HRTS In-Focus http://blog.hrts.org News, Notes & Commentary on the world of HRTS Thu, 11 May 2017 01:12:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 http://blog.hrts.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cropped-hrts-2014-32x32.gif HRTS In-Focus http://blog.hrts.org 32 32 HRTS Member Profile: Albert Cheng http://blog.hrts.org/2017/05/membership-spotlight/hrts-member-profile-albert-cheng-2/ Wed, 10 May 2017 23:55:17 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3851 by Taylor Hotvet

AlbertCheng-headshot1Albert Cheng is Chief Operating Officer of Amazon Studios. I recently had a chance to interview Albert to discuss what’s new in the digital world, favorite movies, and how to spot game-changing opportunities.

What was your first job in the industry? 

-Jeff Shell gave me my first job in the industry as Director of Business Development, Fox/Liberty Networks (now known as Fox Cable Networks)

What led you to HRTS?

-in the past, I became a mentor and mentored a number of talented individuals in JHRTS. Now, Amazon Studios is a member of HRTS.

What is your favorite memory from your career thus far? 

-having Steve Jobs sit down to meet my product and engineering team that put ABC shows on the iPad and to compliment them on a job well done – it was an incredible achievement for them, taking 5 weeks to build the app on top of our own video platform with no pre-market iPads to work with.

RECODE described you as “the guy who helped bring the networks’ TV shows to the internet”, referring to your work at ABC that led the way for modern viewing habits through streaming and digital platforms. That takes incredible foresight! Where do you see TV & movies expanding to next?

-over the internet, networks like Amazon Prime Video are global brands where consumers can get their TV and movies streamed anytime and anywhere!

What is one aspect of storytelling that has yet to be figured out? 

-I’m interested to see how a generation that has grown-up on YouTube starts to view or think about long form programming – will the narrative formats and storytelling devices that we currently know need to be different or will they stay the same?

From your experience working at both, what advantages does a platform like Amazon have over a traditional studio?

-we have the ability to connect our viewers with content creators in a more direct way. We can have a closer relationship with our viewers and engage them in different ways. We’re just getting started.

A trend within the industry seems to be to get consumers to interact and/or experience a single piece of content, with possible variations and/or extensions to the same story, across multiple platforms. What sort of predictions about the future landscape of the industry do you draw from this?

-digital platforms open up many more possibilities to engage fans across many mediums – the key is making sure that it’s organic and a natural extension to what viewers are looking for and where they typically find it. It has to be authentic and it has to be worth their time.

Do you have any tricks for spotting untapped opportunities that you can share? 

-always ask what can be done easier, better, or cheaper. Always assume that the rules of your world don’t apply to the next generation and the generation thereafter. I still see Boomers and some Gen Xers believe that Millennials will adopt their same habits and points of view – they won’t…ever… Very soon, they will be the dominant media viewer.

What are the 3 most important skills one should have to succeed in this rapidly changing industry? 

-read, learn and experience the new.

Lastly, what have been your favorite movies and or TV shows from the last two years? 

-the latest movie is Logan and latest TV show for me is one of our own originals, Patriot.

Taylor Hotvet is a coordinator in theatrical brand marketing at Universal Pictures and an HRTS volunteer, contributor and JHRTS member. She likes 1940s movies, 1960s music, and 2010s coffee.

She can be reached at Taylor.Hotvet@nbcuni.com

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Springtime Thoughts… http://blog.hrts.org/2017/05/executive-director/springtime-thoughts/ Wed, 10 May 2017 23:55:09 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3886 May 2017... This makes it officially 14 springs I’ve experienced since becoming the Executive Director of this great organization. May is usually pretty quiet for us. I usually look at late spring through the prism of sunshine, pilot season wrapping, the upfronts and then a much needed Memorial Day getaway before we dive into summer and planning for the coming year. But this year, aside from a bout of anxiety regarding what could have been a disastrous work stoppage, springtime came roaring at us, albeit in a good way. Even though we’re crazy busy… all I have to say Spring 2017 is rounding out quite nicely for HRTS!

IMG_9991HRTS membership is at an all-time high, evolving and expanding into several new, exciting membership segments reflecting the ever-changing and diverse industry landscape HRTS occupies. This includes a new New York City based Associate membership group, led by NY Associates Co-Presidents Eden Sutley (truTV) and Max Ulanoff (Don Buchwald and Assoc.) We launched our new membership in New York with a freewheeling Q&A with FX’s Eric Schrier. If the first event is any indication, our NY Associates membership should soon rival their slightly older LA siblings in member growth and in compelling events and activities geared towards the mid-level, rising executive ranks. Game on!

Additionally, here in LA we launched our new Unscripted Content Group. Born from the merger of HRTS and the Unscripted Content Association, a group of media legal professionals and focused on the non-scripted space, this new member segment will be producing and presenting programs specifically 20170418_191217targeted at the ever very important non-scripted segment of our business. Industry legal professionals take note: each UCG panel event will be eligible for required MCLE credits! Our first UCG dinner was held at Lawry’s The Prime Rib on April 18 and was a resounding success. A full house welcomed a panel consisting of CNN’s Lizzie Kerner, WME’s David Sherman, Machete Productions’ Amber Mazzola, and All3 Media’s Jennifer Thomas deep diving into Producing Non-Scripted for News Networks. Thank you HRTS Board Member Scott Hervey for your tremendous efforts pulling this together.

And our April Spotlight Breakfast series featuring Audience Network’s Chris Long and IMG_0087-04-23-17-chyna photographyactor/writer/producer Vince Vaughn was a great success. Again, a full house joined us at the Beverly Hilton on April 24 for breakfast and conversation on the exciting original programming platform at Audience network with a very intuitive and entertaining “producer’s” perspective from multi-hyphenate Vince Vaughn. I’m not sure I can promise a Vince Vaughn for breakfast every time but I’m looking forward to the opportunity to shine a spotlight on other interesting, growing nets in the coming months and welcome your ideas on who we might want to feature. Let me know what you think.

