Thursday, February 9, 2012

Content Remains King as Time Warner, Fox, Viacom All Grow

Content is King in this entertainment world. Smart content creators that recognize the mantra to "follow the customer" have recognized that they are being led to digital media. What you watch, where you watch, when you watch, and on what device you watch. And it is these content creators that are finding success as distribution platforms attract audiences. Thos that do are rewarded; those that don't only see their revenue decline.

So it is valuable to note that the financial news from Time Warner, Fox, and Viacom indicate growing deals with new media providers. Yes to traditional distribution outlets, and yes also to deals with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple, and others. DVD profitsmay be suffering but streaming is advancing. Customers are buying subscriptions and seeking content for their tablets, smartphones and laptops, as well as their TVs. They are still purchasing and consuming content; it is simply in new forms.

The latest deal, with Viacom and Amazon, offers Amazon Prime subscribers "access to TV shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT and Logo". The more content being offered, the more value perceived, the more desire to subscribe, and hopefully more satisfaction. How exclusive this deal is and how it affects Netflix, Hulu and others remains to be seen. Still, Viacom is not the only content company and opportunities still exist to make content deals.

And this new intersection of content and distribution offers new revenue opportunities to draw from. Most importantly, it is necessary to not view these new platforms as a zero sum game. The TV experience will not go away and customers will work best with those distributors that offer them the content they want on the screen(s) they want. The only thing that will kill it is pricing access at a point where viewers move to the next best value proposition.