The incorporation of new technology into the media game undeniably changed the rules for television content creators.
But in her keynote address at ad:tech NY, Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, believes that the notion of old media and new media is an artificial distinction. In her opinion, what's important is how we use these new formats and devices and how the end experience itself changes as a result.
Of course, as Zalaznick pointed out, it's also important that media players figure out how they will get paid by that experience.
To that end, Zalaznick shed some light on the potential paths to success, using her experience with NBC Universal as a template and sharing that her philosophy for finding a winning formula centers on three key components: Consumer, content and no fear.
1. The consumer decides. This represents a dramatic shift in media consumption power, and one that requires a lot of adjusting to, but the consumer will determine the value of content, as well as their chosen access point and engagement level. It's up to programmers to deliver quality that is worthy of their attention.
2. Content wins. Apple, NBC Universal, and other networks recognize the value of compelling content and its ability to create enduring relationships with consumers.
3. Fear not. Content should be compelling enough to deliver a target audience to advertisers. Zalaznick said that if she does that well, she doesn't have to worry about technology. "Technology is transformative, but it's not our savior, or our scapegoat," she said.
The job of programming is exponentially harder than it used to be, and the rules of the game are changing without warning. So how can media professionals sort through the technological possibilities and focus on the ones that yield results, without risking missing out on key opportunities?
Zalaznick's approach for NBC Universal was to create a portfolio of different properties -- each of which targets a different broad, balanced audience.
Oxygen aims for "Generation O": the trenders, spenders, and recommenders.
IVillage reaches the go-to girlfriends -- the chief cook, chief bedtime storyteller and chief purchasing officer.
Green at Universal reaches the Eco-mom -- the environmentally involved and influential woman who reduces, reuses, and recycles.
Bravo hits the "Affluencer" Women who are affluent, influential, and engaged.