Content and its discontents

Emarketer examines the size of the content market, including some figures by segment from the Online Publishers’ Association and some very big numbers for the overall content market from IDC, which has gotten into the habit of defining markets so broadly as to make their numbers meaningless. For example, they redefined the ASP market as the xSP market, which included the telcos. You do the math.
Vin Crosbie revisits the OPA numbers, noting that most of what the OPA calls content isn’t content, and includes services like dating and greeting cards. He’s right, of course, and if you look examine the numbers behind the OPA’s claim that spending on content increased 92% last year, you realize that the kind of stuff publishers think of as content is a tiny share of the market.
Vin’s conclusion: publishers should think about new kinds of content — and advertising.
The Baltimore Sun site talks to smaller newspapers that are just going online. Because they’re more often small companies and not outposts of huge corporations, they’ve been cautious, practical, and eccentric in their approaches. Protection of the core business and avoiding unnecessary expense are key values in this market.
For the most part, these people aren’t innovators. But we may get some relief from the current online news groupthink from their sheer numbers and eccentricities.
Less usefully, Alcatel says the key to the success of broadband service is bundling it with content. This is what happens when third-string telecom switch makers decide to think strategically and another argument against vertical integration.