In a two-part profile, Rock Content co-founder and CEO gives his frank appraisal of media in the social age and his very unCanadian vision on how they can adapt to survive (and conquer).
When asked to give the Reader’s Digest version of his life, Michael De Monte, CEO and co-founder of the Canadian content management company Rock Content says simply, “We are awesome.” He is not shy about advocating for his business, nor is he afraid to offend when outlining why media outlets need to abandon the Social ship and look to authoritative voices to fill the content gap. De Monte created Rock Content to do just that.
The self-taught entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in the ever evolving content and new media space, founded Rock Content with his business partner Jonathan Keebler in 2008. Their technology enables online publications and corporate clients to create, publish and syndicate real-time news and information through a digital medium, creating a rich user experience for their digital and mobile readers. Some of the biggest news agencies in the world including Reuters, AP, CBS and CNN use the Rock Content’s platform to push original, real-time coverage of the days’ most important news.
De Monte doesn’t deny that a sound digital strategy is critical to success for news organizations. In fact, as the one-time Director of Online Production for CTVGlobe Media, one of Canada’s largest privately owned media conglomerates, De Monte was the standard bearer for change in the early days of the social web. He does, however, think that most traditional publications are using the online space ineffectively.
“When the social web started to encroach on newspaper sales, publications rushed to platforms like Facebook and Twitter without any real strategy,” says De Monte. By doing so, many publications have made two Internet-sized tactical errors; they rely too heavily on crowd-sourced content and they have stalled in their quest to monetize social and owned platforms.
“The publications that continue to struggle as the online news industry matures are the ones that allow digital experts to dictate social strategy instead of allowing editorial staff to drive real-time content and provide their sales team with new opportunities. It is not enough to engage readers on Twitter; outlets must find a way to monetize those interactions. The publications that do this successfully will thrive in the digital age; the ones that do not will disappear.”
Rock Content allows online publications to do exactly that. By using our Syndication Marketplace, content producers have the opportunity to create real-time content and provide new revenue streams, and content consumers can offer readers original, authoritative coverage as it happens.
Recently Mashable syndicated their coverage of the Apple iPhone 5 announcement more than 80 media outlets around the world, extending their brand while receiving outlets were able to provide coverage of an event that would have been otherwise unavailable, or worse, based coverage on unreliable social fodder.
Rock Content is poised to create a new ecosystems of content creators, distributors, brands and journalists that emphasize original, real-time content.