What if there are new ways to monetise content coming from non-media companies’ initiatives?  And what if media companies can benefit from that content?

There are people who do not work for media companies and who are thinking about solving one of the major media companies’ challenges: how to pay for content generation. Yes, those people are worried about the value of content the same way you are. They even say “never give up your content rights.”

In an era when anyone with a mobile device can photograph or film events happening around the neighbourhood, it can be easy to forget the idea of paying for content. But there are companies (not media companies) trying to create ways to monetise that kind of content generated by the average Joe and make it reach local and global audiences.

There are several initiatives, but I want to mention one that captured my attention — and also that of the Knight Foundation, which placed it on the short list of the Knight News Challenge and may receive a big push for its next steps.

I am talking about Cont3nt.com, a real-time network that connects media companies to photo and video journalists around the world and enables them to buy and sell breaking news through Twitter. The concept couldn’t be simpler. And it’s very useful to get the hyper-local content that every media company is looking for.

Cont3nt.com uses Twitter, Facebook, and even e-mail as a sales platform to allow content creators to sell and deliver their content to media organisations through a real-time purchase process. If a media company sees a Tweet (or post), all it needs to do is preview, select license, pay, and download. The transaction happens in real-time, using a computer or mobile device.

They believe that to make high-quality content pay for the content creator and be cost-effective for media companies, they must connect in real-time and the content must be paid for. Sound familiar?

Cont3nt.com connects creators and acquirers in real-time and allows them to do business.  

Smart and simple.

For more interesting ideas and concepts for the news media business, take a look at the other projects on the short list of the Knight News Challenge. There are many interesting ideas that may be useful for your media company.

Open your mind and enjoy!