When Oprah Winfrey came on the scene in the 80’s, we’d often hear the words, “Cash is King.” And I personally heard it from none other than the King of syndication, Roger King.  He was ubiquitous and so was Oprah.  He is literally responsible for giving Oprah the keys to the kingdom of what we now know as ‘premium’ content.  Her content still goes viral the world over.

The term 'Premium' content indicates that it is worthy of some form of payment either as cash or subscription giving precious informative data to your content provider.   I believe Mark Cuban is right about giving away ‘precious’ data. Check out Xpire.,  It’s beyond ‘big brother.’  And the content we push out on social media should be controlled and deleted within a timely fashion as he cautions.   But the MCN’s (Multi-Channel Networks) are changing to fit the new normal. Dissolving slowly are the partnership requirements.  It used to be 1000 daily views and now it’s anywhere from 0 to 300☺.  I still believe premium content with a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude succeeds every time.  There’s a plethora of content out there that really just doesn’t matter.   Good content matters.  Short video content, entertaining and informative content matters. And if various channels collaborate to form a better overall network, that is the path that shares the most revenue in a steady timeline.  Collaboration is key, rewarding and should be fun.

Monetizing content is and should be at the forefront of every major platform and distribution company in TV, Film, Music and across the street to the new kid who just moved into the community, ESports. And singularly, every individual content creator is interested in monetizing his or her content.  But how do we all get along in the same neighborhood?  Here are some rules to consider.

Control your IP.  It only takes approximately $250 to register a trademark your IP.  It does provide protection from anyone else utilizing your phrase, word, symbol or design to identify you or your brand. It allows protection from a legal perspective and no one can infringe upon it or use it.  And a trademark lasts forever as long as you use it to provide services.  A copyright, just for the distinction, protects authorship in a physical form such as a song, book, movies or works of art.  When you have a great idea for content that you want to promote and surely monetize, a trademark not only a safe bet, but necessary.

Don’t be greedy. Every content creator around the globe wants to know how to monetize ‘make money on’ their content.  And to fully monetize and maximize content, you need to share both with the distributor platform and your advertisers. People need to see the value of your content and therefore sharing the fees on various platforms such as YouTube is really a great place to start. Trying to set up your own distribution platform thinking you can get traffic using one website is like trying to travel on a bicycle instead of a motorcycle.  The bicycle will only get you so far and not to mention at a much slower pace while a motorcycle is ready to go full speed off the lot.  Pick full speed. Make shared revenue deals, and as the saying goes 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. I know there are some new ideas in the space that will be created this year or catch on like wildfire but basically in terms of content and curating content, you have to go with what works.  Be cognizant of what’s in trend and know your demographics. There’s room for great content and driving solid audience but the biggest mistake people make in creating content is not knowing right up front who their audience is.  I hear it in pitches for TV and Film all the time.   Know your audience☺    If it’s not YouTube, then perhaps it’s Hulu, Amazon, or even Facebook, who is possibly more focused on what people really like albeit, it’s certainly not the choice of the under 18 demographic. A younger demo is all about SnapChat. So be aware the digital landscape is changing but the smartest-fastest-entertaining content wins the race.

Share your content. We all know YouTube is the #1 video sharing platform on the Internet and certainly beyond traditional TV. And right behind YouTube, albeit in the distance is Vimeo, Daily Motion and the latest and fastest growing, Twitch. But one of the most important factors in sharing is to make sure you have mobile covered. It further increases your brand’s reach and promotes interactive content.  What’s amazing is the amount of time we have now come to spend on average, which has most recently been reported as a little over 2 minutes watching a video.  People don’t like to read, they like to watch video so sharing your content, making it ‘pop’ in the first :15 is crucial. Sharing is really promoting your content across multiple platforms including social media and mobile. Use them all! Instagram allows 15 seconds if that gives us any clue to the ADD generation. Vine is even shorter at 6 seconds.  My favorite however is SnapChat, it’s quick and it core use is really to send videos and photos and it does have a story feature if you are sharing more than a quick video or photo.  I think we’ll see this app more and more as a content sharing platform this year and beyond.

The new normal is upon us.  A former studio head I worked with once said the key to a new business and or a new opportunity was to “Have fun and make money…and if you aren’t doing both…leave.”  And he was as right so many years ago as he is today.  People need to team up, collaborate at every step.  You never know when you happen upon the next big thing.  Surround yourself with talented people from every age group.  I’d personally like a day with Norman Lear and PewDiePie in the same room because they are both so far removed from each other.   Now there's a visual! But a new normal should really focus on the end goal by identifying what we need to accomplish.  And that is defining content, distribution, syndication and monetizing on every platform.  Build a bigger better team with a multi-lane approach and as long as you keep focused, stay organized, collaborate and aren’t afraid of the changes ahead, you’re on your way.

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