Gerd is considered a leading expert on topics such as online commerce models, the tele-media economy, social media and social commerce, TV & Radio 2.0, mobile content, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship.
Keynote Speaker, Think-Tank Leader, Author & Strategist
The WSJ calls Gerd ‘one of the leading Media Futurists in the World’. He is the Coauthor of the influential book ‘The Future of Music’ (Berklee Press, 2005), as well as the author of ‘The End of Control’ (2007), ‘Music 2.0’ (2008), and ‘Friction is Fiction’ (2009, Lulu Publishing).
Gerd’s background is in the music business; in 1985 he won Berklee College’s ‘Quincy Jones Award’ and subsequently worked 12 years as a professional guitar player, composer and producer. He then spent a decade as digital media entrepreneur and start-up Internet CEO, based in San Francisco. In 2001, Gerd returned to Europe and started his career as a Futurist and Strategic Advisor. He now travels around the globe and speaks at major conferences and business events, company retreats and thinktanks on the Future of Business, Media, Content and Entertainment, Technology, Marketing, Advertising & Branding, Telecommunications, and Culture.
Gerd is considered a leading expert on topics such as online commerce models, the tele-media economy, social media and social commerce, TV & Radio 2.0, mobile content, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, consumer trends, UGC and peer production, copyright, licensing and IPR issues, next-generation advertising, marketing and branding, digital content strategies, and the development of next-generation business models for the content, communications & technology industries.
Gerd’s keynotes, speeches, presentations and think-tanks are renowned for his hardhitting and provocative yet inspiring, personal and motivational style. With over 1’300 engagements in 43 countries since 2003, Gerd has addressed over 150.000 executives and professionals, and is considered a key influencer.
His diverse client list includes Nokia, NSN, Amdocs, The Guardian, Google, Sony-BMG, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, the BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB / TribalDDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, the European Commission and many others. Gerd is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (London), a member of the World Future Society, and a visiting professor at the Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil. A native German, he now resides in Basel, Switzerland.
Gers Leonhard offers keynotes and talks, think-tank sessions, workshops and presentations on many different subjects, often within these industry sectors:
- Recorded Music & Music Publishing
- Radio, TV & Broadcasting
- Telecoms & Wireless
- eCommerce and Retailing
- Social Media, Social Networking & Social Commerce
- Online Gaming & Virtual Worlds
- Online Betting & Gambling
- Film / TV / Video
- Print / News / Journalism
- Advertising, Marketing & Branding
- Education & Training
- Public Relations & Communications
- Cultural Policy
- Copyright and IPR
- Travel & Tourism
- Banking and Financial Services
Here are some of Gerd’s presentation topics:
Social media and the future of business, media and communications
Social networks such as Facebook, b2b networks such as LinkedIn, and many-to-many Web 2.0 platforms such as Twitter are very quickly changing the way we communicate, learn, get information, share, consume, buy and sell. At the same time, Social + Location + Mobile + over-the-top Video are completely rebooting the marketing and advertising industries. New players are entering the TV & broadcasting markets, Facebook may soon be the biggest ‘broadcaster’ in the world – ‘cable-TV without the cable’, and Google, Amazon and Apple are gearing up with some very powerful cloud-based offerings, as well. The traditional cable / TV industries have some very unique -and timely – opportunities but will have to confront some serious challenges such as rapid and global consumer fragmentation, the shift from walled gardens to open networks and the move of advertising budgets towards mobile, games, interactive, social and video. In this talk, Gerd will share some global foresights for the next 3 years, describe some of the key opportunities and show powerful and inspiring examples of how to take full advantage of ‘broadband culture’.
Transforming your business for the digital age: What can be learned from the music industry?
