“What emphasis do you feel is placed on content by screen suppliers, CMS vendors, end-users, consumers?”
Budgeting realistically for content is a lot better today than it was 10 years ago when I first started in the industry. In the last five to eight years, the phrase “Content is King” has become better understood (although in my opinion it should be “Business is King“). So, the priority in theory is set (mostly) correctly. The problem is that the theoretical priority is not in practice, backed by the time, strategy, and budget reality for many networks. Why? Because screen suppliers and CMS vendors want their end-user customers to spend more on their products for a larger share of the spend instead of making an investment in content, and end-users are rewarded by their organizations for spending less on everything.
The average new network believes it is a good idea to focus on content, and they believe it is key to their success, but all the research is done on the features of the software, hardware, and screens, etc. and the budget allocation follows predictably.
From my experience, very little is truly understood or budgeted (properly) for the content. The content strategies put together before launch are mostly, but not always, limited and naïve, based on lack of experience with maintaining and refreshing the network. Because of the way budgets are derived, content always costs more than expected. If content costs less than expected, it’s likely because it is not being refreshed as often as necessary to keep viewers engaged, which means the network will not be as effective because the content is going to get stale very quickly or the quality will be compromised.