The Challenge of Content: Captivate Network, Exhibit A

Dennis Ryan Element 79 Chicago Advertising

This morning, March 25th and day nine of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, I noticed this on the Captivate screen in the office elevators.  Let’s see: Villanova went down to St. Mary’s and Northern Iowa shocked Kansas five days ago.  In fairness, Duke is still in it and faces a compromised Purdue so indeed, they are ‘medium risk.’  But the sure thing and the longshot are both out.

Bad content.  Dated content.  Irrelevant content.  These will increasingly challenge emerging platforms that replace editors with AI and bots.  For most of these outlets, automation is the only financially-viable answer; smaller, fragmented audiences can’t warrant an investment in human talent to collate and curate content.

The issue then, boils down to sustainability.  Putting out a good product–something pointed and interesting and revealing–can be a Herculean task.  Today’s media consumes content with an unprecedented voraciousness.  But how long will these ‘always on’ times last, these days where immediacy and controversy seems to count more than knowledge and assessment?  For some platforms, they are sustainable.  If you want gossip and funny photos and Fails, the supply is steady and inexhaustible.

But if you want real information–actionable insight and considered viewpoints–your outlets seem to shrink daily.

Not sure that amounts to actual progress…

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

3 thoughts on “The Challenge of Content: Captivate Network, Exhibit A

  1. Paul Meyer says:

    And, does Southwest want its business linked to “risk levels”?

    Last January, they were advertising next to a Captivatetoid about the Underwear Bomber.

    Most excellent product placement.

    Gotta love how Gannett took their USAToday factoid to the elevator business.

    And impressive arrival time to work: 8:49.

  2. Amber says:

    What you seem to miss is that the question is not about “Who is left”, but the style of bracket that the viewers have chosen.

    Over 60% of Captivate’s content is generated by a half dozen editors for several hours each work day. The remainder is automated content, such as weather, stock, and sports schedule & stats.

    1. Dennis Ryan says:

      But Amber my friend, it applies the label “low risk” to a team eliminated over a week ago. Kansas may once have been considered a ‘low risk’ choice but after Northern Iowa got their upset, it’s kind of hard to keep applying that title to them, don’t you think?
      Cool info about Captivate though. It’s a great medium and has totally changed elevator-riding behavior.

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