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The society for the protection of Couch Potatoes

A response to David MacGregor’s response to my post on perceived values which also grew too long to fit into the comments section.

The argument that I’m trying to make is that I am more than willing to pay for content if I perceive that content to have a value that attaches a transferable monetary figure to it.  I expect there to be niche orientated content on my mobile that I can’t get anywhere else – and that is why I’m willing to pay for it.  I sure as hell don’t want to see television recut for mobile phone.  I want to see original genre branded content that I can’t get anywhere else.  That is why I fully support the premise of the subscription model as it pertains to micromarkets.  You take a micromarket locally and it is small – but translate it to a global audience and voila.  That is where you make a sustainable revenue.  That is what I’m all about – empowering content producers to be self sufficient in their content creation.

The current content on Vodafone Live is drull and over priced.  To prove a point I actually purchased a short film off the portal last night.  The menu had the shorts title and a still – no supplementary synopsis or information.  I clicked through and then came the hardest part of the equation – they wanted me to pay $3 for a one off piece of content that I had no idea about.  I clicked through – and held my breath.  The content downloaded and I was immediately disappointed because it was poor content.  Even if they switch to an ad sponsored environment Vodafone and Telecom need to up the ante on the quality of the product.  Which is equally hard (and I will console them on this one) as a production model is still in development for financing original content for delivery on mobile phones.  So everyone is looking for short and cheap results – hence recutting existing product.

The mention of television in my post was purely intended in terms of a feature film screening repurposed for television.  I have no intentions of disregarding original content for television or the framework surrounding it.  I will sound the alarms though that as digital channels increase, the fragmentation of the advertising spend will continue to cause disruption for those who choose to ignore the changing tide.

YouTube is very empowering for content creators to produce original content – what it does not set up and or support (aside from a viral spinoff) is a revenue stream for either the distributor or content creators.  Therefore that model in itself is not sustainable long term.  Yes the Sick Puppies video has been viewed six million times but the band still have to hand out flyers for their gigs.  All of these frameworks need to be sustainable and mutually beneficial.  The question you have to ask yourself though is that would an audience be more selective if they were forced to watch an ad or pay a charge about the content they watched.  The flip side of that would be though would they be willing to pay to view the content if they knew that the revenue was going to the content creator rather than lining some big cooperate company coffers.

Telecom and Vodafone’s comments that no one wants to pay for content is an outright fallacy - billions of dollars are spent annually on wallpaper and ringtones.  SKY proved that people would pay for television content.

Moving to an ad sponsored environment isn’t going to work if your content doesn’t reach a niche audience.  Maybe then it isn’t a sustainable revenue model for either of the telco’s.  I know full well that any of my existing concepts and products would not be sustainable exclusively in the NZ market.  They would probably only be lucky to get a nibble.

Which brings me back to my previous stop – let them be an ISP and let the audience search out into the realm of the Mobile Internet for their micromarket.