In April, ABC announced that some of their prime time shows will be available online the day after they first aired. Not for free, of course, they contain ads that you cannot skip. (This reminds me of the discussion that arose when bloggers found out that Philips is filing a patent for devices that won’t let you skip commercials.
This created a huge discussion in the last couple of week about the future of the (TV-) Networks in a world with perfect digital free distribution networks. Here and here, are two posts that discuss this.
Jeff Jarvis also writes an extensive Post on this topic and claims: Everybodyâ€™s a network:
And of course, the networks face no end of competitors in content, as well. Rocketboom now has twice the audience of many cable news shows because the stranglehold the networks had on distribution and audience is over. The audience is on stage. Your customers are your competitors.
So in a way, content is still king, but everyone can now create and distribute content. Distribution is no longer an added value for consumers. Organisations that built their business model around the distribution and ownershop of content need to change their business model now. One way could be, as Jeff writes, to use their expertise to show people where to find the best stuff.
A VC writes about the future of media, about how content needs to be unbundled, micro-chunked and freely distributed.
Jeff goes on:
In the old static-network world, it made no sense to send people to other networks; in the new, fluid world, they’re going to go there anyway, and so the best thing to do is to help them find the best stuff, redefining the value of a network.
In a way, it’s like Google: People go there, in order to be pointed to other websites. They don’t go to Google for “Google content”. Because there is none.
So content should be microchunked, freely distributed and then we need someone to help us find it.
Jeff points to Bubblegeneration who knows the solution:
Rebundling is where value capture will happen – at communities, reconstructors, markets, networks – that direct people’s attention to individualized ‘casts. This is where branding will be reborn – and where advertising is already being disrupted, ripped apart, and reborn (viz, Google, PPC, pay per call, etc)
It won’t happen overnight. But in the next few years, rebundling will be the future of connected consumption. Most often, it’s why consumers connect in the first place: why do you think people <3 MySpace, Last.fm, etc?
Newspapers like NYT and WPO made the same mistake Disney is make; ceding market power to players like Technorati, Memeorandum, Delicious, etc; record labels did it, ceding market power to players like Last.fm, Apple, and MySpace; and now, finally, we have TV guys doing it – ceding their market power because they don’t understand the new economics of media.
Content can be created and distributed by anone. But we will need an Audience Relationship Manager to help us through the jungle of information and find what’s relevant for us. At the end of the day, it’s about the scarcity of attention, a big topic nowadays and John Hagel writes:
That is one of the consequences of the growing relative scarcity of attention â€“ anyone who can help audiences connect with the most relevant and engaging content will be richly rewarded.