So in conclusion, in what is normally a fairly quiet period here at HRTS, this year, well not so much. It’s been busy, busy, busy, and all of it is exciting and new. I guess kind of like pilot/upfront season for the rest of y’all! Year round programming has finally caught up to us at HRTS…but that’s okay. As the industry evolves, so do we, continually striving to provide networking, knowledge and career development opportunities and programming for our ever diverse membership.

As always, on behalf of all of us here at HRTS, thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you at the next event!

Best,

Dave Ferrara
Executive Director

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HRTS Associates Update.. http://blog.hrts.org/2017/05/hrts-associates/hrts-associates-update-2/ Wed, 10 May 2017 23:54:55 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3809 NEW YORK

HRTS Associates NY Co PresidentsOn April 25th, Eric Schrier, President of FX Networks and HRTS kicked-off the first ever Associates event in NY by conducting a Q&A at WME|IMG. The evening started off with a cocktail hour sponsored by WME|IMG and an introduction from our very own, Executive Director, Dave Ferrara. Members and newcomers alike got an opportunity to have an intimate conversation with Eric about HRTS, the power of networking and the current landscape of TV. Moderated by co-presidents, Eden Sutley (TruTV) and Maximilian Ulanoff (Buchwald), this highly anticipated event and kickoff had over 60 plus industry executives in attendance.

The New York chapter also held its first networking mixer on May 2nd at the luxurious LeGrande Lounge in the Time Hotel. Building off the success of the Eric Schrier event over 70 plus attendees joined for cocktails, hors d'oeuvre, jazz and schmoozing.

 

 

LOS ANGELES

Co-Presidents picWrapping up its inaugural year, HRTS Associates is pleased to announce they have more than tripled their membership since they were founded in July 2016. Paula Aranda and Ryan Mickels are taking over the presidency from Co-Founders Lauren Michal and Meredith Willis, who will continue on as Board Members. Already under Paula and Ryan’s leadership, HRTS Associates have enjoyed a roundtable with Gary Marenzi, Head of Entertainment Sales and Partnerships, IMG targeting the ins and outs of the international market at MIP, and will be hosting a mixer later this month to invite new members. The new Associates Board for 2017-2018 includes mid-tier executives who run the gamut of entertainment posts at studios, networks, and agencies, working in representation, reality, scripted, and freelance positions.

Looking ahead, HRTS Associates seeks to provide programming to further expose its members to emerging and/or previously unknown areas of entertainment. HRTS Associates remains committed to education and integration in the landscape of our ever-evolving media.

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JHRTS LA & NY Update.. http://blog.hrts.org/2017/05/jhrts/jhrts-la-ny-update/ Wed, 10 May 2017 23:54:43 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3811 LOS ANGELES

HRTS / JHRTS MENTORSHIP KICK-OFF: 3/1

The annual Mentorship Mixer on March 1st was a big success and brought together HRTS, Associates, and JHRTS members alike who spent the evening mingling at the Beverly Hilton poolside in a crowd of about 150. Mentors consisted of HRTS members, TV executives, agents, and HRTS-Associates who all split their time equally between mentees and industry colleagues, seamlessly networking and making the most out of the experience. It was a great way to break the ice and kick off another year of the mentorship program!

JHRTS COMEDY NIGHT @ The Lab - Emerging Talent Showcase: 3/16

On Thursday, March 16th, JHRTS partnered with the world-famous Hollywood Improv (for a third time!) to bring JHRTS members a night full of comedy from the hottest emerging comedians in Los Angeles.  Over 50 young professionals from across the industry showed up for an exciting night of comedy and networking. The emerging talent showcase featured an impressive lineup of unique comedic voices including Jackie Fabulous, Rebecca Corry, Gus Constantellis, Mateo Lane, Thomas Dale, Joey Bragg and Lydia Popovich.  JHRTS, in partnership with the Hollywood Improv, remains committed to connecting JHRTS members to comedy experiences and emerging talent.  The next JHRTS Comedy Night will be hosted at the Hollywood Improv and is in the works in May 2017.

reading to kidsREADING TO KIDS Philanthropy: 3/11

On Saturday, March 11th, 15 JHRTS members spent their morning at Los Angeles Elementary School instilling students aged kindergarten to 5th grade with a love of reading through the non-profit Reading To Kids. This month was extra fun for all involved because we ended our volunteer morning with a musical guest and songs about macaroni & cheese.

 

 

A CONVERSATION W/ LILLY SINGH: HOW TO BE A BAWSE: 3/20

Lilly SinghInternational superstar LILLY SINGH held an intimate conversation with JHRTS members on Monday, March 20th at WME. A week before releasing her first book, "How To Be A Bawse," Singh opened up about her career and experience in both digital and traditional media. Offering high-level insight and advice to a room full of aspiring creatives and business executives, those fortunate enough to attend can all agree that Lilly Singh's career trajectory has been astonishing, all due to her tireless work ethic and the incredible team she's built to support her endeavors.

 WESTSIDE HIKE & BRUNCH MIXER: 4/1

On Saturday April 1st, JHRTS members enjoyed a strenuous hike in Temescal Canyon where they bonded out in nature. Afterwards, members flocked to a nearby brunch location where they solidified their new friendships over green smoothies. It was a great event and everyone left feeling accomplished for completing their 10,000 step goal.

PROJECT ANGEL FOOD Philanthropy: 4/9

On Sunday, April 9th, several JHRTS volunteers teamed up with Project Angel Food to help put together meals for individuals in need all over Los Angeles County. Volunteers graciously spent a few hours working with a professional chef to chop, mix, scoop, and sauté ingredients catered towards special diets. They helped create enough food to feed around 1,500 people for an entire week, all while networking and meeting other members in a fun setting.

