By: Jim Bono, Vice President, Research, Crown Media Family Networks
Day one of The Media Insights & Engagement Conference started off with our co-chairs Jess Aguirre of Crown Media Family Networks and Tom Ziangas of AMC Networks discussing the day’s upcoming events.
I was totally blown away by our first Keynote speaker, Dr. Jeffery Cole, who addressed media entertainment at its "tipping point"...again. He noted that 12 years ago broadband changed everything not because of speed, but because of the direct connection to viewers. Dr. Cole also pointed out that Over The Top is our future. Young adults are not getting TV or cable TV as they move out of their parents’ homes and into their own residence, but not due to lack of interest. This generation's interest in TV is greater than any prior generation. But they continue to try to find newer/more affordable ways to view content. Dr. Cole went on to give great insights about theater vs TV, and cites the impacts that HBO, Netflix and Amazon Prime have had on the industry.
In my 20+ years in the cable industry, and considering all of the conferences I've been to, I found Dr. Cole to be one of the best keynote speakers I've ever seen.
Our first keynote panel was moderated by Marilyn Stephens of the U.S. Census Bureau. The panel included Michele Meyer from Univision and Julie Zwissler from MNet America, who discussed The Changing Face of America, as the ethnicity of the population continues to shift throughout the country. Marilyn gave a great presentation and in-depth look at the U.S. ethnic breakdown, while Michele and Julie offered additional information about the Hispanic and Asian cultures.
Next was our 2nd keynote speaker of the day, Nir Eyal, author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-forming Products.” Nir shared his thoughts about social media, brands, and how we create habits in associating and using these products. His very humorous approach showed us an interesting view of behavior (ie: people who suffer from depression check email and Facebook more).
He also used the equation B = M+A+T (Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Triggers) to give examples of how we act and react.
Our first half of the day concluded with our keynote panel: The State of the Industry - Deciphering the Future. The panel was moderated by Eric Solomon of Nielsen and included Justin Fromm of Hulu, Howard Shimmel of Turner, Liz Huszarik of WB, and Tom Ziangas (filling in for the absent Dave Poltrack of CBS). Discussions revolved around big data, consumer behavior, and the ever-changing technology that our industry faces every day. The panel pointed out that there are many obstacles that make our jobs as content providers and researchers even more challenging. They even brought up issues of trust, especially when dealing with our measurement partners (Nielsen, Rentrak, etc.)
About the Author: Jim Bono is a TV industry veteran of nearly 25 years, working in Cable TV research for over 20 years. He’s coming up on his 15th year with Hallmark Channel and Crown Media, where he is VP of Research and heads the department on the East Coast. A Long Island native all his life, Jim is married to his best friend and wife of 23 years and has 2 wonderful teenaged sons.