Monday, January 7, 2008

The 'Who'

We've been talking to content owners for the last few months, and would like to share our feelings about them. While we're raring to just list them out and praise 'em/rip 'em apart individually, we'll be dignified about it and simply categorize them for you.

So we have three categories of content owners in India today:

a. The ones with crap, but seem to have an addressable crap-market for it today: these are the guys who probably know that their content won't survive to see the light of tomorrow, and are scurrying to find ways to make their money today.
These are the guys who'll ask you about how much traffic volume you're anticipating and tell you how their content is their key differentiator. They'll also sometimes tell you that you'll have to license their content from them, know....everyone around the block is just waiting to buy it off them.
You know one's buying their content, and you know what else....they'd rather let it rot than be honest about the fact that it's crap. It's their way of "stimulating demand".

b. The ones with super content, and haven't made a dime off it: these are the good guys....they pay attention to what they create and because they have finite brain capacities(like you and me), they haven't the time to worry about oddities like distribution and monetization. They just hope that someone, somewhere, someday, will find them and glory will be theirs. Poignant...I know. A little silly, of course, but whatever...they produce good stuff, so we won't prod them too much.

c. The ones with decent/good content, and a huge market for it: these are the producers in the mainstream. God bless their souls because they have money, addressable markets, and are understandably dragging their heels in adopting the path of new media distribution. After all, slow 'n steady does win the race. Which race? I don't know. Ask the tortoise.

I bring all this up to answer some questions about who, exactly, we want on WeareIndia.TV, as content publishers.

Obviously, it's not the first category: we don't see them as fitting anywhere along the tail. In fact, given my perception of the nature of their content, they are best suited *under* the tail and those areas don't warrant much discussion.

We'd probably be honored to have the mainstream folks on here, simply because they'll drive up our traffic and make us look very good. But, I don't think we're quite ready for them(or their 'traffic') quite yet. It might take the focus away from the real reason we started WeareIndia.TV:

YES! The artsy, helpless independent and amateur film makers who produce just the content that the Internet needs, and yet don't have a place to really make money off it. And before you start yelling "YOUTUBE!!" to me, note that I didn't say they don't have a place to SHOW their films...I said they don't have a place to MAKE MONEY off their films.

So, to reiterate our taxonomic niche focus, we're *only* looking for independent, amateur, non-mainstream film-makers who're SOMEHOW associated with the Indian diaspora, and who swear by phrases like "Art for art's sake..".
It makes really good business sense, because now, we're only dealing with content that is true to the nature of its form.

This is content that attracts attention, if presented right. This is content that has led the Internet video revolution. This is content that's made of stuff that provokes participation. This content drives value creation. This content is everything that has never been.

*This* content is king.