Friday

The Global TV Market. Interview with Gerry Sutton, Adstream.



Gerry Sutton, CEO Adstream describes himself as, “a software guy at heart” who worked in Australia and the United States in technology, digital, motion pictures and television.  His current company, Adstream, addresses the creative content challenges of multiple screens and cross platform.  

Sutton explains the challenges of advertisers and content providers in today’s complex media ecosystem. “Today, there is no such thing as a single-channel strategy. Most ad campaigns span multiple screens, formats and platforms. So, there are more creative assets to manage, deliver and measure,” he notes. “On top of that, the creative ecosystem is now a global game. Content is created in one place, moved to another, distributed somewhere else and then measured. Multiple parties and departments in separate countries and continents are involved. All of this makes managing and delivering ad creative – including the data attached to each piece of content – difficult and more prone to error,” he adds.

Charlene Weisler: Tell me about Adstream.

Gerry Sutton: We solve for the complicated creative marketplace through our platform - to store, manage and review all forms of marketing and ad content – for digital, mobile, social, VOD, OTT, linear TV, and more – on a global scale. It also enables delivery of ad content across every type of media channel, whether traditional or new media, while providing content tracking upon delivery to ensure creative is used and optimized. Today, more than 10,000 global agencies and brands use Adstream to manage over 26 million creative assets and deliver 2.7 million annually to 125-plus countries.

Charlene Weisler: How does it work in the area of television?

Gerry Sutton: Globally, for linear TV advertisers, we help manage ad collaboration and delivery – making sure they air on time and at top quality levels. Adstream is connected to more than 20,000 TV destinations across 116 countries and we are also supported by 40 local offices worldwide. For TV advertisers, we provide quality delivery anywhere – When advertises send TV ads around the world, they must meet regional standards and quality levels. We deliver to over 116 countries from one simple ordering interface. TV advertisers can also manage and approve an ad campaign’s video content, along with any other media, access our Library which is a powerful global asset management system made especially for large industry TV files and track a project’s status with analytics - which ads are used and where they were delivered, or even integrate third-party data. We can also manage all clearance, traffic, and basic production, including pre-flight checks, clapper and countdown, file fixing, standards conversion, captioning and transcoding. Adstream Connect for broadcasters helps aggregate incoming commercial content and re-distribute broadcast-ready video spots to digital and VOD channels. It’s available to broadcasters in Europe now and will be available widely, in North America and globally, in Q1 2017.

Charlene Weisler: What is your definition of television?

Gerry Sutton: Television is simply a type of channel. Today, we focus, not just on TV, but on video more holistically, as this content can be used across all mediums. TV is just the highest resolution channel for video. 

Charlene Weisler: Do you get involved in the programmatic TV space? If so, how?

Gerry Sutton: Programmatic is just another destination for TV content, and we deliver ad content to all channels and platforms. So, yes we have been involved since its inception. It’s an exciting space.
The category is expected to evolve fairly rapidly over the next 12 months. During this time, we expect more broadcasters and cable channels to begin adding programmatic capabilities to their linear TV feeds and enable automated buying at scale. This will create additional challenges with respect to TV advertising and content delivery. Content will be required with more immediacy.

Charlene Weisler: Where do you see ad tech going in the next 3 years?

Gerry Sutton: Advertisers’ demand for transparency and accountability will shape the next three-year period. This will result in media agencies, for example, providing more granular ROI reporting to brand customers. In that spirit, we are also likely to see many advertisers decouple technology from their agencies. Brands will, instead, build direct relationships with these technology partners. On the technology side, there will be a rise of metrics around creative measurement and attribution. Remember, creative is the only piece that is yet to be fully understood or measured in-depth – despite its overwhelming importance. Relatedly, expect to see much more programmatic creative, even for HD-resolution content.

Charlene Weisler: What advice would you give to a college student today who may be interested in a career in media?

Gerry Sutton: It is a challenge. There are still the traditional routes that exist – working up through a large media company, for example. However, the onset of digital has driven two new routes which are becoming increasingly critical. The first, from an operational side, is to learn to code. This may seem both obvious and challenging, but all media these days is being served or created through technology. That will only increase. A background in coding can serve as a real differentiator with respect to technology. Secondly, get involved now to begin building your resume. The barrier to entry for producing content is so low anyone can do it (quality of content aside). Whether you’re a director or a journalist, there are opportunities for you to immediately develop a professional footprint. Don’t wait to leap in – in some way shape or form.

This article first appeared in www.Mediapost.com

NPR One Personalized Radio. Interview with Thomas Hjelm of NPR



Thomas Hjelm is a digital media veteran with 21 years of experience spanning such corporations as NBCU (both in their Entertainment group, where he was a founding members of the first interactive media team, and the Local News division), AOL, LivePlanet and New York Public Radio. 

