For young and older readers alike, content is still king.
Readers will read compelling content in print or online. Viewers will view compelling content online or on-air.
Compelling content is information that the public feels it must have.
So why do so many media outlets use the new generation’s interest in multiple content channels to say that young people won’t read or view their products?
Young readers are a convenient scapegoat for media companies who cannot create compelling content or change their business models to deliver content on multiple channels.
Young people stand in line for hours to buy a 700-page Harry Potter book because of its compelling content.
Young adults stand in line for hours to buy the latest Madden NFL game because of its compelling content.
Old and young readers alike read their favorite bloggers everyday because they are compelled by the content. Ironically, most of their favorite bloggers’ content is taken from the hard work of newspapers, television stations and first-generation reporting web sites.
So why do Harry Potter, Madden and bloggers succeed and newspapers and television stations struggle?
By definition, ‘newspapers’ and ‘television stations’ are outdated. There is no such thing as a newspaper company or television station. All companies who produce content are media companies, regardless of their delivery platform.
This is an important distinction because poorly-defined companies breed poorly defined business models. And poorly-defined business models create poorly defined content. Poorly-defined content does not sell in print, online or on-air.
Don’t get me wrong, first generation-reporting outlets are an invaluable pillar of our democracy. And they are one of the few businesses sectors in the world who produce a brand new product everyday.
That’s why change should come more naturally to media companies. Instead, they continue to base their business models on silos: a series of different departments that begrudgingly work together. Information cannot flow smoothly through silos. Information can and will flow through carefully constructed media companies who generate compelling content.
Newspapers and television stations cannot produce a new Harry Potter edition or Madden NFL everyday, but they can focus on the reader to create equally compelling content.
Content for content’s sake is dead. Compelling content is still king.