11/09

Investors are Focusing on Content, not Distribution

USA TODAY markets reporter Matt Krantz answers this reader question:

Why have the large diversified media companies been such strong [stock market] performers, despite the rise of the Internet?

Matt’s answer:

Investors are starting to pay less attention to the device, and more to the content.

Companies that make the entertainment and content viewed on the bevy of new mobile devices, websites and Internet-connected TV devices are winning new appreciation with investors. Disney (DIS), Time Warner (TWX) and Viacom (VIA.B) shares are all at or near their 52-week highs as investors appreciate the value of the content, not just the hardware.

For instance, a healthy piece of [Disney's] growth is coming from digital-streaming deals with Netflix and Amazon. And at Time Warner, part of the company’s potential upside comes from a number of digital projects ranging from HBO Go, TV Everywhere and All Access.

Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Star Wars creator Lucasfilm is another example of how media companies are bolstering their content.

The goal is increasingly to score in the digital world no matter where, or how, consumers are accessing content.

If investors are paying less attention to the device and more to the content where should the focus of your public company be, Mr. Broadcaster?

And for any broadcasters who wish themselves to be in the distribution business rather than the content one, what do investors know that broadcasters do not know?

What would happen if we crowed less about our ubiquity and more about our content innovations?

In fact, what if we crowed less and innovated more?

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