Evening Business Forum. The British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg in collaboration with APSI
Tuesday 09 June 2009, LuxConnect Datacenter, Bettembourg
Towards a changing world in the digital age: how dematerialising media and services changes our day-to-day life
The British Chamber of Commerce met on June 9th at the new LuxConnect Datacentre in Bettembourg for an Evening Seminar on the subject of « Media Dematerialisation ». Peter Faure, BCC Council member and co-ordinator of the Media and Technology sub-committee, introduced their first event and the topic which is how all media are going digital and the impact of this on business models, and referred to recent developments worldwide.
Alfred Wilms, Business Development Manager of LuxConnect, presented the host company which was the result of a government initiative into which 130 million euros has been invested. The first of the two datacentres on the first floor opened at the beginning of the month with Skype as the main client, and the ground-floor datacentre is scheduled to open for business in October. The company services telecomms operators, systems integrators and hosting companies, and has been involved in the move to the Internet connection through Germany rather than just through Belgium.
Daniel Eischen, Managing Director & CEO of Interact, a new media and digital marketing company, presented the evening’s topic in more detail, with more and more newspapers disappearing; Amazon selling more eBooks; music-purchasing trends changing. He also introduced APSI, Luxembourg’s Federation of Information Technology and Information Society Companies, a member of the CLC.
Bob Hochmuth, New Media Lux, was introduced as a leading figure in the advertising market in the Grand Duchy. He explained that there is no way back for the old media, ie the newspaper industry. Before newspapers, news spread from town squares, pubs, bars and the town crier, and with the advent of social networking and blogging tools, the world is now witnessing a new wave of news publishing and access. Within the past decade, publishers have been going from Paper to the Net; this trend has now reversed with the Internet the place of breaking news stories. Will paper really disapper? What about the advent of the printed blog? There is now convergence of the TV and Internet and mobile devices, where the borders between B2C and B2B vanishing. This has also led to a change in marketing approach with regular updating of content, which is still king, and monex being spent on promoting online services. Video content will attract sponsors, supporting multi-media and affecting cross-media.
In Luxembourg, 215,000 of the 493,500 population are foreign residents, and 57% use the Internet daily, leading to 1.9 million page views daily. He then introduced New Media Lux SA and its approach and publications, including 352news.lu, LesFrontaliers.lu, DieGrenzgaenger.lu, Station.lu, Eveant.com, 352, Business Review, Made in Luxe and Luxe.tv.
Then Laurent Kratz, Co-founder and General Manager of Jamendo, described his company and online service which is available in 8 languages and has 20,000 albums, 150,000 tracks from 60 countries and 500,000 members. The company’s business model is based around selling « insurance » for music artists that are not members of national copyright associations, with free access to the music until that music is used commercially.
He also went back in time to the start of the World Wide Web, just 6,882 days previously, with the « popular web » just 5,000 days old. In 1995 would we have guessed that we would have free access to all the information now available online? And what are the possibilities for 10 years time? One thing he did predict is that all media will be subject to the same copyright laws.
Then Pierre Schilling, Chargé de direction of Service eLuxembourg, explained the background to the eLuxembourg project which started in 2004 after a taskforce was set up in 2001. This year, the CTIE was established from a merger of eLuxembourg and the CIE (Centre Information de l’Etat), and is now a Government provider of 150 ICT professionals, in both technology and information. He then presented the eLuxembourg project which, by the end of October, will be providing a large range of user-centric services through a single web portal.