one where the internet has always existed, and where everyone who matters is only a click, speed dial or text message away. “Tomorrow’s adults,” says Mr Federman, “live in a world of ubiquitous connectivity and pervasive proximity.” Their direct experience of the world is wholly different from yours or mine.

So, no surprise that when we incarcerate teenagers of today in traditional classroom settings, they react with predictable disinterest and flunk their literacy tests. They are skilled in making sense not of a body of known content, but of contexts that are continually changing.

Teachers must recognise that our pedagogical tools are inconsistent with the skills needed to survive in a world where people are always connected to everyone and everything. In such a world, learning to think for oneself could well be more important than simply learning to read and write.


The Economist

Lenha para a Fogueira


This inaugural lecture argues three propositions:
  1. That commercial law in a market economy allocates risks between individuals and is therefore a profound political force with crucial implications for the allocation of wealth
  2. That international commercial law has been drafted by the powerful in order to minimise risk to major market players, especially transnational corporations
  3. That the risks of economic globalisation therefore fall disproportionably and unjustly on the poor, killing many.
Rigging the Risks: How Commercial Law Kills; Professor Janet Dine

The New New World


At first blush, “The Post-American World,” by Fareed Zakaria, seems to fall into the same genre. But make no mistake. This is a relentlessly intelligent book that eschews simple-minded projections from crisis to collapse. There is certainly plenty to bemoan — from the disappearing dollar to the subprime disaster, from rampant anti-Americanism to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that will take years to win.

Yet Zakaria’s is not another exercise in declinism. His point is not the demise of Gulliver, but the “rise of the rest.” After all, how can this giant follow Rome and Britain onto the dust heap of empire if it can prosecute two wars at once without much notice at home?

The larger point is that “higher education is America’s best industry” — never mind the creeping demise of Detroit’s Big Three. “With 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States absolutely dominates higher education, having either 42 or 68 percent of the world’s top 50 universities” (depending on who is counting). In India, he adds, “universities graduate between 35 and 50 Ph.D.’s in computer science each year; in America the figure is 1,000.” Now, Beijing is pouring oodles into its universities, but so did Austin, Tex., in the oil-rich ’70s, and Stanford et al. are still on top.

In the industrial age, hardware mattered; today it is software, a k a “culture.” This is a grab bag: skills, openness, innovation, opportunity, competition. “It’s brains, stupid,” Bill Clinton might exclaim today. And youth. China, Japan and Europe are aging rapidly; the United States will remain a young country way into the 21st century. And why? Immigration is “America’s secret weapon.” In my Stanford class, the A’s regularly go to students called Kim, Zhou, Patel or Vertiz; these are not the “huddled masses,” but their children — the gifted and hungry who will slough off the old and drive the new. “First rich, then fat and lazy” will not be America’s fate.

What’s the problem, then? “America remains the global superpower today, but it is an enfeebled one.” It has blown wads of political capital, but it is still better positioned to manage the “rise of the rest” than its rivals. Europe is rich, but placid and graying. Resurgent Russia is too grabby. China is more subtle in its ambitions, but still a classic revisionist that wants more for itself and less for the whole. It craves respect but will choose bloody repression in the crunch, as in Tibet.

The United States, too, has acted the bully in recent years, and it has paid dearly. Still, why does it retain “considerable ability to set the agenda,” to quote Zakaria? How can it muster the convening power that brings 80 nations to Annapolis? The short answer (mine) is: America remains the “default power”; others may fear it, but who else will take care of global business? Maybe it takes a liberal, seafaring empire, as opposed to the Russian or the Habsburg, to temper power and self-interest with responsibility for the rest.

And maybe it takes a Bombay-born immigrant like Zakaria, who went from Yale to Harvard (where we were colleagues) and to the top of Newsweek International, to remind this faltering giant of its unique and enduring strengths. America will be in trouble only when China becomes home to tomorrow’s hungry masses yearning to be free — and to make it.


The New York Times - THE POST-AMERICAN WORLD; By Fareed Zakaria.

O Futuro da Web 2.0. está na Ásia ?

Have you ever heard of QQ, Tudou, Mixi or CyWorld? No? But I bet you’ve heard of MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. It’s not surprising. The former social networking websites are all based in Asia – China, Japan and South Korea – while the latter three are in the Western media ad nauseam.

