Business News: New York Media Summit 2015 – The State of the Ever Expanding Media Industry

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Digital Hollywood hosted its annual Spring New York Media Summit with players in the space presenting keynotes, symposiums, panel discussions and projections of the future as the divergent of entertainment, gaming, cable and traditional print, online digital and the exploding video space.

Sponsored by Standard & Poor’s who also hosted its annual state of the union projection breakfast which provided sector by sector analysis, adding variables, equations and possible to disrupt the foreseeable future of the sector. Standard & Poor’s Media, Entertainment and cable industry breakfast briefing. And opened the floor up for questions allowing participants the opportunity to quiz the analysts on the possibilities.

Standard & Poor’s Analyst Breakfast

The S&P 2015 outlook was presented by Nicole Deiz Lynch with Key Media Themes by Naveen Sarma. Sectors were represented by Michael Altberg, Cable Operators: Implications of the Title II Regulations; Naveen Sarma, Over The Top (OTT) Video Services; Andy Liu/Naveen Sarma Programmatic Advertising; Chris Valentine, Cable Networks; Jawad Hussain, Local TV Broadcasters and Minesh Patel Newspaper Industry Trends.

The print industry, the aging senior of media, was still given a place at the table, and by the panelists own admission, the innovation of these groups are what will keep them viable and of course, jokingly Minesh Patel added possibility, as seating was arranged by sector strength and his was the last seat, print will re-emerge with strength than he said “I will be seated at the first chair.”

As it was the case study for the print media, the Newspaper, was the New York Times, who has seen its share of poor ratings from the Standard & Poor’s team. Today however the venerable group is praised for their turnaround since 2009 almost forced the grey lady in homeless distress when they barely escaped a “C” rating. To the Gray Lady’s credit she has regained her glory and is now rated B+ Stable.

Netflix’s Receives a Negative Rating; DreamWorks Animation, Stable - Industry Credit Ratings

The shocking credit rating for this summit was the lowered credit rating by Standard & Poor’s to Netflix’s, who even with the tremendous growth still received a B+ Negative outlook.

Other entertainment ratings DreamWorks Animation SKG, even as the media continues to weekly add earthshattering fiscal news, S&P rates them a “B” Stable. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, BB-, Stable; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer B+ Positive.

Goggle is the only company to receive a double A Stable rating; Walt Disney Co. received an A Stable rating and Ad Agency, Scripps Interactive Network Inc., A- Stable.

All others were in either triple, double or single “B” ratings with Viacom receiving a “BBB” Negative rating and IHeart Inc., Clear Channel radio who received a Triple C+ Negative rating.

On The Horizon

Other major brands were also present. People.com was represented by the newest additions to its family, the EIC, Will Lee, Digital Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Suejin Yang VP/General Manager Digital Entertainment and Anne Toal, Associate Publisher, People.com.

People Magazine celebrated its 41st birthday. Today the staple brand is looking to reinvent itself as the choice of the youth culture adapting to the mode and method of delivery while maintaining its print strength and hopefully integral and a cross brand first choice in media option for its loyal audience and next generation.

Hot Trends

The hot trend coming out of the 2015 Spring New York Media Summit would be the explosion of video channeling, engagement and branding. The idea behind this is of course to use the second and third screens, the computer or hand held as the primary tol for engaging the consumer in disposable time segments.

Although I wouldn’t bet the bank on the trend of video explosion, I did agree that it will continue to grow and video can be a learning tool, a go to for engagement of brands and the disposable choice during rare downtime moments.

The drawbacks to full immersion are consumer driven which while at the forefront of the choices for a fuller video experience simple facts will prohibit the 24-7 consumption.

First, timed content, 2minutes, five minutes 60 minutes and up for entertainment or live streaming on the consumer side equate to data usage. Not all providers offer unlimited data. Explaining to the consumer to adopt changes in carrier choices for the sole purpose of engagement in our brands even as a different carrier may offer more but ultimately the consumer wants what they want and dictating the market never works.

So simple data usage will be a drawback especially if carriers have their way and limit all personal accounts to a set monthly allotment.

If the consumer doesn’t have the freedom to engage in the entertainment brands in a leisurely setting trekking off to the local Starbucks’s to view films or other long branded content can be a downside.

Daytime/Nighttime Data Consumption

People or other celebrity driven, feel good based consumer brands will probably see an increase as these are “daytime” consumptions. Which is another factor in building the video explosion – the daytime or work data usage or nighttime personal data usage.

Without moving into an in-depth analysis which I leave to the experts, I would point to two other ideas that were initially met with dead-end possibilities that of crowdfunding which experts explained the illegalities of it all will make it an impossible choice of funding and the 4D, which as I ventured to speak once was met with disdain and honestly a bit of a condescending retort.  

So sometimes even the “experts” get it wrong. I would say video, as we all love the visual experiences, will continue to bloom. It clearly isn’t anywhere near a saturation point and consumers will continue to see, more sophisticated deliveries in video engagement.

Cable Vision media sales also acted as a Silver sponsors. Media and Event sponsors included Deloitte, Janrain, rovi, Verizon Digital Media Services Vindicia and Overlook.

Vindicia and Hearst Digital Media hosted a pre-Media Summit invite dinner for 30 leaders in their particular areas as well as press and industry analysts that I was fortunate enough to attend.

Digital Hollywood, the International Conference on Television, Broadband, Mobile, Video, Advertising, Cable, publishing and magazines social media, news media, motions pictures and gaming will host its next Media Summit, at the Marina Del Ray Ritz-Carlton in April.

For more information: www.digitalhollywood.com

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