The industry today is consumed with digital advances, financial deals, partnership deals, commercial ratings issues, technology, upfront maneuverings… almost everything except content. Watch for it. The tide is turning and content is about — once again — to be king.
Jack Meyers at TV Board has some interesting things to say today about the near future. He starts out wondering why, if television is America's favourite pastime, there are eight pages devoted to sports in the local paper, and only one page in the entertainment section promoting the slew of new TV shows hitting the airwaves over the summer months.
It's all about content these days, he says...and the importance of promoting that content.
To their credit, the industry trades do an extraordinary job of covering the industry news — and to be fair, the news tends to be more deal-driven, while programming coverage is rarely front page news. But all of us in this business need to bring ourselves out of the technology and “deal-of-the-moment” haze and recognize the dramatic shift toward content that is about to occur.
We are on the cusp of a significant refocusing of venture funds, executive demands, growth challenges and industry priorities away from invention and toward retention. In all media — online, print, television, even out-of-home — the focus for investment funding and development is shifting toward content. Barry Diller’s IAC, CBS, Viacom, NBC are making aggressive moves to build their content portfolios.
Going forward, the deals that will capture the attention of the industry and move onto the front pages and home pages of industry trade publications and Web sites will focus on content. With ubiquitous delivery available through multiple streams — wired and wireless — the competition comes down to who has the most compelling content packaged in the most compelling ways.
The key to future growth is no longer technology — it’s programming. And even more important, it’s about branded programming that has “legs” across multiple distribution platforms, supports sponsors through nontraditional means, and brings audiences back day-after-day.
Canadian networks and media conglomerates take note...it's about branded original content and programming. Seriously. Astral Media (Movie Network/Movie Central) gets it. Here's hoping everyone else follows suit...soon.