By Simon de Bruyn

The Centre for Screen Business, in conjunction with Screenrights, has commissioned new media consultant Jennifer Wilson to write a white paper examining workable business models for the digital media space.

The white paper is expected to become as much of a discussion point as the Centre’s previous white paper on “Embracing Innovation” written by Robert Connolly, and will be ‘soft launched’ by Wilson this weekend at the New Media Conference in Byron Bay.

Wilson told INSIDEFILM her white paper would present some provocative answers to the industry much in the same way Connolly’s paper did, but it will also contain educational elements for people unfamiliar with the digital media terrain.

“If you’re a filmmaker right now who is asking how do I go digital, this paper will hopefully give you some sense of the questions you need to answer to go digital. It will also present some problems and some relatively provocative solutions for those. While Robert’s white paper was designed specifically to be provocative, mine is designed with education and training elements in it as well,” she said.

She explained the paper will focus on how content creators can commercialise their content by putting it online, and by being relatively flexible about new models.

“We all get where money comes from in old media; we understand first dollar and corridors and distribution and all of that so when someone starts putting their content online a lot of the time they don’t understand subscriptions, they don’t understand advertising, whether people can purchase the content and what rights do they purchase – all that sort of stuff is completely unknown to a lot of content creators.

“They want to know how to control it and one of the things I’m going to be saying is don’t try to control it. You go online so people can access your content and the minute you try to restrict their access to the content, you have to question why you’ve gone online. That’s not to say copyright and ownership of content doesn’t need to be recognised [but rather] that the need to drive audiences is more crucial than the need to protect content.”

Wilson explained she is still in the process of writing the paper, and will tease some of her insights at the conference this weekend. She will also be able to reveal several solutions to the rights approval and management issues that vex content creators.

The New Media Conference will be held at the Byron Resort & Spa Conference Centre this Saturday, presented by Northern Rivers Screenworks in association with NSW FTO and Screen Australia.

For more information on the conference see:

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