HEAL THE BAY Philanthropy: 4/15Heal the bay

April is Earth Month and JHRTS helped by joining Heal The Bay to collect trash along Santa Monica beach on Saturday, April 15th. Through this organization, they've been able to take what they learn of what volunteers find on the beach to pass laws to help keep the ocean safe. One example we learned is after they noticed extreme amounts of styrofoam collected, they were able to ban use of styrofoam from the local restaurants. JHRTS members walked along the beach on a beautiful Saturday and did their part in keeping the beach clean while networking!

WRITING PROGRAM PANEL: 4/17Writing Program 1

On Monday April 17th, following the impromptu mixer held in the CAA lobby thanks to a faulty fire alarm, JHRTS members were treated to an inside look at what it takes to make it into a few of television's most prestigious writing pipeline programs. Program leaders from Warner Bros., NBC, CBS, ABC and Nickelodeon gave insight into their application process, tips to make a script stand out among thousands of submissions, and the grueling but rewarding curriculums that await the talented few who are selected. The programs represented in this panel have discovered and groomed some of the most sought after up-and-coming talent in the industry, and there just may have been a few future graduates among the JHRTS audience.

Network it forward

 

NETWORK IT FORWARD: 4/24

The 4th Annual Network-It-Forward took place at the Nickelodeon offices on April 24.  We brought together JHRTS members with students from several universities, including Temple, Scripps, University of Miami, Claremont McKenna, and Azusa Pacific.  Our members gave career advice to the students, many of whom followed up on the connections they made that evening to continue the conversation.

 

WOMEN IN DOCS: PATTY IVANS 'HUNGRY' SCREENING & DISCUSSION : 4/27

On Thursday, April 27th, JHRTS hosted a documentary film panel called "Women in Docs" at CAA at 7:30pm. The event began with a screening of the Logo documentary, Hungry, and was followed by an audience Q&A. The event was intimate which allowed for an open and personal conversation. The Director/Executive Producer, the Head of Documentary Films at Logo, and the EVP of Casting at Bunim-Murray led a conversation about the making of the film, working in predominantly male fields, and their experiences in the industry. The night concluded after almost an hour of thoughtful questions and insightful responses.

ACE OF HEARTS DOG RESCUE PHILANTHROPY: 5/6ace of hearts dog rescue

On Saturday, May 6th, a group of 15 JHRTS members teamed up with the Los Angeles based non-profit dog rescue organization ACE OF HEARTS at PETCO in West Hollywood (ACE founded by Kari Whitman).  These volunteers had so much fun spending an afternoon caring for and playing with these dogs all while helping them find loving forever homes.  On a positive note, an amazing number of dogs were adopted!  On top of spending time with the dogs, walking them, and giving them treats, the volunteers also helped put together goodie bags for the dogs’ foster parents for the upcoming week.  Several new JHRTS members attended the event as well as familiar faces making for a productive networking experience!

NEW YORK

Philanthropy update: 3/25susan's place

JHRTS is committed to giving back to our community through skills-based volunteering and non-profit partnerships. The New York chapter has an ongoing relationship with Bronx-based Care For The Homeless and their Women's shelter, Susan's Place. Susan’s Place is dedicated to serving medically frail and mentally ill homeless women, providing them with healthy meals, clean clothing, recreational activities and a broad range of primary health care and social services. On the last Saturday of each month, our members take two hours to mingle with each other and help those in need.

In addition to monthly volunteering, we partner with New York Arts organizations such as Ghetto Film School and Reel Works to participate in educational enrichment programming for students interested in the arts, media, and entertainment

Mentorship Panel: 4/17

The Developing Mentorships panel was hosted by Eden Sutley and Katy Sherman and featured their JHRTS Mentors, Marco Bresaz (AMC and Sundance TV) and Angel Annussek (truTV), respectively. The discussion touched on everything from the role of a mentor to the TV development process. JHRTS members were able to ask questions to both mentees and mentors to learn more about the Mentorship Program.

Indie Film Producers Panel: 5/3

Indie PanelJHRTS held a panel to expose members to the unique world of independent film producing. Our panel included Jon Kilik, Kyle Martin, Wendy Finerman, and Peter Newman; an eclectic group of producers who have worked side by side with some of today’s best filmmakers such as Spike Lee, Bob Zemeckis, Lena Dunham and Noah Baumbach. Getting your film seen in a competitive industry requires heavy lifting and creative collaboration, and we were happy to offer the insight of these producers to our membership.

 

Two member testimonials from the jobs board we launched a year and a half ago:

David Miller

I had been looking for a job in the entertainment industry all summer to no avail.  After tirelessly checking job boards, industry specific sites and company career portals, I just wasn't quite able to land anything.  Then, one day, someone handed me a flyer for JHRTS and I thought why not?  Through the help of the Jobs Board a few amazing and generous individuals in the organization, I landed a job at an amazing company within a month of joining JHRTS.  I am still a new member, but I can confidently say that without their help and support I wouldn't have found such a great opportunity.

Amaka Ekeocha  

As I started my search for a new job I decided to look at the job postings on the members only JHRTS-NY Careers Facebook page. It was there that I spotted 2 job postings that were of interest to me and fell in line with what I wanted to move towards.  I sent my resume to the two different members who posted the jobs and the response time was practically lightning fast. Two days after submitting my resume for the positions I heard back from both within the same week. Interviews were set up and then second interviews were set up. I finally was offered a position and it seemed like the whole process occurred in the span of 2 weeks. I’m now settled in my new job and appreciate the help that JHRTS-NY provided. I don’t know how successful I would’ve been without the support of my fellow JHRTS members. Finding a network like this reminds me that there are so many people starting out in this business and an organization like JHRTS, comprised of future executives and creatives, is an important community to join.

Strategic Partnerships Update

The primary focus for the strategic partnership committee this year has been to secure relationships with colleges and universities along the east coast. Our goal has been to encourage college students to pursue a JHRTS membership after graduation and to use current JHRTS members to help them with internship opportunities and networking within our industry. We create these relationships with schools by doing Skype panels. We've talked to students from Harvard, Penn State, the University of Maryland, and the T Howard Foundation. The goal of the panels is to help students understand the jobs that await them after graduation. Everyone wants to be a producer or an agent but they don't always understand the steps to get there. We explain to students how our companies work together and what each person’s role is in creating the films, digital content, and TV shows we all love.