What you don’t know is that QQ in China, with over 300million active user accounts, is the largest instant messaging social network in the world – bigger than the population of the United States of America! Tudou, also based in China, is a video-sharing site, which streamed over 15billion minutes of video last year – almost five times more than YouTube (1). Mixi and CyWorld – social networking sites based in Japan and South Korea with 14million and 20million users respectively – have been at the global forefront of the social networking phenomenon. Indeed, CyWorld was the first - and thus remains the oldest - social networking site in the world having been established in 1999. Around 90 per cent of all Koreans aged between 20-29 spend most of their time online today at CyWorld.

It is not well known nor accepted that the social networking phenomenon we all gush about in the West was actually invented in Asia. This sounds counter-intuitive and unsettlingly unfamiliar. Innovation is assumed to be a prized Western asset, something the culturally compliant and uniform Asians cannot emulate.

To see the future of the internet, look East

quinta-feira, maio 22, 2008

The “Washington Consensus” – stabilise, privatise and liberalise – is dead ?


The “Washington Consensus” – stabilise, privatise and liberalise – is dead. Long live the new pragmatism. That is the message of “the growth report” released this week by the commission on growth and development chaired by the Nobel laureate, Michael Spence.

No single recipe will secure sustained and rapid economic growth in poor countries, it argues. Governments have to choose from a variety of ingredients. Yet only governments can do so. They “are sometimes clumsy and sometimes errant”, but “active, pragmatic governments” are indispensable.


They have come to two broad conclusions: first, fast and sustained growth “requires a long-term commitment by a country’s political leaders”; second, it depends on sustained engagement with the global economy, as a source of both knowledge and demand.

Beyond this, the report identifies a number of ingredients in the growth pie. No country, it notes, has sustained rapid growth without high rates of public investment in infrastructure, education and health. Furthermore, growth means profound structural change. Policy must allow this to happen, while doing what it can to protect people.

The commission also emphasises that “growth strategies cannot succeed without a commitment to equality of opportunity” and action against extreme inequality of outcomes. Meanwhile, the inclination to leave the environment aside at the early stages is a huge mistake.


Growth challenge; Financial Times

sexta-feira, maio 16, 2008

Sex and the city and the media...

It may not take a lot to make the New York Post, Rupert Murdoch’s city tabloid, grumpy but the four actresses of Sex and the City, the new film of the television series, certainly provoked it this week.

The Post was dubious about the hat worn to the film’s premiere by Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays the lead character Carrie Bradshaw in the drama about the lives of four Manhattan women. Even worse than this faux pas, she wore the hat in London, where the film’s world premiere was held.

After London, which the Post dismissed as “the wrong city”, the quartet is hitting Berlin tonight before returning to New York for yet another glitzy launch event in two weeks. New Yorkers must make do for now with posters of Carrie and her friends plastered around the city.

Even in its absence, however, Sex and the City is part of the Zeitgeist. Both the drama itself and the way it is being marketed say a lot about the future of film and television. In fact, here is my Sex and the City guide to the entertainment industry.

First, the world is bigger than the US. Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha are jetting around Europe for the same reason that the Cannes film festival, which opened on Wednesday, includes the premiere of the planned summer blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That is where the money is.
Second, paid-for is bigger than free. That sounds strange in the era of the internet, but entertainment for which consumers rather than advertisers pay is growing more powerful. Americans used to spend many more hours with media such as radio and broadcast television than with DVDs and video games but they are switching.


Third, the small screen is bigger than the big screen. Box office receipts of $9.6bn in the US last year were easily outstripped by the $23.4bn of DVD rentals and sales. Digital technology allows studios to exploit new forms of distribution, including iTunes and video-on-demand. Some 20 per cent of HBO’s revenues come from reselling its dramas.


The rise of pay television as an artistic force is matched by a decline in the value of run-of-the-mill films in the secondary market. Three Hollywood studios broke away from a deal with Showtime last month to form their own pay television channel after the latter complained that it was paying too much for films and could make its own dramas.

Fourth, adults are bigger than teenagers. Young people have held sway over Hollywood in recent years because they can be relied upon to go to the cinema. But pay television has tapped an adult audience that has been under-served by film studios and can now watch dramas at home on high-definition televisions.

That is breathing life into dramas made for adult niche audiences rather than big teenage and college-student cohorts. Hollywood studios are responding to this. “Studios are being much more deliberate about choosing demographic targets and developing films for them,” says Geoff Sands, a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

As adult targets go, you do not get much better than SATC. It started out as a quintessentially American television series and has ended up as a film seen first by Londoners and Berliners. Romance, promiscuity, fashion and all, it is the very model of a modern media enterprise.


A Sex and the City guide to the entertainment industry; By John Gapper; Financial Times

Change is in the air for financial superclass ? or wishful thinking ?


