Media is about content …

Today is my last day at Maxus. On Monday I start at Sound Alliance and I am very excited to be joining the team.

My belief is original, interesting content is more important now than it has ever been and I think many people have forgotten this. Premium content producers play a vital role but I think many are practicing things that are incredibly damaging in the medium to long term for both them and the industry, for a small short term gain.

I found this excerpt from an article by Jim Spanfeller and it sums up my thoughts nicely.

“By definition, media is about content. Without content, there is nothing to search; without content, there is nothing to aggregate; without content, there is a whole lot less for folks to comment on.”

Media is in a really interesting place right now and I can’t think of a better place to be. Spanfeller is right – content is vitally important and without it there’s not much to search, aggregate or create a network around. Maybe it’s just me and I’m a dinosaur, but I just don’t understand media businesses that don’t actually create any media for themselves nor invest in others to create it for them.

Working media agency side, I always felt the following 4 areas were lacking when looking to use media brands to advertise my clients products.

1. Audience insights (tell me things about your audience I don’t know that help me sell things)
2. Clutter (why is my ad running on a page with 15 other advertisers – who is benefiting here?)
3. Transparency around audience data (so are your numbers legitimate or boosted by auto-refresh and paid search?)
4. Impact (show me ad units that excite my clients)

Now, instead of whining about I get to do something about it.


11 responses to “Media is about content …

  1. Best of luck at SA Ben. I’ve enjoyed your posts. I have no doubt we’ll all be hearing from you again soon!

  2. Hear hear, Ben.

    I worry that we often forget that media and advertising isn’t the result of some sort of virgin birth and that ad dollars follow the eyeballs that follow (in the eye of the beholder) the good content. But then I would say this, wouldn’t I.



  3. talkingdigital

    good point JB

    btw – I land tomorrow so am ready for that beer in the Paddo/Surry Hills area!

  4. Good luck in your new role Ben – many thanks for all your efforts and insights during your time at Maxus… cheers Neil

  5. It’s interesting (or boring) to go back to what I would consider the original definition of ‘Media’. It’s the plural of ‘Medium’ which is an agent of transmission rather than the transmission itself. In the industry which we broadly know as ‘THE Media’, the owners of the medium have also been the producers of the content, in the sense that they’ve paid the majority of content producers to supply stuff, and this I think has led to confusion over what is media and what is content.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that, of course it’s all about content. It’s never been any other way. It’s just that it’s become difficult to see that through the confusing evolution of the term ‘The Media’, the media industry itself, and what people now associate with them.

    Media is to content what air is to music. Viva la Musica!

  6. Very nice piece that one Shep.

    Could we be looking at the 4 commandments of Ben?

  7. Shep, I wholeheartedly agree!

    I really wish you all the best in your new role – which I am certain will be extremely beneficial for the rest of us, who facilitate unique content creation!!

    Also looking forward to getting along to a footy match with you both to watch Sydney smash the Pies!

  8. Best of luck with the new role, Ben!

    The recent debates here will figure heavily into my next client enewsletter (with all appropriate sourcing and links back to your blog!)

    I hope you have the time to keep up the great work you do here

  9. Jo – LOVE you last comment. By that do I take it that Shep is a Pies fan? I might have to find some seats around me in Bay29 SCG for the game!

  10. welcome to surry hills!

  11. The first point about audience insight stands out to me.
    I see audience insight (or understanding the potential relationship brands can have with people) as being more the role of account planner.
    Another area which i think complements this is contextual insight (or understanding the relationship that people have with channels), which is more the role of media planner, if not connections planner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s