At the Korea Communication Conference this month, one issue that kept popping up during all the panel discussions was about the content. Each of the representatives of different aspects of broadcasting, telecoms, and media had very different views of the value of content.
Take for instance TV programs. The creators of the TV programs were still doing what they had always been doing - treating the program content as diamonds, or gold, or golden diamonds. They licensed the rights to broadcast each episode once, and only once, on only a single TV channel, to only one broadcaster. Broadcasters, on the other hand, were trying to lower the perceived value of the content by distributing it to as many customers in as many formats as possible, such as online TV, mobile TV, downloadable content, and other innovative content delivery channels, in opposition to the producers.
And then, the end users of content seemed to value all content as almost worthless. This was found to be because they are drowning in a sea of it, both professionally produced and amateur, which can be transmitted and shared almost instantly on the Internet.
The debate becomes this: who is right Is the value of content really going down
The value of content is going down. Media companies have produced so much content in so many forms and channels that they have devalued it themselves. Also, with the addition of free amateur content easily available on the Internet, consumers are drowning in a sea of content.
So much content is available that from the consumer's perspective it is valueless. There are a million grains of sand on the beach, so how much can you expect to pay for just one It is the same way with content.
TV episodes are especially susceptible to the devaluation of content, because for a very long time the way to pay for content has been to ask advertisers and broadcasters, while the end-users never pay for anything. This is the way it is with music as well. So consumers have been used to watching and listening to content for free for more than one generation. This makes them perceive of the content as free. And perception is a significant part of value.
Traditional media companies should recognize this and lower the prices of their content if they want to compete.
Actors don't magically start working for less money, and props don't magically stop costing an arm and a leg. The price of content is directly related to the price of producing it, no more, no less. If a movie costs $150 million dollars to produce, then it has a value of $150 million, and the people who produced it must recoup that investment somehow. Entertainment, and content production, is an extremely big business, one that is a significant portion of the economies of several countries.
Also, selling content is a marketplace, and in a marketplace a good or service costs just as much as people are willing to pay for it. Existing content is still being bought and consumed by people interested in getting it at normal prices - movies are still attended, cable TV channels are still subscribed to. While some content has become unpopular, unique and niche content is still as important as it has always been and is still valuable enough to win people's hard-earned cash.
So the value of content is not going down, and it will not change until it absolutely has to. But for now, value is still created, and people still purchase it. The world is not going to end tomorrow.