Talk that TV viewing has been on a steady decline has been swirling around since the introduction of the smartphone and tablet. Thursday night’s “Catching the Eye of Generation Y” event at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills put that gossip to rest.
Mediated by Co-Editor-in-Chief of Variety, Andrew Wallenstein, the night provided an in-depth analysis about the future of media, and concluded that TV wasn’t going away – it was actually going everywhere. Three heads of major content companies discussed the changing consuming methods of millennials and the increasing demand to adjust their respective marketing and social platforms in order to keep up with audiences.
In an introduction by Senior VP of Client Insights at Nielsen, Dounia Turrill, the myth that people are watching less TV nowadays was blown out the water. The real question of the evening was not when the younger demographic can be reached, but where – through what medium? Data was able to prove that not only are the young consumers watching TV, but that “second screens [tablet, smartphone] enhance the entertainment experience” when watching television programs, she said.
Knowing all this information is what MTV‘s President of Programming Suzanne Daniels said “inspires us to think differently about programming.” President of ABC Family, Tom Ascheim, added to that and said, “TV can’t be the only thing we do.” Deals with streaming venues such as Netflix are part of what help MTV’s success, with Daniels calling it a “win-win” for both parties. By incorporating Twitter and Facebook for viewer interaction, networks are directly seeing the viewer’s reactions to their content.
Keith Richman, President of DEFY Media, explained grappling with similar media issues, though his YouTube-centric acts like Smosh reach a smaller audience than television networks despite beginning on the connected world of the internet. Regardless, each company expressed how devoted they were to providing desired content while figuring out cost and effectiveness regarding their strategies.
All three panelists agreed that it was impossible to ignore the shift in how to connect with their viewers and give them what they want. A brand video for each business showcased their versatility and a commitment to growth in the evolving digital age. Who knows, maybe a new way of consuming content is on the horizon, and these major companies might just end up two steps ahead of the competition.