Content, content…content?

Web 2.0 was all about content. If you had it, you could do great things. Blogging and self-expression exploded through simple platforms that allowed people to create websites to share their views, hobbies and insights with only limited technical knowhow. In blogging, anybody could become a publisher.

Problem is/was, as people quickly find/found out, blogging is actually hard work. It’s time consuming and, if you enable a thread of discussion to unfold, things can get quite animated. In forums and blog discussions people desire responses quickly and anonymity can be a scary mask for insults and insensitivities.

Often people who start/ed out blogging with a hiss and roar, sometimes find/found it wasn’t quite for them. What they really wanted was active communication and live distraction from their daily lives.

Enter Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. All these platforms added a dimension to peoples’ lives that they adore. They offered a direct interaction with other people, with only a minimum of effort.

Entertainment is what we crave from the Internet. It offers us interaction with a global audience. But some of us don’t want that. We don’t want to be on stage. Some just want to remain in the audience and watch. This is where movie, TV and music downloads really appeal. And appeal they do. If you’re under 25 and you’re not file sharing, you’d be in a distinct minority.

Peer-to-peer networks are the hub of the ‘entertainment Internet’ and unfortunately, New Zealand’s government has just passed a law that will limit any opportunity in this space. Well, any opportunity for most of us to participate.

Content provision is, once again, the key. Only this time, it’s not from the long tail of bloggers, it’s from the select few multinational TV and film studios. We now need them to become comfortable with an infrastructure or interface that enables anyone in the world to legally download, stream and watch any TV show or movie when, and wherever, they want.

Apple iTunes, Hulu, NetFlix and the BBC are trying, but they’re still limited by release dates and a distinctly regionalised view of the Internet.

If we could access these services, or had a New Zealand service that could tailor content to our needs and give us access to any movie or show, what would you pay? $0.20 to watch an episode of the latest Survivor episode? Or may be today’s Manchester United match? Or perhaps a rerun of Prime Suspect?

If you knew there was no issue with downloading one of these games or shows for a small unit price, would you do it? My guess is, yes.

Unfortunately New Zealand has another issue or limited bandwidth and data caps. Issues that Sam Morgan recently raised in this article in The Listener.

Which brings me to consider another shift. If you step back for a moment and consider the basic marketing issue content provider have it’s quite illuminating:

Pricing – Find the unit cost people would be prepared to part with for a show.
Product – Figure out how to share enough revenue with the content providers to give them satisfaction to part with their product.
Promotion – The democracy of social media will sort this out pretty quickly.
Placement – A “P” in the marketing equation that perhaps is finished with the Internet (short of location based apps) but if you’re in New Zealand, I’m going to add another P…
Pacific Fibre – There is absolutely no way that New Zealand can keep up with the rest of the world if we don’t figure out a way to offer Kiwis uncapped broadband at internationally competitive speeds.

Pacific Fibre will be a game changer for New Zealand. Competition is absolutely vital for our position in the world’s rapidly changing uncapped interconnected economies, so this “P” is of high importance IMHO.

Knowing you had a world audience was a terrific driver for blogging with Web 2.0. People used the long tail of the globe to connect and share their knowledge and interests. It didn’t matter who you were, or where you came from, if there was a common interest, there was a connection.

As we move to the next stage of the Internet, the game is still the same. There’s opportunity out there. Wouldn’t it be a shame if New Zealand, with all its natural isolation, lost out on this opportunity because of red tape and market monopolies?

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