EBU Conference: Control freakery and Mozart

Henrik Heide of Danish Radio kicked things off by talking about a Mozart event that similar to BBC’s Beethoven Experience.

Denmark is a hotbed of media convergence, in no small part because of Ulrik Hageruup, the editor NordJyske, a pioneering cross platform media operation.

I often quote Ulrik in presentations when he says: “If there are more changes going on outside your window than inside, then you’re in trouble.”

Back to Henrik and Geneva. He started off saying that Danish radio had no idea “how difficult it would be to control content” with their Mozart project.

Before the launch he said: “We were in control. Everything was plannned.”

“We did not want too much trouble with the record comapnies. We are public service broadcasters. We thought there wouldn’t be any problems,” he said.

Already in the early sessions, there is a theme developing: Rights.

Things were going quite nicely until with about 300,000 downloads over the first few weeks, and then they saw a spike in traffice.

They have 300,000 downloads overnight, three-quarters of them from outside of Denmark.

They had been Digged!!

From Henrik: “Digg is a little nerdy website about technology and so on.”

Suddenly, “we had to talk to the record companies about 1.2 m downloads,” Henrik said.

And the files were in the wild even high quality files encoded. surround sound. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the room with Henrik and the record execs.

(UPDATE: I spoke to Henrik at the lunch break. He hasn’t spoken to the recording executives. He’s waiting for them to call…)

But I liked Henrik’s take away: “Forget control and learn social engineering.”