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Content and Audience are King In Today’s Online Media Landscape: Key Learnings From 2014 Digital Hollywood Media Summit

Fed up with exorbitant prices and programming packages that include more channels than a viewer needs – consumers across the U.S. are “cutting the cord” and sourcing their TV programming elsewhere. Over the last few years, audiences have gone from live TV viewing to time-shifted viewing to now binge-TV viewing, and consumption habits continue to change and evolve. So, the question that begs to be answered is –is this an evolution or a revolution?

Those questions and others about the value and future of online video surfaced at Digital Hollywood’s annual Media Summit in NYC on March 5. Experts including Gary Reisman, CEO of Leap Media Investments ( delved into topics including how the online content landscape is changing, what is a trend vs. what is a fad, what will be the media hub of the home in 2017, and how brands and marketers can better leverage online video to connect with their consumers.

On the panel, Gary was accompanied by Nathan Brown (General Manager, Video and Complex TV, Complex Media), Alyssa Vitrano (Director of Content Marketing, Mindshare), Maha Al-Emam (VP of Product and Technology, Daily Candy), Reid Genauer (Chief Marketing Officer, Magisto), Cameron Friedlander (VP, Global Innovations, Blast Radius, WPP Group), and Wes Williams (Director of Product Management, Scripps Networks Interactive).

The room was abuzz with conversation for the entire session, but one question in particular that got the room talking was one posed by moderator, Steve Bradbury, Chief Operating Officer of Zazoom, when he asked the panelists to fill in the blank: “Content and ___ are king.” Some said context, some said experience, some said distribution. Reisman declared, “audience.” See the video below for his full explanation.

It’s a Mad Mobile World

NewMediaMetrics co-founder Gary Reisman had an unusual start to his moderating duties at the Digital Hollywood Media Summit on March 8 in New York. Just as he introduced the panelists to a packed room concerned with the issues around Advertising Accountability: Metrics and Analytics around Video, Social Media, Broadband and Mobile, an attendee wandered in talking loudly on his mobile phone, completely oblivious to proceedings. After a few moments of stunned silence during which the phone conversation was the only sound in the room, the caller looked around sheepishly, apologized and exited. Hilarity ensued among the panelists followed by what turned out to be a lively, sometimes combative, hour-long debate: Eugene Becker, VP, Analytics, Xaxis; Bob Ivins, VP of Data & Research, Comcast Spotlight; Scott McKinley, EVP Advertising Effectiveness, Nielsen; Debbie Solomon, Managing Director, Business Planning, MindShare; Mark Pascarella, CEO, uberVU; Jeff Plaisted, Senior Director, U.S. Sales and Strategy, Mobile & Skype Advertising, Microsoft; and Dr. Raymond Pettit, VP of Market Research, PRN.  Click the video to get Reisman’s take on one of the more compelling insights.

Making Internet Week Work for You

As New York’s fourth annual Internet Week comes to a close, we can’t help but ask the question (because many of our clients do): Does creating an event specific to Internet Week offer a return on investment? We don’t like to sit on the fence but, in this case, it really does depend on what you want to achieve.

For those who don’t know, Internet Week is a festival that allows any company, group, or individual to participate. It is crowd-sourced, so you can plan your event the way you’d like to see it — big, small, ticketed or free; morning or evening; focused on specific hot topics selected by Internet Week organizers and voted on by the community.

But with approximately 300 events being promoted during the week, it can be difficult to drive attendance and/or garner media coverage – which means you have to work very hard (some might say, pay more) to rise above the fray.

If you’re looking for media coverage from your event, you should be ready to invest in bringing big names, big brands and super big ideas to the table. Digitas’ fourth annual NewFront was mentioned in USA Today, thanks in particular to Demi Moore’s participation. Other well-known participants included Tyra Banks, John Battelle, GE’s Beth Comstock and YouTube’s Shay Carl and was held at Skylight.

Other, less celebtastic events that found their way into the media include:

  • Kaboodle’s “Fab at Five” fifth anniversary party (Adweek) that included a fashion show with models
  • Federated Media Publishing’s Conversational Marketing Summit where Marketing Evolution and Telmar released an ROI tool for early clients (Advertising Age)
  • RealTimeNY 11 Conference which ClickZ referenced in an article on acquiring new roles

These, for the most part, revolve around well-known brands, unique party experiences and extremely well-organized events with news to share. However, if you don’t have the news or necessarily want to invest the time and effort into a big production, Internet Week has more to offer. There are a slew of conferences produced by established organizations like OMMA, Digital Hollywood, and Elevate that allow executives to vie for panel participation, moderator gigs and the chance to attend all-day events where you can hobnob with reporters, brands and fellow industry execs. Here you are sure to sure to have at least one thing in common – a desire to learn more about what’s going on in digital.

So before you decide to invest money and time in an event that may be difficult to truly show value at the end of the day, consider your goals and objectives. Do you want to host clients? Attract new business or talent? Get the media involved? Or set yourself up as an expert in the space? Answer these questions and then layout a budget, goals and work with someone who can help you knowledgeably weigh the pros, cons and manage expectations. You’ll be on your way to making Internet Week pay off with the largest returns for you and your company.

Media Execs Discuss Advertising Accountability

Rich Yaffa, CEO of Media Ventures Group Holdings, Inc., appeared on a panel to discuss “Advertising Accountability: Metrics and Analytics around Video, Social Media, Broadband and Mobile,” during the 8th Annual Media Summit in New York on March 10, 2011, sponsored by Bloomberg.

The key to moving the revenue needle for a client’s business depends largely on how well the agency partner interprets media data, Yaffa said, and astute analysis enables agencies to make the best media-mix recommendation to move a business forward. He also stressed the need for agencies to ensure the integrity of the data they use because it informs the analysis and the media recommendations to clients. “It’s important to compare different sources of audience-delivery data to make sure they are consistent,” Yaffa said.

All the panelists agreed that the most accurate data available in terms of audience action, intent and attitude is the mobile phone. “You know who the consumer is. You’re not guessing,” said panelist Jeff Plaisted, National Sales Manager in Microsoft’s Mobile Advertising Division. With a set-top box on a TV, he added, it’s impossible to know who’s watching or how many people are in the room. While mobile marketing is something all the panelists expressed enthusiasm and excitement about, they also cautioned that the many barriers to obtaining the data in that space make mobile just one spoke in the marketing mix. “If you’re focusing on a single device or platform, you are missing scale and a significant portion of your target audience,” Plaisted continued.

Linda Gridley, president and CEO of Gridley & Company moderated the panel, which included David Rosenberg, Director of Emerging Media at JWT New York; Shaukat Shamim, CEO and co-founder of Buysight; and Dave Kaplan, SVP, Product Leadership, Nielsen IAG.

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