Quote of the Day: Frictionlessness

Eric Feng of Hulu, on the digital innovation panel:

Media is an impulse business. It’s foolish to expect that the user is going to climb mountains and cross hurdles to get to that content.

This is very broadly applicable. Clearly it’s the driving force behind Hulu, which is delivering television content to people when, where, and how they want it. But it’s also the reason why wsj.com should go free, it’s the reason why RSS feeds should never be truncated, it’s the reason why people are buying music on iTunes rather than at Amazon.

The buzzword on this panel was "frictionless," and tiny bumps which were ignorable yesterday are big sources of friction today. Media companies have been slow in actively trying their hardest to smooth out those bumps; rather, they’ve been forced to do so by the market. That’s understandable, given that one of the biggest bumps has been the fact that these companies charge for their content. But with any luck, that’s going to start to change. The most successful media companies of the future will be the ones who are best at reducing any friction between the consumer and her media.

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