Has The King Lost His Crown ?

Yet more reports that private equity firms are eyeing up content companies such as EMI and ITV after the purchase of Clear Channel in the US.

If I was an investor I'd be concerned. The theory is that content is undervalued and there will be a larger audience for it in future due to the demand from new technologies.

The reasoning is as follows:

1) Media will require ever more content for internet and mobile TV services
2) There will be heavier bidding for the content
3) The value of the content will go up

But the reality is that greater competition is eroding the ability for distributors to pay top dollar and the media world is migrating to one where lots and lots of complex deals will take the place of a few major distribution deals.

The winners will be the deal makers, especially if these deal makers take the form of electronic exchanges or online systems with minimal capital resource required.

My other concern is that viewers only have 24 hours in a day and their attention is being fragmented more and more; and as content becomes ubiquitous and content choice limitless, the value of content is going to diminish, not increase.

This does not mean that content is not still king; but it does mean that it will need to be worked in a very different way to maximise the yield from a production or property.