Until just recently, the music industry spectacularly failed to adapt to the drastic lifestyle and media consumption changes ushered in by the Internet. The result is endless friction where there should be new revenues, market confusion and – on a global scale – a severely dysfunctional content ecosystem. The economic consequences are catastrophic, with most the ‘people formerly known as the consumers’ rejecting the established music industry and their legitimate digital music offerings, and turning their attention to anything else but the authorized music providers. What can be learned from the music industry’s (non)-actions, what traps can be avoided, and how can other industries learn from what happened to the music industry during the conversion process to a fully digital business? (*this is a good topic for the publishing, travel, luxury, financial and marketing industries)
The future of news and digital content: mobile, social, apps, ad-supported – and paid?
We are living in an increasingly networked and inter-connected society that is rapidly changing every single facet of our lives and businesses. New players powered by new technologies and driven by the increasing empowerment of the ‘consumer’ are disrupting every single business model that is still based on scarcity, control of distribution or physical products or services. Facebook may soon have 1 Billion users, apps already make more money for Apple than music, paid-for iPad apps did not pan out as the new manna from heaven, and 100s new mobile devices will further turn news into a global flow of data, like electricity or water. Now, data is the new oil. Interaction will soon come before transaction, always. It’s not about social media but about the new, social OS (operating system) and the new digital content ecosystem. Cross-media is the new default. The total reinvention of advertising is happening this year. And: content expertship and curation will be more crucial than ever before; and yes, it will make serious money. In this talk, Futurist Gerd Leonhard shares his foresights for the next 2-5 years, shows examples from a global perspective, and points out the bottom lines for the future of news and ‘content’.
Mobile Marketing Futures: the next 3-5 years
The art and/or business of marketing is facing a wave of disruption by digital technologies just like the media and content industries have, during the past decade. Data is indeed becoming the new oil, and mobile devices is where most data will both come from as well as head towards – as much as 75% of all Internet traffic will take place on mobile devices, within 5 years, and over 50 Billion devices will be connected to each other. Mobile devices are about radical user (fka consumer) empowerment and increased personal involvement; the faster the networks and the cheaper the access-to-the-cloud the more we will see significant cultural shifts that will dramatically redefine how and what we buy, what we share and with whom, how we pay and what we like or don’t like.
In addition, social networks are quickly becoming the de-facto new broadcasters, combining their many-to-many strenghts with the traditional one-to-many mode of the traditional networks – and mobile devices will deliver cable-like content, too – but without the cable. As a result, 30-50% of all advertising budgets will shift to So-Lo-Mo (social, local, mobile) and video, ushering us into the era of TeleMedia convergence. Telecom companies, mobile network operators, device makers, content creators and media companies, social networks and Internet giants are already starting to form a new ecosystem that will completely reshape what marketing is, to begin with – and all within 5 years. in this talk, Gerd presents a larger view on what is coming in the next 3-5 years, sharing his foresights from global perspective and pinpointing the key opportunities.
21st century content economics – Getting ready for the new content economy Because of the Internet, all content industries (music, film/video, TV, news and print, games, publishing, software etc) are in different stages of total disruption; many of them urgently need to develop a new, web-native business logic in order to survive, or better yet, prosper in the future. Technological content protection measures (DRM, TPM) have by and large not been successful. Instead, any future ‘protection’ will need to come from the business model, and topics such as free / freemium / feels-like-free are going to be crucially important. How will content be monetized, in the near future, and what new revenue streams or generatives should be investigated? How will this new ecosystem of interdependence function, and how do we transition from old to new?
The Networked Society and the Future of Content: foresights, conflicts and possible solutions. For creators, the Internet may seem to be both a blessing and a curse: while we may gain potentially large, engaged and global audiences we also have to face the fact that everything we do can now be easily re-distributed, copied, remixed or simply ‘consumed’ without much thought to remuneration. More than 4 Billion people will soon have unfettered access to a global ‘cloud’ of music, films, books, magazines and TV shows – but how will creativity be actually remunerated, going forward, and who will pay what, when, where and how? In this talk, Gerd shows the key trends, shares foresights and learnings from around the globe, and shows a way forward that may be fruitful to both creators and users – and the industries that serve them.
Gerd Leonhard’s Blog