Is Content Undervalued?

Smith Barney has an interesting report out arguing that content is on the rise and undervalued online:

Data gathered by the Online Publisher Association indicates that consumers are devoting
more of their incremental time online to content than to any other area, and content is growing its share of online usage. The key point here is that while broadband has generally been good for Internet usage overall, online content seems to be gaining more from broadband – both in terms of the product possibilities and in terms of consumer usage – than are email, instant messaging, online shopping, search and the like.

The key stat in making this point? The trend in the second line of the following table:


  1. Content undervalued?
    How can that be?, he sarcastically queried, while perusing an advertising-free blog whose subscription cost is $0.
    As long as interesting, data rich, intelligent perspectives (such as IG) are zero cost, it will be rather challenging to monetize content . . .

  2. Hey, I resemble that comment! And yes, I had the same ironic turn of thought in posting my entry Barry. To be fair, Smith Barney was focusing more on CNET’s valuation than on why Paul Kedrosky isn’t being paid millions for prescient musings on IG.
    Nevertheless, even if the analyst there is right about CNET then I think it is mostly suggestive of a species of market failure on the micro end of the content business. And even so, there is zero real likelihood that blog economics are going to be saved by people suddenly paying more for content (even here at IG).