@ OPA: Owning The Audience, Overwhelming The Microcosm

Online Publishers Association, Forum for the Future
Marketspace chairman Jeff Rayport reeled off a series of Bush gags, Ze Frank videos and even the Numa Numa song in an effort to wake up OPA forum delegates. But Rayport’s warning came over loud and clear – digital devices are giving consumers access to more media content than ever, but “we’re facing an onslaught of competition in the online world, some from niche or vertically-focused cable operators extending online, some from web-indigenous players including portals and aggregators – maybe most shocking of all, the very people who are the big advertisers who used to buy time in the vehicles we create are now creating media of their own, a la Bud.tv“. “Even as consumer attention favours our medium, there are many new players who are not traditional online publishers that are beginning to dominate the basic categories driving online activity.” “Video is the new lingua franca of online content.”

To compete, incumbent media players must adopt a five-point plan, he said:-

  1. Own the audience – overwhelm the microcosm – that is, produce the most detailed for audiences according to their location, interest, identity or circumstance.
  2. Claim the community – That is, give away free content to attract premium subscriptions. Package “multiple media formats into bundles that defy aggregation”.
  3. Work the web – That is, “let the outside in, let the inside out”. Bring on to your site content from other sites around the web. Meanwhile, ensure your content can be syndicated out to other sites.
  4. Design for occasion – That is, make every act of publishing suit the medium as best it can, just as the Daily Candy opt-in email newsletter publishers just one tidbit in each mailout – perfect for the medium.
  5. Integrate the experience – Package together “amateurs acting like amateurs” (ie. Star Wars Kid, Numa Numa), professionals acting like amateurs (ie. LonelyGirl15), amateurs acting like professionals (ie. AskANinja) and “professionals acting like professionals” (ie. OK Go).