I remember when I was a child, each Christmas there was a basic set of shows that I expected to catch: Frosty the Snowman. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now, I have no idea if they were all on the same television network, but one way or another I was taken through that gauntlet each year. I looked forward to it. Those artifacts were as much a part of Christmas as the tree, the presents, the dinner with the extended family.
Wouldn’t it make more sense for media companies to package their content that way? I mean, don’t give me a mega-DVD set with every Charlie Brown cartoon ever put to television: I’ll never buy that. Give me a package of theme-related shows that fits my lifestyle needs and I’ll pony up for it. I mean, c’mon, a small group of companies owns virtually all of the U.S. mass produced video content ever made. Certainly they can create compelling packages around the events and happenings of our lives – from major cultural holidays, to significant cultural events such as marriage. The fact that the content was previously grouped with all of the other content produced by the same team was an ultimately artificial construct tied to rights and profits. Today, the content ownership is consolidated to a degree that these boundaries of the past are irrelevant. It is an information architecture exercise, quite honestly: how to better organize and package insane amounts of content in a way that will compel more people to buy and use them. Of course, I think the objectives of the media conglomerates is pretty narrowly focused on the “buy” part of that dichotomy, as opposed to the “use,” which would likely result in bundling a few jewels with a lot of junk, requiring multiple purchases in order to get the good stuff out from among the dreck.