This is the second in a series of posts contrasting the ‘old’ rules of the media and the ‘new’ rules that are necessary for success in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape.
Old Rule #2: Viva La ‘Walled Garden’ – You Must Use The Content From Media Companies In The Way THEY Want You To Use It
Traditional broadcasters pay for their content and they want you to experience that programming in the way that makes them the most money back on their investment. Some of the most profitable ways to consume content may not be the most convenient for audiences, but old media doesn’t care – they own it and they will try to force you to do what is convenient for THEM. Because they can. Or least, they COULD.
New Rule #2: Set Your Content Free – Don’t Force Audiences To Come To You. Go To Where It’s Convenient For THEM.
Most traditional companies want to keep all their content within their own garden walls so they can control it, measure it, and monetize it. But that doesn’t work anymore (unless you’re the 800 lb gorilla in your content niche).
To grow audiences and to stay relevant, media companies have to reach audiences where they are – and they are all over the place.
There is a legacy of self-importance that assumes that audiences have to come to the media company to get content because that’s the way it’s been for a long time. Suddenly, though, audiences have some choice in the matter.
If a media company chooses to restrict access to their content, two ‘new’ results can occur.
One, someone will pirate their content and simply put it up where it’s most convenient for others to consume. Audiences will be happy and media companies will have lost total control over their own content.
Two, because there is no scarcity of content creators or distribution channels anymore, if your content isn’t convenient or easy to find, audiences will simply find other content to consume that IS convenient.
The media needs to make it easy and convenient for audiences to discover its content. So put it on Facebook, put it on YouTube, put it on Flickr, etc. Give up some control to empower the audience to discover you, consume your content where THEY want to and then share it when they like it.
Not only will you grow the number of people who consume your content, but you will gain authenticity and loyalty for truly trying to make life easier for audiences.
Are there good reasons to keep your content ONLY on your site?
Who is doing a good job of setting their content free?