2016 Schedule

Interactive: March 11–15  •  Film: March 11–19  •  Music: March 15–20

Can Originality Flourish Online?

Tuesday, March 15
5:00PM - 6:00PM

Four Seasons
San Jacinto
98 San Jacinto Blvd

"In spring 2011, I finished writing the book “Free Ride: How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back,” a pessimistic, intentionally provocative look at the future of the media business in the digital age. Exactly five years later, I’d like to look back at what I got right, what I got wrong, and - far more important - what companies that create original content can learn from both my predictions and my mistakes. My thesis was that the media business is in trouble mostly not because of its failure to adapt (although that’s certainly a problem) but because too many Internet businesses are free-riding, in economic terms, on its investments. It’s awfully hard to sell music, whether on $15 CDs or $10-a-month subscription services, when companies can make it available for free without investing in it.

Generally, I still think that's true. On the other hand, original “tele...

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Hashtags: #sxsw #freeride


Robert Levine



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