Friday, September 29, 2006

Change is good. Isn't it?

These are on-the-fly notes from the Consumer Engagement Conference; Alan Wurtzel – President, Research and Media Development, NBC: Media & Measurement: A Broken Marriage

Opening remarks included a “true-story” that went like this. A well-know TV executive died and found himself in front of St. Peter, who asked him if he preferred to go to heaven or to hell. The TV executive watched a short film clip on heaven and hell and decided he wanted to go to heaven. Curiosity got the best of him and he decided he wanted to check out hell as well. After all, the video clip showed that heaven and hell were equally beautiful. In fact, hell appeared to be the most beautiful thing he ever saw. So he tells St. Peter he wants to go to hell. He found himself greeted by sulfur. It was the most horrible place he had ever seen. He sees the devil and told him that hell looked nothing like the tape. The devil said of course not, that was the pilot.

The notion of one size fits all no longer applies to the constantly changing media platform the industry faces today. Wurtzel strongly believes that Nielsen ratings alone are no longer adequate as a metric to measure the evolving media landscape and I think he’s right. Media executives have no choice but to adapt to changes now. Why wait? With the endless list of new technologies to consider – digital downloads, digital video, etc., industry executives must try to listen to customers while addressing accountability and must find a way to measure it. The media industry today is exciting and scary, because we are truly redefining the rules of measurement - not because they want to, but because they have to.

Wurtzel summed up his thoughts with this simple quote “If we don’t change direction soon we’ll end up where we are going”.


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