Spreadable media is something which I have taken a long time to get my head around. The concept is simple, someone makes a feature and this spreads from person to person. The term “viral” was used for this however spreadable mediaists seem to dislike the term because of its medical connotations.
Big companies have been trying very hard to make spreadable or viral content. Viral looks like a special buzzword around the marketing departments of the world. Their attempts usually don’t work. Trying too hard to make something spreadable usually is doomed to failure from the outset.
One thing that has struck me is the subconscious check list that humans go through when looking at videos and other features which are easily spreadable.
What I have found out is that when I look at a live music video for example or if I receive a video and such such from someone and I want to post it on Facebook or twitter I ask myself:
– why did my friend send me this video?
– who do I know who would like this video?
– are there specific people who would like it?
What I have learned is that when a video goes viral or if its spreadable people are actual watching it and wondering why it’s been sent to them. Perhaps there is a lyric that my friend thought I’d like, I best listen to see if that is the case. Maybe someone likes cute dogs getting stuck in pillows.
When I want to spread it I need to make sure it appeals to others using the questions above. This is what advertisers and marketers don’t always get. The advert is always a difficult thing to do well, people have to like it but now the added difficulty of engineering it to become spreadable is an art in itself. That or it’s a fluke.
That said I don’t think spreadable media is something that has a different make up to a genuinely well made thing. Maybe spreadable media is simply something that has been associated with shocked beavers and people dunking a basketball from 6 miles away. Some of the best songs, speeches, events can be viewed millions and I wonder how many in a view count is actually generated from an emailed link for example.
Is spreadable media just a term for good content? If so, it’s even harder to generate.