Sunday

Q&A Interview with Alan Wurtzel, Research, NBCU

Between the stress on the Broadcast affiliate model and the need for standardized measurement across all platforms - television, internet and mobile - there has never been a greater time of change in the marketing and media Research field.

Alan Wurtzel, President of NBCU Research and Media Development, is on the forefront of these changes and is charged with the task of finding revenue-oriented solutions to these new, evolving challenges.

This interview encompasses a range of media issues from the broadcast vs the cable model, the decision to strip Jay Leno at 10p on NBC, past changes, future predictions and how Alan got to where he is today.

The videos are as follows and can be viewed below:

Title                                 (Length in Minutes)
Background                        (3:22)
Broadcast TV                     (7:41)
360 Degree Measurement  (5:21)
CIMM and CRE                 (5:10)
Predictions and Strategy    (3:45)
Broadcast vs Cable Model (3:55)
Past Change                        (5:34)



Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development, NBCU discusses his background - how he got to where he is today and how the acquisition of cable networks impacted broadcast network NBC:




Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development, NBCU discusses what happened to broadcast and the decision of NBCU to air Jay Leno at 10p Monday through Friday:






CW: Alan, let’s talk about 360 degree measurement and viewership.

AW: The reason we have to measure it is that if we don’t measure it we can’t sell it. It’s clearly the way people are consuming media and it’s only going to increase. To define it, it is television, it’s the internet and it’s mobile. Mobile is emerging but I think it’s going to play a huge role in the future when the platform gets better. The fact of the matter is that people are consuming media that way –we have done all sorts of research about it – and now the question is how to measure it.

In my view the only way we are ultimately going to get to that holy grail of measurement is to a single source measurement where one person generates information about their tv use on the television, on the internet and on mobile. Right now we have not been able to do that. So we’ve come up with a lot of substitutes. We came up here (at NBC) with something we call the TAMI – the Total Audience Measure Index. I’ve been really honest in saying that I would love to retire the minute we can get real research out there but until that time what TAMI does is try to give you a sense of how television, internet streaming, VOD, downloads, are used to provide an exposure to a show – I don’t say impressions because that is a Nielsen term. It’s a combination of different metrics. I can’t account for duplication because it just isn’t single source. But it’s interesting. When I put it out there a few years ago I thought there would be a lot of push back from agencies or clients saying, you know you’re just trying to increase the numbers, but I was surprised at how it was embraced and then I realized that it was embraced because there was really nothing else. And people are so hungry for any kind of information now about how we can begin to measure across platforms and they accepted it. We’ve been very, very clear with respect as to how it is done and what it’s limitations are but it is still very interesting and if anyone wants to look at it they can go on to our marketplace website www.NBCMarketplace.com . There is a TAMI button. We “TAMI” every one of the primetime shows that have multi-platform exposures. Some have more than others like the show Heroes or The Office. You can look at it over time. You can take a look at how a program or a particular episode, how each of the platforms contribute. You can also look at a platform over time….



Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development, NBCU discusses the need for 360 degree measurement and what NBCU is doing about it:




Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development, NBCU discusses CIMM and its relstionship to Nielsen's CRE (Council for Research Excellence):




Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development, NBCU discusses some of his predictions for the next five years and his current projects:



Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development, NBCU discusses the stress and changes to the broadcast model of revenue and how it can benefit from n evolution to the cable model:





CW: Can you give me three predictions for the next five years?

AW: Well let me just say this – if my predictions were absolutely accurate I would be rich. I wouldn’t be here talking to you. I would be in Switzerland.

I think prediction number one is that the media landscape is going to become increasingly fractionalized. You can call it “television” but I think it will be a very, very different thing. I think we are going to have to figure out from an advertiser and marketing standpoint how to use a medium that’s going to become smaller in the sense of its absolute delivery in aggregate. It stuns me how people are multi-tasking. I think the fractionalization is going to be very challenging. That is my first prediction.

Second prediction is that within five years a lot of people are going to start getting television from the internet directly into their tv with the kind of quality that makes it indistinguishable from current television. And I think that when that happens it’s going to be a huge game changer. I don’t know how it’s going to play out but I think that clearly when you can go from a few hundred channels to an infinite number of channels it has all kinds of possibilities, good and bad.

And I think the third thing that is going to happen is that the pay model is going to increase in its impact. I think the sponsor, the advertiser supported model is going to decrease. Neither of them is going to totally supplant the other but I think that consumers are going to be offered a variety of ways of paying for content and I think we are going to have to figure out exactly how they respond to that…..




Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development, NBCU discusses his AlphaBoomer study:



Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development, NBCU discusses the most dramatic changes in the past five years and how it impacts NBCU's business model in this concluding video:


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