Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Superdistribution: The Antithesis of the Broadcast Model?

According to a March 2006 IDC Insight report sales blurb, (that I can't afford to read) their new research focuses on "the outlook for commercial content superdistribution via carrier decks (new term for PDA's, cell phones, and computers?)/portals, which would allow wireless subscribers and customers to recommend or gift content and services directly to other mobile consumers (and even potentially "beg" others to buy content for them (their comment)). Superdistribution may be understood as the antithesis of the broadcast model; its strength resides at the edge of the network rather than at the core. In time, viral superdistribution could emerge as a dynamic new channel for wireless content sales once key gating factors have been addressed."

The antithesis of anything is kind of cool to think about, (maybe more fun than those Sudaku things), but I am not sure it quite works with the superdistribution/broadcasting comparison. Superdistribution, if "gating factors have been addressed" is sort of secondary, complementary and ancillary to broadcasting. Broadcasting "seeds" content in the many's hands, which is then passed into secondary networks. It is an antithesis in that the distribution is happening one-to-one versus one-to-many, but superdistribution can also be one-to-many.

For example, suppose I belong to a kayaking news group with hundreds of members, and I stumble onto a beautiful video of someone running the Zambizi River in South Africa. I sent a link or the content itself to the entire newsgroup...which presumbably many would want to see. I have "broadcast" the content using superdistribution.

But I'm being picky about words, and if I could read the report, it would probably be saying the same thing as I am. The real impact of this goes back to the broadcaster...or in the case of the Internet, any portal that is centrally distributing content. If you could take advantage of this secondary, complementary, and ancillary distribution...why wouldn't you? You would package your centrally distributed products in such a way that they could be passed around, copied and continually protected and monetized.

I seems to me that cutting off your distribution at the end of a broadcast and not allowing superdistribution is the antithesis of good marketing sense.


Post a Comment

<< Home