The other day the New York Times interviewed South Park’s Matt Stone which you should be able to read unfirewalled here, and Stone expresses a touching belief in Content as King:
The success of “South Park” is a stark lesson in the fundamentals of entertainment: if you tell stories that people want to hear, the audience will find you.
This is true no matter how fundamentally the paradigms shift, or how many platforms evolve.
“We’ve been doing it long enough to figure out that content will ride on top of whatever wave comes along,” Mr. Stone said.
Bold talk indeed in the world of shareability and viral media. And easy to say when you are creative geniuses like Stone and Trey Parker, who have triumphed with lasting content in every medium. but there’s also the lesson of Owning It:
“We have always owned our stuff or acted like we do,” Mr. Stone said as he worked his way through a late lunch. He pointed to Louis C. K., the comedian who took his last comedy special directly to fans on the Web, as an example of an artist moving to the sweet spot of the business that she or he creates.
“Owning your own stuff means that you control not only the content, but the life you are living while you are producing it,” he said. “And then, if things go well, you can be part of the upside.”
As we mentioned a while ago Parker and Stone recently opened their own $300 million studio, so if you’re good enough and confident enough you can take it all the way. Not something everyone with a webcomic can do, admittedly, but keep your eye on the prize.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.