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Media and Communications

Online Advertising Strategy Design Considerations – Ken Rona

Online Advertising Strategy Design Considerations – Ken Rona


Erik: What should a media company consider
when designing an online advertising strategy? Ken: I think the first thing you gotta think
about is how people are gonna consume the content. I think that people are gonna consume content,
as we discussed, on any random device. So it means that you wanna design a technology
platform that supports that, right, that’s very virtual, right. Basically, you can create a thin client on
some device, and it’ll play and connect to back end system. I think your ability to dynamically insert
ads is gonna be increasingly critical, right, so not everyone, unlike the broadcast model
today, where everyone sees the same ads. The day will come where, you know, you’ll
insert the right ad for the right person. The other thing I think about — you know,
and I didn’t really understand this until I started working at Turner. High-quality content is like the most important
thing. So I really didn’t have an appreciation for
how important actually creating a channel people wanted to watch is. So I think that if I were advising somebody
who wanted to start a digital, you know, an online digital publishing house, the first
thing I’d say is get really, really, really good content. Invest in really, really good content. I don’t believe that any of that, like demand-media
stuff. I know that they have a real business and
all that, but I don’t think that’s — I don’t think that’s a business. It’s certainly not a business that I would
wanna be in. I would wanna be in the HBO business, right,
where you’re producing your own original programming. It gives you a peak — it gives people a reason
to come. I mean in some ways it’s not unlike what you
do, right. I mean you give people a reason to come to
your site because it’s interesting content, I mean, hopefully. Erik: I hope so. Ken: Yes, and I can tell you, I watched my
own video at least three to four times. I’m very skeptical that Netflix, as a distribution
company, can create compelling, original content. I think that’s its own skill. And I — you know, they may have found somebody
to do it for them. They can — you know, who has a real skill,
but there’s a reason why, you know, Aaron Sorkin or Chuck Lorre, right, that those guys
are successful show runners, right, that they understand how to create compelling content. And I don’t think you can — I don’t think
you can value that enough. I think if you have really good content you’re
gonna — and people are interested, then you’re gonna — you’re gonna — your audience will
grow, right. I think you gotta build it and they’ll come. All that other crap, all that technical stuff,
I think that stuff is important to help you monetize it, but, in my mind, it starts with
the good content. I mean as an example here, I’ll just throw
this out, like I don’t know about you but I think, you know, you could put Tina Fey,
you could move 30 Rock to any channel and people are gonna follow her. Erik: Yeah. It’s a great show. It’s one of the great shows. Ken: I mean just as an example. Yeah, I mean or Community or Modern Family,
people are gonna follow that content. The distribution of it? How they monetize it? I don’t know. I don’t care as a user. I just wanna go where the good stuff is.

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