MAD Perspectives Blog

The Cloud is Open for Media & Entertainment

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, June 26, 2013

...or is it? The concept of openness when it comes to technology is an interesting one, especially when creating cloud solutions. In general, open means free redistribution of  software and technology agnostic licenses. The media & entertainment industry, more so than any other sector, has held onto proprietary, purpose built solutions for capturing, creating and managing their content assets. While the telecommunications industry has standards for its networks, the closest the media industry comes to standards are those related to codecs and file-based workflows (only relevant because of some standardization of said codecs). There are no metadata or essence standards. This lack of standards, much less open standards, is an inhibitor to adoption of cloud solutions. 

Industry leaders have hailed the advancement of cloud solutions as they provide for more open options in performing common media workflow tasks, challenging the long term viability of "old school" vendors. This is an industry where collaborations is demanded. Whether in the creative process or in the supporting business management processes, if each player doesn't fulfill his responsibility a project can come to a screeching halt. A benefit of cloud computing is its accessibility, relative openness and ability to simplify and foster collaboration. The cloud can enable creative types to access the technologies to store, manage, share and distribute their content, streamlining workflows when it comes to editing, reviewing content and obtaining approvals.

The challenge lies in what cloud to use. If the cloud is "open" this shouldn't matter, but the cloud is only open in so far as any cloud platform provides a development framework and relevant APIs (application programming interfaces) to integrate various software applications residing on unique hardware platforms. Whether a media company elects to develop a platform using Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Windows Azure, or to access a hosted solutions from the likes of Adobe or Forbidden Technologies, they are still adapting to the development guidelines or user interfaces allowed by that provider. My question is, does that mean these are open platforms.

In a conversation with a colleague recently, I asked him how he liked his new iPhone after years of working at Microsoft and having had a Windows Phone. He responded in favor of the amazing selection of apps, which was no surprise given Microsoft's late entrance to the smartphone market. However, i then asked how he felt about Apple being a "closed" system. He disagreed, stating that Apple's app developer community, in fact, created openness through its structure and ability to allow any developer to create an app available to the masses who use Apple devices. I struggle with this definition of "open".

As content creators address the demand for cross-platform distribution and consumption of content, they are forced to adapt content addressing the requirements different operating systems, networks and device specifications. Can cloud solutions address this concern, and others related to protecting content during the creative process? Can they simplify rights management, ensuring that only users with the right credentials access and edit content, or actually consume content on the devices of their choosing. Does the cloud simplify the resolution of these challenge or does it simply offer an alternative to existing in house solutions?

This is the debate for the media & entertainment sector (and others). The decisions will be driven by financial, operational, cultural, security and business model requirements. What cloud solutions is your media company using or developing? How important is the "openness" of the cloud platform? What standards are you incorporating or wishing for? The cloud is open for business - how will it help your media & entertainment business achieve its goals?

What's your perspective?



problem solving in the cloud

Peggy Dau - Monday, June 10, 2013

Cloud computing - it's all the rage. It will reduce your infrastructure costs. It will create new revenue streams. It will increase collaboration. It will provide all the data you could possibly analyze. Well, that sounds great, but it's often hard to figure out where to start. It's helpful to identify not necessarily the technology challenges, but the business problem the technology can resolve. Hopefully the this problem is something, that when overcome, will help your business better serve its customers. There are increasing number of cloud solutions serving the media industry. Here are just a couple of the solutions i've seen - and the problems they addressed.

Problem: Capture, edit & manage content at live events

Solution: Cloud based video asset management and workflow.  With prosumer cameras providing higher quality video than in the past, anyone can produce a live event. These can be large scale, global events, regional sporting contests, local concerts or business events. The challenge, in the past, has been the ability to ingest and edit content quickly and easily, on location. Cloud based video asset management/workflow solutions from vendors such as AFrame or Forbidden Technologies, provide a customizable workflow enabling on-site or remote editing of content. Like high-end professional solutions from Avid and Apple, these cloud solutions allow customers to establish roles and tasks for each user. The difference is that they don't require heavy infrastructure investments. The user interfaces for these cloud solutions are intuitive. These cloud based workflow solutions provide scalability fulfilling requirements for the small, local content producers, as well as professionals. They also provide the required flexibility for content format, file size, interfaces to editing systems and metadata and essence definition. The value in these solutions may start with cost savings, but truly provide flexibility previously unavailable to video producers.

