Thursday, December 17, 2009

User Contribution in Media Consumption

I’m trying to put some form behind an unfinished idea rattling around my head. I’m thinking about how users pay for their consumption of media.  In some businesses, you pay money in exchange for content (Paid databases like LexisNexis). In other businesses, you pay with data exhaust that you create in the consumption process (such as Google).

These two means of paying are not necessarily at odds with each other; you can have your cake and eat it too. There’s a whole spectrum of greyzone in between pure user pay and pure data exhaust. So I created a chart to start to visualize what that spectrum might look like*.

So, now I’m trying to see how a wide range of media companies fit into this framework to see if it holds water. This is definitely an unfinished work, and I’d love your comments on how to revise/rethink this idea, or how other companies might fit in.

* A critic of this chart might say, “what about attention?”  Most media models are thought of as monetizing attention (often via advertising), so why didn’t I include it as a third axis? I don’t think attention is an interesting variable in this chart because you always have to pay attention in order to consume media… that’s true by definition of “media consumption” IMHO.

Notes

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