It’s all about the Content.
Who needs traditional television and cable networks anyway?
When it comes to delivery of content and access to it, things continue to change at an extraordinary pace. However, it still really is and always has been about content. Good, compelling, informative and entertaining content, presented in an acceptable format and easy to access is what the consumer wants today, and will in the foreseeable future.
The industry is moving very quickly and things are evolving faster than ever before because of technology advancements. It’s become quite apparent that the obvious direction for watching any content through traditional television networks or on-line is personalized delivery and by your choice. Part of the evolution has been simple self-discovery, exploration and additional exposure to new things by using complex recommendation engines that collect information about you based on historical patterns that evolve into personalized predictions of what you would like to consume.
Is there room for loyalty towards one network over another? Sure there is, but you have to ask – does the average consumer prefer NBC, CBC, CBS, CTV, ABC, FOX, or is it just the show? I think we all know the answer to that question – for the most part, it’s about the content. Today the viewer, whether it’s through traditional cable delivery, or on-line access, simply wants great content and they want it at their convenience.
Cable companies offer many different packages that allow you to “time-shift” to different time zones and watch your selected programming in a schedule that suits your personal preference. These special “packages” are sold at a premium, which is essentially pure profit for the BDU’s and then you’ll also have the option to record these shows for future viewing – again at your convenience. All of these extra choices are profit centers.
Why not simply make everything available on-line and on-demand so that you can watch and consume at your convenience without having to pay extra for those special packages and pieces of hardware that allow you time-shift, and / or record the show for viewing on your schedule?
It comes full circle again to delivering timely and compelling and ultimately great content that is engaging and attractive to a broad audience. Who’s creating that content and ultimately who’s delivering that today? The big networks are still creating content and distributing it through every possible means they can to increase audience on every platform available, but so are many others now.
Creating great content is a serious investment and to own that intellectual property for distribution and to drive revenue from it is the ultimate goal.
The larger technology companies like Google and Apple and Microsoft want access to that content and if they can do it exclusively to their audience, even better. They want to control the entire value chain if possible – that includes the creation of the hardware, software, access through unique portals and ultimately monetization. Why are companies like Netflix and Google creating content today? So they have an option to own and control that intellectual property all the way through to the consumer. It’s the opportunity to monetize content at their discretion and have the option of managing that IP forever.
There are many different business models being explored today and time will tell which one the consumer will openly embrace. Who knows, it may simply come back to context and curation and driving it back to your own personal experience.
One thing that will stay constant is that ultimately it’s always about great content, and who delivers it in a compelling and attractive format blended together with quite possibly the best algorithm too.