Reading List: Why Distribution is King

Why Distribution is King: The old saying that “content is king” is outdated in the digital era. Sure, it’s important, but time and time again it’s been proven that the bigger value lies in organization. Google is the prime example of this. It organized information. Netflix is doing the same with content, as the Atlantic notes in a new article. What this means is the economic value of content creation has plummeted in a media world that has a surplus of supply and fragmented attention. That means dhave neither sufficient scale or customer lock in to fully realize value. It’s a depressing read if you’re in the business of creating things, not moving theme around. The Atlantic

The Downside of Distribution: The Internet Bubble Debate got a new exhibit with the debut of Pandora as a public company. This was a remarkable moment, if only because obituaries for Pandora were written less than three years ago because of its fights with music labels. Instead, it escaped the wrath, has a wildly popular service and now has a $3 billion market cap. That’s the good news. The bad news is Pandora has never made money. This is the flipside to the content distribution business. Without content, there’s nothing to distribute. The more popular Pandora gets, the more it has to pay for the content it distributes, Conrad deAenlle notes. CBS Marketwatch

Wait, Facebook’s Growing? The Internet was abuzz over word that Facebook’s audience in the U.S. showed a steep decline. Maybe not. As cautioned here, there’s much more to these numbers than the method used by Inside Facebook to come to its conclusion. The blog is back with a post that says the top Internet measurement services show Facebook’s traffic is actually rising in the U.S. Inside Facebook notes growth is slowing, but it claimed Facebook lost 6 million users. Not so, according to the third-party measurement services. They show Facebook gained from 3.2 million to 6.3 million in May. Looks like the reign of Facebook will continue for a bit longer. Inside Facebook

Is Tumblr the Next Twitter? ComScore has a fun post up with a bunch of social media stats. One interesting one that stood out is the growth of Tumblr, the microblogging platform favored by the hipster set. Tumblr might be on the verge of breaking through to the mainstream. It has finally topped 10 million U.S. visitors per month. Over the past year, Tumblr traffic is up 166 percent. According to a report in Mashable, Tumblr now has more blogs than WordPress, the long-form blogging pioneer. To be sure, Tumblr’s far back in the rear-view mirrors of the social giants Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Still, ComScore analyst Andrew Lippsman thinks it could get there thanks to its “viral adoption curve.” ComScore blog

Social Media’s Second Life: Those who were around for the short-lived Second Life bubble remember it well. I can distinctly recall having Dell build an avatar for me to attend a virtual press conference on its brand-new island. I explored afterward, only to have some creature with wings jump repeatedly on my avatar’s head. I didn’t go back. Now there’s social media. Among the many candidates for the Second Life of this era, Empire Avenue has to be a candidate. The company combines just about every buzzword. There’s social media, gaming mechanics and virtual currency. The ideas is you bid on each other’s social media personas. Now brands are rushing in, according to Mashable. This big “trend” has lured in the likes of Intel and Audi to give it a whirl. I joined last night to check it out. Random people started buying shares in me, then asking me to buy shares in them. It struck me as social media’s attempt at a narcisist Ponzi scheme.

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