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!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Media Tipping Point - Content VS Distribution

Firesign Theater once put out an know, an album...those funny flat plastic discs that are bigger than CD's. Um, you DO remember CD's right?

Anyway, the album was called "Everything You Know is Wrong".

I mention it because that is precisely where we are in the media world. Everything you've always known about multimedia marketing and advertising is wrong.

Think I'm kidding?

Check out today's story from the AP:

Broadcast pioneer NBC prepares for cable takeover

The headline means that NBC - the company that invented the broadcast network - is about to be taken over by Comcast Cable.

For our purposes, the point of the story is this:

"...By owning more content, Comcast further hedges its bets as mainly a distributor of shows in case viewers ditch their cable TV subscriptions and migrate to the Internet, mobile devices or a platform that has yet to emerge. The company could charge for the shows or sell ads wherever the viewers are."

This should tell you something about the value of content versus the declining value of distribution. And that's why everything you know is wrong.

The Tipping Point

We can read about the actions of media titans, but frankly they aren't leading the trend, they're struggling to keep up. In a media world that is broadcast globally and originated individually it isn't a matter of what happens next in the boardroom, it's what happens next in the bedroom. Just ask Carrie Prejean about the value of personal content distributed globally. And note how, in the context of your awareness, Carrie Prejean's story is equal to major breaking news.

What It Means To You

For 80 years people have made media buys on the basis that distribution to a mass audience is what you pay for in a broadcast schedule. On the local level, if you buy an ad schedule your commercial message production is free! But that's all changing.

In a market where global distribution is free, attracting an audience is a matter of search engine traffic and content has more value than distribution.

This underlines what my clients are learning now. They are finding that they must plan a new annual budget for marketing in a landscape that is changing every day. My advice to you is to get ahead of the curve by doing more to create your own media content. You must become a contributor to your own media. You must tell your own story. There are no longer any limits to distribution and the cost of producing content has dropped for 10 years in a row.

The NBC story marks the end of an era. But don't get hung up on that. The NBC story marks the beginning of a new era and that's what should matter to you.

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