Content rights holders seeking to monetize their assets in a digital age rampant with piracy and a playing field highly skewed toward technologists might very well feel marginalized, and rightfully so; not only has the playing field been advantageous to technologists, but also toward enthusiasts participating in crowd sourcing. The impact on the commoditization of digital content through crowd-sourcing models has altered perceptions on overall value.
Proliferation of subscription and other models that do not differentiate based on a product’s actual cost structure assisted in flattening out and dropping down consumer expectations in value. Whether iTunes or iStockphoto, content owners gave up their rights to dictate price to a market often willing to pay based on valuation as much as ease of access, but the incentives for content distributors was volume — not necessarily valuation.
Many business engaged in the licensing of content are now recognizing the money left on the table, and how unequal their assets really are in both cost and market value; as a result, many of these businesses are tactically shifting toward smarter aggregating, product management and development solutions.
For content owners, there are many bright spots in a seemingly dark landscape: WSJ and NYT charging online access fees for their content, premium priced content on iStockphoto, new business models that are pushing up-market and embracing curatorial approaches – even the success of Pinterest (who have built a business on valuable content they do not own) underscores the high value of content as much as aggregation methods. They all dictate a paradigm shift away from commodity and toward bespoke value. Those seeking to monetize assets have more options today than ever, but need to keep five questions in mind when exploring opportunity:
- What are my consumer’s needs?
- What are the key differentiators and core value of my product?
- Where are the highest value markets?
- What are the options for delivery?
- How is my product extensible to other uses/new markets?
Identifying the value within content can often point directly to the methods and ways to maximize its opportunity for monetization.