Problem: Develop apps for mobile content consumption

Solutions: The growth of mobile content consumption is challenging media companies from large to small. Publishers clearly understand the importance of apps as means for accessing and enjoying content. Apps address the challenges for presenting content in an manner intuitive to the type of device being used. The challenge of cross platform solutions lies in the ability of these cloud platforms to simplify app development for operating system, device parameters and content format. The benefit of cross platform solutions is they break down app ecosystem barriers as they simplify development across iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry and others. They lower the cost of entry and time to market for smaller developers, and  for large brands and publishers. Vendors offering solutions in this space range from the large, well known Adobe and the up and comers like Appcelerator and PhoneGap.  Each of these are focused on cloud-based development tools, cloud APIs for integration, publishing apps to an app store or to an private enterprise app store and content management.

The problems reviewed here reflect the complexity faced by many organizations as they work to get the right content to their audiences at the right time, in the best format for any given consumption device. The cloud offers new solutions for familiar issues. However, audiences expectations continue to rise as they become increasingly attached to their smartphones and tablets.

What's your perspective?



Content Delivery - The Original Cloud Service

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, June 05, 2013



With all the talk across the IT sector about cloud computing, one would think that this was the newest, biggest technological advancement since the Internet...or the TV. However, in my opinion, cloud computing is great marketing of an existing solution that evolved in the late 90s. That is Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) enabled by the Internet Data Center (IDC).  IDCs helped CDNs to provide intelligent routing and edge caching for content delivery. CDNs allowed corporations and media companies, be they publishers, broadcasters, advertisers or studios to position content in the network in such a way as to guarantee users quick access to that content. 
 

Rather than procure large volumes of servers, storage, routers, etc., CDNs like Akamai, Speedera (acquired by Akamai), Mirror Image and others created relationships with companies who paid monthly fees based on the volume of content delivered and, eventually, service level commitments. The CDN owned responsibility for the network and IT infrastructure needed to enable content delivery. Doesn't that sound like cloud computing? 

CDNs evolved from a focus on dynamic (e.g., audio, video) and static content (e.g., data, text, pictures) to peer-to-peer content sharing to being a critical element of any cloud service now available. They matured their capabilities to ensure, measure and quantify the effectiveness of the service. We've all benefited from CDNs as we prowled websites, procured products via e-commerce sties and enjoyed all forms of streaming media. As companies look to the cloud to create new revenue opportunities, expand distribution channels, improve infrastructure capacity or enhance internal collaboration, they will be assessing the content delivery elements of the cloud. In fact leading cloud providers, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, emphasize their content delivery expertise when promoting their cloud services. My media industry centric clients are seeking cloud solutions for  multi-channel content delivery, collaborative workflows, centralized storage or transcoding on-demand, with a demand that content will be where it needs to be, when users need it. 

CDN requirements continue to evolve thanks to increased interactivity, user-generated content, peer-to-peer sharing and social networking. With the volume of content literally exploding (see Cisco's just released Visual Network Index!), global network users will generate 3 trillion Internet video minutes/month; that is 6 million years of video per month or 1.2 million video minutes every second of more than two years worth of video every second), networks must manage the distribution of dynamic and static content to consumers and business users wherever they are. As a result, as cloud services increase so does the content delivery market with revenue expected to reach $1B by 2015.

Most technology oriented companies are pursuing Software-as-a-Service, Infrastrucure-as-a-Service or Platform-as-a-Service cloud offerings. They will need to fulfill user expectatios for presentation and availability of content as well as functionality and performance of the service. This increases datacenter demand, be it hosted in a public, private or hybrid cloud.  Cisco's Global Cloud Index indicates that in North America, cloud data center traffic will represent 65% of the total datacenter traffic by 2016 as compared to 40% in 2011. The cloud is here to stay although I anticipate it will be rebranded at some point in the future. It lowers the barrier to entry for new market players as they can replace potentially heavy capital infrastructure costs with operating costs that are more closely aligned to the growth of their business. And, with the cloud there will always be a requirement for content delivery.

What's your perspective?




Live Streaming Going Mainstream?

