Monetizing Attention – Challenge for media companies

Read this thought provoking post by Scott Karp on how media companies should plan to monetize in the future, as their business model is changing rapidly:

"In media 1.0, brands paid for the attention that media companies gathered by offering people news and entertainment (e.g. TV) in exchange for their attention. In media 2.0, people are more likely to give their attention in exchange for OTHER PEOPLE’S ATTENTION. "

This is why MySpace can’t effectively monetize its 70 million users through advertising — people use MySpace not to GIVE their attention to something that is entertaining or informative (which could thus be sold to advertisers) but rather to GET attention from other users. Why is it so appealing to MySpace users to be able to post messages publicly on other users’ sites? Because they can GET attention as a function of GIVING it.

This make perfect sense in a world of participatory media — the value flow has reversed itself. MySpace can’t sell attention to advertisers because the site itself HAS NONE. Nobody pays attention to MySpace — users pay attention to each other, and compete for each other’s attention — it’s as if the site itself doesn’t exist.

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