David Kirkpatrick from Fortune Magazine stipulates that all websites are the same; they all have the ability to deliver content (text, audio, and video), to facilitate communication between its users, and to allow users to share their own content. This is the case, regardless of whether the site is supporting a television network, a magazine publisher, a newspaper publisher, or a film studio.
There are two issues to consider. First, if all websites are the same, then users will go to the ones that provide the most relevant content in their opinion. With all sites delivering, text, audio, and video, thecompany doesn’t matter so much as the content.
Most likely the decision will not have much to do with the fact that one organization was historically a TV network and the other a magazine. The sports fan seeks good sports content – which can now be distributed in all forms online.
The second issue relates to advertising. If product companies produce their own content, it reduces the need to advertise on traditional or other online media. The first thing that springs to my mind, which was not mentioned in the article, is BMW Films. Here is an automobile production company that spends resources creating content that theoretically appeals to its existing customers.
While an increasing amount advertising has been moving online from traditional media, the structure (which includes this site’s ability to bring in a few dollars from advertising) may not be a good long-term strategy for content providers. Why would ShareBuilder (for example) continue to advertise on blogs if the company could theoretically create its own blog, podcast, video program, etc. and attract its own regular visitors?
Updated September 2, 2011 and originally published June 12, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.