Insights Blog

Got Content? Here's How to Package It for the Masses...

Posted by Brice Clinton on September 29, 2017 Topics: Digital Content, ASCENDON BLOG

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This blog is part of CSG's "What's Your End Game" series, focused on best practices for developing a successful digital content strategy.

It is a Monday morning during the summer, and what is the largest topic of conversation at any office? The weather? Summer Vacation plans? No, it is last night’s Game of Thrones episode. Some people want to discuss all the details and various storylines while others vehemently protest any conversation as they have yet to see the episode. Appointment television is becoming more scarce as we’re seeing an evolution to a hybrid content model. Presenting content for a wide variety of ways that consumers want to watch it can be a very challenging undertaking for the content provider. In helping media and communications companies all over the world to develop their strategy and business model for content delivery, I’ve found that successfully packaging content for a variety of preferences starts with a hybrid content model, driven by 3 important questions.

Create a hybrid content model

Creating and curating a hybrid content model gives you the ability to offer service to various consumer types but it also requires an understanding of available content types, and of consumer appetites. While original content may be all the rage currently, a steady mixture of that original content along with back catalog titles and live events provides the ability to service multiple consumer types and behaviors. This strategy also provides enormous value by diversifying - not putting to many eggs in one content basket. If your end game is creating this hybrid content model, there are 3 important questions you must ask as you build your model:

  1. What is your appetite for original content? Yes, these shows move the meter right now, but is the return on investment there to carry the creation? Epic shows like Game of Thrones or The Crown are beautifully produced, impeccably acted, and no doubt draw audiences for exactly those reasons. What comes along with those traits though, is cost. The Crown cost Netflix a paltry $130 million for a 10 episode first season. It turned out well for Netflix this time, but it as likely could have been a beautiful and expensive dud.
  1. What type of back catalog titles will be most impactful to consumers? While it pales in comparison to the cost of creating original content, those catalog titles still carry a cost and strategically choosing titles allows you to present the most relevant content while being mindful of the investment. Remember - the most impactful does not always mean newest - this is where the nuance of understanding your consumers is crucial.
  1. What do your consumers expect? It is true that live viewing does not have the caché it once held, but having those live events gives your consumers a defined reason (and time) to interact with your brand. Intelligently selecting which live events to include in your content model brings advertising dollars and plays to the consumption habits of your consumers.

Do the answers to these 3 questions provide a silver bullet of content strategy? Certainly not. However, the key is to treat these 3 questions as living guidelines that continually evolve. Digital consumers are fickle, and their appetite for certain types of content changes as quickly as the technology they use to consume that content. For that reason, creating that hybrid content model will be an ongoing exercise of continually pulling the available content levers.

We’ll discover how to create a “Build Your Own Device” strategy in the next “What’s Your End Game” blog: Creating a BYOD Strategy

Brice Clinton

Brice Clinton is a Senior Engineer for CSG International and an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.