mediaXchange 2017: Jonathan Perelman

perelman-jonathanBy Cam Ellis, Special to the Alliance

“Content is King, but distribution is Queen, and she wears the pants.”
Those words, spoken by Jonathan Perelman, Head of Digital Ventures at ICM Partners, mirrored the theme of Tuesday morning’s  mediaXchange keynote address.

Perelman took the stage on Tuesday morning to talk about growing businesses with shareable content. He began discussing the evolution of content over the past century; first there was the printing press, followed by radio, then television, etc. As content continues to evolve, it also continues to grow – at an alarming speed.

Content is being produced at massive rate,” Perelman said. “It’s not just you and me, it’s established companies. For example: there will be more cancelled TV shows just this year than all TV shows that aired 10 years ago.

“As technology changes, more and more content is being produced. How do we find anything? How do we get anything seen?”

Throughout the conversation, Perelman stressed the importance of timely content, mainly because content is “the proxy for communication.” That’s not all though – the content being produced is the face of your brand.

Brands matter – people trust your brand,” he added. “That is so important – that trust that bond – and you cannot put a price tag on it.

“It’s a big burden to have – you don’t have the choice of being right or honoring your readers and subscribers, but your brand matters deeply. Honor the fact that your brand really, really matters.”

To illustrate his point, Perelman went through a handful of examples of how the way content was packaged and distributed affected major points in world history. Whether it was the famous “Earth Rising” photo – widely credited for starting the modern environmental protection movement – or a clip from the famous “Miracle on Ice” ending, one that united a country during the Cold War, these moments of content have a profound impact.

Content,” Perelman added, “is the most powerful force in culture.”

After, Perelman dove into what he called “The three S’s of content:” simplicity, surprise, and specific. W all three, content will thrive. Sometimes, though, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. 

“You need to try a lot of ideas,” he said. “You’re not going to get it right every time, and there is no silver bullet. You’ve got to keep trying, keep doing.”

“You need to capture the moment, understand what’s happening, and tap into that in your way.” 

Perelman ended the address with a funny video advertisement from Friskey’s, showing the power of what captivating content can do. The short video captured the essence of Perelman’s point: content that elicited emotion, established identity and provided information.

“Cute animals deserve respect,” he quipped. We completely agree.


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