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A Moment in Time: Must See TV http://blog.hrts.org/2017/02/hrts-news/a-moment-in-time-must-see-tv/ Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:33:46 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3738

Friends and family

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February 7, 2017. Beverly Wilshire. Hundreds of industry movers and shakers gathered together to enjoy a moment in time, the Must See TV of 90s NBC. The stage played host to reunited family members Warren Littlefield, Kevin Reilly, John Landgraf, David Nevins, Karey Burke, Robin Schwartz and Preston Beckman, who engaged in a candid, freewheeling discussion moderated by WME’s Rick Rosen.

Rosen began by noting “some incredible statistics to think about in today’s universe: in 1994-95, on an average Thursday night, 75 million Americans watched NBC”. He added that during the heyday of Must See TV, NBC won 168 Emmys, an unprecedented amount.

So what exactly was in the water? Littlefield, then President of NBC Entertainment, credited his mentor, Grant Tinker, saying that “Grant didn’t pontificate a lot but one of the things he told us when we were kids running around the network is to stop thinking about the audience as a bunch of aliens out there that you’re trying to figure out and just put shows on that you would watch”. At the beginning of the 90s, NBC was mired in last place and Tinker’s advice was to “first be best, then be first”. As for other secrets of their collective success, Reilly said that “I look down this line and I genuinely like and genuinely respect everyone on this panel, and there’s not a lot of organizations where you can say that”.

So what was it that made Must See TV so memorable?
Let’s begin the hit parade:


ER

IMG_4802-02-07-17-CHYNA PHOTOGRAPHYER is an iconic show that ran for 16 seasons, with Rosen asking “what happened when ER came into the room?” Reilly and Nevins related that it was a 175-page long, “trunk job”, as in a script that had long been sitting gathering dust in a trunk, a script that Michael Crichton had written in 1973. After a few fits and starts, NBC shot it as a pilot and didn’t think it would be a huge hit but they did think it was really good. Drama was out of favor on television and when they screened the pilot, Nevins said that “it went over like a lead balloon”. Reilly concurred, adding “it was like someone farted in the room”.

Despite the poor initial reception, the NBC team believed that they had something great and they moved forward, with Littlefield saying that “in the network universe, shows succeed because someone within that organization was willing to die for that show”. As for scheduling, Rosen noted that CBS in 1994 had a medical pilot from David E. Kelley and that show got even more buzz around town than did ER, asking the team how this affected their process. Nevins said that “a current report from CBS started floating around NBC”, drawing a huge laugh when he added “and we were like ‘holy shit, in the first episode of Chicago Hope they’re transplanting a baboon’s heart into a little baby! They’re gonna kick our ass!’”. Schwartz added that people were concerned about ER’s frenetic pace, saying “and there was that moment of ‘It moves too fast! It moves too fast! You’ve gotta slow it down!’”IMG_4620-02-07-17-CHYNA PHOTOGRAPHY

Despite all of the obstacles, Littlefield confirmed that ultimately “we believed in the writers and the producers, the showrunners who had a vision”. He added that the sales department shared ER out at a 22 rating, but the NBC creative team believed it was better than that and so held back a lot of inventory. Two months into its run, ER had a 45 share.

FRIENDS

Burke heard the initial pitch for FRIENDS and Rosen asked her how it played in the room. She laughed as she replied “I can’t remember what I had for breakfast but I remember that pitch”, going on to add that creators Kauffman and Crane “were finishing each other’s sentences, and it was so clear that they knew each other so intimately”. They were playwrights and pitched the show “like a two-hander play, it was like watching George and Gracie”. At that time, Landgraf was the new kid on the block and his expertise was drama, he laughed as he recalled “I didn’t know anything about comedy, I had literally zero experience in comedy and so my main contribution in that year was to give terrible, sucky notes to David Crane and Marta Kauffman”.

WILL & GRACE

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Back in the 1990s, openly gay characters on network television were very controversial. Rosen asked Schwartz about the development of the first show to feature an openly gay lead, and she related how the whole NBC team went on a corporate retreat and “at the end, Warren gave us all these rocks, this big garden rock and on the rock it said ‘RISK’” and then when the final script for Will & Grace was ready, Nevins and Schwartz’s team snuck into Littlefield’s office and “we put that script on Warren’s desk and we all piled our rocks, this big mountain of rocks that said ‘RISK’”.

Nevins recalled how he and Littlefield and their team had a meeting with their common boss and at the end of the meeting their boss asked “what f-king world do you live in where you think America wants to watch this?” Littlefield greenlit the pilot anyway and related how “that night when we were on the CBS Radford stage where the Will & Grace pilot shot, the audience were stomping, screaming, and that was it, I said ‘this is a hit show’”. Landgraf said that “the pilot played as a brilliant, riveting love story between a gay man and a heterosexual woman and the audience responded to it, it was profound”.

SEINFELD

IMG_4737-02-07-17-CHYNA PHOTOGRAPHYAs for the show about nothing, Littlefield noted its atypical origins, saying “the pilot screened great, we loved it and then the research report came in and it was probably the lowest-testing pilot in the history of NBC”. The report said that “these are losers. It’s not funny”. Beckman and others were strong believers in the show and so the team decided to move forward. In that year, NBC had already picked up a bunch of other shows and didn’t have much room left in their primetime budget and so they took money away from late night, from a Bob Hope special, and Littlefield called Jerry Seinfeld to say “we’re going to continue the show, we’re ordering four episodes”. Jerry was quiet and respectful and said “just one question: in the history of television, has anything ever worked with a four-episode order?”, Littlefield said he didn’t know, Seinfeld agreed to move forward and “that began the marriage”. The power of good content cannot be overstated, with Littlefield noting how “in the 90s at NBC that show was a beacon to the creative community, the kind of beacon that kept all of us in our jobs”.

