Experiential Economy: Social Media Business Podcast

Episode 1 of Social Media Business: What is “the experience economy” – is it the next step on from agrarian, commodity, service…? How does value – and therefore money, currency – shift when people are more willing to pay for intangible experiences than physical goods? Can we monetize something in our minds? The first episode of my new podcast, Social Media Business, looks at revenue stream associated with providing your online community or social networks with a real world experience such as a meetup, conference or party.

I’ve started a new podcast called “Social Media Business” that will be a regular feature covering where the money is, in social networks. See end of post for more information! (RSS or iTunes)

The Experiential Economy

The experiential economy is something I know will be hugely important as we move out of the service economy. Experiences, intangibles such as social relationships and augmented play, will become the baseline by which we judge all business interactions.

Experiential Economy: Social Media Business Ep.001 from Laurel Papworth on Vimeo.

The first episode in this series is on the Experiential Economy – the shift from commodities and service to selling experiences. In particular, how some of the large social networks are making money from real world conferences and get-togethers.concert vs record

In my presentation to APRA (Australian Performance Rights Association) a couple of years ago, I explained PASSIVE becomes ACTIVE, CONTENT becomes LOSS LEADER, PROMOTION is everything and EXPERIENCE beats CONTENT.

Remember Album tours? In the previous economy, tours (experiences) were loss leaders to bring in the real bonanza, album sales. That doesn’t happen anymore. You can buy all of Sting’s music – both as a solo performer and his work with Police – for under a hundred bucks online, but a ticket to a concert? That will cost you an arm and a leg. Experiences sell, content doesn’t. We had better get used to offering more than a service value add, but an experience value add. A story, a unique proposition that explains not what we do but who we are – our stance on recycling, carbon credits and so forth.

Joseph Pine has an amazing Ted Talks video that explains the Experience Economy really well:

Some stuff sounds like “yeah we know about authentic experiences already” but the talk was from 2004. As we document human thought with cloud based video and blogs, old presentations mask the fact that time-contextually, they were very forward thinking.

If you want something newer, this Rory Sutherland very funny talk was released today:

Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.

“what we in create in advertising is intangible value…  a very, very, very fine substitute for using up labour or limited resources… intangible value to replace actual or material value…” AND all value is perceived value.

Social Media and Experience

Values are changing – there is a reason why people will buy digital goods, pixel virtual gifts like Facebook birthday cakes and items in virtual worlds like Second Life. It’s because no object has a tangible value outside of it’s contextual life, it’s community links. Even coins have no inherent value:

Diamonds for me...
Diamonds for me...

… one day you throw $2.00 to a busker. It was worthless to you, jingling in your pocket annoying you so you gave it away. The next day, you are parking the car, looking for a coin and you offer a passerby $5.00 note for a $2.00 coin. Suddenly that $2.00 coin has increased in value markedly.

I believe any business that can deliver an experience will ultimately have more of a value add (experience, not service) than those that do not. I spoke about that at length at the Events and Conference Masterclass last week, speaking about online communities, social media and conference organisers.

So, if you are here for the podcast information (there’s more on monetizing social media  on this post) ….

Social Media Monetization Models
Social Media Monetization Models

… here are the links that I mentioned in the Social Media Business Podcast:

Well that is the initial focus but it’s also – of course, knowing me! – about building online communities. The show is called Social Media Business and is available as both audio to listen here on the blog

Experiential Economy – Social Media Business Ep 1

OR you can subscribe on iTunes to listen/watch on your iPhone or iPod.
Laurel Papworth - Social Media Business - Social Media Business

… as well as the usual formats from the usual sites such as YouTube.

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  1. Hey there pixie gal.
    Just hit yer ‘subscribe in iTunes’ button and found both Audio and VIDEO in the same RSS feed.

    Not a good plan if you want people like me to stay subscribed. I really want all your audio automagically on my iPod, I will come and get video when it sounds like something is worth a look.

    Strongly suggest separate feeds for audio/video.

    Love and Kisses
    teh Fang

  2. Hi Laurel,

    Enjoyed the podcast. We are using elements of the event approach with our documentary. In addition to meet-the-filmmaker screenings, we are also doing a day’s workshop around the doco and its themes. Looking for ways to engage people more deeply.


  3. I’m excited to learn of this podcast, though I also feel the need to repeat the sentiments of Mike… Keep video and audio seperate wherever possible.

  4. Nice podcast/video Laurel and good examples. I’m actually in the process of building a new online community and truly believe that in person events are the way to building strong commitment and ties between members of an online community.

    Not sure if you’ve heard of BizNik but they are a Seattle based business network and they have a very successful online community because of the way they have tied in real events into the mix!

    Keep it up…

    Sam Zipursky

  5. Hi Timi, nice to meet you on Twitter too 🙂
    Sam, I’ll have a look at BizNik
    Andrew E. I think socializing film = particularly with social network screenings and events is the way forward. The next podcast, (just finished) looks at donations and films including Age of Stupid etc. I’ll put it on the blog soon.

    John and Fang, you boys are a pain in the patootie…. but I did it! 🙂 🙂
    It was tricky – I created a second feed for Audio here http://feeds.feedburner.com/SocialMediaBusinessAudio
    Unfortunately, iTunes got mixed up and changed my video feed to the audio one and then you couldn’t click on either. But I forced both phobos and feedburner to ping each other or whatever they do and there are now TWO feeds – one for video and one for audio.
    I’ve asked iTunes to create an artist page adn put both feeds on the page but goodness knows when that will happen.
    Still, I tried it and got this far. Are you proud of me? 😛

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