RIP Aggregators.


When I am late, as they say in Africa, I do not want my obituary to say Steve Poppe, a leading marketing and branding aggregator of his time. My first business impression of the word “aggregator” was in the telecom business.  Some smart people decided that if they bought a huge company telephone plan and resold it to small companies they could offer these smaller companies better prices and make lots of money.  They were called aggregators.

These days aggregators, especially in the social web, are people and applications that take other people’s content, package it up and offer it to consumers – usually supported by advertising. This “paster” behavior, different from “poster” behavior, is big business.  Just as plumbing is big business on the internet, providing the pipes and devices through which information is shared, pasting is also a huge money mover. The sharing of other people’s content, however, is a convenience business and I hope short lived. I heard an executive of top tier TV media company refer to Henry Blodget’s Business Insider franchise as an aggregator of other people’s content.

Aggregation will start to peter out.  The content marketing trend is recognizing this.  Good content, be it music (not mash-ups and remixes), video, or writing or analysis is what makes the business world turn. Brands and marketers know they need to be original. Let’s do it.  Peace.