Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ubiquity of Content--Producers' Perspective

Your attention may also have been caught, as mine was, by a headline in AdAge MediaWorks (subscription required) a few days ago; “Consumers to Watch 25% More Video a Day in Five Years: Viewing on Computers, Mobile Phones Will Drive Increase.” We all know that video has become an indispensible part of the Internet landscape. This incredible rate of growth has implications beyond video itself to all types of content.

Users expect content to be “any time, anywhere, on any device” more than ever before. And that’s putting strain on marketers to meet their demands in ways that advance marketing objectives. A recent study of media and entertainment executives by Accenture sheds more light on the issue. Their results point to the importance of multi-platform distribution, an open model of content sharing, the importance of digital royalty (revenue) management and a common understanding of intellectual property.
The concept of an open model of content distribution deserves attention. It’s an enterprise concept, not free provision of content. According to a 2006 white paper by PricewaterhouseCoopers, “in order to create shareholder value, companies in the content, technology, and distribution sectors must adopt an open business model, eliminating internal walls between business units and external ones between the company, its partners, and other strategic business allies.” This clearly refers to the creators of content who have already begun to distribute content to users through various channels. To better understand the strategic implications for enterprises, the entire 62-page PWC report is worth reading.

Consider these charts from Compete on two major content creators for TV--NBC and Fox--and the growing share of some of their programming on video-streaming site Hulu. Interesting, isn’t it, that the share of comedy viewing on the Internet is considerably greater than for dramatic programs. Wonder what that implies? Demographic differences, certainly, but probably more.
The Accenture study suggests capabilities that are necessary to accomplish media convergence within the enterprise. The point

being that unless the internal barriers can be broken down, the “anywhere, any time, any device” needs of the user cannot be met. The content companies in the Accenture study believe they have organizational capabilities in place to meet those needs. How many product or service companies can say that they have organization-wide understanding of intellectual property rights, the necessary IT architecture, integrated management of their digital assets, the necessary customer data and insight and a way to track the revenue produced by their content? Accenture believes that content companies are not as far along as many believe they are in this difficult organizational transformation. I’d suggest that even fewer product/service companies are dealing with issues of how to use content to best advantage.

I’ll conclude this segment with a quote from a US media executive in the Accenture report:

“You must break the innovators dilemma and walk away from old paradigms…you must have a keen focus on determining what consumers really need and what makes their lives better.”

I’ll continue with an installment on what consumers really do want.

Read Part 2 here.

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