Opinion: Media content debate may be ignoring the integrated option

A definitive answer should soon be available on the greatest debate since angels started dancing on pinheads. Is content king, or not?

A definitive answer should soon be available on the greatest debate

since angels started dancing on pinheads. Is content king, or not?



Disney boss Michael Eisner was in town last week to promote his

autobiography, Work in Progress, and had no doubts, which is hardly

surprising as he controls billions of dollars worth of content.



Unfortunately, he’s not nearly so smart as he looks. The great man

turned down the chance to appear on some crazy radio programme where you

get a chance to choose records and a luxury you would like on a desert

island.



Luckily Disney seems to promote their film content a bit better than

their executive autobiographies.



Culture secretary Chris Smith and assorted media luminaries such as

Charles Allen of Granada also seem to think content is important as they

traipse around China this week trying to reduce CD piracy and persuade

the Chinese to buy more UK television programmes than The Bill and the

best games of Crystal Palace.



How come, then, that telephone companies are worth trillions when they

have no content at all worth speaking about except the amateur variety

that we all make up ourselves.



In business terms, everyone in the media would be better to just forget

it and invest as quickly as possible in telephone companies before the

prices become totally impossible. Then they can say they are planning to

be an internet service provider and add further billions to their

value.



When you hear of AT&T of the US offering dollars 58bn (pounds 36bn) for

MediaOne, whose UK interests include 30% of cable company Telewest, you

wonder how on earth Carlton and Granada could summon up the energy to

bother launching ONdigital. How heads of advertising agencies can get

out of bed in the morning for the paltry sums of money they handle is an

increasing mystery.



Open, or British Interactive Broadcasting as it used to be known two

chief executives ago, is at least starting to get the hang of it. Before

it opens its doors the City has placed a pounds 1.4bn value on the

venture.



The great thing now would be to sell it before it runs the risk of

losing money.



It is the word interactive that clearly does the trick, even though

there’s a long way to go to match AT&T. If only ITV could somehow change

its name to Interactive TV it might have a more promising business.



When faced with the advance of telephone companies the claim that

content is king is just a pauper’s joke. If further evidence is needed

just look at the big brother of ONdigital’s Stephen Grabiner.



Mike Grabiner runs Energis, a proper company that strung a few telephone

cables from electricity pylons and is now worth an absolute fortune.



What hasn’t been fully appreciated yet is just how powerful telephone

companies such as AT&T could be if they discovered proper content and

became integrated communication companies. Most of them could buy

Carlton out of petty cash - not to mention Manchester United.



Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer