The Production Room was founded in 1995 as one of the first full time digital commercial recording facilties on the central coast of California. We started with 4 stereo tracks, 16 mb of ram and a 250 mb hard drive. A lot has happened since then. Today we're focusing on ways to serve clients who are creating web based media content. This includes strategic planning to integrate the benefits of traditional media, web design and IT solutions into new programs produced especially for on-line consumers. Join in the conversation. Throw rocks at glass houses. Share your vision of the future. This is the most progressive time in the media arts since Johannes Gutenburg invented movable type!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The big BIG Monetizing Picture

When I worked in radio I used to hear the same old sorry story every month about how the radio station (read: every station I ever worked for) was losing money. The boss would point out that all the value went out the door in paychecks to talent and admin. staff every two weeks. It pained him to a greater extent than I will explain here in polite company.

Then a funny thing happened. They sold their radio stations based on the market value that a larger company (like Clear Channel) was willing to pay and they walked away with a nice cash payout which more than made up for losing a couple grand a month for a few years. Me and the boys and girls in programing and production? We got zip.

Flash forward to the startup of YouTube and a little seminar I was at today.

Lorrie Thomas is a genius. How do I know? I've seen her speak and I've seen her hourly rate. Her genius is inherent in her confidence and her knowledge of internet marketing. I was inspired by what she said today at the SABER breakfast meeting at the University Club in Santa Barbara. It's what she didn't say that is the subject of this post to you.

Flash back to 2005. YouTube went from a bootstrap startup in February, 2005 to a 1.65 BILLION dollar company in November, 2006. How do we know that this is the value of YouTube? Because that's what Google was willing to pay for it. Did YouTube lose money month to month in the interim? Who cares? They cashed out for huge money in a matter of months.

Flash Forward now to your online presence and the value of your business.

I've spent more than a year interviewing and meeting with clients about their online presence and the value of investing in online media content to build the value of their brand. I've often received applause for laying out the case for online development as a means for increasing the value of an online or local business. The applause is followed by deafening silence.

What's the deal?

The deal is, most companies don't realize the value that webmedia creates for them. They are totally hung up on the question of "monetization", as if it were the same as employee paychecks or the month to month cost of electric and telephone service.

Think about it. The goal of venture capital, small business and entrepreneurs the world over is to generate the perception of value that they can use to cash out for big profit when the time comes.

So how do you create value in your business? Ask YouTube.

And you want to know something else? The available time my company has to sell has just been bought out by a media production company. Why? Because they want to create value that they can sell on the web.


And there's more. The value of online media translates into new fields for those of us who have been involved in traditional media production for these many years. How will we integrate our services to the new new media presence?

We need to prove our value as professional talent and continue to do what we do best. It's going to take a couple more years, but soon enough, the business world will be calling on media professionals to deliver the goods in an increasingly competitive arena.

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