Milia in Cannes : the future of the interactive planet
The Think Tank Summit focused on the big evolutions in progress. The 'point of view' of Jean-Marie Messier, Vivendi International's manager was specially expected.
Before going in the heart of the topic, the participants of the Milia in Cannes had a week-end of reflection organized by Reed Midem and its president, Xavier Roy, in partnership with Forrester Research. This 'Think-Tank summit' gathered the world business bigwigs in terms of communication and Internet networks, as Bertelsman E-Commerce Group's president or several American entrepreneurs. However, Jean Marie Messier, Vivendi Universal's president was the centre of attraction at the end of the day on Sunday who succeeded to gather on his name more than one thousand five hundred professionals in the big auditorium of the Palais des Festivals.The convergence of accessesAll speakers give greater importance to the wishes of the one who is from now on neither a viewer nor a phone user, a music lover with its walkman or a 'fan' of play console but simply a consumer of designed products. It is someone who has its word to say and who depend on the final choice. The communication between the producer and its customers depends on the ell of the success of the product's diffusion. This is the content providers' current philosophy expressed in sacrilegious words.What is going to happen tomorrow? As soon as starts a reflection in this changing domain of the diffusion on Internet networks or on television, on line or off line, professionals hesitate. They express a great propensity for a future that will have the unfortunate tendency to stay out of range, what encourages obviously the most hazardous speculations. However, this future is coming fast, often faster than what we expected.What were therefore, in this domain the big forecasts of the week-end? First, the convergence of accesses. The interactive declension of the same product forwarded to the user through several access platforms : satellite or cabled television, mobile phone, Internet websites. This convergence of accesses for the same product doesn't mean that we have to rely on a more efficient modelling of the e-commerce rather than another. Jean-Marie Messier, who made of this convergence the strategic line of Vizzavi is categorical : I don't believe in 'business models', I believe in the consumer's choice. ''The Internet in order to earn money'If the interactivity is still promising, groups such as Vivendi Universal which are working in music, film, educational contents, games, in brief, in all the domains of the production of contents will know the great expansion they expect. Jean-Marie Messier gave the delays : between six months and a year and a half for a massive arrival of new Net products such as music, films, TV programmes on demand, generalization of downloading, multiplication of educational tools on CD Roms, DVD catalogues, proliferation of on line games.Vivendi Universal's president is expecting, for example, a high increase of the turnover for games concerning its company : 1999, 82 millions; 2002, 4 billion francs. Jean-Marie Messier adds : 'We are in the Internet business in order to earn money'.A muticultural offerHowever, we wonder if the announced transformations of a development of the interactivity which brings today the explosion of the offer will lead to the expected explosion of the demand, since the interactivity supposes a radical change in the mentalities. There is no doubt that the president of Vivendi sees clearly when he anticipates the development of interactivity in the domain of the provision of educational contents. However, there seem to be uncertainties concerning the generalization of the VOD or the television personalized according to the demand.The traditional distributors are not ready to give up their task of programmers as the customers are not more ready to give up their passive and relaxing attitudes after a working day. However, technology will come at its hour to help the change because television on the Web on the will come tomorrow and even before and the network on the TV screen is already a reality.The recent creation of the second communication group worldwide, Vivendi Universal has led its president to its business philosophy on insisting on the diversity of cultures and on the necessity to offer everyone the access to cultural contents according to their choice : neither a cultural domination with on American way nor a cultural exception on the French way, Jean-Marie Messier said. There's no need to hold forth if there is something in it for everybody.