Q&A Interview with Stu Rodnick - Three Screen Nation

Stu Rodnick, Managing Director of Three Screen Nation, is a media expert in all video platforms. His work for AOL in the early years has given him a unique perspective on how media is evolving and how the changing landscape affects viewership, usage and adoption.
Here are three interview videos that span a range of media issues from telecom to online to generational changes and demographics:

Subject Length (in minutes)
Background (5:12)
Telecom and Online (5:23)
Rate of Change (6:25)

In this 5:12 minute video, Charlene Weisler talks to Stu Rodnick about his work experience and particularly his work at AOL:

CW: What is the most valuable data out there and how can it be best used in consumer measurement?

SR: In a data rich world where it is relatively easy to connect consumer databases with other pools of information - including media exposure - transaction data has so much value. Without knowing everything you can capture about your customers, we are operating in the marketing dark. It is much easier to speak with your own consumers, figure out why they chose your product and then to build what worked for them into your marketing programs.

CW: How long will it take to get three + screen measurement?

SR: Talk about a double diamond task! We live in such a diverse world and consumers have so many passions; there are so many niches of programming and all sorts of connected devices with which to seek content. Looking through the rearview mirror, it was much easier to measure television ratings. We had 110 million or so homes and most had the same type of television experience. Today’s content, however, no longer has the same boundaries. To reach a consensus on a industry standard measurement solution that has representative demographic coverage and coverage across all of the screens on which consumers view media is a major undertaking. So, there will be trade-offs between broad measurement of the nation’s tastes and insightful measurement of a specific consumer segment’s tastes. It is difficult to see a single solution that can serve all.

Charlene Weisler interviews Stu Rodnick who talks about the Telecom and Online landscapes and demographic changes in this 5:23 minute video:

CW: Can you share any insights into how to successfully compete online?

SR: Just as real estate has its golden rule, location - location – location, online’s golden rule ought to be, interaction - interaction - interaction. Interactivity makes the mediums special. For marketers, messages that are worth interacting with are the key to building a successful campaign and capitalizing on the uniqueness of the medium. For media outlets looking to succeed online, they can now marry interactivity with other mediums strengths, whether it is the richness of magazine layouts, the caliber of television's video programming, the timeliness of newspaper reporting coverage or even music’s ability to move very specific niche audiences - to make consumers a part of the story.

CW: Lets talk about the publishing world. What do you see as the current challenges to this media model and what do you see as potential opportunities?

SR: Consumers, especially younger ones, have less interest in subscribing to either newspapers or magazines. This forces the publications to adapt their models on the fly. But opportunity also awaits them, as there are so many print properties with strong connections to passionate audiences and local communities. They just have to move their editorial prowess beyond print and start thinking of themselves more as content producers rather than publishers. For example, by offering more branded professionally produced video content, they can reap new audiences and revenues in a digitally dominant world. It is all about broadening the categories you compete in.

CW: I have always said that there might be a great opportunity for single format media, such as print, to expand their range of delivery opportunities with the advent of mutli-platform. Suddenly print can go beyond just text and begin to incorporate video and audio. Radio can go beyond just audio and incorporate text and video. Do you see this as a trend?

SR: Absolutely. The media outlets have special connections with their audiences and consumers will always find room for their favorite content to travel with them– wherever they go. The best magazines are already moving beyond being print only publications and the AM radio dial is increasingly filled by big media brands including ESPN, CNN and Bloomberg and there are even more cable networks and TV personalities represented on Satellite Radio.

Stu Rodnick, Managing Director of Three Screen Media, talks about the rate of change in the media industry today and the generational attitudes in media usage in this 6:25 minute video:

CW: So where would you see the future of media 3-5 years from now?

SR: Interactive television is going to become a big phenomenon, combining the consumers’ love of entertainment with at your fingertips convenience. The stage is set with a majority of homes already having high definition television sets, new TVs are pre-equipped with internet connections and applications, game console systems are being used to watch lots of videos and for the first time standalone iTV devices are very affordable. Apple TV and Roku’s devices cost less than a hundred dollars and each has sold over a million units in a short time. Look for the iTV device prices to keep falling since it is so important for Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft to build out big TV hubs. The devices will be priced low enough to become impulse buys and the video hubs will take off. Netflix’s success demonstrates that consumers want to access bigger video libraries and use slicker interfaces. Amazingly, half of Netflix’s streaming activity is from people watching re-purposed television shows. It is all about high quality content and giving choice to the viewer.

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