It’s The Quality Of The Content, Not The Quality Of The Video

Scoble mentioned my post about selling your videos on AOL at 2am this morning. I’m beginning to think he never sleeps.

In the mention he asks if people will really “pay” for content – writing:

The problem with buying videos is that Netflix is renting me HD-DVDs for a few bucks each. Getting anything close to that quality would require one heck of a great Internet connection and a big hard drive. Not to mention that Hollywood will not give me movies without DRM attached.

So, that leaves stuff that the rest of us can do. What kind of Internet video would anyone ever want to pay for?

Porn. Even then you can get so much for free so why pay?

Anything else? I can’t think of anything that I’d put a few bucks down to view.

This is the block in thinking that is doing so much damage in our industry.

The Internet, Podcasting, YouTube, the iPod, etc. – these are TOOLS.

TOOLS for getting us our content.

HDTV is a TOOL for getting a better picture.

But the quality of the content is still what matters.

Not the quality of the video.

Don’t get me wrong, HDTV thrills me and I’ve never purchased a “Full Screen” DVD when there was another choice. I’m the kind of Geek who checks Video Grunt on regular basis to see when he’ll launch another stinking episode.

But it is the quality first of the content first that always matters.

Honey, I’m sorry, our Wedding video just needs to be tossed. It was taped on VHS you know.

I really wished the kids today could heed the dangers of Metropolis, but since there is no HDDV version I’ll skip it. Heck, did you know they don’t even talk in that movie?

Sometimes we pay a few bucks to make the content delivery easier – a subscription to Netflix or a PayPerView instead of a trip to the local video store. Sometimes someone just chopping out the very commericials we can easily fast forward through is worth a few bucks. Why else do you think Apple sells a kazillion television episodes?

Sometimes we pay a lot more because the experience (or the packaging – which is, of course, experience) is worth more than the content. I saw U2 once and the view from their latest HD concert release is a zillion times better – do I feel ripped off? Even better than the real thing anyone?

Actually, at that very concert, Bono sang “Mysterious Ways” to a television screen of a belly dancer dancing twenty feet away from him because, as we know, a high quality picture is what’s most important.

Hey dear, let’s toss those photos of our oldest as a baby. They were only 2 megapixel shots, you know.

And, sometimes, the value of the content makes it well worth the money – no matter how it is delivered and, often, no matter what the cost because the content makes us happier, helps us become healthier, gives us the tools to better ourselves, etc.

In an ironic twist, I’ll gladly pay, today, for any video content that teaches me better recording technique for my Podcasts. Anyone know of any for a noob like me?

I once paid close to two grand for a set of CDs that changed the way I do my finances.

I once paid thirteen thousands dollars for two weekend retreats. When they handed me the audio from the weekend, it was in low bitrate MP3 format. It was the best money I ever spent.

If I could sell you a video that would save you five grand on your next car purchase, how much would that be worth? Is it worth any less if the content is on VHS tape?

We’re getting the “roles” of things all messed up. Let’s do some clarifying, shall we …

TOOLS: Internet, HTTP, HD, VHS, iPod, Xbox, AOL, YouTube, Podcasting, Google, MSN, Revver.

And the right tools are worth paying for – but we can’t forget that TOOLS are there to help us accomplish the task at hand. The TOOL directs us to the end game – and is not the end game.

CONTENT: Everything else. The stuff that matters. Actually, what really matters is what we do with the CONTENT. What doesn’t matter, is how the CONTENT was delivered.

So, let’s pick the right TOOL for the job of getting us the CONTENT we want. Let’s place value on what the CONTENT enables us to do, not the bitrate wherebywhich it was delivered.

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  • http://www.jason-preston.com Jason Preston

    Well said.

    This is something that bats around my brain a lot, since I’m hoping someday to make a portion of my living by “providing content” – probably video.

    There are really two ways to make money off video content: carry ads, or charge for it. In today’s world, “charging for content” gets such a huge disproportionate backlash (scoble-like) that you basically have to have ads.

    The problem is that right now the internet is in a place where people are getting content worth paying for without paying for it. Someday, either people will have to start paying for it (or ads will), otherwise the content worth having will disappear.

    I wrote a post on the Blog Business Summit blog: (http://blogbusinesssummit.com/2006/10/videoblogging_i.htm) that shared a similar sentiment.

    Incidentally, since you’re going to be at CES this year, and the BBS team is hosting a bloggers-only party on the 9th, you should consider yourself invited. There’s more info at cesbloggers.com (“blogger party” page). Just e-mail Teresa (e-mail address on the site) and we’ll get you on the list.

  • http://www.paulcolligan.com Paul Colligan

    Jason,

    Will be at the dinner – thanks for the invite.

    Yeah, people mistake cheap content delivery with cheap content value all the time.

    They’ll figure it out. Just don’t sell your stuff cheap.

    Paul