In Revenue is Content the Means or the Ends?

by Joe on June 12, 2008

It is true that things are not free. But the recent business model issues of content owners, brings up a central discussion about content use. I ask two questions in this debate: Is content the ends? or is content the means?  By this I mean, does the content drive the rest of the business or is the content the actual product?

How do we have our cake and eat it too? or in this case eat our money?!

Revenue Money Content


  • CDs for years have not been large income generating channels for artists, the real money for the artist comes from concerts and merchandise.  Is the music the product or is the concert and fun the product?
  • Newspapers have articles that help sell views to ads/classifieds. Are the articles or the ad views the product?  Which one is actually making the money?  Thus the business model is sell things that give our clients(advertisers) views to their products. 

How can media/content companies adapt?

Give the content away for free, or supported by some advertizing, to drive more sales to the revenue generating channel. A good real life example and metrics on what this might look like is here: A blogger wrote a book hoping to make some money, he gave away a free draft of the book and then sold the finished copy, 72% of his “sales” were from the free copy and the remainder were from the paid sales.

Give away the content to drive more revenue to a revenue generating channel. How do you use your content to generate revenue?

One comment

[…] my post about how content is not an means to generate revenue, Andrew Chen wrote a fantastic piece about the crisis in traditional media. In it he provides an […]

by Joe Budde Jr. » Analog to Digital: Crisis in Traditional Media Distribution on August 2, 2008 at 8:51 am. Reply #

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