Monday, December 12, 2005


In talking about the distinguishing elements of this new media, I omitted a very important element of distribution: sharing. The idea that anyone can be a microdistributor, sharing your content with their specific audience by embedding it into an email or a blog, or even just linking it on a website, email or blog has got to be a critical factor in any advertising based content distribution model. The aggregators are great (and sharing sites aren't really the kind of sharing I'm talking about - they're more aggregators as well. Interest based, issue based and social groups are different, though. A trusted source of good content. And who doesn't want to be the one to bring a great piece of content to the group? The desire to distribute is as strong as the desire to consume.

The hard edge of the television world is airtime. There is a limited amount of content available at any given time, and a limited time that any given viewer has to watch. Only when the viewing time and the airing time meet do you get viewership. That operates independently of (but is somewhat dictated by) supply and demand. In these new media, there are no serious limits on either viewing time or airing time, there are no limits to the channels of distribution.

Television content has really evolved to compete in this airing and viewing limited world - the half hour show, the hour show, the season, the cliffhanger, etc. etc. We need to be thinking about how content best entertains in a media world free of those restrictions, where the primary hurdles to overcome is not the availability of viewership, but interest and awareness of viewership. How do you distinguish yourself in a large pond, how do you build on the viewers you get, and how do you make them loyal viewers? Easy to ask the question, hard to answer it.


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