Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Winning Content Distribution Formula For Online Publishers

The New York Times reports on a video clip of a comedy sketch from NBC's "Saturday Night Live" television show that fans began to circulate on the web to millions of downloaders.

Photo credit:

NBC initially made a legal copy of "Lazy Sunday" available for free via its own Web site and on iTunes, but eventually the legals at the television network started citing Digital Millennium Copyright Act violations for the most popular sites who had managed to popularize the clip - and, some would say, revived grass-roots interest in the sagging late-night entertainment show.

Along the way, just to make things a little more odd, iTunes now charges USD 1.99 to download the clip. I'd love to show you the NBC version of the clip, but darned if I can figure out how: it wasn't listed on Google's main or video search results and it took several minutes of fumbling through the NBC Web site to find a link to the NBC version - which only appears in a Javascript-enabled popup window, so it's impossible to share a link.

So my apologies, here's a Google Video link to a fan's downloaded version.

Kind of says it all, unfortunately.

This is only the beginning of what promises to be a very long and frustrating battle between media executives who are still focusing on controlling distribution channels as the primary way to protect intellectual property and a Web-enabled audience who know that they are both the present and the future of content distribution.



Photo credit:

As with their music industry brethren, TV execs completely ignored grassroots distribution until it now promises to create somewhat of a crisis in their industry.

They think traditional marketing and channel control while the markets are already declaring on their own the "hit singles" that everyone wants to see and building their own distribution channels. While this can be frustrating to traditional producers, at the end of the day it's the most efficient and effective way to maximize the value of content.


There's a simple formula to deal with this phenomenon:

1. Make it easy for people to download complete or fair-use extracts of a work of authorship into their favorite media players and to add custom value.

2. Make it easy to share those works with others in a legal format.

3. Make it easy for your own team or others to monetize those legally distributed "payloads" with ads, payments or other means as their audience grows.

4. Share your revenues with your grass-roots channel partners.


To see how most of these pieces already work together very nicely, check out the WeedShare service, which has been around for several years serving independent artists.

Bottom line, the future of content distribution is not about creating expensive channels but about highly effective packaging that lets audiences create the most efficient marketing channels themselves.

It's all about discovery, and traditional media are not as efficient as other channels in getting their content discovered.

originally written by John Blossom and published as:
Yo, Yo: "Lazy Sunday" Video Gets Pushed Out, Then Pulled Back
on February 20th 2006

John Blossom -
Reference: Shore [ Read more ]
Readers' Comments    
blog comments powered by Disqus
posted by Robin Good on Thursday, February 23 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




Real Time Web Analytics