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When it Rains It Pours… http://blog.hrts.org/2017/02/executive-director/when-it-rains-it-pours/ Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:33:10 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3780 Ok.  So maybe I am a bit distracted with the biblical rains and flooding we’ve endured for the last couple of months.  I can’t say I don’t appreciate the fact that my lawn is rediscovering its long-forgotten shade of green but enough already, I’m ready for Spring! Winter is that time of year here in SoCal when we plant seeds for the future.  Whether in our home gardens anticipating a beautiful, colorful landscape.  Or in our business of TV the process that takes promising scripts forward into pilots. Or in the case of HRTS, where we launch a string of new initiatives fortifying our commitment to our members and member companies to be the premiere resource for knowledge, networking and career development.  For an organization that historically was known for our luncheons…I guess you could say HRTS is not just about lunch anymore!

IMG_4597-02-07-17-CHYNA PHOTOGRAPHY

So what wonderful things have we planted for you?  On the events front, we launched 2017 with a very special HRTS Newsmaker event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel featuring a look back at NBC’s seminal Must See TV period of the mid 90’s.  The luncheon and panel reunited a group of executives responsible for shows like Friends, ER, Will and Grace, West Wing and more… The atmosphere in the room had the feeling of a class reunion as Kevin Reilly, David Nevins, Warren Littlefield, John Landgraf and more shared the inside scoop on what made that time, those shows and that group of executives so unique.  I encourage you to read HRTS’ Chris Davison’s recap HERE, and to visit HRTS.org to catch the full-length video online.  Additionally, we are planning a whole new slate of Spotlight Breakfasts for spring looking at topics as diverse as the new studio model, Hispanic television and more as well as new evening Digital Cocktail Series events with next up a conversation with Defy media.  And of course we still will present a year round schedule of activities and events for our growing junior and associate membership programs.

On the membership front, we (and by that I mean the entire HRTS Board of Directors and staff) have been very busy revamping the structure and benefits of membership available to you.  In the effort to align our corporate membership benefits more closely to the career and business needs of our members and member companies, HRTS is very happy to announce that going forward Corporate Membership will now include both associate and junior HRTS member benefits!  That’s right, Corporate members can now extend their HRTS benefits across multiple levels of the company and utilize these memberships as part of their own internal career development efforts!  If you’ve held off on becoming a Corporate Member, now is the perfect time to revisit the idea.  I encourage you to call our office to chat with member services to find out how you can join the over 40 companies that support HRTS at the Corporate level. JOIN NOW!

And lastly…

Unscripted Content Association + HRTS = HRTS Unscripted Content Group!

HRTS is pleased to announce the HRTS Unscripted Content Group (UCG,) the HRTS’ newest membership segment born from the partnership between the Unscripted Content Association (UCA) and the Hollywood Radio & Television Society (HRTS.)  UCA (and its predecessor the Non-Scripted Attorney’s Association) is a coalition of attorneys and other media professionals focused on the business of Unscripted.  Joining forces with the UCA, HRTS is proud to be able to expand our membership and our professional development offerings to include programming focused on the unscripted content space.

The new HRTS Unscripted Content group will present quarterly dinners/panels focused on the ever-evolving business of Unscripted.  As an added bonus for media legal professionals, these new UCG events are eligible for credit towards your MCLE requirements!

New members may join the HRTS-UCG directly which includes all four UCG events. Current HRTS members may purchase individual UCG event tickets through their membership, and for those current members focused on the unscripted space, you are welcome to upgrade your membership to a UCG membership at renewal time.

Once again, all of us at HRTS are pleased to welcome UCA members to the ranks of HRTS membership.  The addition of UCA’s members and quarterly Unscripted Content event programming reflects the ongoing importance we all place on knowledge, networking and career development as we forge forward in our media careers.  For more information on the new HRTS Unscripted Content Group please call HRTS Member Services at (818) 789-1182 or visit HRTS.ORG.

So there you go…it may have been a rainy winter, but we hunkered down and in anticipation of the sunshine to come, worked our tails off to be ready for a new bright and exciting springtime just around the corner!  New events, new expanded benefits, and an entirely new membership segment focused on unscripted, make this a season of evolution for our now almost seventy year old organization. We’re excited to be able to share all of this with you and we hope you find our newest innovations and initiatives to be beneficial as you navigate your media career path.  And of course, as always I encourage you to reach out should you have ideas or thoughts on how we can better serve you, our members and member companies.  At the end of the day, that’s what we are here for!

Respectfully,

Dave Ferrara
HRTS Executive Director

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HRTS Associates Update! http://blog.hrts.org/2017/02/hrts-associates/hrts-associates-update/ Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:32:35 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3699 HRTS Associates is the newest tier of HRTSIMG_0278
membership serving rising executives in all areas of the  industry. Not to be confused with the Junior HRTS, HRTS Associates is a subset of HRTS that satisfies a long-standing demand for an accessible, affordable level of membership that provides networking, educational, and mentorship opportunities for mid-level agents, managers, and executives. Co-Presidents Lauren Michal and Meredith Willis and their Board of Associates are pleased to announce that the HRTS Associates has hit 100 members in the first seven months of its inception!

HRTS Associates members – some of whom migrated from HRTS and others who graduated from JHRTS – have enjoyed a plethora of programming since the membership’s launch in May 2016. Beginning with a mixer to meet the Associates, events consisted of roundtables addressing topics that IMG_2232 (2)are relative to what executives in the middle of their professional journey may experience. These include areas such as how to change careers within entertainment, what are notable legal and business trends within new media, and what to expect if  you are fired.

hp1 (2)The HRTS Associates have stayed true to their initial mission statement of providing more regular and intimate events. Whether discussing current programming, ratings, the digital landscape or otherwise, Associates members can expect to encounter a safe environment in which to learn and meet one another. They are actively participating in HRTS’s highly-recognized mentorship program and are initiating a "pen pal” networking program with the newly-formed New York Associates membership tier to collaborate with their East Coast peers.

