Content Economics: A Plea for Scarcity & Exclusivity

futurelab default header
Content is King. So said some guy who hasn’t been identified. The guy who said this set off a trend in content creation on a scale that hasn’t been seen before. Everybrand and his dog, cat, meerkat and seagull, are producing “branded content”.
There is so much branded video content that companies set-up to specifically produce branded video content, such as contentworx are booming.

In the times of the Visual Economy brands are desperately trying to create the next funny video, the most moody mood film, the darkest art noire filmic content. Yet, in doing this, aren’t we undervaluing a real art form? The real reason Content is King, is because when we are talking about content in this form, we mean high quality content, scarce content, exclusive content, not just the sort of content that is disposable and freely available.

One of the planners I work with said “if you think something, then there must be other people whom will think that way too”, so somebody out there must be thinking the same thing.

I guess my question is, why are we not taking a step back to look at the content we produce and taking it up another level? Creating something that we don’t just farm out to anyone that will view it, but which we restrict, we build up to, and we make people wait for. And just as importantly, we ask them to have a relationship with us before they interact or view it.

Is this too much to ask? Are people now so used to the idea of any content, anytime, that they don’t care too much for people who ask them to interact with us beforehand.

In simple economics terms, oversupply negatively affects the value of a product. This means that from a demand point of view underconsumption occurs, meaning more products left on shelves or in the way this would manifest itself, more dispersed views on video content. In many cases, of oversupply there is an over-investment in the wrong type of product, in this case an over-investment in the wrong type of video content.

If we apply this then from a content economics point of view, the mass production of video is saturating the market, decreasing the value of the good stuff. This is the stuff that costs a lot to produce but is discarded at the same rate as the not so good stuff.

So, let’s aim for the good stuff, the best possible video content. Design for exclusivity and let’s make it scarce.

Original Post: