Ten Minutes Late to Instantaneous

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Everyone expects now. People want the next hour before it even arrives. How does one compete with time though? Starting off the day of Media and Entertainment at the Liberty Theatre, panelists Evan Silverman from A&E Networks digital media department, Puja Vohra the EVP of Marketing and Digital at truTV, Mike Welch the VP of AT&T AdWorks and Donnie Williams the Chief Digital Officer of Horizon Media, along with moderator Andrew Copone, SVP of Marketing and Business development at NCC Media, spoke on the topic of now. Cleverly named, “Everything. Everywhere. Whenever. Now!” the presentation gave the ‘giver’s’ perspective when consumers demand for immediacy.

The expectation of instant is not easily achieved though. It is very tricky to meet all medias with instant information, Vohra explained. Her goal at truTV is to make the experience as easy as possible. Once you have the basic framework laid out, you can surround it with options and opportunities for more contact. Vohra spoke directly about the show “Impractical Jokers.” They creatively created products they could sell and promote around the show; they wanted to engage with the fandom in all aspects.

Part of the many aspects that reach out to the fans includes digital media. The quick growing platform is a way of life, according to Williams. It is a flexible tool, especially when video comes into use, a very valuable asset to use when trying to engage audience members. The length of the video varies by user and by platform, which directly affects the amount of content. Interesting note though, Williams said, “It is less about communication strategy and more about media platform strategy.” The content won’t matter if it is not reaching anyone!

A few panelists agreed, though, advertising is lagging in the transition to digital media platforms. “We tend to over complicate things,” Silverman said. If you put the information out there, people should respond, especially if it is good! Consumption data shows growth, but why is the field so hesitant to join in whole-heartedly in the digital media platforms? Their response, maybe there isn’t a certainty of return? The transition has been progressing, but slowly. Welch questioned its ability, directing the conversation in the direction of story telling.

He claimed the storytelling is really lacking on digital platforms. Williams’ agreed if consumers were engaged it is worthwhile, but maybe focusing on the meaningful story telling would be a good direction to go in. It all takes time though. Time dictates many things in the digital media: the transition from traditional to digital, figuring out technology, measuring the success and point of consumption (when to introduce the information). After finishing the time of brainstorm, creation, production and critique and response, there is a period of fixing the problems. The panelists unanimously agreed consumer feedback is extremely important, and they would fail without it.

Welch supported an aggregate approach of information. Aggregate form seems the most practical with all the platforms. Vohra advocated for the effort, “The dream is to be on all platforms, volume.” These dreams will hopefully be accomplished in the upcoming years, however long time will allow.

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