Survival of the adaptable

April 24, 2007

To survive in today's brave new media world, many broadcasters point to the axiom commonly attributed to Charles Darwin: survival of the fittest. But that's not what Darwin said. He actually said, "survival of the most adaptable."

Market adaptability isn't a gift of birth or divine inspiration. "Innovation is not necessarily a lightning bolt," explained David Eckoff, Turner Broadcasting VP of new products, in his VON presentation. "It comes from sustainable, repeatable processes."

According to Eckoff, there are three trends that media companies must adapt to.

The first is the explosion of online video. For example, Turner recently served 9 million video streams in a single day. One of the network's most popular online offerings is veryfunnyads.com, which has an almost exclusively online audience. The show is occasionally broadcast on TV.

The second is developing a more expansive definition of content — e.g. online games. Gametap.com is an example of how game franchises such as Myst are morphing into new forms of entertainment as interactive games. Broadcasters and advertisers need to tap into these new aggregations of content.

The third is taking advantage of today's low cost and high-quality handheld video recording technology. "It's the future of live broadcasting," Eckoff said. "You no longer need a truck and a satellite link. Your phone is all you need to go live."

According to Eckoff, "Now is the time to innovate; now is the time to adapt."

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