January 25, 2013
Yeah, everyone's not me.
Carrie Matthison, Homeland
Premium is becoming an overused word like amazing (is that sandwich really amazing?), or a misused word like literally (most people are "literally" using it wrong). Just because a company uses the word premium to describe its product – it doesn't make it original, high quality, distinctive or even valuable to the consumer. As any fan of Homeland, Shameless or even, Gigolos will tell you, Showtime is definitely a premium cable channel, worth every extra dollar you spend for entertainment. Any car owner who spends more at the pump for premium gasoline understands higher-grade fuel means better engine performance.
But for every real premium experience, there are plenty that aren't. An entrepreneur in Malaysia has launched a premium coffee served at luxury hotels in Asia and the Middle East, that sells java to connoisseurs for $50 a cup. The "premium" refining process? The coffee beans are fed to Thai elephants, plucked from the pachyderms' dung and, then, prepared for roasting. Makes you reconsider any grumbling over paying more at Starbucks.
The same holds for premium content. Almost every publisher believes their content is premium. And yet, too often a premium content experience for readers means articles about a topic you care about surrounded by stories of moisturizing jeans.