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Last week was a busy news week for the U.S. TV industry with the "broadcast TV upfronts". These are the seasonal meetings hosted by the big four networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC) for press and advertisers promoting their programming schedule. However, the news last week was about more than the upcoming programs. The networks also revealed their plans for increasing their use of alternate distribution channels. The goal for these content providers is to be available wherever their viewers are. The announcements from ABC, TNT and TBS, are an acknowledgement that out-of-home streaming of broadcast content is here to stay.

It is natural to think that these announcements are in response to disruption caused by Aereo TV, the Barry Diller backed upstart. Aereo entered the market in 2012 and has recently increased its ability to stream over-the-air content broadcast programming to consumer digital devices. Unlike the TV apps provided by ABC, TNT, TBS and others, this subscription service does not require viewers to have a cable/satellite subscription to access the content. While the Aereo service is currently only available in New York City, it is clearly a threat to the current broadcast/cable TV model.

The appeal of this service for consumers lies in their ability to select what programs they want to watch without having to subscribe to a bundle of content - some of which they will never watch. This "a la carte" TV model has been discussed for years, with Senator John McCain (R., Arizona) introducing legislation last week requiring cable/satellite operators to "un-bundle" their TV service offerings. While "cord-cutting" has been a subject of great analysis, consumers continue to maintain their cable subscriptions even as they adopt alternate consumption models (e.g., Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, etc.)

The ultimate success of of Aereo vs the broadcast networks, may lie in the technology behind the scenes. Aereo utilizes small TV antennas to capture TV signals off the air and retransmit them over the Internet.  They utilize transcoding and storage in the cloud, plus a layer of content management software,.  While the costs for transcoding and storage have decreased dramatically, this combined hardware/software solution is a relatively expensive solution to scale.

In contrast, the ABC model will use cloud transcoding technology from upLynk plus a Linux server to distribute programming to existing cable subscribers. Their app, available on iOS initially, will validate viewer subscriptions before enabling access to content. This model allows for more cost effective adoption by ABC affiliates, but preserves the existing business model requiring bundled cable subscriptions.

The battle is on for over-the-air content.  FOX and CBS have publicly stated that they may consider becoming paid cable networks rather than provide over-the-air content that can be captured by Aereo. Out-of-home streaming will impact existing advertising models and subscriber management solutions, while bringing incremental insight with increased subscriber data gleaned from the streaming services. The ability to learn more about subscribers is appealing both to the networks and to their advertisers. The unanswered question for all of these live streaming services, is the desire for viewers to watch content on their mobile devices vs their TV. My perspective is that it is all location dependent.

What's your perspective?

Image courtesy of Yeni Medya Duzeni




The Creative Cloud Dilemna

Peggy Dau - Monday, May 13, 2013

Image courtesy of blurmediaphotography.com

Adobe's announcement last week regarding its commitment to the SaaS based Creative Cloud over its packaged Creative Suite software has created a big fuss online and elsewhere. Over 10,000 customers have signed a Change.org petition insisting that Adobe continue to offer packaged software. Adobe's decision and ongoing challenge as it relates to software development and sustainable business model is one that many other software companies are facing. The changes being proposed were not made in isolation or without consideration for customer need.  They are not decision made lightly.

Any company offering cloud-based software, infrastructure or services must determine a business model that is acceptable to their customer base, while ensuring that the cloud offer provides a more than acceptable quality of service. Software companies benefit from low variable costs when developing their product. An established company, like Adobe, has solid customer base who anticipate new products as well as product updates and upgrades. Any investment in product development is recouped through a combination of software licenses and maintenance fees. Software has typically been a relatively high margin business with high, defined fixed costs and low variable costs.

When shifting to a SaaS model, Adobe not only continues its fixed costs related to software development, but picks up the variable costs related to infrastructure (e.g., servers, network, security, HVAC). There must be a "leap" to a new, predictable revenue stream. It is a massive shift in business model, where the recurring revenue from a client subscriptions must cover ALL costs.  The benefit for new customers is a less costly manner to gain access to robust creative tools. However, existing clients can only see the large investments made over many years and the loss of control over their creative environment. Their is concern in paying for access to more applications than they need or want; AND losing access to files if they are late making a monthly payment.  I read a great blog by Eric Hansen with his perspective on the pros and cons.

