Content is King. Now What?

It's a persistent cry across most media: Content is King!

However, we never get around to defining exactly what in "content" makes it King. Nor do we discuss how often quality content needs to be produced to make it King - and its creator(s) successful.

"One hit wonders" abound. Little in content draws people back like a magnet attracts steel.

I receive emails from online radio programmers daily. Nearly all say "tune in and sampel XXXX," followed by superlatives like these:
(add city name) freshest House internet radio station.
We spend many hours digging through our library for the most stylish and unique tracks for your listening pleasure.
...the hottest new online station out! of 70,80,90 et love song...
The UK's Hot Hit Music Station
We play the music of the 50's 60's & 70's. The hits,the misses,The One Hit Wonders,
   The obscure, & some that just makes you say, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT???!!!
We are a unique station
Best R&B from today and yesterday.

Anything from the above grab you? Me either. All come from online radio programmers.

This isn't just a radio thing. From artists come:
HOT NEW!! Indie Artist "XXXXXXX" hailing from South Florida.

Whoever said Rock N Roll was dead obviously hasn't heard the rockin' songs of New York's favorite band "The XXXXXXX's,"

Hi, i'm asking for someone at your station to oblige me in listening to a few tracks my artist have made...

3 brooklyn MC's teamed up on this hyped track orchestrated by the wizard himself XXXXXXX! This is definitely a car and rave banger

I'm looking into getting them some air play to build on our already growing fan base.

I want you to listen to these songs and look at the potential that this kid will bring.

Trite words. Overused cliches. Desperation pleas. Everything but a reason WHY I should take time away from my routine.

I could literally throw out a few hundred more of these. Everyone has the best content, and all want me to spend a few minutes to discover, uncover, or enjoy it. Only, my time is limited. To listen - say, to a song - takes a mimimum of 5 minutes, which doesn't include time needed to stop what I was doing and then return to it after the listening session.

It takes way more time when listening to a radio station. Twenty minutes, minimum, to get a sense for what the programmer is trying to achieve.

There's so much content today we choke on all that's reported as "the best."

Of course there are the exceptions. "Serial" and "This American Life" are examples. I'm sure we can add another dozen or so into that mix. Then what? Besides a few programs or songs, is your list of "quality" long?

Content is not so much King as it is an Earl. There's only one King. Earls are a dime a dozen in an empire's hierarchy. The truth not spoken: There are tens-of-thousands of programs and songs which just exist, begging for an audience. These are the peasants.

Making quality content consistently is hard. Very hard. Most musicians and programmers have yet to make a quality piece of content. (If you wish to judge me, here are short audio specs: 1, 2, 3.)

Frightening to me is how making content is not the most difficult portion of an artist's journey today. Getting a brilliant piece of work distributed is far more difficult.

We live in an age of massive amounts of content spread across thousands of delivery platforms.

If the King was content, multiple audio platforms would be tripping over themselves to serve the King. They are not.

For 2015 we need to spend more time on the distribution side, getting people to seek out what's produced - perhaps by creating more "better" content, perhaps with better descriptions.

Just calling it "the hottest" doesn't make it so, until the listener agrees.

Monday, January 19, 2015      eMail to a Friend

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