The Consumer Digital Revolution is Winning. (Or Zynga -v- The Music Biz)

Many of our regular readers are wondering if I have gone
batty lately. All I seem to be blogging about lately is Farmville this,
Farmville that.


What ever happened to P2P, the Global Financial Crisis and
good old political head bashing?


Believe it or not – all of those elements are inside Farmville
and by examining the potential and commercial aspects of the game, we can
obtain insights into the future of successful media development.

Economists often use random chance theory, i.e.: gambling,
as a factor to allow us to more accurately forecast variables within long term

Farmville is not random with the exception of user
attention. However it is a game.

It (to me) seems entirely appropriate that a
game from Zynga through their (predominantly) Farmville application is in fact lighting
the way for the rest of the entertainment industry (and financial support industries) to follow.

The Revolution
The Global revolution is spreading it’s tentacles daily
via new DSL connections and WiFi capable phones.


Every day, a peer taps a friend on the shoulder and says ‘Hey,
on the internet  did you know that you
can……” and the thirst for knowledge meme continues.


Some like Warner, Emi, Universal and Sony rant and rave, but
others like Zynga and independent muso’s like RiverBlind are starting to listen to
the consumers and giving them what they want.


Wow! What an interesting unique concept – give the consumer
what he asks for.


RiverBlind are offering a low quality (but better than FM
radio quality) for free. Higher quality is available for a buck each.


From their website:


“Download it for free??

Yes, you can go to bandcamp and download our entire album Hour Of
The Wolf for free as 128K MP3s. Just click on Download then look at the bottom
of the box and you’ll see the “download the 128k mp3 for free” link. Higher
bitrates cost the small sum of $1US per song, but if you’d rather not spend
anything then please feel free to enjoy the music at no cost. All we ask is
that you consider helping us by spreading the music around the net using the share
function in bandcamp. (Of course if you’d rather just enjoy the music then that
makes us plenty happy as it is).”


On Farmville the users created a petition to enable faster


You joined Farmville (Give
tractor the ability to plow and plant)

5:45pm August 29th, 2009


Farmville responded.




(BTW, those response and comment figures are only three hours
worth….. two thirds of the world haven’t realised this yet because they are
either at work or sleeoing……)


They responded in less than a week. So of course, I bought a





Now the seeder just adds to the vehicles that I have that
require fuel.


How do you get fuel ? There’s the free method which means
that if you wait patiently, you can obtain three tanks of fuel a day.

Cool. So I can buy a Tractor to plow, a seeder to plant and
harvestor to harvest. Wow – what a cool game. These Zynga guys are sure nice.

Well, yes they are – with good reason. The tractor, seeder
and harvestor use the same fuel consumption model. So the daily free fuel allows
me to plow or seed or harvest 55% of my acreage.


And then what?


Well, I run out of fuel.


And then what?


Well I have to plow or seed or harvest manually, one boring
square at a time.


So ?


Hell do you know what I charge on an hourly basis for my
time ?


No what?


Well, my work time is charged out at just over four dollars
per minute and I have calculated my leisure time as being worth 12 cents per
minute. (Download spreadsheet below to calculate your own leisure time).




Well, um. Nothing. So I guess I should buy some fuel……..

OK – three crops a day (on weekends) equals 6 fuels at 3 FV
dollars per fuel recharge.

Hmmm, that comes to 54 farmville dollars per day.


That equals a $10.00 purchase.





However, the saving is 42 minutes of manual plowing, manual
seeding and manual harvesting.

So if my leisure time is worth 12 cents a minute, that equals
only $5.04 cents.


Therefore, on weekends, using Farmville as relaxation
therapy, in preference to attending a $195 per hour therapist, I am better off,
manually plowing.


However, from Monday to Friday, there are demands on my time
at the scale of at least $4+ per minute – so during the week I should buy fuel.

Hmmm, $50.00 per week. Gee, that’s $2600 per year. Times 12.5
million daily users (and growing….).


So the potential here is 32,500,000,000 per annum. Ahem, yes, that's dollars and not Farmville pretend coins…….


Wow! Just because
they listen to their customers and give them what they want.


Pretty amazing isn’t


We could analyse
that against the RIAA’s 30,000 “Settle or be sued letters”, each of which
settled or are settling for an average estimated $3,000 per. OK so let’s do the


30,000 x 3,000 = 90,000,000
minus legal fees equals 45,000,000.


Zynga revenue
potential from listening to customers this year = 32 billion.

Music industry
potential from not listening to customers this year = 45 million.


Yep, the revolution
is definitely winning – on all fronts, under all circumstances.






The Value of
Leisure Time Excel Spreadsheet
to download)

Farmville (Give tractor the ability to plow and plant)

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