Traditional business models of the creative industries are built on the protection of content. With the advent of an Internet culture where content is ‘sold’ at a price of zero and sharing is a key paradigm, that model seems not to be fully adequate any longer, even more, there might be a time when content alone won’t pay anymore. This chapter, published in early 2009 in Supporting Service Innovation through Knowledge Management, I propose that service innovation on top of and around open content could be the answer to that challenge.
The chapter then presents five examples from the creative industries that have successfully embraced open content and developed and implemented a business model that is sustainable: VEB Film Leipzig, Al Jazeera, Nine Inch Nails, Prelinger Archives, and FabLab.
Far from claiming that these five examples would present five archetypal template solutions, they however explain how businesses arrived at these models, what the reasons were to choose one or another solution. The chapter concludes with some roughly sketched general impacts of embracing open content in the creative industries and postulates that service innovation may never stop as customers themselves and their needs evolve.