Most people don’t mind ad-supported business models for their digital content offerings, according to a new study by IBM’s Center for Business Value. In fact, 70% of the respondents said they prefer ads, and that’s great news for online content providers. A new media world has arrived and begun to impact traditional media business. To survive, media companies must develop new business models that distribute their content through online digital platforms.
Doing nothing, the study advises, is not an option. Examples of industries that refused to develop a solid digital strategy include newspapers and the music industry, which the study estimates lost $90 billion by ignoring growing discontent and new digital distribution innovations, causing them to alienate their customers and lose control of their media to Napster and other peer to peer platforms.
In the new media world, content is often user-created and accessed through open platforms. There’s an impending clash between content providers, who seek ways to protect and control use of their content, and aggregators, whose interest is to drive audience to content. Equally interesting is the fact that content providers are not seeing more of the revenue split than aggregators in these new digital content partnerships.
One excellent example of user generated content in an open platform is Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia contains more than 4 million entries, is entirely user-generated (and the content is user policed as well), and is one of the top 20 most visited sites in the world. Take that, Encyclopedia Britannica.
So while we’re focused on the user and giving them control over the content, why don’t we give them control over the ads and let them choose which ads they want and when they want them. Or let the users create their own ads. I bet the first time they said they were going to build a user generated encyclopedia people laughed too…