On the Web, the TV Business is About Audience, not Distribution

Ty Ahmad Taylor explains the strategic mistake media companies make when they try to force customers to come to their own web sites to get content:

In retail, you place stores close to customers. Most media firms have pursued a similar, single-outlet strategy. The metaphor that I trot out is that at my former employers, we spent a lot of time building a single, gleaming temple to the brand in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., when most of our customers were on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Ginza in Tokyo, or Bond St. in London.

The core conceit was that we needed to own the customer, on “land” that we owned, as that is how we could control the customer experience. But when you are a content creator, as media companies are, the customer experience is the content the customers watch, not the access to that content.

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