People don’t always immediately “get” what BoomboxFM is from a business standpoint. An email newsletter? An indie blog? A music discovery service? Well, yes. But the long-tail can be summed up by labeling us a media company (or “platform” if you like). We serve an audience specific types of content and hang our hats on affinity and engagement. Okay, great. But in today’s environment of multi-channel networks, blog companies, ecomm lifestyle sites, themed video creators, and even gender-specific curated daily emails, what exactly makes a media company what it is? That’s what I set out to answer by breaking it all down to a relatively simple formula.
At the root of my query is this: If you consume the same basic information from three different sources, what differentiates the experience? Why do some people head to Mashable and others to BuzzFeed, or some choose Deadspin over ESPN? Here’s what I came up with:
Essentially, this formula comes down to what information you’re disseminating and to whom, what stories you’re telling around that information, and how you choose to distribute it. Let’s take BoomboxFM as an example:
Content = downloadable songs from underground, independent artists + curated by trustworthy music enthusiasts + for courageous music fans who strongly value the act of discovering lesser-known artists
Voice = song / artist information + curator backgrounds and involvement + our opinions and insights
Delivery = email newsletter (format and design) + genre targeting + once-a-week distribution
One note: Voice isn’t just about editorial commentary, but also product fundamentals including your brand, your experience design, and the foundation of your content.
With this view, we can now start identifying where the weak points are and how they correlate to the overall formula. With BoomboxFM, we’re excelling in Content and Delivery, but falling short in Voice. That presents a tremendous opportunity to differentiate ourselves beyond just a weekly email filled with the best underground music in the world. And finally, while Delivery isn’t necessarily a weak spot, we can better recognize the impact any upgrades or tweaks in that section could have for our users.