Big Media is Missing the Big Picture, but it’s Not Too Late


Mathew Ball’s excellent article explores the failure of traditional media companies to recognize pressing risks to their businesses due to the upheaval in content distribution systems. The article makes the argument that technological changes are driving a wholesale shift in content distribution infrastructure. I’ve also addressed this topic in an article of my own.


Rodric David is the Chairman and CEO of Thunder Studios.
Rodric David is the Chairman and CEO of Thunder Studios.

Mr. Ball coins the phrase ‘attention infrastructure’ to define the pathway for traditional media companies to focus future investment strategies on the complete adoption of modern OTT (Over-The-Top) distribution. He argues that this would drive online engagement and encourage direct-to-viewer relationships that would ultimately bolster their attention footprint. I agree with the summation that traditional media conglomerates ignore significant threats to their businesses in a failing effort to preserve traditional linear/cable TV distribution models and that their digital endeavors to date amount to nothing more than set dressing.


Interestingly from a Thunder Studios perspective, Mr. Ball sees strength and defensibility in the ‘Studio Model’ of vertical integration and actually argues that such integration will be critical as margins compress. From a content perspective the article concurs with my strongly held belief that, “premium or produced content has no inherent advantage over supposedly simpler forms of video entertainment”. There is now a significant opportunity to experiment with new and original content verticals, story arcs, audience engagement, social integration, and gamification to name just a few.


Content is King is a truer statement today than at any other time in history. Ultimately it is content that engages audiences, not distribution systems or delivery platforms. Thunder Studios is uniquely placed to take advantage of this structural upheaval. I will expand further on the future of content, audience engagement, and robust monetization in my upcoming article “THE COMING EYEBALL WAR.”