Friday, November 03, 2006

Putting a course on content together (6)

Much of the items so far have been typically content items such as the value chain and searching. However, content has also an economic value, so the economy of content is a subject that students should also study closely.

The first question is of course: what is value of content? This depends on the perishability of the news factor and the exclusiveness. News has changed from a scarce product into a commodity. Besides newspapers, radio and television there are now so many sites which distribute the press release. For example, I contributed articles for years to a new media newsletter, which was one of the few ones in the Netherlands. These days every site on new media multiplies the same release. Another factor is of course the perishability: scientific articles in the bio-medical sector need to be published as soon as they have been peer reviewed; there information can be of commercial value.

Many people have gotten the impression that information is for free since internet. It is clear that content is not as scarce anymore, but this does not mean that content is for free. Content has to be paid for, one or another way. This can be done according to the old principles of subscriptions and advertisement or the internet way of sponsoring or micro-payment.

But content should also be seen in macro-economic terms. The content industry of publishers and broadcasters has grown with the advent of internet. Not only the old pillars of the content industry belong now to the creative industry, but many new companies, which have new media assets in terms of text, audio and video.

This macro-economic item in the content economy could be broadened to what the content industry is. Few students have a clear idea of what area they go into. In this context also content policy in terms on national politics could be an item. In the Netherlands we have one memo of a Dutch deputy minister on the content industry. Recently the area has been broadened to the creative industry. So far items belonging to the area of the content, c.q. creative industry have been parcelled in lots in for example the public broadcast.; the broadcast heritage in general has been put into the budget of the public broadcast (of course with a scope on heritage of the public broadcasters and less on the commercial broadcasters).


Blog Posting Number: 558

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