The Future of Content: Customized Content For the Win

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

If you’re not tired of the sound byte “content is king” yet, you will be soon.  With millions of outlets available to us through technology at any moment, content is abundant.  It is the foundation of everything we come across on the web so why is this overflowing ingredient becoming so precious across marketing, development, and strategic departments?  Because the level of content quality is quickly rising with wildly successful results.

Netflix is a great case study for the intentional and profitable use of customized content.  It recently aired House of Cards, an original series starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Kate Mara.  Netflix dropped $100 million for two seasons of House of Cards with Atlantic Monthly estimating that the company could break even by gaining over 500,000 new customers in a two year period.  Well, Netflix earned back its investment within three months.  It even toppled HBO with its improved subscriber numbers.

The secret?  Great content delivered in a thoughtful way.  By offering the series through their streaming service, Netflix created valuable customized content that was accessible only through their subscription.  They also released all the episodes at once instead of one per week.  This sudden feast of hours of entertainment delivered the feeling that good content was plentiful at Netflix and that’s powerful branding.  They followed it up with a pipeline of original series that ranged from a horror thriller series to a revived season of Arrested Development.

There’s a lot to take away from Netflix’s winning gamble when applying it to web-based developments and business-to-consumer applications.  The most notable is the research and understanding of what their target market valued in terms of content.  Secondly, it highlights the importance of delivering content in the most user-friendly way.  Whether writing code or e-books, it’s a perspective worthy of investigating throughout the life cycle of a product.

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