Back in 1996 Bill Gates wrote an essay called Content is King. So, if you’ve ever wondered who said that, now you know. Bill Gates is the thought leader of our time, perhaps any time.
Mind you, that was 20+ years ago, but Bill’s salient point was “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
By my count, it is now year 10 of what we call OTT, short for over-the-top of the Internet. A lot of people talk about OTT, but not many people actually understand what OTT actually is, so let me explain it with three words –
Content – Internet – Viewer
Think about it. Three words, but which word is the operative one? Might be Internet, but without Content or Viewers, the Internet doesn’t do us much good. It might be Viewer, for without Viewers we wouldn’t make Content, right? Nope. It’s Content. Content drives everything.
I just finished the final season of The Tudors, which chronicles the life of King Henry VIII. Back in his day, when Henry VIII wanted content, he merely uttered the word “Music,” and the music came to him. If Henry felt like longer form content, his court magically transformed into a stage, complete with a troupe of actors ready to please the King.
Fast forward to 2019, I am not the King, but I perhaps wield the same power, at least when it comes to OTT. Thanks to Netflix, The Tudors (Content) is merely a click away (Internet). At that point, I (the Viewer) watch either on my smart phone or the biggest available screen.
Content, Internet, Viewers – OTT really is that simple.