Thursday, October 9, 2014

Content vs. Distribution vs. Data

If you have the chance, a terrific article by Will Richmond entitled Data Is The Real King, as Netflix Keeps Proving, adds another wrinkle to the debate as to who is king, distribution, content, or data.  As we move further and further into a digital world, data, uncovered at the individual level, has become more and more important, especially for driving revenue. 

As a result, the debate of which comes first the chicken or the egg, content or distribution, may be no more.  Instead, we may have to start looking at content and distribution and data as a three-legged stool, each needing the other two to stand upright and remain functional. 

Netflix, in the article's example, works in this new model.  It has thrived because of original content, accessibility across an agnostic array of devices, and data to enable Netflix to make risk averse decisions.  All three work in tandem to propel Netflix to new highs, continuing to reach more and more subscribers.

No one attribute is king.  Content, distribution, and data simply must share the crown.  At the same time, they must each communicate with one another effectively to continue to rule. If data, or the information they hold, is not shared with content and distribution, then the other legs become weak.  And if content or distribution falters, then data is limited and unable to deliver good information.  Perhaps the new mantra should borrow from the Three Musketeers, "All For One And One For All".