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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

According to a report by Accenture, the media and entertainment industry feels user-generated content is the top threat to their businesses:

"NEW YORK; April 16, 2007 -Media and entertainment executives see the growing ability and eagerness of individuals to create their own content as one of the biggest threats to their business, according to results of a survey released today by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

In its annual survey of senior executives in the media and entertainment industry, Accenture examined the growth strategies of companies across the landscape of advertising, film, music, publishing, radio, the Internet, videogames and television.

More than half (57 percent) of the respondents identified the rapid growth of user-generated content - which includes amateur digital videos, podcasts, mobile phone photography, wikis and social-media blogs -- as one of the top three challenges they face today. In addition, more than two-thirds (70 percent) of respondents said they believe that social media, one of the largest segments of user-generated content, will continue to grow, compared with only 3 percent of respondents who said they view social media as a fad.

"This is just the beginning for a rapidly changing landscape where the media content environment grows more fractious and the user gains more control and power," said Gavin Mann, digital media lead for Accentureís Media & Entertainment practice. "Traditional, established content providers will have to adapt and develop new business and monetization models in order to keep revenue streams flowing. The key to success will be identifying new forms of content that can complement their traditional strengths."

The new landscape offers opportunities as well as challenges, according to the study, as two-thirds (68 percent) of the respondents said they believe that within three years their businesses will be making money on user-generated content. Sixty-two percent said they believe their companies will make money through advertising and sponsorships of social media. Other sources of profits cited were subscriptions (21 percent) and pay-per-play offerings (18 percent). However, a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said they do not yet know how their businesses will profit from user-generated content.

The study included interviews with industry giants like Roger Faxon, chief executive of EMI Music Publishing; Leslie Moonves, chief executive of CBS; Doug Neil, senior vice president of digital marketing for Universal Studios; and Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Group PLC."

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