The business model of the remix

26 01 2010

I was recently listening to one of my favourite authors’ Matt Mason talk about Piracy as a business model on @SparkCBC. That podcast inspired me to write this post. Mason has inspired me since the day I started reading “The Pirates’ Dilemma”. I have personally used the remix to develop ideas and a business model for a startup that I am currently investigating. But enough about me. I want to use this post to highlight some interesting examples of companies that have embraced remix culture and have developed either a business model out of it or used it successfully in marketing their products/services.

1. The coolest example is of 20th Century Fox’s use of the comedic band GirlzNite‘s video “Die Hard”. Fox’s marketing team realized that this song (which was funny and pretty much summarized the plots of the first three movies) could be an ideal way to get consumers excited about the movie and generate buzz before the release of version 4…and they were right! Here’s the video.

2. Similarly, the BBC embraced the remix by creating the service “Masher” – that allowed users to freely remix their videos (from the BBC motion gallery) and share it with their friends and networks.

…and of course, who can forget the stark resemblance that the first generation iPods had to a certain type of portable radio (refer to one of my older posts).

So whats my point you ask?

Well, in the world of marketing, the concept of the remix can offer us a lot of ideas and help us innovate. Here’s why:

1. The remix is in all of us, because today it’s a part of culture. We understand the remix, we constantly consume it and we repeatedly use it – in our own lives.

2. The concept of the remix is still highly debated and not considered a part of mainstream culture. This gives marketers an advantage – the ability to create tight knit and highly involved communities of consumers.

At the end of the day, the remix is all around us – in hundreds of products and services we consume on a day to day basis. It’s up to marketing and business/product development teams in organizations to look at leveraging the remix to their advantage rather than looking at remixers as thieves/ copyright violators. A huge cultural shift is in order…thoughts?

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One response

12 03 2010
Tom Wolfe

Cool… not a good chorus to have stuck in my head as I drive my youngest daughter to school! 🙂

Good posts… found you off Grant’s site.

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