Through the MCDM

November 17, 2009

Short Content Should be Free ———————-my Twitter feed is free, on me.—-look—-over there—>

Filed under: com597b — Tags: , , — captainchunk @ 6:42 pm

Time costs money and people understand this. Short content just costs less, and if the short content is extracted from a bigger piece, then the short content should still be free to entice people to want to buy the bigger piece. I consume short content every single day, but there isn’t a single one minute clip that I have to see. There are so many other one minute clips that I could see and I just have no motivation to consume it, free or paid.

It would be easy to use the argument that short content generally isn’t as good as longer content, but I don’t think the quality of the content has anything to do short content being consumed for free. For years, we have been conditioned to accept 30 minute blocks as our yardstick of value. Much like new car value, the second content rolls off the lot under 30 minutes, it is devalued. You roll the content off the lot under a few minutes, and it is worthless. Even if you bundle short content together to make it look like large content, it doesn’t matter.

Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.

Amen. The problem with short media is that it doesn’t carry enough weight to be viewed as having been done right. It is clear that a great deal of work goes into some short content, but the vast majority are poorly done clips. There is just too much short content in the world to be able to charge for it.

I know I’m not the average media consumer, but I can’t see me paying for short content ever. It just isn’t something I am willing to do. (And to those who say, “you’ve probably bought something from iTunes,” actually, I haven’t. I have never spent a single cent on an mp3.)

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November 10, 2009

Content and Time

Filed under: com597b — Tags: , , , , — captainchunk @ 7:27 pm

I like to try different styles of posts, so this week it will be a Q & A format.

Q. Will consumers pay a premium for content they have largely been getting for free?

Consumers will not pay a premium, but they may pay. Hulu has shown that with the right content, you can get the right audience. Hulu is fighting two sources of free, pirated content and televised content, of which, only one of those it can attempt to work with and control to an extent. The major problem Hulu has is that visual content has been linked to the television for many, many decades, and getting people to view the computer monitor/internet as a viable content delivery source will take time. Hulu’s greatest chance to monetize on a subscription based model is to make deals with cable providers and let people tack on a $10/month Hulu service. Obviously this is very difficult due to copyrights, content ownership, etc., but I think it really is the best way for them to make money.

Q. What do you think the impact will be on web-based storytelling’s economic model?

I don’t think the impact of Hulu and the monetization models it uses will have much immediate impact. The biggest factor in the economic model are children. If a child grows up with something, then it becomes the “norm.” If Hulu can find a way to make a subscription model work for the next 10 – 15 years, then I think they will have made a significant impact on the economic model of storytelling. Those kids will happily spend money to get content over the internet because they have always done it that way. Us old folks from the days of television and pirates, will remember how it used to be.

Q. Will this be the shot in the arm independent and entertainment producers need? Or will this commoditization of content commercialize the web beyond repair, cementing the uneven playing filed enjoyed by the big content creators?

The playing field will always be uneven, it’s just the nature of it. The indie stuff wouldn’t be indie if they had everything available to them that the major players have. To be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way. That is one of the reasons that indie content differs from the mainstream stuff. I’m not sure that making money off the web will commercialize it beyond repair, but maybe it can help companies sell content to users. Just because I don’t want to pay money for content, doesn’t mean that other people don’t. Has iTunes commercialized it beyond repair?

Q. Is this the future, or just a lot of hand-wringing over nothing?

There is a future in making money off of content on the web. Advertising will play a role, as will features for power users, but the one thing that I don’t think has been utilized enough is time. Time is something Hulu and similar services have some control over. One of the reasons these services are successful is that people can view content whenever they choose. Netflix, right now, is trying to figure out something with movies studios in order to increase DVD sales of newly released movies.¬† The studios want to make Netflix wait 30 days before Netflix can mail out newly released movies in order to make people buy the DVD instead of renting it. Instead of Netflix agreeing to do this, why don’t they just charge customers more if they want the new stuff right away? They already charge me more for Blu Ray access. I think Hulu could do something similar. If you want the new content right away, you have the pay for it, but if you want catalog stuff, it is free, or a different price. There is a lot Hulu could do with immediate content, current season content, and past season content.

Content over the internet certainly is the future. Why do you think Netflix started a streaming service and has deals with Microsoft and Sony?

November 3, 2009

A Whole New World

Filed under: com597b — Tags: , , — captainchunk @ 1:28 pm

(seems like a good idea to start a blog posting with a Disney reference from my youth, of which I apparently have become completely detached.)

I was really surprised by the article describing the streaming habits of young children. Most of which revolved around me puzzling over how a two-year old streams content from the internet. I can only imagine that:

  • I have no experience with modern day children
  • Children are far more advanced that I realize
  • The study threw two-year olds in there to grab attention
  • Hannah Montana has more power and influence than any single person should have

I’m pretty sure all of those are truthful to some extent. Strange times.

Maybe children flocking to the internet are more of a testament to the power of the medium to entertain. If you were to ask me, as Drew did, to think about “if the currency of storytelling is text, where do pictures come in?” I would reply, “they close the sale. They are the marketing, the flash, the bling, les accoutrements. Images can add a layer over the text that provides something new and exciting.”

Audubon's Carolina Parrot. If you're selling Carolina Parrots, I'm buying.

This is a fantastic example of what images can add to a story. You can describe a Carolina Parrot to me all you want, and that certainly helps in my understanding the Carolina Parrot, but you show me this, and your information just turned into a story. Images are powerful, as they directly impact one of our five main senses. Images can be used to tell any story.

One of Muybridge's experiments

Most images are either static or strung together to make movies, but the internet really changes how images can be used in a story. You don’t need to have somebody else cobble images together for a story. The experience can be created by the user. I believe that is why streaming is more popular among young children as they can develop their own stories using images, videos, books, and any other media available. The internet offers more flexibility when it comes to implementing visuals into stories.

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