"Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting."

—Bill Gates “Content Is King," (1996)

In 1996, with the dot-com boom in its infancy, Bill Gates published an essay on Microsoft's website that delivered a game-changing prediction for the future of the internet. In that essay, he surmised that “societies will see intense competition—and ample failure as well as success—in all categories of popular content—not just software and news, but also games, entertainment, sports programming, directories, classified advertising, and on-line communities devoted to major interests.”

Entitled “Content Is King,” this short, yet poignant essay quickly entered the vernacular of brand leaders and marketers looking to capitalize on an exciting new technology called the World Wide Web. Organizations everywhere saw the internet as a new frontier of possibilities, but many were equally apprehensive about the future it held. With his essay, Gates was offering a guiding light: a controllable solution for tackling the unknown. Simply put, to find success online, a brand would simply need to focus its efforts on creating great content.

Of course, anything that seems simple in theory is often more complex in practice. In the world of content, this was and still is quite true.

At the time, the general user would connect to the internet using a dial-up modem and consumer-friendly ...

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