When owned media goes wrong - Sonder
Owned media goes wrong when customers care more about the content than the business that it is distributing it.
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When owned media goes wrong

Being a media owner, like being a world leader (or wife of a world leader for that matter), comes with responsibilities. For businesses, it is especially so when using owned media channels to distribute exclusive content that people love.

Last week two headlines in the news media stood out. Firstly, Optus Australia making rather a hash of the Football World Cup video streaming. Outraged fans, who had become Optus customers, largely for the World Cup content, were unable to stream the live games they had been waiting four years to see. This led to fans making a hashtag of their own… #Floptus.

The second big headline was FLOTUS’s Zara jacket she wore visiting an immigration centre at a time when there is heated debate on immigration policy. Written on the back of the jacket was I really don’t care. Do you? Ironically, this too was a complete FLOpTUS. See what I’ve done there? Created a spurious link between two completely unrelated events through wordplay. But perhaps they’re more related than you think…  

The difference between owned media that connects people with genuine content, versus simple advertising, is vast. For one very simple reason – people care more about their favourite content than they do advertising. But there are different levels of care within the content spectrum too. Consider sport in Australia – it probably has the highest care factor. So any business that is going to play in the sport media space had better care just as much.

Whilst there may be excuses for Optus’s technical failure, the simple fact is, if media is not your core business function, you have to take even greater care of what you’re doing. Investing in the right infrastructure, getting your backyard in order so to speak, is crucial. The value lost on Optus’s broadcast rights deal (reported to be $8m) is nothing compared to the value of lost customers, tattered reputation, and ill will. Unfortunately for Optus, crap experiences are shared and transmitted 10,000x more widely than positive ones.

Acting more like a media owner can be extremely powerful in terms of business value, revenue, partner relationships and customer experience. Owned media goes wrong when customers care more about the content than the business that it is distributing it. So, unlike Melania, you really do have to care.