Good Content in New Channels


Win the blue ribbon for creating good content.

As the tech world breathlessly awaits the new technological wonder by Apple, it’s worth taking a step back and recognizing what this is all about. Y’know, deep down.

It’s about Content. Content with a capital C. The kind of content that will make the Apple iPad tablet device worth buying.

Superior hardware is great. But without content, it’s going to get dull fast. And with faster processors and cheap RAM, dull happens at mind-boggling speed.

There is a tablet PC and ebook ereader war brimming on the horizon. Cheap laptop versus Netbook versus ereader. Kindle versus Nook versus Sony Reader versus Skiff.

But the excitement isn’t really about the hardware. It’s about the content experience the technology will bring. And here’s the really important point: We all know that this type of content already exists. We can close our eyes and imagine how cool it will actually be when we can buy it. It’s a Jetsons fantasy.

Every week Hollywood releases a new action-packed thriller dripping with special effects. Of course, these movies find a core audience, but they usually come and go fairly quickly. Many people avoid these movies because the plots simply string together the special effects. And yet, audiences came out in droves to watch Avatar. It had enough story to make the special effects relevant and necessary.

IMax, 3D, and special effects existed long before Avatar. It’s just that people heard that the story was good (it was) and the special effects were awesome (they were). So people not ordinarily inclined to run out to the theater and wear 3D glasses went to see Avatar.

So what’s this mean to you?

Well, if you’re a content creator, it could mean a lot. If you create good content, some of  it may find life on another device. People with a tablet will be looking for content, so you and your target audience have another opportunity to discover each other. Think of it as Content Meets Opportunity.

If you’re a marketer, then you gain a new channel for sharing your brand benefits. People want to discover new products and services that make their lives better, easier, or more fulfilling. If you have a brand that does that, your audience will want to know more about it. They may even want to try it before they buy it. New channels mean new ways to connect with your target audience.

The iPod changed the way we interacted with music. And the iPhone changed the way we thought of applications. These devices became personal lifestyle extensions. So, yes, there’s good reason to be excited about Apple’s “big announcement.”

However. If you create lazy, uninspired content or you hype mediocre brands, please don’t bring it to this new device. Let’s not clutter brand new screens with irrelevant content or messaging. Nobody wants it or needs it.

And now, let the tablet wars begin!

  • Chris Cullmann

    Recent uninspired media is a an opportunity for inspired content creators to create their own market. Big media hasn’t figured this out yet. It’s evident in failed “Twitter” tv sitcoms and the way that news is still handled.

    Anyone out there with something to say has their own market and their own brand to create, broadcast and master. It’s really very inspiring.

  • Buddy Scalera

    It’s an opportunity, for sure. In fact, we’ve seen some great programming come out of obscure independent channels. The big media channels, however, continue to generate a mixed-bag of good content. For every “good” unit of programming, there’s a lot of bad content.

    It would seem unlikely that big media would be the first to generate something brilliant for tablet PC. That will probably go to some independent content creator working out of their mom’s basement.

  • Nick

    Big media can be counted on for having the dollars and resources to spend time looking for and signing the next big thing. After that much of the time is devoted to milking that resource and finding new things to buy.

    Both sides are willing participants in this. The good news is that its a cycle and independent creators are always out there thinking up the next big thing.

  • admin

    Nick: There will always be big, popular mainstream shows. Everything from the Superbowl to American Idol to the next big hit like Sopranos or X-Files. That’s the kind of big money programming that mainstream producers and networks will always be best at.

    Going forward, however, we’re already seeing indy hits and YouTube breakout content that would fly under the radar of mainstream media producers.

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