Why I’m Bullish On Content Creators In 2015
The incredible proliferation of content on the internet has devalued it somewhat, but contributor Rob Rasko believes that's a temporary situation.
Since I began my career in digital media more than 13 years ago, the way publishers generate revenue has changed significantly.
Not long ago, content was created by writers and paid for either by subscription, advertising sales or some combination of the two methods. Not everyone’s content could make it to a publisher, allowing only the best content to make it to print.
Then, the internet grew both in popularity and utility, and the whole value proposition for content was thrown on its rear. The playing field for content exchange was leveled, and the price of content dropped as the market flooded with contributors.
Prior to my career in digital media, I worked on Wall Street, which left me with a keen eye for undervalued commodities — in this case, content. I believe that in 2015, content creators will have an opportunity to reclaim at least part of what they have lost as a result of this dramatic decrease in the value of content… if they play their cards right.
What exactly have content creators lost and why did this happen? To understand, we need to look no further than the explosion of the internet marketing industry, the hyper growth of programmatic and the rising use of audience data.
The Effects Of Programmatic, Fraud & Viewability On Content Value
Programmatic buying and selling has made advertisers believe that they can have access to valuable content everywhere, eroding its worth. The market began to wonder if there was still a need to work with publishers when content was so readily available from ad exchanges.
With regard to the steady decrease in content value, we’ve heard the talk about digital media being traded like other commodities; but, at what price? Programmatic will only be truly valuable if used in conjunction with relevant, creative content and fine-tuned targeting.
The result of emerging higher viewability standards and the fight against fraud should affect content creators by allowing them to earn more for their work in 2015.
Advances in ad fraud detection will allow advertisers to spend less of their budget for ads that aren’t seen by humans. At the same time, viewability standards are also climbing, making publishers with viewability-ready websites to become coveted assets.
To ready their sites for viewability, publishers must perform an analysis to determine how viewable their ad placements currently are, and then, redesign to improve viewability by taking it into consideration during the design process.
Scarcity & Price
Rick Monihan, Director of Sales Operations at ESPN, recently published a LinkedIn post entitled What Is Value and Why Do Consumers Make a Purchase? (Note: ESPN is not a current client of 614 Group.)
In his post, Monihan explained the basic concept that scarcity drives value in a way that is particularly relevant to the state of content creation today:
[blockquote]“Price is a signal which gives you an indication of current market interest in a product. Value, therefore, is based on the relative position of your product in any given market at any given time. The starting point of value is, always and everywhere, scarcity. The nature of what creates that scarcity can vary, but it is always scarcity. It could be that it’s a desirable product in short supply, or a high quality product which is well-regarded by aficionados, or it has a short life span before its usable time frame expires.”[/blockquote]
Yes, most of these concepts are somewhat obvious, but real change is not easy, and not all content creators will have a bullish 2015. Successful content creators will differentiate their “product” through quality and relevance. Scarcity will come not from the quantity of content available going down, but from the quality and relevancy of some of the content rising to the top.
The Perfect Storm: A Bullish 2015 For Content Creators
When speaking with Rick Monihan about our position that 2015 will be bullish for publishers, he said:
[blockquote]“2015 could be the year those producing valuable, quality journalism and unique content will finally reap the benefits of their work. In the past, faddish technological innovations have tended to garner the most attention and money. As advances in monitoring ad placement improve, the work of talented content creators can be valued at a fair market price. Without desirable content, there is no media business.”[/blockquote]
In my own work at The 614 Group, I have seen first-hand the positive lift that comes when trusted and useful content is paired with a website optimized for viewability. Our team has helped many publisher partners to choose a viewability vendor based on their specific needs – resulting with them being better-equipped to meet advertiser demands for accurate viewability counts which provide a backbone for content monetization.
In my experience, the blend of user-centric content and viewability-ready digital properties have created the perfect conditions for content creators to reclaim some of what they have previously lost.
I predict a bullish 2015 with a resurgence of content as king… do you?