BECOME AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER

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JHRTS Has Been Busy! http://blog.hrts.org/2017/02/jhrts/jhrts-has-been-busy-3/ Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:17:32 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3722 AIDS Walk LA Philanthropy: 10/23JHRTS Aids Walk 2016
JHRTS participated in the 2016 AIDS Walk Los Angeles on Sunday, October 23rd.  20 JHRTS members and friends gathered in Grand Park to walk 6.2 miles for the cause, and we raised $2321 for AIDS Project Los Angeles and other L.A. County HIV service organizations.  It was wonderful to see so many people come together with smiles on their faces, supporting one another and having fun for such an amazing effort!  There were a few moments where it looked like it would rain, however the group pushed through and we made many friends along the way.  Estelle sang "Conqueror," Mayor Eric Garcetti said "When we walk, we show who we are," and that we did.  We were there with over 10,000 people including Peter Gallagher (Law & Order: SVU), Pauley Perrette (NCIS), Jenna Ortega (Jane the Virgin), Stephanie Corneliussen (Mr. Robot), Bebe Wood (The Real O'Neals) and Mary Hollis Inboden (The Real O'Neals). Overall it was an amazing experience and everyone had a wonderful time while getting their steps in for the day!


The Fundamentals of Live Sports Broadcasting Panel: 10/24
JHRTS Sports PanelInspired by the Rio Olympics and the return the NFL season, JHRTS hosted its first live sports panel at CAA on Monday, October 24, in an effort to highlight one of the most robust segments of the entertainment industry. Moderator Tom Young (Sports Broadcasting Agent, CAA) led an impressive roster of live sports executives and producers through thoughtful discussions on topics ranging from the mechanics of crafting captivating sports stories to the future outlook of live sports and its role within the greater entertainment landscape. Panelists included Dan Hellie (Host of 'NFL Total Access', NFL Network), David Neal (VP of Production and Executive Producer of FIFA World Cup, Fox Sports), Scott Shapiro (VP of Sports Programming, Fox Sports Radio), and Barbara Donahue (Producer/Director, Grand Prix Productions).  Although the turnout was modest, JHRTS members in attendance were deeply engaged throughout the conversation, which was most evident during a spirited audience Q&A session. To cap off a successful night, all attendees were gifted cases of protein shakes courtesy of Muscle Milk. Over the past year, JHRTS has made a concerted effort to broaden its offerings to include informative events surrounding previously unexplored topics such as music and sports.  Stay tuned for similar events from JHRTS over the months to come!

JHRTS Comedy Night @ The Lab: 11/15
On Tuesday, November 15, JHRTS partnered with the world-famous Hollywood Improv to host and curate an Emerging Talent Showcase in The Lab. Over 50 young professionals from across the industry showed up for an exciting night of comedy and networking. The showcase featured an impressive lineup of unique comedic voices including Brad Silnutzer, Sandy Danto, Kyle Shire, Isaac Hirsch, Lydia Popovich, Matt Richards, Jesus Trejo, Marlena Rodriguez, Chinedu Unaka, Steven Wilber, and Zainab Johnson. Following the show, all members where invited into the dinning room for a networking mixer, which included four-dollar drink specials. JHRTS, in partnership with the Hollywood Improv, will continue to connect our members to comedy experiences and talent over the years ahead.  The next JHRTS Comedy Night at the Hollywood Improv is planned for Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 8:00pm.

Hired Promoted WorkshopHired & Promoted in Hollywood w/Kate Lupo: 11/16
On Wednesday, November 16th, JHRTS members enjoyed a workshop with Kate Lupo, a professional career coach who helps people land their first job in Hollywood, and also offers advice for assistants looking to get promoted. She provided valuable insight from her days working at ICM and generously answered everyone's questions. She even offered a follow-up phone consultation for anyone interested. The event gave our members the opportunity to share their career concerns and feel like they could turn to someone for guidance.

 

JHRTS Hollywood Reporter Next Gen Panel: 11/29Next Gen Panel
JHRTS held its annual Next Gen panel in conjunction with The Hollywood Reporter on the Sony Lot on November 29th. Panelists included Rachel Rusch (Talent Agent, CAA), Mary Rohlich (Head of TV & Film, Exhibit A), Kevin Wandell (Director of Series Development, FX), Whit Albohm (VP of Studio Production, Fox Sports 1), Carrie Gillogly (VP of Scripted, AMC/Sundance TV), Jana Steele Helman (VP of Programming & Development, Freeform), and Max Aronson (VP Drama Development, Sony Pictures Television). Bryn Sandberg from The Hollywood Reporter moderated the event.

Writers on the Rise Panel: 11/30
On Wednesday, November 30th, roughly 80 JHRTS members enjoyed a panel featuring several young staff writers from shows including THIS IS US, UNDERGROUND, THE GREAT INDOORS, DEAD OF SUMMER, and YOUNG AND HUNGRY, eloquently moderated by CAA TV Lit Agent Angela Dallas. The writers each generously shared their stories of landing their first writing job, what it's like being in and navigating a writers room, what tning going forward in their careers, and advice for aspiring writers. The theater was packed and JHRTS hey are planmembers expressed immense gratitude for the opportunity to hear from up-and-coming drama and comedy writers.

JHRTS Annual Holiday Party ‘TINSELTOWN’: 12/7Holiday Party JHRTS HRTS
JHRTS members got dressed up and filled Boulevard3 in Hollywood for the annual holiday party ‘Tinseltown’, on Wednesday, December 7th. members and non-member of JHRTS got dressed up for a lovey night out in Upon arrival, guests were greeted by Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo and Judy Garland as Dorothy who later mingled with everyone at the party and caused a little mischief along the way. Erin Lim kept the night on track as the party’s emcee and DJ Sleeper invited the guests to dance all night long.  Leading up to the night’s festivities, JHRTS members raised money for Princes Project Los Angeles and the winners of the raffle cashed in on their prices that night. Overall the night was glamorous and will be one to top next year! Re-live the night by checking out the photos from the event (and the photo booth) on our Facebook page! http://bit.ly/jhrtslaholiday2016.

