“Is content still king for media owners?” Interesting question, yeah? The view here at TVWriter™ is, “It damn well better be.”
by Dave Morgan
Ask media owners what business they’re in, and they’ll say the content business — that they are storytellers, and that their companies are well positioned for the future because “content is king” and there will always be demand for great content.
My question for today: Even if the demand for premium video programming continues to grow (and I believe it will), is a content-centric strategy the best one for today’s TV media owners?
Clearly, this strategy has played very well for CBS, which has done a masterful job leveraging its studio and programming for incremental, ongoing revenue streams. But will this work for all TV companies?
Last week, Discovery’s David Zaslav questioned whether TV companies may have jumped a bit too fast to sell shows to streaming video outlets like Netflix and Amazon. And what about the the current state of movie studios?
Can great video content continue do well for TV companies if it is unbundled from their current promotion and distribution platforms?
Great content can capture big audiences. Of that there is no question. However, many would argue that TV companies have also been able to generate decent audiences — certainly when compared to pure digital companies — sometimes with even average content.
The power of TV companies’ built-in distribution and marketing, and the passiveness of TV audiences, can sometimes deliver numbers just by having content on the channel. This phenomenon never happens in pure digital channels.
TV companies need to be wary of what happens in the future if they walk away too quickly from their legacy distribution power….