New Media vs. Old-School Media Companies

April 18, 2018
Updated 2mo ago

Silicon Valley is disrupting television, turning up the pressure on old-school media companies that have been slow to keep up with shifting consumers trends, said Lorne Brown, the CEO of the ad tech firm Operative.

The battle between new media and traditional content companies is highlighted by Netflix's strong first-quarter earnings. The streaming service reported stronger-than-expected growth in customers in the U.S. and overseas.

The real story, said Brown in an interview on Cheddar, is that the streaming company's U.S. subscribers are "growing at a rate that no one thought was possible."

If Netflix ー or any of its digital rivals ー is going to overtake traditional media, Brown said it will have to overcome a number of structural obstacles.

The streaming service's strategy to pay up to $8 billion for new content in 2018 could pay off, but "it's a bet at the end of the day," said Brown.

Incumbent media companies such as Comcast, the largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue, and Viacom, which owns ad-supported cable networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, must adjust to meet the challenges from well-funded tech rivals.

In some cases, however, the traditional media firms may find it beneficial to team up with big tech companies, said Brown. He called it “co-mingling."

The emergence of over the top (OTT) viewing options and the acceleration of cord-cutting has been a major concern for cable networks as advertisers trim their TV budgets.

TV ratings are declining, and Netflix and Amazon Prime are paying top dollar for the industry’s most well-known producers. If the trends continue, television advertising will continue to slide, shrinking revenue for traditional networks. As a result, TV's share of total U.S. media ad spending will slide from 33.9% in 2017 to 31.6% in 2018, according to the research firm eMarketer.

For full interview, click here.