A few articles recently have really codified the ethos of the content model. I don’t want to give too much away but all the smart people I’ve talked to have said the same thing–that in the end, the only thing that really matters is the shit you put on the screen. And by that logic the screen is almost entirely irrelevant.
Believe it or not, there is something more annoying to online video watchers than advertising: poor quality.
Build a big, powerful, muscle-bound machine with a billion features and people will be willing to pay a premium price for all this added functionality beyond gaming. No, I said. People who buy gaming consoles want to play games.
“I generally agree with the basic points in his points about podcast/videoblog networks needing to focus on content first. As much as I like John Furrier personally, I also can’t name a second Podtech show off the top of my head. Every time I hear of a company like PodTech or Podshow or Odeo getting multi-million dollar investments and going through it, all I can wonder is how they are spending all that money. Isn’t the thing that makes this medium interesting and available to all of us its low cost of production?”
It’s paradoxical in its ridiculousness. Today, content is cheaper to produce than it was yesterday. Tomorrow, it will be cheaper still. And yet, all anyone wants to talk about is distribution. So I ask you, when we figure it out, when its finally possible to be blue-toothed new singles straight to your phone, when major cinematic movies are beamed via satellite to your local theater and then you pick up a copy for home on the way out via your portable DVR/iPod, what exactly will we be watching?
I’ll be real fucking frank with you, I don’t want it to be “Who’s Your Caddy?” Why is the Wii succeeding? Because they made games people like, things people have been asking for. Why is PodTech failing? Because they bet on Robert Scoble instead of Robert Greene. Pre-roll/Post-roll, advertising, no one cares. They want to watch stuff that is good. Commercials have always been a burden that people bear to get what they want–and now NBC thinks they can create a portal that shows nothing but ads? This is insanity.
In the end, we will have very little impact on HOW our content is delivered to us. So many variables outside anyones’ control dictate it. Cheaper prices here, the price of oil there, an innovation in screen technology, a new codec, a massive investment from some biased source, government regulation. But just about anyone can have an impact on WHAT that content is. Why? Because you can make it. You can sit down tomorrow and develop a story arc that will change media for ever. You can skirt the rules, barrier of entry, taboos, and go straight to the source. But most importantly, the field of combat has been vacated. The competition has ceded the market. They’ve left content on the table. They just want to deliver it.