How to Achieve Content Nirvana in the Digital Marketplace

The digital content proposition has come a long way from the days when it was all about content conversion and e-deliverables.The entire community of Smartphones and tablet tapping consumers today, demand screen content that is tailored to their interests, schedule and delivered by a seamless interface that provides a flawless user experience. The exponential increase in demand for curated, customized and diverse content, effortlessly suggests that there exist tremendous prospects for an entrepreneur to venture into the digital content marketplace.

Content is definitely moving from mainstream distribution to direct-to-consumer mode and becoming more platform-based and app-centric with an increasingly digital-only customer stratum. So, publishers and content creators, both big and small are racing to keep up with the market and to develop a better understanding of their consumers, and serve even more customized and intuitive content to monetize engaged patrons.

In a digital content marketplace, entrepreneurs possess the power to influence and serve a community with great content and information that can help educate and enlighten. Moreover, by venturing in this business, which follows an asset–light model, they are alleviated from the burden of bearing the cost of content production. The digital influencers are of great help to the new stars comprising independent authors, game producers, publishers or animation studios and their content, which tends to get neglected by the traditional media houses due to its expensive, cumbersome and lengthy decision-making procedures.

In today’s digital marketplace, producing relevant content is critical to any company’s success. This gives the digital entrepreneurs a chance to provide comprehensive analytics to the content creators on how their content is being received by the users, which traditional media cannot offer with any deal of accuracy. This encourages the content providers to improve their content and serve their target audience in a better way. Content aggregation, distribution and ultimately monetization form a vast market creating remarkable opportunities for several players to co-exist and expand their footprint, especially in India and even Asia.

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With great opportunities, come tremendous challenges, and the same applies to digital content. One of the biggest hurdles of a digital content marketplace is finding the right content, which often turns into a  chicken and egg dilemma. Known content providers like “Disney,” seek upfront payment i.e. licensing fee or minimum guarantees. So, either you seek out user generated content like YouTube or have deep pockets for content licensing (Netflix reportedly paid 300 million dollars for Disney content), for the most part getting access to quality content poses a real challenge.

Curated content acts as the soul of any business and most people consider themselves good storytellers, either as authors or as videos/music producers. Here, it becomes a major undertaking for the digital content marketplace to choose or select the right sort of content that would best serve its target audience. This is followed by another major hindrance, convincing the target audience to pay for content. A majority of news portals fall under this category because, in the present scenario, everyone holding a camera is now a cameraman, a blogger has become a reporter, and so on.  So asking people to pay for news becomes a tough nut to crack. News portals like The New York Times and  The Sun, experimented with “Paywalls” as they couldn’t afford  to keep providing their online content for free. Both The New York Times and The Sun have been successful in their digital avatar. This indicates that the audience is ready to pay, if they are convinced that the information is credible and isn’t available elsewhere for free.

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It is a surprise to no one that the key to content monetization is advertising. Unfortunately in some cases, it seems like a bad idea. Let’s take an example from the famous app, “Talking Tom” that had to face trouble because an adult in-app ad was witnessed by a 5-year-old, when he was using it along with his father. Therefore, relying only on ads to monetize the digital content especially for kids isn’t the preeminent choice. Hence, ingenious and inspired business and monetization models must be developed to bring both content partners and users onboard.

The digital content marketplace requires considerable sums to be spent to develop the technology and delivery pipeline. Hence at the end of the day, adequate funding remains the need of the hour. So, in conclusion if you are ready for challenges, love coming up with creative solutions and have access to capital, digital content marketplace nirvana is your calling!

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