Discovery vs. Consumption: "I wonder, though, with the disruption of media towards digital formats, if the discovery becomes detached from consumption method, and if consumers will be increasingly frustrated about finding what they want to consume. As content producers scramble to find the right distribution outlet for their content, are they mindful of how consumers will discover it, wherever it is?"
Very relevant for mobile where discovery is key: there are oodles of services out there, getting people to use them is the hard bit.
One of the most interesting things I took away from World Telemedia was a comment Andrew Bud of Mblox made, when talking about off- vs on-portal distribution: that it was essentially a dead argument, that you need both. Operators don't do enough marketing of content, but do have an audience they can deliver to you via their portals. Off-portal lets you do your own thang.
We're about to go on-portal with the Puzzler portfolio of mobile games and a very large UK network operator. I'm looking forward to comparing what we learn from this to Puzzler's existing distribution - which has been off-portal, promoted in the national press and the pages of their magazines.
Also of interest is the I-mode approach to discovery, where the operator is effectively providing an open marketplace for content providers to lay out their wares, and letting the popular stuff bubble to the top of menus quite naturally - as opposed to the more traditional approach of doing placement deals or licensing content.