He joined NPR in April as the organization’s Chief Digital Officer –a role which draws on his background in digital strategy and operations, audience development and marketing, business and content development, writing and producing, product and technology.

I spoke with Hjelm about his new role at NPR, what he calls the ‘genius' of the public media system, innovation within the NPR network and NPR One, the personalized listening app which has seen +124% year on year growth in app users and is providing important insights into listener behavior.

Charlene Weisler: What is your current role at NPR?

Thomas Hjelm: I’m responsible for defining and executing NPR’s strategies for innovation and growth across current and emerging digital platforms. I also work with our many partners across public radio to develop collective, system wide strategies for building platforms, audiences and value. I manage a few different divisions at NPR that work toward these goals. In Washington, we have a large team of digital strategists, product managers, developers and technologists, producers, program managers and analysts who build and support the core platforms of NPR.org, NPR One and other properties, as well as cultivate partnerships with third-party platforms and distribution channels. In Boston, we have another unit supporting a suite of products and services that are made available to more than 200 NPR member stations. And then across NPR we have a number of other digital specialists in a variety of functions, starting with news, but also including social media, audience development, and revenue. Digital is a department, in other words, but more importantly it’s an organizational concern, one that’s central to every part of NPR and the public radio system as a whole.

Charlene Weisler: Public Radio is a collection of fairly independent stations. How do you help maximize collective efforts?

Thomas Hjelm: That’s true. As a system, public radio is quite decentralized, even diffuse. There are 264 NPR member stations out there, all of them under their own management and marching to their own strategic drum. And that is part of the genius of public radio. Stations in huge markets and small markets and in-between markets have their own voices and identities. As local institutions, they have a direct and intimate connection with their listeners, and they reflect those communities back to themselves in ways no other media organizations can.

Being a distributed network can also bring advantages in digital terms: when I visit stations (I’m talking to you from Madison, where I just spent a day meeting the team at Wisconsin Public Radio), I’m so impressed by the innovation and creativity of these shops, and the great work they do in digital journalism, audience engagement, even product design, and almost always on very lean budgets. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for a collective network strategy. If everyone is doing their own digital thing, inevitably there’s redundancy, inefficiency and lost value, to say nothing of a fragmentation of the audience. So how do I handle that? Well, I’m still just a few months into the job, but in an effort to find common ground my first task has been to define and socialize a common value chain that links all of us across the system. It’s simple: we’re all in the business of growing the audience, knowing and understanding the audience, engaging the audience and ultimately monetizing the audience through membership and sponsorship. This narrative applies to NPR, it applies to New York Public Radio, to Vermont and Abilene, but above all it applies to the network as a whole. So if we can all get behind that, it begins to clarify our respective links in the big value chain, the roles we play in relation to  each other, the investments we make and the priorities we set. It’s a first step, and obviously those are very broad terms, but it’s critical if we’re going to, as you say, maximize our collective efforts. 

Charlene Weisler: How has digital evolved since you first started 21 years ago?
Thomas Hjelm: My career has been spent working for so-called legacy media companies that have decided, in one way or another, to transform themselves. When I started, no one knew just what digital media was or would become, but people who took a long view of things saw that it was worth experimenting with. I was at NBC at the time, and we were given permission to create an “online network” of original content. It was a lot of fun, though it certainly didn’t produce much money or many viewers. Today, it is a real business, with a real audience, and the technology has caught up with our creative ambitions. And digital departments are no longer just the guys in shorts sitting in the corner. Digital is woven through every modern media company. I often say my job is to make my job obsolete. We don’t have a Chief Radio Officer here, why a Chief Digital Officer? I’m still fighting that fight, but I’m getting there.
Charlene Weisler: Tell me about NPR One.
Tom Hjelm: NPR One is a smart phone app that delivers audio content from NPR and most member stations and public radio producers in a form that’s personalized, based on the user’s listening tastes, interests and location. It’s an experiment in making our content available in ways that map to the changing behaviors of listeners – especially younger listeners. Yet in other ways it builds on the standing model, format, even business model of public radio. It’s geo-targeted, so when you download the app, it will call up an instance of the local member station. So in New York, you get a WNYC-branded version of NPR One. You get content produced by WNYC alongside NPR content, and you can pledge your membership support to WNYC there, too. There’s also a mix of sponsorship inventory – some sold by NPR and some available to the member station’s local sales team. It’s like radio then – only using algorithms (plus some editorial controls) to tailor the audio experience to the individual. If you tend to skip certain content, over time it will deliver less of that; and if you like certain types of content, you’ll gradually get more of it. And the more successful we are in engaging the listener through this “personalized radio,” the more we learn about them so it becomes a powerful data and engagement tool.
Charlene Weisler: What have the results been so far for NPR One?
Thomas Hjelm: The retention, satisfaction and demographic numbers are all very encouraging. Thirty percent of users come back to use it within a week. That rate is far greater than is typical for an app. The satisfaction score is 4 out of 5 based on our surveys. Best of all, the basic demographic skews younger than traditional radio, with18- to 34-year-olds making up a third of the audience -- and they’re as affluent and educated as our current NPR audience. It’s a big step toward taking the enduring value proposition of public radio and making it available in new ways for new listeners.

