This week was internet week. I listened to a lot of media companies talk about “Premium Content” but I’m not sure that this is the right vernacular anymore.
Large media companies establish businesses on the basis that they can create an entire line of “premium content.” Information that is assembled, curated, and distributed with a stamp of approval – that stamp is the company brand name. There is a lot of value to this process, but I don’t buy it, at least not in today’s world.
If I had to choose between reading content written or produced by a “big name media company” or by someone I know and trust, or someone who has a community vouching for that person’s character, credentials and opinions, and someone (or a group of people) that focus on very specific topics and are experts in those topics, I will always choose the latter. (If I could do both, that would be killer – and is a viable business opportunity in my opinion)
I was riding the NYC subway yesterday and saw a quote for a book review. It said something along the lines of:
“An ultimate matchup between….You can’t put this down, it’s one of its kind” – The some city Post
Really? Why should I care that this newspaper, a newspaper from a city I’ve never even been to before, gave the book a rave review? Who cares?
What I really care about is the person that gave the review. I want to know who that person is. I want to know what that person has done and why they are entitled to speak on behalf of some newspaper. If that person’s opinion matters so much, I should be the one to decide.
The future of “Premium Content” will be created by small groups of people and crowds. People with a passion for niche topics, and those people will intently focus on that one topic. They will become businesses unto themselves. The community will provide the seal of approval and the “big name media company” will matter less, unless their businesses change – to businesses of small, relevant, meaningful “niche content.”