Bill Gates wrote an essay ‘Content is King’ back in 1996 that talked about things beyond writing a blog or making a video and asserted that real money on the Internet would be made through content.
In the past decade, few industries have been as disruptive as the content industry. A few years ago, MarketingMag.com predicted that content marketing will be a $300 billion industry by 2019. Now, according to a recent report from Technavio, the content industry is projected to be worth $412.88 billion by 2021.
Truly enough, content is everywhere: Advertisements that play mind games, YouTube ‘influencers’ that use a clickbait to get likes and comments, Instagrammers -whose lives make you envious, and also, the fake news generators that has compelled a school in Kerala to teach their kids, ‘how to identify fake news’. And, the million-dollar question, who imitates whom? How can we forget the episode of ‘Black Mirror, where people can rate each other which ultimately can impact their socio-economic status; you see, China, reportedly has already started working on creating this world!
Content Industry is easy to enter but difficult to sustain kind of industry — if you are unable to satisfy the 3 Cs- Construction, Consistency, and Commitment. And a Research Report from Zazzle Media supports this, as it found that 60% of people find it hard to produce content consistently. Content Industry earns revenue by distributing information, entertaining people, and bridging the gap between demand and supply, and at times generating demand or supply. But only a bridge that can withstand the public turbulence can, in fact, create a mark.
Content Industry is fragmented and yet is inclusive; anybody who has the ability to create content and hold the interest of their intended audience has been and would be successful. You have an innovative method of teaching mathematics, you can create content and show it to the world; you have funny stories to tell, people would enjoy your content; you write beautiful and heart-wrenching poems, the readers would whole-heartedly quote your poems; you are a self-proclaimed spiritual guru, you will be showered with monetary gifts; you can give words to other’s story, people would spam your inbox. OkDork’s data reveals that blog posts are among the most shared content online and according to the State of Inbound report, it is a top priority for 53 % of marketers.
The recent PewDiePie vs T-series took the whole digital world with a storm. You were either an enthusiastic participant or a reluctant observer! As per McKinsey’s report, there are an approximate 560 million internet subscribers in India as of September 2018, and Indians spend almost 17 hours per week on social media! Similarly, Cable.co.uk, a UK- based price comparison portal through its study found that at 1GB costing just Rs 18.5 which is USD 0.26, India has the cheapest mobile data in the world. The global average for 1 GB was USD 8.53, while it was USD 12.37 for the US and USD 6.66 for the UK. Talk about ‘Jio-Jee-Bhar-Ke’! But then again, the debate of seeking the largest audience versus creating a base of active users returning to you every single day is still ongoing.
Then we have a young content company disrupting the space of content industry through its values, vision and endeavours. The content company fulfils the requirements of its clients and helps them build their brand value and rise in the popularity index, through their content creators. You are the hero of your story. No one can change your story, albeit you explicitly want to twist it and change it, Pepper can undoubtedly make your story a hero, and you a superhero for the audience to get intertwined in every up and down. Just as pepper adds a zing to bland food and makes it palatable, Pepper adds that zing to your story to make it charismatic, interesting, and readable. Pepper, a content company, is a confluence of the motivated writers, and credible organisations with definite requirements, and it helps curate cogent content.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu disrupted the digital video content market and created original programs, a pay-on-demand platform, where you could ‘watch-what-you-want’ rather than the conventional cable option where you would ‘watch-what-they-want’ and had limited choices. Well, how long till the disruptor becomes disrupted? What if these content creators show the content that they create and they want? You would then have to subscribe to many content creators or go back to ‘watch-what-they-want.’ And this analogy applies to all parts of the content industry!
Bill Gates in his essay did mention that the concept of content is wide. And you know that is an undeniable truth. It is a learning platform for learners and earning platform for earners. It is up to you, as to how you penetrate and become a part of this $300 billion industry. Industry disruption is equally random and unpredictable as it is enabling and transformative.