I honestly don't see that there is any way for leading software vendors to avoid a shift to the cloud. The challenge will be how they implement it. Will it be a cloud only option, a hybrid offer or will there be a transition period (something Adobe might have considered). From a completely different perspective, it's interesting to note that Harmonic is offering transcoding in the cloud via private cloud, managed service or Amazon Web Services. This provides options for all types of users from large to  small and for those that need frequent access to transcoding services or those who are addressing infrequent spikes in demand for transcoding.

Advancements in technology are great, but they really do challenge known business models. In every case there are pros and cons. Education is a key element to helping vendors and customers manage the transitions. I anticipate we will see further communication from Adobe about the benefits of Creative Cloud. Hopefully we also see a model for helping existing Creative Suite users migrate to Creative Cloud.

What's your perspective?



KIT Digital: Changing the Game for Second Screen Discovery

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Did you attend Second Screen Sunday at NAB? Unfortunately, I was not able to attend, but I was impressed that such an event emerged around NAB. I heard that attendance was fantastic and that the topics were extremely relevant! 

The impact of social media and the use of the second screen continues to drive new opportunities for content creators, broadcasters, networks and others. What's now called the second screen, used to be the newspaper or a favorite book - or family. It's any of those things that we do while we are watching TV. The difference now is that the "distraction" is digital. This allows all of those in the TV supply chain an opportunity to attract viewers to their program rather than allow them to be distracted by unrelated activities.

I was checking out some second screen options while at NAB. I was quite interested in KIT Digital's 2Si, the latest version of their social discovery platform. As discovery and engagement are the two key activities driving second screen activity, I was curious as to what KIT was doing that was so intriguing. I quickly found out that the program guide aspect was similar to other apps, meaning your smartphone or tablet, can be used to find appealing content based on your interests or those of your social network. However, what stood out was the ability for users to save ads. I found this oddly compelling. Imagine you are watching your favorite series and a ad pops up related to the destination, say Rome, but you don't want to interrupt your viewing experience due to the plot line. 2Si allows you to save the ad for future review.

I think this is a game changer. Today we are bombarded with ads on TV, online and on our mobile devices. Honestly, most of us just tune them out unless we are watching the Super Bowl or there is something really amazing happening in the ad. However, how many times have you been in a conversation with a friend and tried to remember the ad you saw about a product, place or service? I know this is happened to me frequently over the years. 2Si would allow me to go back and view my saved ads.

Now take this one step further, you're an advertiser (either agency or brand) and you want to segment your audience to understand their behavior. You now have access to critical data points - the user that cared enough to save the ad, that went back to view it and possibly took action. This is a smart evolution of the integration of advertising and the second screen. I'll be eager to see how Kit Digital's customer base deploys this solution.

What's your perspective?



Simplify Asset Management and Drive Monetization

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Continuing my thoughts from attending NAB earlier this month, digital asset management continues to increase in relevance as media companies face challenges for distributing content across multiple channels. My business alma mater, HP, entered the space with its acquisition of Autonomy. The Autonomy Virage MediaBin is force to be reckoned with. I was intrigued by the demo as it automatically generated metadata from the audio and video that was playing. This key feature allows users to reduce time-consuming asset tagging and focus on defining unique metadata to simplify future asset retrieval.

Like other vendors such as OpenText or North Plains, HP's asset management solutions focus on enabling creative teams to develop, manage and deliver engaging content using video, audio, images and text. And, of course they want to do it quickly and easily. The incremental value provided by HP comes from the Autonomy Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL). IDOL not only extracts key concepts to facilitate asset tagging, it also cross references assets with other forms of relevant data. This includes asset elements such as topics discussed, speaker/artist identity and gender or emotions contained within the conversation. Therefore assets are ingested and stored with a greater range of tagging and metadata, simplifying future access for creation of news stories, ad campaigns or marketing programs. 

Seeing is believing and in watching the demo, I could see how "smart" this solution is. The auto-tagging capability was mesmerizing to watch. Broadcast media, as well as advertising and publishing companies, face increasing challenges when it comes to ingesting, storing and retrieving assets to create on-air, print, online or mobile app content - all with to goal of monetization. Managing workflow is a baseline requirement with asset search and retrieval as a critical element.  As the saying goes garbage in = garbage out.  HP Autonomy may actually be figuring out how to dispose of the garbage and simplify asset management.

