Tactics need to adapt over time. In content, you actually have to adapt a production strategy that reflects the realities of distribution at a given moment in time.
When we embarked on our WatchMojo adventure in 2005, there were known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. We controlled much on the content side of the equation, while most of what was on the distribution side of things seemed out of our control. When Sumner Redstone said content is king, he meant that with new distribution come new ways to generate revenues.
Distribution looked very different then:
Field of Dreams Approach
It’s not a coincidence that today, we operate a model with strong unit economics. If you are willing to sustain six years of losses, maybe good things come to those who wait. Maybe.
At the time, we recognized an opening in the Premium space:
then built a foundation hoping that “If we build it, they will come” and watch. We were right (and lucky with good timing).
We always compete on both sides of the ball – content production as well as distribution. We started off with How to’s, Fashion Shows, Do it yourself videos on our owned & operated WatchMojo.com website, and over time caught lightning in a bottle with the “platform/format” fit of list-based mashups on entertainment on platforms like YouTube, before expanding to other platforms like Snap.
The lesson for you is when trying to solve a problem, don’t just look at what you control (in our case, content), but also find ways to feed off what you don’t (i.e. distribution).