Annual Speed Networking Mixer: 2/15/17
Writers, junior executives, rising agents, and publicists were among the many attendees who gathered at Sandbox Eat-Drink-Play on Wednesday, February 15th for the JHRTS Annual Speed Networking Event. Prompted by structured questions, members made new connections and shared their work experiences, career aspirations, and favorite television shows.

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HRTS Member Profile: Jonathan Davis http://blog.hrts.org/2017/02/membership-spotlight/hrts-member-profile-jonathan-davis/ Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:24:34 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3695 FOX - Jonathan DavisJonathan Davis is President of Creative Affairs at 20th Century Fox Television.
We recently had a chance to interview him to discuss passion, adrenaline and New Jersey.

Q: Can you tell us about your background and what made you want to work in entertainment?
-I LOVE television. Growing up — TV connected me to the world outside of my own experience. I still have the credits of the giants embossed on my brain from these incredible shows --Jim Brooks, Jim Burrows, the Charles Brothers, Steven Bochco, Gary David Goldberg, Aaron Spelling to name a few. I knew early on that I wanted to be where the action was happening (and trust me, it was not in New Jersey).

Q: How did you first get involved with the HRTS?
-HRTS is such an exciting organization – it really gives you a peek behind the curtain. As a young executive, I always loved being invited to hear a showrunner or executive speak frankly about the challenges and opportunities in our business.

Q: What is a favorite memory from your career thus far?
-going to the ABC upfront the year we made MODERN FAMILY. Rather than just play a few clips, Steve McPherson broke with protocol and played the entire Modern Family pilot. The room went wild for it. And it validated what we all knew- this show was going to be a game-changer. We felt the same way when we got the finished pilots of EMPIRE and THIS IS US. Being involved in just one of these shows would have been amazing, but to have worked on all three has been beyond my wildest imagination.

Q: What do you look for when developing a new show?
-we look for a distinct voice that cuts through the clutter, and then we listen to that creator carefully and we move every obstacle out of their way to achieve their vision. We are nothing without our amazing producers.

Q: When developing new material at what point do you sense that you might have a hit?
-the feeling comes along at different times. Hearing a great pitch is intoxicating and fills you with adrenaline and possibility. Outlines and story docs can provide both highs and lows (this is the process where fluidity and calm matter most). And when you read a great script, you bust out of your office to engage your coworkers – "We got one! Let's get it made!"

Q: What was it like working with Robin Williams?
-incredible. What an amazing, funny, thoughtful man.

Q: How are millennials similar to or different from past generations of viewers?
-just like past generations, millennials want to be captivated by undeniable storytelling-- that's where it all starts. I guess the biggest difference is that millennials are accustomed to choice and opportunity in a way we weren't growing up, pre-DVRs and DVDs and streaming services. They love binge watching and the ability to view whatever interests them on demand. So for them, there is no "I'll just watch whatever is on." There's too much content available for anyone to settle for anything they aren't passionately interested in watching. So we need to make superior content that can be devoured on any platform at any time. As television viewers, we all want to feel the rush of a rich, enthralling story. We want to engage our friends, coworkers and relatives about the amazing stories we have just been told.

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In the Digital World, Not Everything That Can Be Measured Matters http://blog.hrts.org/2016/10/special-features/in-the-digital-world-not-everything-that-can-be-measured-matters/ Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:40:22 +0000 http://blog.hrts.org/?p=3542 How to Distinguish “Valuable” from “Nice to Know” Among Measures of Consumer Engagement

Written By
Gian M. Fulgoni
comScore, Inc.

INTRODUCTION
In 2006, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) provided one of the first marketing-focused definitions of “engagement” as “turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context.”The phrase “turning on” would appear to encompass any communication from a brand that improves consumers’ attitudes and sentiments or that induces a positive change in consumer choice in favor of the brand.

Some criticized the ARF interpretation as being too broad for such an important indicator, but it has since morphed into multiple definitions, depending on the medium of context.Many are the result of the impact of the Internet, social media, and mobile devices on the nature and extent of communications between a brand and its consumers.

Engagement no longer can be considered to be simply a one-way communication from a brand to the consumer. Instead, it now needs to incorporate consumers’ ability to easily provide digital feedback of their own—at scale and with the communication being either positive or negative.3

From desktop/laptop computers to smartphones to tablets to game consoles, there are myriad ways
for a brand to digitally engage with consumers. With each tool comes a different set of means to measure that engagement. The traditional “softer” measures of advertising engagement—attitudinal shifts in brand recall, likability, and purchase intent… along with harder measures of sales lift—often are used to measure consumers’ engagement with digital advertisements. And they all still have value.

But, the computerized nature of digital also means that many other engagement metrics—from clicks, to viewability, to “Likes” and “Shares”—are available today. The challenge for marketers is to identify the metrics that matter to their return on advertising investment (ROI) versus those that either are nice to know or downright misleading.

DIGITAL-ADVERTISING METRICS
Why the “Click” Matters Less
One of the first measures of online engagement was the “click” on a display advertisement, with the use of a computer mouse. Although click rates in the early days of online advertising reached levels of 3 percent or higher—and it’s true that clicks remain meaningfully high for search advertisements— average click-through rates for display advertisements today have dropped to an abysmally low level of 0.1 percent. Or, in other words, only one in a thousand advertising impressions in a campaign generate a click.

Further complicating the click credibility is that research has demonstrated the absence of any relationship between clicks and effectiveness (Fulgoni and Morn, 2009).

Despite the greater understanding we now have of the metric, many in the advertising industry still use click-through rates as measures of engagement and effectiveness. In a 2014 survey4 of publishers, agencies, and advertisers, approximately four out of ten professionals said they used the click “always or most of the time” to measure the effectiveness of display advertisements. It’s likely that simplicity, low cost, and speed are the drivers of the continued use of clicks—which is unfortunate in light of their lack of relevance to advertising effectiveness.

