What’s Your Media Business Model?
Up until about 1440 when Guttenberg created his movable type printing press, people got information almost exclusively by word of mouth. Even then, another 400 or so years passed before the press could spin out enough copies to become a going enterprise for daily newspapers.
Eventually, radio (1920s) was added and then television (1940s) to the way people got their information. Those mediums and industries ruled supreme for decades, but we’ve seen continuous change and advances. Broadcast television was joined by cable channels, which eventually began producing their own quality content for the marketplace.
Then the internet joined in and gradually added not just news sites, but entertainment ones as well like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the like. Many now make their own programming content and do so well enough to win major awards.
Add social media to the mix and the sharing of information through media, which was once done only if you were a member of an exclusive club, came back to the people, and in a way has circled back to word of mouth in the technological age.
In Understanding Media, by Marshall McLuhan, he said that media is “extensions of man,” predicting electronic media would soon create a global village where our lives intertwine without the limitations of time or space. He also predicted as media distribution continued, it’s content would evolve with it.
When developing a media business model, limitations are almost gone. But that only means it is necessary to know how to make it work for a company and their strategies in building their brand. There are sites such as BuzzFeed to build a following and create content for shares. The pay comes as articles are heavily shared, because when someone sees your article, they also see ads. Depending on how many people view an article (and the ads), payment is received. YouTube has a similar system that pays about $.02 for 1,000 or so views. BuzzFeed pays at a higher scale, but users need to know how to present articles and what type of content works best to profit in that way.
Alternatively, some may decide to create the ad and pay for the number of views received along with someone else’s article.
Another format could be on a company website with banner ads, working deals with other companies that pay for how many people visit the website, but you the owner can also run their banner ads for items being offered by the owner of the site.
For all options, a true understanding about the channel used, the target audience, and what type of approach works best within an industry is needed. Also, at least initially, it is best to choose just one approach and go with that. Too many options divide resources and make it impossible to gain traction in any of the areas.
Bring technology, tech platforms, and big data into the process as much as possible. Use apps to determine the impact of messages and what works or doesn’t. Also, build a voice, work the brand into any approach and content. Above all, be aware of what is happening moving forward. Business and the use of media continues to grow, change, and evolve at a rapid pace. Watch for new trends and decide if getting into a new trend at the beginning will be advantageous – in many cases, those who got into a new social media platform early and learned what worked for their target audience, are the ones who have benefited most from their participation.