Professional TV Content Is Still King -- But Who's Next In Line For The Throne?

On the day Twitter’s initial public offering rocketed off the starting line, a number of TV and film content stocks -- Disney, CBS, Lionsgate, among others -- lost ground.

This shouldn’t be too alarming. Media stocks that day were part of an overall market downside -- the biggest decline since late August. But one analyst suggested that the stocks of companies providing TV and film content may be overvalued.

A lot of "put" options for CBS, Fox, and Disney were heavy in play, meaning investors were thinking about lower stock prices for them in the near future.

For some, this goes against the grain of that long-recited phrase, “Content is King.” Perhaps that phrase should be recast as “Professionally produced content Is king.”  

The content on such social media platforms as Twitter and Facebook comes in large part from non-professional sources -- average users who offer their own personal content for consumption.

Perhaps in the future, other content will reside somewhere in-between the professional and the non-professional.



For example, Bob Iger, chairman/CEO of Walt Disney Co., said the deal with Netflix for four original series based on Disney’s Marvel characters came about because the content and characters involved weren’t going to find a place on its own traditional TV networks.

To be sure, the Netflix shows will have a decent-sized production budget. But a different business model is at work here. Les Moonves, president/CEO of CBS, notes that as Netflix grows so will CBS – due to the revenue from CBS shows that run on the service.

It’s been a while since anyone seemed all that jazzed about the possibilities of “user-generated” content such as associated with the likes of YouTube.

What are the current views of advertisers about aligning themselves with user-generated content? Maybe more risk-averse entertainment marketers – movie studios and video gaming companies, for example - don’t mind taking the leap.

Twitter is moving into this arena as well. In the future, it hopes to add a lot more “advertising content” as well as “professional content” coming from the likes of traditional TV networks that increasingly value a close Twitter tie-in for needy shows in a fractionalized video marketplace.

TV content is surely still king. But a few princes, bishops, knights and castles have value as well. We just need to find their allegiances.

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