I happened across this little gem on The Guardian website today and apart from being quite funny in the examples I wonder if it’s really that far off the mark.
How do we value content – by the quality or by the tonnage?
Take newspapers for example. The decline of the newspaper has been widely publicised, over-egged and replayed across every blog and media forum going. Whether or not the traditional newspaper format is on its deathbed is arguable, but there can be no argument that the business of delivering news is changing.
Why read a newspaper when I can get the news I want – often from the same sources – delivered to me via RSS for free? The value then, of the news itself has become negligible.
So how can the media, and businesses who create content, create value?
If we take the comic example above, then the answer becomes turning our attentions to the unique content that our readers and customers value and focusing less (or not at all) on the rest.
In short, we ‘charge’ for the investigative journalism and smart editorial comment (if that’s your cup of tea) and let everyone get their ‘news’ feeds free from somewhere else.
If you’re a business creating content, that means a focus on content that no-one else can create – providing original insight or creative delivery, not simply rehashing what can be found anywhere and everywhere.
If you’re a media property, that means plowing more into the things that are currently being cut back – becoming leaner and focusing on differentiation and quality.