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Bill Gates Was Wrong

Friday, December 18, 2015 8:34:00 AM

C. Todd Livengood

by C. Todd Livengood

Twenty years ago, Bill Gates wrote those now-famous words, “Content is king.” Now, two decades later, you can still hear those words in marketing conversations and literature. That said, it looks like Mr. Gates got it wrong – at least from the literal point of view. The recent meteoric rise in consumer demand for mobile content has businesses scrambling to meet that demand. It is consumer demand that serves as market catalyst, not content demand. Therefore, it is the consumer who likely deserves such royal recognition, not the content.

Arguably, the consumer has always been and will always be king. Consumers decide how and where to invest time and money; it is up to businesses to determine what the king wants and deliver it – or face the inevitably adverse consequences of not listening.

So, Your Highness, what kind of content do you want?

The data is clear. Consumers want content that can move with them. Their lives have become busier and busier, and they need content that is available to them on-demand, on all their devices, and consumable while they work, play, drive, or work out – while they do everything.

Following those requirements, one content medium quickly rises to the top of the list – audio (podcast) content. Audio content is easily served on-demand and is, hands down, the most ubiquitously consumable medium available. Consumers can listen while working, playing, working out, or driving. As a result of audio’s flexibility, it has nearly twice the reach of video (and at a fraction of the cost to produce).

“Media consumption habits have changed dramatically in the past five years,” notes Tom Webster, vice president of strategy and marketing at Edison Research. “Podcasts are enjoyed by a significant portion of the population…. It’s vital for marketers and advertisers to understand and plan for these shifts.”

One industry that is clearly responding well is the automotive industry. Nearly every base-model car rolling off the assembly line today is fully equipped to seek, store, and serve digital audio. Healthcare, on the other hand, has traditionally lagged behind most other industries in adopting new technologies. When it comes to content solutions, however, the healthcare industry seems to be a little further along the curve than usual. Just a year ago, audio content was mostly an after-thought for healthcare marketers and often overlooked. Today, the conversation is much different. The “whats” and “whys” have become “whens” and “why nots,” and healthcare consumers’ needs are being better met.

To quote Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the king.”


C. Todd Livengood until recently was director of business development, healthcare, at RadioMD, a new media company that produces broadcast-quality digital audio content from conversations with its clients’ physicians and staff. Similar to talk radio, RadioMD’s content is conversational and unscripted, which translates into highly compelling and engaging audiocasts. To keep up with the latest trends in content marketing in healthcare, follow RadioMD on Twitter and/or LinkedIn.



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