Content and Distribution: A Royal Couple

David Carr in the NY Times today sardonically points out the panel at Sun Valley titled "Content is King," and writes "Oh, really?" But content alone is not king. You also need distribution, along with the ability to get the word out (call it marketing, communication, PR, what-have-you). The ability to distribute is much more favorable than it's ever been for the small-time content producer. Jason Calacanis a little while back said someone who blogs a few hours a day for three-four years and doesn't make it has something wrong with their content. In other words, distribution will take care of itself.

Today Rafat Ali on (disclosure: I'm working with him on his Oct. 30 conference on the Future of Business Media) reveals results of a survey of his users. One stat (other than that eight percent are from the Middle East) jumped out: a plurality of PaidContent consumers, 42 percent, get their fix via email. Next is the website at 34 percent and RSS at 19 percent. Email, to a controlled list. That's about as controlled distribution as there is. And that's the kind of audience an advertiser will love, especially if the emails get opened – in other words, the content is good enough. Content and distribution: A powerful royal couple.

Says Pogue (sorry meant "Carr" -- had Pogue on the brain after watching his hilarious iPhone videos on, Sony's Howard Stringer "seemed resigned to the notion that the hierarchy of the media could be turned on its head" and that the new media structure with enabling devices like Slingbox pose "a threat on all fronts to the people who own the pipes and what goes through them." Sure, but that doesn't mean a shift to consumers, necessarily. It just shifts power to the new distributors. And government, of course -- they can regulate anything into or out of existence.

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