I totally agree with VCMike's statement about content not being worth a damn.
With SO MUCH CONTENT being produced everywhere (blogs, games, YouTube and we still have the MSM) it seems to me that content is turning into a commodity product. Anyone can produce it, anyone can consume it, barriers to entry are low and the price people are willing to pay for it is dropping like a rock.
I get all the content I want and all I pay is a monthly broadband connection (actually I expense it), a dirt cheap BusinessWeek subscription, my Economist was free with my NPR donation (you guys need to bring the Economist back, BTW), my Netflix subscription and MAYBE the occasional movie ticket.
All in all, I'm probably not shelling out $30-$40 months for content and I promise, I am getting it all legally.
Online ad spend is going up on average across the industry, but with so many online content sources out there I gotta think that competition for those dollars is fierce. From the advertiser POV, do I go with the popular site with broad appeal, or the small site with a niche audience?
Content is a way to try to lure an audience, but it isn't enough to keep it and it will be difficult to maintain a critical mass of audience that is of high enough value to advertisers.
That is why VCMike is right on the money, you need something else to form a solid relationship with an audience. I dunno, subscription content? Aggregation tools? Conference and special events?
Hey, if I knew I'd have a nicer car by now. But really, if engaging, witty, insightful, high-quality content was all that was needed to attract and maintain an audience, my sitemeter would go through the roof.