Matthew Ball @ballmatthew Venture investor, strategist, essayist, that guy on Twitter. Prev. Head of Strategy @AmazonStudios, ex-Otter Media, @MediaREDEF. 🇨🇦 Sep. 02, 2019 1 min read

TBH, I've never really understood the phrase "content is king". Of what? Why? And how is this different than saying the "better product wins"? What is content and how is it graded? So does the "best" content "win"? And if so, doesn't talent wholesale transfer price the spoils?

I'm not being facetious. I've helped operate at the intersection of content and distribution, and I think about it a lot, and I'm still not sure what the practical application is here

If "content is king", why have marketing budgets for content tripled in TV and a film (as a percentage of revenue) over the past 30 years? Why don't we see more Macklemores and fewer Katy Perrys on the charts? Why aren't more artists truly D2C? Why aren't the biggest artists D2C?

If content is king, why are TV ad revenues equivalent to service revenues? If content is king, why does Amazon give it away for free? Why does Apple? If content is king, why do great shows fail? If answer is they weren't popular, isn't it a tautology to say popular things sell?

If the quality of content is so important, why is it almost always priced flat, not per willingness to pay or more frequently offered in tiers? Why is my eyeball worth the same as anyone else 18-49? Why do we pay the same? Why don't I reset all of my subscriptions every month?

Fin/ How much of the "content is king" paradigm required there to be a marginal cost to delivery or each customer? What happens when it's ~0?


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