Ryan Lawler over at Contentinople reports that there are in fact skeptics over the common sentiment that content is king. According to a Lehman analyst, the ability to monetize digital media assets is likely to be counterbalanced by a an accelerated decline in traditional media. Now, some readers might recall a post of mine a few weeks ago where I argued that neither content nor pipes are king of the internet. I feel that the Lehman analyst’s comments fall in the same vein. Owning the content is important and great content will always be valuable, but the shift from one pipe (cable/broadcast) to another (internet) doesn’t necessarily benefit you. There are only so many eyeballs, so many minutes that people will be entertained by TV or movies etc. The overall market may expand and evolve, but you still face offsetting trends.
The next killer apps (and wannabees) will solve the problem of how to distribute that content to end users. Not how in a physical sense, but how in an application sense – finding, choosing, switching, interacting, etc. Build a better application and the users will find a way to funnel the content they want to see through it. All you have to do is beat Cable TV, which hasn’t really changed much in 30 years, and pay per view TV, which hasn’t changed much in 20 years. If you build that, you can ride a single trend, upwards.
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