Mar 30, 2016

SXSW 2016: Curated Consumption. Less Is More.


Subscribe to directly receive the latest and greatest from BrandJuice.


By Alexandra Hilker, Strategist

Another SXSW has come and gone, leaving us awestruck with new insights gathered and another batch of creative challenges to ponder back in the real world. After a long week, we entered the Austin Convention Center for the last round of presentations, sitting down for a chat with George Rausch of Pluto TV.

Over the course of the week we listened to countless media heads espousing the latest and greatest, “the most innovative” ways to create and share content in an evolving digital world. But for George Rausch, new is not necessarily better. As we produce more and more new content, we are actually causing increased confusion, and adding to user fatigue. With the mind-numbing amount of programming currently available, Rausch believes that the current user experience is only deteriorating, hampered by the time-suck created when having to decide what the heck one should watch.

Curated content, it seems, may be the way out of this debacle, and will only continue to rise in popularity as tech leaders evolve consumer experience. According to Rausch, there is a distinct process by which the best content rises to the top:

  • There are adverse effects of too much choice – which leaves you stuck in one of two places: You either end up not doing anything (paralysis), or you are left less satisfied with your decision (experience aversion)
  • Opportunity costs subtract from the satisfaction of what we chose even if what we chose is specific – Barry Schwarz
  • Ways you can watch are almost as infinite as the choices for content
  • Curation is discovering and organizing content to give it new context and meaning
  • Curation requires a combo of human knowledge and technology
  • Humans can discern topic experts to discern precise information (machines can’t do this…yet)
  • Curators are Pop Culture PhDs: rabid consumers of content, but with a burning need to discern which is good.

The crux of Rausch’s problem lies in the rate at which new content is being created. It has altered the consumer experience as well as content quality. In the past, quality content automatically rose to the top, maintaining prominence. But in today’s world, worthy content can often remain lost in the mix, unappreciated for years to come.

In the near future, we will expect to see more evolutions around curated content from new companies like Pluto TV, along with communications giants like Facebook and Google.

These services will garner much greater brand loyalty over time, due to their ability to find quality material that actually matters and speaks to individual user’s needs. It’s the human equation. As we rely more on technology, how will we incorporate the human touch? How will we anticipate shifting emotional drivers? Whether a computer can accomplish this feat, is another story for another time.

Please enter your name.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a company.

Select one category

Please choose one category.

Select one or multiple services

Please choose at least one service.

Select a budget range by clicking on a price or a hash mark

Please choose at least one service.

Please enter a message.

We look forward to learning more. A BrandJuice team member will follow up with you directly.

01 / 07
01 / 04