Is Content Still King?

On conference calls and in conference rooms, how many times have you heard, “content is king?” Indeed, for me it was a tried and true axiom which came out of my mouth or keyboard often. Great content, whether in movie theaters, on TV, the radio or the internet, generally found an audience and surfaced to the top. 

But what if that is no longer the case? 

Media is different today.  

New avenues of content have developed; endless websites, cable networks, Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, iTunes.  Over a compressed period, content choices have become more plentiful.  There were 455 scripted TV shows in 2016.  That's up 71% in 5 years.  In 2011, there were 266.  Anyone can create their own custom music channel on Pandora or upload their own show on YouTube.  

There is so much great content available today that no one can possibly find, listen, read or view it all and the result -- a lot of great content goes unnoticed.  

This has crystalized for me as I view the ever increasing sea of podcasts.  A lot of wonderful content is undiscovered. There are exceptional shows that deserve to be heard but have not connected with an audience because they lack effective bullhorns, platforms or means of cross promotion.  So, while the content may be of high quality, it languishes in the “cut-out-rack” of podcasting.  

On a Recode podcast, music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz contends that the balance has changed. “No matter how great something is, if people do not have exposure to it, it doesn’t get amplified, nothing happens.”

Reach and distribution are rapidly becoming more vital and essential parts of the media discovery equation. 

Those with megaphones – cable networks, social media outlets, print, popular websites, marketing dollars, radio stations and the like, stand a far better chance of being found.

Being noticed is much harder today then when Bill Gates coined the phrase "Content is King" in 1996.

Good content has always been hard.  Good distribution is now essential.

You can't sell stuff if you aren't in the stores.

 In today's messy media environment, good content needs great distribution. 

So there it is.  Today, distribution is king.  

Steven Goldstein is CEO of Amplifi Media, LLC, an advisor in strategy and content development for media companies and podcasters. Steve can be reached directly at (203) 221-1400 or Twitter @sjgoldstein


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