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Emotion Overplay: Is Tech fuelling the fire?

By | Vish Mavathur | SVP & Chief Digital Officer

Some 25 years ago, Bill Gates famously wrote an essay titled ‘Content is King’. He made far-reaching predictions on the subject. One was about how content of all kinds would evolve: news, games, entertainment, sports, advertising, blogs, software. This would grow explosively in volume and variety. Content today takes the form of text, pictures, audio, video or streaming audio/video. Another prediction was that the internet would enable most content to become free to consume (or, almost free). Made 25 years ago when we did not have the platforms of today, that was a great prediction.

Content is no longer only about marketing. If content is king, the platform is the kingdom where content is born, where it evolves and thrives. And the kingdom is changing faster than ever. Shrinking half-life of interesting content stresses not just Youtube content creators, but also Media companies, News channels, Advertising agencies, Educators, Software firms, and many other businesses that monetise content on web. Narrowing attention spans of consumers is adding to the chaos.

Last year in India alone, over a thousand channels on Youtube had more than a million subscribers each. Especially in India, videos on platforms like Youtube have been a major internet entry point for young citizens. Creators need to keep generating more interesting content ever faster to just to keep their audience.

In one of my previous articles titled ‘The Ethics of Design & the Attention Economy’ (, I pointed to Justin Rosenstein. He is well known for having designed the Facebook ‘like’ button and action.

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