What's your perspective?



Clear Skies Ahead for Cloud-Enabled Media Solutions

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NAB provides an opportunity to view emerging solutions addressing the needs of the broadcast and media industries. Cloud computing has been a topic of conversation for the past few years, yet it did not seem to be a mainstream solution. Last year, every storage vendor was talking cloud and it was the first year for a "cloud pavilion" on the show floor.  The progress over the past 12 months is incremental at best, yet cloud solutions do continue find traction, as do enabling technologies (more on this in a future blog).

The media industry is rife with software-based solutions for editing, transcoding and digital asset management. In fact, the shift to file-based workflows is still ongoing. This transition is the only reason broadcasters can even think about alternative remote production solutions, lowering their costs for producing and delivering live sports and entertainment. While the current focus for this topic is still squarely on decreasing the OB van footprint, initial forays into the cloud are focused on enabling collaborative content creation. Two options that represent different approaches for cloud-based workflow and collaboration are: 

Forbidden Technologies' FORscene: This post-production toolkit is a Software-as-a Service platform that enables cloud-based workflow collaboration around centrally stored content. However, it is not just cloud-based storage, the intuitive interface provides the tools for content ingest, logging, frame-accurate editing, and content reviews and approvals. FORScene has been on the scene since 2004 and has proven that cloud-based workflows can work and provide measurable value to content producers.  Others capitalizing on this trend include, Adobe and Avid.  Their Adobe Anywhere and Interplay Sphere solutions address the collaboration needs geographically distributed professionals. However, both solutions still seem to require on-premise hardware and software, Forbidden Technologies does not.

Microsoft Windows Azure Media Services: This cloud-based media platform enables media companies to develop their own solution for ingesting, processing, managing and delivering media content. The demo at NAB captured real-time content, encoded the content and presented it in "typical" user interface for editing and delivery. It leverages Microsoft's investment in Windows Azure to provide media processes (e.g., ingest content; encode, convert and generate media assets; log and tag assets) and Windows IIS Media Services to enable content delivery. The flexibility of the platform will be appealing to media companies that want to create their own cloud-based platform for managing assets.

In both cases the challenge is the ingest of high quality content. Each option is dependent on the use of low-res proxies for editing. Advances in codecs and bandwidth availability continue to accelerate the adoption of alternative solutions. For true disruption to occur, both types of solutions will need to address the demands of live content and the requirements for delivering GBs of content. Why focus on cloud? Across the media industry, beyond broadcast, the requirements for streamlining access to assets, collaborating across work teams, distributing to multiple outlets are creating new challenges. Solutions that can address the demanding requirements of broadcast prove that emerging technologies can facilitate cost effective improvements for managing and distributing digital media.

What's your perspective?






A Facelift is Not Enough

Peggy Dau - Monday, April 15, 2013

The National Association of Broadcast convention was last week in Las Vegas. I've been attending this event for over 10 years, always viewing this industry from an IT perspective. This is natural given that I was working for HP when I first attended the event. The broadcast industry is perhaps the last industry to fully embrace IT based solutions to enable its core infrastructure. This is an industry of proprietary, purpose built products that manage the capture, ingest, management and distribution of content. Yet, the target audience consuming their product - content - has eagerly adopted alternative models for consumption, putting the broadcast industry (and all the vendors who serve it) on notice.

I was speaking with a colleague while waiting for my plane home. He had not been to NAB for a few years and commented on how little had really changed. Sure, this year there were many demos around Ultra HD. Sure, this industry is shifting certain aspects of its workflow into the cloud (in fact, they've been a bit slower than other industries due to concerns about the security of content). And, yes, social media is definitely changing the face of broadcast. But my colleague was right - there wasn't anything that really WOWED me. However there were some subtleties that I found interesting.

