This past weekend I was at a very classy wedding. A wonderful venue in Covington, KY across the river from downtown Cincinnati. Beautifully decorated. Glowing chandeliers. Wonderful food and the bar open. The pinot grigio was excellent. Yes, I could have thrown back some Bud Light, but considering the location and guests, I thought I’d be more refined.
It was a late afternoon wedding, the ceremony held shortly after 4pm. As the bride and groom exchanged their vows and promised themselves to each other until death, the west facing windows behind them shined with the bright, late-January afternoon sun. Very memorable and a beautiful way for a couple to begin their life’s journey together.
Around 5pm the reception started and the socializing began. The conversations predictably kept turning back to the score of the Seattle – Green Bay NFC Championship game, many thinking the game was over as the minutes slowly disappeared in the 4th quarter.
Just before sitting down to dinner, a conversation began between two wedding guests who had home theaters in their houses. Each talked about the size of their screens, one saying his was an 8-footer corner to corner. 8 feet! With my 60-inch Sharp flatscreen, I somehow felt inadequate and avoided revealing my shame.
As we sat down to eat, Seattle scored and then before the salad course was done scored again to take the lead. A fellow at our table, one with an 8-foot screen, pulled out his iPhone 6 and held it up so the rest of us at the table could strain our eyes trying to get a glimpse of Green Bay’s game tying field goal in the last seconds. When Seattle scored its TD in overtime we knew immediately through his small screen. Others in the room of 200 were also watching on their smartphones. Cheers erupted when the Seahawks’ scored their game winning touchdown.
Lucky for the wedding party the game ended before the “Hokey Pokey” or they would have been ignored!
Here’s the ultimate irony. This guy has an 8-foot, wall sized, high def, projection television in his basement and he, along with about 10 others, watch an NFL game on a 4.7 inch screen.
This is an example of how people will watch and consume media when and how they want to watch and consume media. This is an example of how the media devices we use each day are becoming more personalized. You want an NFL game? Download the App and stick the TV in your pocket. The content is watched on the consumer’s terms, not the terms of some gatekeeper.
The FOX television affiliate in Cincinnati won’t be happy to hear this story, because it describes how those owning the distribution, “The Gatekeepers” or those with transmitters and towers, are no longer are in control. The content producers, in this case FOX Television and the NFL, are the ones in control. They don’t need a local affiliate to broadcast a game, because the content producers have already figured out other ways to get their content to you – when and how you want it.
“The Gatekeeper” is dead, something no “Gatekeeper” will EVER tell you. Because if they do, any perceived power they still may have will be lost forever.
Just this morning I was trading emails with a radio talk host who was recently RIF’d out of a job. I told him to look forward toward the future and explained he no longer needs a radio station or its tower to be heard.
“The Gatekeeper,” the radio station, the radio company, the radio executive, no longer controls him or you.
You…the talent…YOU’RE in control!
Would you rather be in control of your future, your talent and a valuable and valued relationship with the consumer?
Or would you rather be waiting for a radio company, struggling to stay solvent in a declining industry, focused solely on its survival and the preservation of its executive level paychecks to lay you off?
Your future as a content producer is incredibly bright. A change in mindset is all that’s needed, one filled with empowerment and optimism.
And your future maybe with that iPhone in your hand.
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