As TV One CEO Johnathan Rogers once said, it’s more fun to find ways to grow your business than it is to cut costs. And one good place to conduct the search is at the MFM’s annual conference in Atlanta next month. Panels and presentations will address mobile video, targeted advertising and monetizing the Web.
For all the dismal projections about the future of traditional media, television clearly will be a player in the future. Whether we look at emerging mass media platforms, such as the Internet or mobile, or the bright spots for fourth estaters, such as newspapers, the popularity of video seems to be the common denominator.
Take, for example, the recent analysis of 186 newspapers conducted by Brightcove. It shows that the number of videos uploaded by each newspaper increased by more than 1,500 percent in 2008.
The company, which provides video services for more than 30 major newspaper groups in the United States, Europe and Asia, also reported that video streams are growing 35 percent per quarter, and nearly tripled to 42.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2008 when compared to 4Q 2007.
Meanwhile, Credit Suisse is predicting that YouTube, the leader in online video, will deliver as many as 75 billion streams this year. In addition, Videonuze reported that more than $80 million in venture money poured into the online video sector in the first quarter of 2009. On the mobile side, Research and Markets is projecting that the number of customers purchasing mobile video service could climb from only five million at the end of 2006 to almost 80 million by the end of 2012.
It’s also worth noting that companies like Time Warner are talking about strategies for monetizing “TV Anywhere,” another sign that the true value of “media everywhere” technology is its ability to deliver television to smaller screens as well as home theaters and retail outlets.
The data also supports the observation by TVB’s outgoing president Chris Rohrs, who recently told an industry audience that television and emerging platforms are far more complementary than competitive. Television provides marketers with wide brand awareness while the Internet can drill down to niche areas.
TV stations are also capitalizing on the potential for “hyper-localism” through their Web sites. In addition to providing the cross-platform advertising opportunities Rohrs described, neighborhood businesses, which have always viewed TV advertising as literally beyond their reach, are becoming great prospects for the stations’ community news Web pages.
These trends help to illustrate why MFM — the Media Financial Management Association — broadened its name from the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association and extended invitations to this year’s annual conference to members of INFE, Interactive & Newsmedia Financial Executives. There are many lessons that experts in the television business can teach those in new media businesses that are focused on video.
There is also a lot that broadcasters can learn from our counterparts in online and mobile operations.
A few years ago, Johnathan Rodgers, president and CEO of TV One and a former station group president at CBS, reminded our conference attendees that it’s more fun to focus on how you are going to grow the business than ways to cut expenses.
This is one of the things our 2009 Annual Conference Committee, led by Sam Bush, senior vice president, CFO and treasurer for Saga Communications, and vice chairman of MFM’s board of directors, and Dawn Sciarrino, founder of Sciarrino & Shubert, a law firm serving the media industry, and an MFM board member, were thinking about when planning this year’s conference agenda.
With this in mind, I’d like to recommend a few sessions scheduled our 49th Annual Conference next month:
- “Up and Coming New Media” — What is being delivered to the consumer, how is it being delivered, who’s doing it and how emerging media content providers are monetizing their businesses. Moderated by Jeremy Kagan, associate professor, Columbia University School of Business, who is also an MFM board member.
- “Targeted Advertising” — How new data, networks, and analytics are changing the advertising model and how you can get your piece of the pie. Presented by Matt Fleck, manager of integrations at WideOrbit and James Dix, vice president at Wedbush Morgan Securities.
- “Internet Nuts & Bolts” — How to make to make the Internet work efficiently and correctly, including billing methods best practices and new e-business Interactive Standards. Presented by Jean Savage, director of client accounting at TeleRep; Dave Koch, VP technology for Cox, New York; and Ryan Walker, manager of Internet services at IAB.
- “An update from the Television Music Licensing Committee” — Do your ASCAP, BMI and SESAC licenses cover digital channels, multicasting digital channels, local Web sites, streaming and other digital transmissions? What is a blanket carve-out license? What is end source licensing and how does that help fees? Moderated by Alix Steier, director of broadcaster relations, TMLC.
- “Online Digital Media Accounting” — An examination of performance-based arrangements, minimum guarantees, and barter. Moderated by Brent Clunan, financial analyst, TBS International.
- “How New Media Will Do in a Recession” — How budgets and competitive landscape are changing for branding and activation, experimental advertising platforms and new media extensions of traditional media outlets. Moderated by James Dix, Wedbush Morgan Securities.
- “How to Monetize New Advertising Technologies” — An examination of the deployment of new technologies, especially those with advanced advertising enabling; the effect of the digital transition and the unprecedented cable industry collaboration that created Project Canoe; and what new technologies and convergence will mean to the evolution of current business models. Moderated by Andy Kober, CPA, executive vice president and CFO, Bresnan Communications, and an MFM Board Member
- “Mobile Video” — What are the current technical capabilities. What are the statistics on usage and projections on consumer adoption? How are broadcasters using mobile video and what they have planned for the technology. What is the advertiser perspective? Moderated by Mark Fratrik, vice president, BIAfn.
This is just a sampling of the three days’ worth of sessions that await media industry professionals at “Responding to Change,” scheduled for May 12-14 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta.
For the full agenda, click here.
I hope to see you there. It will be a great way to begin planning the revenues that you can add in your 2010 budget.
And, as Johnathan Rogers said, finding ways to grow revenues is a lot more fun than focusing on expense cuts.
Mary Collins is the president and CEO of the Media Financial Management Association, a professional society addressing the diverse needs of the industry’s financial and business professionals. Her column appears here every other Friday.