From User-Gen to Widgets to Wikis: Tech Talk Dominates McGraw-Hill’s Media Summit
Disney CEO: Moving content to tech platforms ‘most important thing we can do.'
NEW YORK—From user-generated content to blogs to widgets to Wikis, new technologies in all facets of media were the focus of conversation Wednesday during the first day of the McGraw-Hill Companies’ 2008 Media Summit.
“Figuring out how to move content or media on to new technology platforms is probably, next to creating high-quality experience as content, is probably the most important thing we can do,” Walt Disney Company president and CEO Robert Iger said during the morning keynote speech. Co-sponsors BusinessWeek and Standard & Poor’s were expecting about 1,000 attendees over the two-day event.
“Most classic brand managers look at technology almost with a deep-rooted aversion,” Iger continued. “[Technology] typically enables competition for brands, and it changes consumer behavior, and if you’re a brand manager you don’t really want consumer behavior to change, you want them to continue consuming your brand. People take a protectionist view toward technology when they’re brand managing. I actually felt that being a projectionist, or projecting the brand versus protecting the brand, using technology was the right thing to do.”
Session topics—all in regards to new media technologies—ranged from rights management to advertising accountability and legal issues. “Look at your kids and people in their twenties; they’re not going to newspapers, they’re not going to print for their news anymore,” said Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Julia Wallace during a morning panel discussion. “We’re seeing our audiences transfer online and to other media. We’re having to change our business models. These are interesting times.”
After lunch, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia president and CEO
Susan Lyne spoke about how MSLO has employed what it calls a “360-degree sales approach” and has diversified across all its platforms. “We have teams of experts in the separate categories we cover that come up with the ideas and generate the content for all of the company’s platforms—from print to online to radio to TV,” Lyne said. “We can use this content in a number of ways, and it enables us to touch our consumer one more time.”