Micro-Dayparting & Content Consumption Paralysis
The Paradox: Even though our content is available at any time on any device, our audience has less time for our content.
"Drive Time" defines the few hours in the morning and in the afternoon in which commuters are in their car driving to or from work. As a result, in the radio business, Drive Time is one of the most valuable dayparts for the most obvious of reasons: It's when most people are tuned in to their car radios.
A daypart essentially defines three things. First, it defines the medium through which the content should be delivered. If I'm driving my car I can't read or watch, I can only listen, which means the content must be delivered as audio.
Second, the daypart defines the time (roughly) that I'm consuming the content -- morning or evening rush hour.
Third, it defines the kind of content appropriate for the audience at that time. For example, Late Night TV is racier than Prime Time because broadcasters assume fewer children are watching at 11:00 PM.
In short, dayparts helped define the media value to potential advertisers and underwriters.
The Death of The Daypart
With the introduction of the DVR, the increase of on-demand media, and the unquestionable rise of new media platforms like podcasting, many might assume that dayparting is dead. One might argue that in today's media world the consumer defines when, where, and even why, they consume the content they subscribe to. This may be true. However, we live in a world where our content consumption options at any single moment are so bountiful that it leads to a paradox of choice.
Content Consumption Paralysis
It's been my personal experience that my iPhone is overflowing with podcasts I never listen to, even though I listen to a podcast a day. Not one of those podcasts has defined a time in which I should consider listening to it. They rely on me to decide what to consume, when.
However, it doesn't mean we can't define a time for which we want our content to be consumed. We can decide to deliver our content on a specific media, and even tailor the content to fit a specific situation and outwardly suggest that our content fits a specific time in our audience's lives.
We no longer live in big blocks of media time. My "drive-time" is different from your "drive time." However, if you created a podcast designed to be consumed every Monday before I got to work, I'm much more likely to make time to consume your content on my commute. I need to be told when, where, and why I should consume this content. That's a micro-daypart.
There are literally thousands of micro-dayparts in any one consumer's day. (If you'd like to see what micro-dayparting looks like, take a look at this interactive graphic from the New York Times.)
The Publisher's Challenge
This week, I want you to challenge your team to define a moment in your audience's life that you want to own. Is it the evening meal-prep time? Is it the moment their alarm clock goes off in the morning? Is it lunch time every day? Define a micro-daypart, the medium, the content should be distributed through, and the type of content appropriate for that moment in their lives. Help combat content consumption paralysis.
I want you to own two-minutes of your audience's time on a regular basis, instead of hoping they'll decide when to consume what.
Steal These Slides
I invite you to steal these slides on Content Consumption Paralysis and present this paradox to your team.