Of the world’s elites, none has flown higher than those who have led the financial community. The re-engineering of international finance has been one of the transformational trends of our times – in just a quarter-century, capital flows became massive, instantan­eous and controlled by a new breed of traders representing a handful of major financial institutions from a few countries. Their rewards have transcended any in history as shown by an estimate by Alpha Magazine that the top hedge fund manager last year made $3bn.

The concentration of power has also steadily grown. The top 50 financial institutions control almost $50,000bn (£25,600bn) in assets, roughly a third of the global total. Ten thousand hedge funds are estimated to account for 30-50 per cent of all equities trading worldwide but the top 100 control 60 per cent of hedge fund assets. When crises arise, regulators have been forced to seek the collaboration of the heads of the biggest institutions on a more or less voluntary basis. Typically, of the few they approach, the key executives are in the US and Europe, underscoring the transatlantic nature of this elite.

Change, however, is in the air. The history of elites is one of their rising up, over-reaching, being reined in and supplanted by a new elite. Several recent developments suggest that the financial crisis could signal the high-water mark of power for this group.

First, the crisis is prompting a re-regulatory drive. The power of financial elites had been evident in their ability to argue that global financial markets and markets in new securities should remain “self-regulating” (how many of them would hop into a self-regulating taxicab?), then when crisis comes – as with mortgage-backed securities – these champions of less government involvement have then persuaded governments to cauterise their wounds.


Second, the credit crisis is exacerbating the emerging backlash against corporate excess . Elites make billions on markets whether they go up or down and their institutions win government support while the little guy loses his home. Multinational chief executives 30 years ago made 35 times the wages of an average employee; today it is more than 350 times. The crisis has focused attention on the obscene inequities of this era – the world’s 1,100 richest people have almost twice the assets of the poorest 2.5bn. There are signs of open and growing anger at this, as we have seen this week in the Netherlands with calls to address bonuses, and the attack on the world’s financial markets as “a monster that must be tamed” from Horst Köhler, the German president.

Third, the accumulation of financial reserves in the Persian Gulf, Russia and China underscores that the centre of gravity in global finance is also shifting. If gas prices remain high and Asian growth strong, sovereign wealth funds, which are concentrated in these regions, are forecast to surpass $15,000bn within a few years. The top creators of great new personal fortunes are in China, India and Russia. It seems unavoidable that the transatlantic elite that have been the habitués of Davos will be rivalled in influence by the Asian contingent – a group that has as little appetite for the Alpine gabfest as for the values and priorities of the western financial superclass.

So, are we at the beginning of the end of a golden era for transatlantic financial elites? Perhaps, but elites cede power reluctantly and there are signs of an effort to stave off decline. There is now a recognition of the need to accept some global market reforms to avoid more invasive legislation. Far-sighted leaders such as Tom Russo, Lehman Brothers vice-chairman, have actively encouraged changes in the way markets are supervised. Institutional investors could play a role by demanding more sensible pay packages from money managers. The rise of Asia probably cannot be resisted. But by recognising that there are public interests to which they must respond, the financial superclass can stall the fate of previous elites. To succeed at that they must shun their arrogant “leave-it-to-the-market” explanations for the inequality they have helped foster.

The writer is author of Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making, and is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Change is in the air for financial superclass; By David Rothkopf; Financial Times

domingo, maio 04, 2008

The Cognitive Age

um artigo de opinião interessante que argumenta sobre quais os verdadeiros processos centrais das transformação em curso na economia, no mundo...

The globalization paradigm emphasizes the fact that information can now travel 15,000 miles in an instant. But the most important part of information’s journey is the last few inches — the space between a person’s eyes or ears and the various regions of the brain. Does the individual have the capacity to understand the information? Does he or she have the training to exploit it? Are there cultural assumptions that distort the way it is perceived?

The globalization paradigm leads people to see economic development as a form of foreign policy, as a grand competition between nations and civilizations. These abstractions, called “the Chinese” or “the Indians,” are doing this or that. But the cognitive age paradigm emphasizes psychology, culture and pedagogy — the specific processes that foster learning. It emphasizes that different societies are being stressed in similar ways by increased demands on human capital. If you understand that you are living at the beginning of a cognitive age, you’re focusing on the real source of prosperity and understand that your anxiety is not being caused by a foreigner.

It’s not that globalization and the skills revolution are contradictory processes. But which paradigm you embrace determines which facts and remedies you emphasize. Politicians, especially Democratic ones, have fallen in love with the globalization paradigm. It’s time to move beyond it.


David Brooks, New York Times