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Scratching our heads, trolling the universe, emailing friends, stopping people on the streets, yeah, that’s how we (and Neil Ducray from TouchMedia) came up with 8 characteristics that define an experimental media.
- Media is trying to prove it can reach people and reach them in significant numbers usually taken to be at least 50,000 and preferably 100,000.
- Media is trying to prove it is more than a 90 day fad – the usual length of time for media figures to start to erode.
- Media is trying to prove it works at most or all times of the year (i.e. not seasonal).
- Media is trying to prove it is effective, actually achieving awareness, recall or response.
- Media is trying to become a primary medium at least for a few clients.
- Media is trying to prove its technology (hardware and software) is stable, scalable, and cost effective.
- Media is trying to prove that it can work in more than a single market.
- Media is trying to become a regular medium for media planners (i.e. regularly recommended to clients).
Why bother, you ask? Not sure to be honest, but as investors we need to draw that line in the sand and decide how much risk we’re willing to shoulder and at what cost (valuation). There is a certain level of risk involved in backing experimental media (and technology), which needs to be backstopped by the prospect of many multiples of reward. In this environment, we’ve got to wonder - am I going to see this reward anytime soon?
In fact, our ultimate goal wasn’t necessarily to define experimental media (which we’re staying away from) but rather to understand at what point a media (i.e. business, concept) transitions from experimental to new media. Indeed, once a media moves beyond all 8 characteristics, we’re quite comfortable assuming it is new media.
In the words of Ali-G “I liikkee”.