The first was simply in how several traditional vendors sought to "re-brand" themselves. An article in Broadcast Engineering, last week, challenged traditional vendors to "adapt or die". Many of the vendors referenced in this article, Grass Valley, Harris, EVS, Snell & Wilcox, Sony, Quantel, are those whose exhibits reflected a face lift. Grass Valley, always front and center in the South Hall, has moved away from the traditional black booth highlighted in green to a white and green facade. However, this cosmetic shift does not change the fact the Grass Valley still makes kick-ass proprietary products. These products serve important functions within broadcast environments, but with the exception of GV Stratus and Edius, they are proprietary and purpose built hardware products. They lack the flexibility to enable broadcasters to extend their reach to online or mobile audiences. 

Other vendors are emphasizing their ability to fulfill on-demand, online content distribution through the use of the "play" button in their marketing. They've adopted lighter, brighter booths implying the openness of the internet versus the dark production environment of broadcast studios. Yet, the proof is in the flexibility and adaptability of products and solutions, not in the marketing.

The challenge facing the industry is how to remain relevant in a world with a 24x7 news cycle, on-demand content expectations and uncertainty as to how revenue models will evolve. It takes more than a face lift to address these issues. Solutions from Forbidden Technologies, Kit Digital, Microsoft, Harmonic  and other more IT centric vendors show the flexibilities that will help broadcasters move forward. Traditional graphics vendors like Vizrt and Chyron, while facing their own challenges, are reflecting their appreciation of audience demand by expanding their partnerships to include social TV and social media technologies.  

Upcoming blogs will focus on the impact of cloud, social and mobile apps on this industry that, honestly, we cannot live without.

What's your perspective?



Creativity is Dead - Long Live Data Driven TV?

Peggy Dau - Monday, April 01, 2013

Earlier this month Netflix released its Q4'2012 financial results. They beat the "street" forecast for subscriber growth and revenue. Yet there are relevant concerns about Netflix's ability to sustain both metrics. This makes the success of their production and release of "House of Cards" even more compelling. Netflix's goal is simple - improve customer acquisition. The strategy to achieve the goal is more complex. It's all about the content. Netflix is known for its streaming content. They are dependent on relationships with content producers such as Disney, CBS, Fox and Lionsgate to stream popular series and drive longtail revenue for the producers of these series. However, Netflix is changing the game by entering into deals for original content such as "Lilliehammer", "House of Cards", new "Arrested Development" episodes and the recently announced "Sense8"

Netflix is a perfect example of data driven content decisions. Unlike their broadcast brethren, Netflix does not depend on Nielsen to measure the success of a program. They can accurately measure how many people watch a program, in full or in part. Their content decisions are based on how many people they think will watch a program as part of their subscription. In the case of "House of Cards", they used data such as 

     - what types of subscribers watched the original BBC series

     - how did subscribers watch - on TV, online, on a mobile device/tablet?  And, did they watch it straight through or did they pause, fast foward or rewind the content?

     - when & what did subscribers watch

     - what content did subscribers watch that involved the proposed actor, Kevin Spacey?

The Netflix advantage is their direct relationship with their subscriber base.  They have access to data that can influence actor selection, plot, special effects, location and more. Netflix can also choose how to release the series. In the case of both "Lilliehammer" and "House of Cards", Netflix chose to release the entire series at the same time. The result was binge consumption of the addictive programs.

Why is this relevant to the media industry or other industries? It is an example of how data reveals customer behavior and desires. With the insight that can be gained through the capture and analysis of data, brands can create content that compels customers to take action. Those actions will, ultimately, result in increased revenue. The conundrum for creative types is to strike the balance between inspiration and customer demand.

All the data in the world is useless if we can't make any sense of it. We can capture demographics, usage behavior, interests, buying patterns, etc. Thanks t our voluntary sharing of information via social networks and search engines, their is an astounding amount of customer data available.  This allows us to add context to the formerly stark data we've been collecting for years. We can see influences and understand rationale behind choices made.

In the media industry, we've seen the rise of formulaic vampire programs thanks to the popularity of "The Twilight Saga". Sure, these programs attract viewers and the related, necessary, advertising revenue. What viewer need do they fulfill?  Are they original? Or, does that even matter? Does the rise of data driven content creation improve the quality of content?  Honestly, I doubt it (although I did enjoy "House of Cards"!). Data driven content provides content producers with the ability to more accurately forecast their financial return. Media & entertainment is a business. However, I'd just like to believe, even for a few moments, that truly original content is still appreciated.

What's your perspective?