Opportunity: Media Companies Losing Control of Their Content

Fred Wilson illustrates the loss of control that large media companies are experiencing. In his example, he uses the upcoming release of a song from one of his favorite bands, the Arctic Monkeys. An overview of his example:

  • Someone, somewhere got a hold of an unreleased song from the album, and blogged about it, posting the track.
  • Fred found it via the music aggregator HypeMachine, and blogged about it himself.
  • He Googled the track as well, and found that someone in Amsterdam went to an Arctic Monkeys concert and videotaped the unreleased song on their cellphone, and posted to YouTube. (note: there are many others in the crowd doing the same thing.)
  • Fred blogs about them again. His blog entries are at the top of a Google search for the song.

He calls this person-to-person marketing. While it illustrates how media companies have less control over their content, it not necessarily a bad thing:

  • Marketing is happening without them having to lift a finger.
  • If they watch closely, they can learn a lot about what their audience wants. In this case – perhaps they should consider the unreleased track as the next single.
  • They themselves can get involved in the conversation – giving fans some freebies to experience, blog about, and post to YouTube.