August 19, 2016
“Change has happened. It is not about to happen,” Bloomberg Media’s newly named Global Chief Revenue Officer Keith A. Grossman told the audience of 150 or so marketing executives gathered at Adweek’s Executive Lab Conference “Video 2020” last week in his keynote address.
Recent years have unquestionably seen radical tech-driven change in the way we live and work – but it’s still mindboggling to consider that as recently as the year 2000, 100% of video viewing was on TV. And that twelve years ago, a list of companies Grossman shared – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Hulu and more – didn’t exist at all.
In this new world, the most important task is to “understand the nature of the age, the nature of the change,” Grossman said; if you do that, you can seize the many new possibilities it presents. “We live in the most exciting of times,” he added, where infinite paths toward connectivity pair with an abundance of high quality content to deliver better choices than ever to consumers.
Grossman’s own understanding of change in the video landscape is driven by a wealth of experience, voracious reading – and imagining the future awaiting his young daughter. Her generation is is growing up into a vastly different media experience: “When she grows up and says ‘I want to watch,’” Grossman noted, “it won’t mean traditional TV – but if there’s a screen, she’ll watch it.”
That’s the power of connectivity. “In a world of networks, a connected device is infinitely more flexible than one that stands on its own, alone,” Grossman said. The old model of the television set, on its own, entailed a passive experience; connectedness liberates viewers.
Content is now “shareable, editable, available, measurable, and interactive,” Grossman said; “it’s no longer a one-way conversation.” Viewers are active consumers of content, with needs and habits that change with different environments. The same person watching video explainers on a smartphone during the morning commute is a different consumer when she’s tuning into an hour-long show on her connected TV after work.
That’s why Bloomberg Media, Grossman explained, doesn’t think in terms of platforms, but rather in terms of experiences: reading, listening, viewing. That new way of thinking in turn creates new opportunities to develop content in the context of a changed video landscape – as well as new opportunities to leverage data and build new partnerships.
“I believe the future will be written by optimists,” Grossman concluded – himself included.
– Jen Robinson | August 19, 2016