Now is a good time to think about being a great creative, not about being a human labelmaker.
It also means something else: pointless arguing over semantics. Those kinds of arguments are a typical part of rapid, massive change. That reality, however, makes them no less pointless and no less a distraction from the important issues at hand (the ones involving how we monetize creative content in the future).
Here’s the final resolution to those debates and all the others like them: Who cares?!?!?
I repeat: who cares? Every second you spend thinking about this is a moment you’re not focusing on something that can move the needle for your business. It matters not one iota how you label or describe any of these services. (Okay, there are some licensing and royalty issues, but that’s missing the forest for a couple trees.)
Whether you call Netflix (or Hulu, YouTube, etc.) television is irrelevant. Television is a technological means for delivering (mostly) short-form audiovisual content to end users. Netflix & Company are technological means for delivering audiovisual content to end users. Radio, terrestrial radio, is a technological means for delivering audio-only content to end users. Pandora et al. are a technological means for delivering audio-only content to end users.
The phrase “distinction without a difference” comes to mind, and yet, it’s easy to get wrapped up in this stuff.
When the Nielsen numbers start rolling in, those of us who create content at radio and television stations (and at production studios) compare ourselves to our competition in terms of the ratings of other radio and television stations. When we go out to sell, we see ourselves competing for buys primarily against other radio or television broadcasters. That’s an illusion.
Media convergence is happening fast. We are now competing with everyone else in the world who is making content similar to ours. That’s true in terms of both audience generation and revenue generation.
Further, in a world of media convergence, we’re making forms of content beyond what we made just a few years ago. Consequently, all content is similar to ours in that some of it includes sound and video (audiovisual content), some is audio-only content, and some is printed content. (And if you’re selling a website as part of your advertising package, you’re selling print content.)
Content is king. Content drives revenue.
Focus on making great content. The rest is just details.