This article first appeared in www.MediaBizBloggers.com
 

Tuesday

The End of National TV and Local TV Measurement Siloes

There have always been separate local and national TV samples in television measurement—whether from Nielsen, Arbitron, or comScore. And, while the results of the two samples differed—weight-averaging local Nielsen NSI ratings don’t usually match national Nielsen NTI ratings—the industry accepted the separation of the two samples. Audience targeting is a powerful tool, but while its past has been siloed, its future must leverage local data into national.

Behind the Divide
So, you might be thinking: If the future is combined data, why the separation to begin with? The reasoning is baked into the history of television measurement. Back in the 1950s, radio measurement was fitted to the new technology of television. “Local samples were developed in the 1950s to serve a specific need, namely to measure 200+ individual markets in an affordable way (via paper diaries) as TV spread across the nation,” explains Tim Brooks, author and television historian. To fully compete with Arbitron, Nielsen launched a national sample of household meters, a more expensive venture than diaries (which were still used to supply national demographics), according to Brooks. As the technology advanced, people meters were introduced in 1987.

Read the full article on the Videa blog.

Thursday

Appointment TV is Dead. Interview with Charles Cantu, CEO & Founder, Huddled Masses



Charles Cantu, CEO and Founder, Huddled Masses, has a background steeped in advertising. “I have worked for and been mentored by some amazing advertising all stars in radio and spot cable, as well as ad agency legends and brilliant digital and programmatic visionaries,” he said. 

His company, Huddled Masses was launched four years ago, as he explained, “as a boutique trading desk, with a vision to bring programmatic technology to advertisers and agencies who didn’t have the expertise, resources or time to invest in getting up to speed on their own.”

Charlene Weisler: What is your definition of television?

Charles Cantu: My definition of television is content-based and less platform-centric. I look at television as the most desirable sight, sound, and motion means to deliver entertainment and brand messages to consumers. I also see it as well-produced content that individuals and families like to consume on any screen, but are likely to enjoy it most front and center in their living room on the big screen. That said, content is king and it’s a WIWW-WAWIWWI world (what I want to watch, when and where I want to watch it). Appointment TV is dead.

Charlene Weisler:  What do you think are the perceptions of programmatic TV at this time?

Charles Cantu: It’s not real. It’s overpriced for what it is, and nobody is fooled (I hope).

Charlene Weisler: How will programmatic impact TV?

Charles Cantu: For now things will not change dramatically. Until the networks, cable companies and satellite companies begin selling inventory beyond OTT it will be cost prohibitive for anyone to change the way they buy / sell television. That having been said, many advances in addressable programmatic TV have come into play and as that scales industry dollars will follow.

Charlene Weisler: How do you propose moving programmatic in house?

Charles Cantu: Moving programmatic in house is a step-by-step process and no two companies or brands are the same, so at my company we employ customized solutions to each client’s unique requirements. That said, there are some core services that every organization looking to bring programmatic in-house will need. They’ll want to employ the most flexible and extensive technology they can acquire to enable them to quickly transition operations from external to internal teams, and they’ll need experienced professionals to consult and provide support through and beyond this transition.

Charlene Weisler: What do you see as the future for television?

Charles Cantu: I see holograms as the key to unlocking AR/VR at scale, along with time and place shifting continuing to drive consumption habits.  I believe compelling content will continue to be a driver for everything TV. As with all media, the selling and buying of advertisements for TV will increasingly become an automated transaction that can take place within cloud-based platforms, with storytelling for advertisers and agencies becoming more of a science but still dependent on people that “get it”.  It also means that the distribution and creation of content will become more and more automated over the coming years.   

This article first appeared in www.Mediapost.com

Saturday

This Time, the TV of Tomorrow Conference Focused on Time Itself

Every year, the TV of Tomorrow conference in New York City takes on a topic of importance for the industry. In the past, the event has concentrated on TV Everywhere, data, virtual reality and apps. But as the media ecosystem continues to transform and fragment, this year TVOT focused on time, which is emerging as a valuable commodity regarding the optimal length of an ad, the form of content by platform or how we manage, analyze and gain insights from the firehose of data, among other concerns. 

The TV of tomorrow, said Tracy Swedlow, Editor-in-Chief, itvt, speaking exclusively to Media Village, “is not just about creating the content. It’s also having the intelligence to know how to use the network to your advantage.

