Digital Bazaar on the Economics of Content

Wanted to pass on a though provoking read by Manu Sporny of Digital Bazaar on Collaborative Content Distribution.

The core of his thesis is the producer-distributor-consumer model for content consumption is being challenged a collaborative content distribution model. Underlying each there needs to be an economic model that fairly recognizes contribution and distribution as those activities create economic value.

He suggests that the producer-distributor is busted because too much of the value ends up with the distributor and that many first generation collaborative content approaches are equally busted because the content contributors don’t get rewarded though the content is typically monetized through advertisement.

It’s an interesting argument especially in light of the growth of user generated content but it overlooks the value distributors create both through their investment in infrastructure and in brand that creates the shared audience. It also needs to delve into issues like originality, popularity and even issues like derivative work.

That said there is a lot of value in having this discussion – and this paper is a good place to start.

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