Monday, December 12, 2005

Micro Niche

Some thoughts on the microniche element of new media in my ongoing thread on optimizing content:

from an email I sent my cousin...

Interactive content that's story driven and will attract viewers, but also plays on the nano niche strength of the internet. Functional content is a big interest I have. A great example is a show called thestartup2! being produced and hosted on AOL Small Business. The show (which you may well be familiar with) follows several real start ups through their first year. The idea is that you are on the AOL Small Business site to get resources to help you with your business, and they're providing you access to entertainment right there that also educates you about the pitfalls and rewards of the first year of your business. Makes a lot of sense - only problem here is that the production of the show is terrible. The interface is ok, not great but OK, but the content - each show is like a 3 minute promotional video. They haven't figured out how to hook you into the characters. They have 2 guys trying to start a salon in New Orleans just after Katrina for christsake! How can you get better story material than that, but the show is crap. On the flip side is The Biz!, a show being produced for AOL Music by Stick Figure, a television production company here in NYC. The show is a basic reality show, where different musicians struggle to"make it" in the music industry. The problem here is that the show doesn't offer anything at all that's not available on 5 reality shows on television. There's nothing to differentiate it.

Another great example of microniche is Oxygen's new broadband channel Oh! Baby. They have broadband programs dedicated to the expectant and new parent, along with lots of resources for them as well. Online and mobile maternity yoga classes, post partem depression talk shows... the content list here is endless, and you're exploiting a niche market, where creating a television channel exclusively for this market would be cost prohibitive.

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