Get out of the content business; become the platform

As content increasingly becomes a commodity, and is unbundled from traditional packaging, former content providers need to become platform providers, according to John Hagel.

From my experience, if you want to transition from a content business to customer relationship business in the media industry, you need to start focusing on content platforms. In a traditional content business, you rely on professionals to deliver content that is meant to be experienced exactly as produced. Content platforms still rely on professionals, but the role of professionals in a platform business is to catalyze further contributions by a growing range of third parties, including audience members. A platform is meant to be built on and will rapidly evolve over time. A product, once produced, never changes.

As I have written before:

Products are designed to be used on a standalone basis – you buy it and you view it or listen to it in the specific way the content creator intended. Platforms are designed to be built upon – they create opportunities for the original creator, third parties or the customers themselves to extend, enhance and tailor the content in ways that the original creator never anticipated. Offered as a platform, content can create far more value than any equivalent standalone product.

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5 thoughts on “Get out of the content business; become the platform

  1. […] Howard Owens has a lot to say about being the platform.  Today he said, Newspaper managers have traditionally believed they needed to build “sticky” sites and try to capture people and pretend the rest of the web doesn’t exist. That is a strategy doomed to fail. Only by being part of the clickstream can you hope to succeed. […]

  2. […] Interesting think piece from Matt McAlister on media as a platform. A theme we’ve touched on before. It’s not about stopping bad behavior or even embracing good behavior. It’s about investing in an architecture that promotes growth for an entire ecosystem. If you do it right, you will watch network effects take hold naturally. And then everyone wins. […]

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