Media’s Cow Path Problem

Did you ever see cows go to a feed trough? They beat a path directly from the open gate into the field right to the feed. If you you subsequently, say, move the feed 100 yards to the right, they will first head down the original path to where the feed was, and then take a 90 degree turn and march to where the new feed is – rather than going on a diagonal path directly to the new trough location.

All new media, when it first comes out, suffers from the cow-path mentality. We put magazine articles on the web (I did this at PC Week when the web first came out). We put sitcoms and dramas on web TV. We film radio shows and call them TV shows. We put movie cameras in front of plays and call them movies. Over time we figure out the parameters of the new media, and what works and what makes sense. …

There are four platforms that matter. Google/YouTube, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. If you’re not planning and building for each, you’re limiting yourself big time. 

Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3, a video network recently acquired by Discovery Communications

I alluded to this in my piece  – Physical media is dead – long live the app. The analogy I used was “containers” instead of cows. But cows are more fun


  1. eideard says:

    May 12th, 2012 at 5:24 am Reply

    Louderback asks great question.

    Not always great answers; but, the questions are provoking. :)

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