“That’s the hard part, like creating interactivity,” she continued. “The TV viewers of tomorrow want engagement. So it’s coming up with those ideas, quickly. It’s figuring out how to engage them in a variety of new ways around the content and its speed-to-market.”

Keynote speaker Laura Molen, Executive Vice President of Lifestyle and Hispanic Advertising Sales at NBCU, spoke on the future of TV advertising. Content has changed, she said, because “consumers are engaging on many different platforms. We have the opportunity to expand our content across all different platforms and use data and technology to measure consumers.”

And yet, with all of these platforms, “thirty second spots are still key,” she confirmed.

The expansion of platforms necessitates flexibility in content forms. Molen explained that her role was to “build advertiser relationships and native content in television.” Branded content offers a “win, win, win,” she declared. “It has to speak to the network or site that it is on while also getting across advertisers’ messages and bringing their brand to life in the show.”

Sarah Malkin, Vice President Programming, New Form Digital, speaking on a panel titled Programming in the Era of Social Media and OTT, said, “We think of all of our content as new formats, because they are all consumed on new platforms. Our model of content development is working with incoming ideas from creators and marrying creators who have a loyal fan base with someone with a storytelling background.”

We can become consumed in a vortex of data, but Jonathan Steuer, CRO, Omnicom Media Group, speaking on the panel titled #futureofbroadcasting, explained that it is all about “art plus science," adding that "data informs, but you won't create content simply because the data says that it’s a great story.”

Data freshness and predictability is also an issue. “A lot of the data is old," asserted Michael Gaston, CEO, Cut.com, speaking on the Programming panel. "Data can tell us what went viral but not what will go viral.”
Swedlow, moderating the panel on Programming, summed up the state of TV of tomorrow by saying,” It is speed-to-market, sticking to your guns, focusing on long term investment and hoping that your investors stick with you. “Try new things,” she recommended, “and remember that ideas can come from anywhere.”

This article first appeared in www.MediaBizBloggers.com

Spanning All Mediums. Interview with Ruth Gaviria of Entercom



Ruth Gaviria, CMO of Entercom, intended to pursue a career in medicine after earning a degree in genetics. But, as she explained, “I became incredibly curious and interested in people and how they think, behave and socialize, which eventually led me to a career in marketing.” 

After several attempts, she was offered a job at Procter & Gamble, moved to Miller Brewing Company and on to Colgate-Palmolive in various brand management and marketing positions. From there she forged a career that spans all media from print to television and radio.

“I have always tended to take the unbeaten path and find ways to do things that have never yet been done, and through that mindset, I have traversed the media landscape from print, to television and now radio,” she explained. 

Charlene Weisler: What is your marketing philosophy?

Ruth Gaviria: I firmly believe that you are the brand company you keep. Media provides a blank canvas of opportunity to co-create with brands and for me to be an architect of new things.

Charlene Weisler: What is your experience in television?

Ruth Gaviria: I was recruited by Univision to establish a corporate marketing practice and rebrand the company during a critical time for television. The Univision brand identity had not been touched in two decades and the expanded portfolio of broadcast and cable networks were not knitted to the master brand in any way.  The work we did there still stands today and has provided an organizing principle of looking at content and distribution through a critical brand lens. 

Charlene Weisler: What is the state of Hispanic media today and where do you see it going?

Ruth Gaviria: Hispanic media is no longer about Spanish language.  That model was disrupted by English language content like the Walking Dead, Jane the Virgin and Modern Family, all of which have been ratings gold among U.S. Hispanics.  The reality is that the new Hispanic America is an inextricable part of American culture, and not a standalone cohort.  If Hispanic media, specifically Spanish language media, is going to reassemble a continuously fragmenting audience, it's going to have to take a page out of radio--the number 1 reach medium in America which continues to grow despite digital and streaming services--and offer in-culture, relevant content that reflects the evolving portrait of its audience, every day and everywhere.

Charlene Weisler: What do you see as the major trends in media?

Ruth Gaviria: In my mind, there are two major themes going into 2017 and beyond: mobility and unprecedented creativity.  The convergence of mobility and radio that we see in NextRadio, an Entercom partner, is game-changing.  The recent aggregation and mergers between content, distribution and mobility platforms like AT&T’s intent to acquire Time Warner and Verizon’s content play through Yahoo and AOL, has expanded the content and media ecosystem and is catalyzing the second major trend: hyper creativity. Brand creative will get better and better, as will content. We will become bolder and constantly disrupt ourselves.  We are seeing it worldwide in fashion, design and fantastical storytelling in all media. 

Charlene Weisler: What is Entercom?

Ruth Gaviria: Entercom is the 4th largest radio company in the US with a footprint of 126 radio stations in 28 markets.  Radio is the No. 1 reach medium in America, live and local, the least disrupted medium, with no cord cutting and scales in a second to millions of listeners across the country.

This article first appeared in www.Mediapost.com