Tuesday, April 10

Becoming New Media: NBC Universal

Beth Comstock is the president of Integrated Media, NBC Universal. She’s smart. In fact, she’s very smart.

I’m not just saying that because she told WALLStrip via Revver almost everything I’ve been telling people in private circles for more than a year, occasionally hinting about it on this blog (April 6 and Aug. 29), and dropping teasers elsewhere (places like Passion, People and Principles and Recruiting Bloggers.com) last month.

But, of course, those are only glimpses at a much bigger picture.

Perhaps I’m being a bit a more forward today because the time to move on digital media is now. It is so NOW that traditional media is already entering a transition phase to reinvent the broadcast industry. You see, they already know what other companies refuse to believe: digital media (and aspects of social media) is a sure bet to gain exposure and make money, er, if you do it right.

I know Comstock is right because we’re sitting on several content concepts and production models that can be customized and deployed for the right companies. (So far, we are in preliminary planning phase to help just one.) We also have a couple feelers out with people we like, but we’re holding back the whole picture for now. Contracts make me a bit more conversational. Ha!

Here’s the short version: under the umbrella of what we call “income marketing,” the investment to launch something does not have to be huge or time-consuming. Yet, it does have the potential to deliver a return on investment that exceeds the project investment. Right. Marketing with a profit margin.

To do it, the project has to be smart. Very smart. Comstock kind of smart. It also has to have the right content with the right content marketing (two things we’re very good at, with broadcast and publishing content development experience). It’s the kind of stuff that would be right for Wal-Mart or perhaps a competitor. But we see applications in several industries: recruiting, politics, and even one groundbreaking idea for the right broadcast company or someone who wants to start one.

The bottom line is that the future broadcast-Internet industry (or digital media industry) — thanks to the advent of smart technology from people like Apple, AT&T, and others — has a small window of opportunity for anyone. However, this window is much shorter than I originally imagined because of smart people like Comstock. It's only a matter of time before some smart people and companies fill the ever-expanding media deliver platforms that are coming into existence today.

You don’t even have to take my word for it. Take the word of Beth Comstock, president Integrated Media, NBC Universal.

“If you have great content … you’re always going to find distribution platforms.“ — Beth Comstock, Integrated Media, NBC Universal

Yep. She's smart. And she's someone to watch.



Rich on 4/10/07, 11:21 AM said...

Famous First Words:

Here are highlights from a release that sparked the some buzz in late March:

“Today’s announcement is a great win for MSN’s more than 460 million consumers and for online video more broadly. When launched, this new venture will provide free access to an unprecedented library of high-quality video content.

“Our investments in MSN Video and SoapBox over the past couple of years have shown us that video is an amazing driver of user engagement and excitement, both for consumers and for advertisers.

“Joining forces with Fox/Newscorp and NBC/Universal is completely in line with our strategy to offer our users easy access to the best video on the web in a way that is good for content owners, great for consumers, and provides compelling opportunities to advertisers. Building on the work we have done with MSN Video and SoapBox, we are taking another step toward realizing that vision.

“We were thrilled to be a part of these discussions from the start, and share with our colleagues in the content industry our vision for delivering easy access to great content for consumers while accommodating critical copyright and intellectual property protections. This partnership proves we can do both and serves as a great foundation for future collaboration.

“We look forward to the summer when the content library comes online, and MSN users can tune in and watch the videos they love.”

— Kevin Johnson, president, Platform and Services Division, after the announcement that Microsoft would join forces with a newly formed Fox/Newscorp and NBC/Universal joint venture to distribute a vast library of online video content to MSN consumers.


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