Content is a crazy, sometimes co-opted king.

[photo courtesy of boozeysmurf / Flickr]

Content may be king, but today it feels like a mad king. Or a officially sponsored king. Or a king that rule without influence, except that he does and the cover is about to be blown. Or a king that rules without malice, somewhat. Part of the time.

MySpace will now allow users to sell tunes, giving a new wrinkle to the dura of the ubiquitous social networking site. Soon, you will be able to buy songs from the unknown band around the corner. This is content from the producer, into the hands of the paying consumer, with as little third party involvement as we have ever seen.

EMI has gotten in on the free [kind of] music download game — the same one that Universal signed with in August. Red Herring has the story. The MediaShift blog tells why this iteration looks good to bean counters, but lame to the rest of us. There is a laundry list there.

Content may be cleverly co-opted, as explained in this NY Magazine article. Lonelygirl15, a YouTube.com hallmark, the epitome of what the site could be. A photogenic face on short clips detailing the life of an adolecent, three well edited and concise minutes at a time. More and more, it appears that it is all a put-on. By somebody. It became very apparent to me, having viewed some of the clips both before and after I was made aware of the conspiritorial man behind the curtain. A brilliant ruse it appears to be, but how will those behind it go about commodifying it?

NBC has launched a bizarre site titled brilliantbutcancelled.com letting users vote on which shows they feel will go off of the air. There are odds and everything. I suppose the blow is softened by the modifier “brilliant” in the name. The whole thing fascinates me in the same way that the recent obsession with box office returns for major motion pictures has captivated moviegoers.

Even with the sophisticated media consumers of today, things like this will cause the media landscape to be difficult to navigate.

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