Steve Rosenbaum did a great interview with Columbia’s Ana Seave that was published on MediaBizBloggers earlier this week.
Seave is one of the key contributors to The Curse of the Mogul, required reading for anyone in the media business who wants to dig into the critical issues facing media companies and their business models.
Seave’s thought a lot about content, cost, quality and digital. Media brands can create increased loyalty with their readers, she believes, by enriching their experience of content. A key element of that is curation, Seave explains:
I think that the actual idea of curation and aggregation and packaging stuff and being the in between, between the content production and getting it to a consumer is exactly the right place to be. I think that video is really the future of the Internet as well. The text business is where I come from and where I live and it’s easy to search, and so forth and so on, but YouTube as I understand it is the second largest search engine. What is that about? That means that people who are younger than me think of things in video and it is really, really important for all media companies to be in pictures at this point. So, that’s the reason why I am interested in Curation, I have a lot of faith in this space and I think it’s gonna go really far, and it’s gonna be in the right place with the right technology. (LINK: http://bit.ly/cPDkae)
The combination of curation and wholly-original content goes at the core of the cost issue for a publisher. One of the fundamental challenges of transitioning a print content model to the web is that the value of the ad inventory online doesn’t support that same content costs as the value of the print ad page.
Ultimately, content costs are a by-product of hours of labor. By shifting talented content professionals to a mode where they are able to identify and share good content — thereby extending the brand “voice, as Seave calls it — as well as create that content, the business is able to increase the ad inventory attributable to the content costs.
This is the kind of thinking that is both relevant to the digital market and attacks the puzzle of costs.