I've been writing (and ranting) - for over a year now - about my general dissatisfaction with the way media companies are handling their content. It's a big problem for marketers and advertisers who want to tap audiences but can't seem to strike a chord due to poor implementation of technology and experience.
We are finally starting to see tangible examples of doing things the right way. I'll highlight two outstanding cases and let you decide if it's all as great as I make it out to be...
Everybody loves Mad Men - it has great writers, a stellar cast and some of the best set design work on television. Too bad it's only on television. But wait! AMC is now delivering Mad Men in streaming HD for free on the web.
What's that video to the right you ask? It's the full show - endorsed by AMC and embeddable on any website or social network. Well done AMC. You aren't afraid to craft outstanding content and let it loose on the web for all to enjoy.
Head over to the official AMC Mad Men page to see additional content and video from new episodes. That actually makes it a worthwhile use of your time - and advertisers get a unique opportunity to connect with an audience that is actually appreciative. The power of embedding allows those same advertisers to leverage a show's popularity to spread throughout the web.
The Yes Men Fix The World has seen it's share of controversy. Thanks to a pending lawsuit over some government impersonation shenanigans, the film has yet to be distributed through traditional channels. That's not a new story - and neither is distribution of questionable content over peer-to-peer networks.
What The Yes Men have done to change the game is reward Pirate Bay (a popular Torrent search engine despised by big media companies) users with bonus content available only on select downloads.
At the same time The Yes Men support their future endeavors with requests for financing in the peer-to-peer edition and on their website. So far so good as they have raised well over $10,000 - and all without traditional distribution channels.
These examples may not impress you, and you may wonder if advertisers will really move to take advantage of innovative content producers. You may even wonder if there's a sustainable market for these types of tactics. I'm telling you it's real and it's ready to be tapped today. What do you think about trends in media distribution and advertising? What does the future of media buying look like?
Nick Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 9 years, and helps the Fortune 100 identify unmet consumer needs, create ideas to fill those needs, and bring them into market. He currently works at Maddock Douglas.