Only one in a thousand advertising impressions in a campaign generates a click. Further complicating the click credibility is that research has demonstrated the absence of any relationship between clicks and effectiveness.

Buyers and sellers of digital advertising also use other engagement metrics. These include

• website reach
• number of page views
• time spent
• demographics.

Although these certainly are relevant to the size and quality of the audience reached, the relationship of these measures to advertising engagement and the effectiveness of brand advertising carried on the site is tenuous at best.

By contrast, GfK researchers have demonstrated that consumers’

• attitudes toward a website,
• motivations for using it, and
• overall opinion of the site

are the most relevant metrics that need to be taken into account in gauging engagement with brand advertising.5 In particular, trust in the site appears to be an extremely important metric for driving consumer response to advertising.

How Viewable Is Your Ad?
From a negative perspective, the very nature of digital technology results in some unique impediments to any consumer engagement with digital advertisements, including low viewability and ad-blocking software.

Needless to say, if the advertisement isn’t even in-view to the consumer, then engagement can’t occur. Digital in-view rates (i.e., the percentage of advertising impressions in a campaign that are in-view to the consumer) often are found to be lower than 50 percent (mainly because the user doesn’t scroll down the page far enough to see the advertisement or because the “viewer” is a fraudulent computer with no human user).

With that evidence in hand, it’s not surprising to see leading advertisers such as Unilever and the world’s largest media buying agency, GroupM, demanding assurances from publishers that their advertisements are actually seen.6

The realization that the metrics provided by ad servers were misleading—and that many digital advertisements were not in-view to consumers—also has prompted the measurement of how long in-view advertisements are actually in-view.

Sometimes referred to as “attention,” this concern has led to the suggestion that this is another valid engagement metric. The industry’s accreditation group, the Media Ratings Council (MRC), has specified
that as long as 50 percent of a display advertisement is in-view for at least one second (two seconds for a video advertisement) then the advertisement can be classified as being in-view.

Some marketers and their agencies have criticized this definition as being far too lax.7 A Millward Brown study showed that the impact of digital advertisements climbs sharply after the advertisement has been in-view for some time,8 suggesting that a longer in-view definition might be more appropriate.

Further complicating the situation is that in the case of video advertisements, measurement of consumer engagement encompasses not only whether the advertisement was ever seen and how long it was viewed but also whether or not the audio was switched on.7 Speaking at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Annual Leadership Meeting in February 2015, CBS Interactive Chief Revenue Officer David Morris commented that the introduction of viewability had been somewhat chaotic for the industry, both in terms of measuring the MRC’s standard effectively and the confusion the concept itself has inflicted on the marketplace.7

The Battle Against Ad Blocking
As advertisers seek more effective ways to engage with consumers and measure that engagement, their efforts are hampered by ad-blocking software.About one in ten U.S. consumers have ad-blocking software installed on their computers; the ratio is even higher in some other countries.10 Advertisement blocking is especially popular on mobile devices, where slow load times are particularly annoying to users and the slow loading of advertisements can be considered to increase the cost of consumers’ data plans.

Advertisement blocking is a problem across any digital platform, including the viewing of video content.11 Publishers view its very nature as threatening the “unspoken agreement” between content
providers and consumers that advertising is necessary because it pays for the content consumers enjoy for free. Some have suggested such solutions as

• producing more advertisements that consumers actually want to view while simultaneously reducing ad clutter;
• insisting that a site’s content not be made available unless the consumer accepts the advertisements or that sites install software that recognizes and deactivates advertisement-blocking software;
• using more native advertising that isn’t delivered by an ad server and therefore can’t be blocked;
• taking legal action against the authors of the software.

It’s too early to predict how the advertisement blocking issue will be resolved, but because it clearly represents a serious obstacle to the ability of advertisers to communicate directly with online users—and
to be able to measure that engagement— we can expect it to get intense industry attention.

SOCIAL-MEDIA METRICS
One of the best examples of how digital technology has changed brand engagement from one-way to two-way communications— and the related metrics—is the impact of social networks.

Approximately 50 percent of consumers say they use social media to post positive or negative brand comments (Sexton, 2015)—although criticisms seem to attract the most attention—on a multitude of social sites ranging from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube to Yelp that are viewed by hundreds of millions of people.

Measurement of the number of postings and whether they are positive or negative, how many times shared, and how many users reached, have become important metrics of social engagement with brands that are initiated by consumers.

Whether simply an extension of human nature (or the nature of those most vocal on social), social networks are inundated with negative comments regarding brands—and the numbers are increasing every day. The challenge for any marketer is to respond to negative engagement in a timely manner. Unfortunately, it appears that as many as 70 percent of companies fail to do just that, thereby risking damaging consequences (Sexton, 2015).

Organizations long have monitored changes in brand equity that are driven by their own marketing efforts. But it has become apparent that monitoring and responding in real time to inbound comments expressed on social media should be every bit as important as monitoring the impact of a marketer’s outbound communications.

The other side of the social coin is that positive consumer engagement on social media can yield impressive results. Brands can use paid or organic communications to reach their target segments and then benefit from any engagement (e.g., “sharing”) that subsequently occurs and which extends persuasive reach.

Warc, the London-based publisher of the Journal of Advertising Research, awards annual prizes for the best examples of how brands have successfully incorporated social engagement into their marketing strategies (Fulgoni, 2015). Many of these successfully leveraged consumer engagement with a wide variety of branded content that led to sharing and a dramatic increase in reach.

Brands have learned that they can maximize the impact of their social-marketing programs by leveraging a framework that helps them move beyond a measurement of the simple number of fans/followers or “Like” metrics. These metrics haven’t yet been proven to drive positive business results, whereas measures of actual sharing of content have been shown to deliver measurable marketing ROI.12

That said, it’s also apparent that some sharing metrics for organic content (as opposed to the sharing of paid content) are problematic. This occurs because of the difficulty of computing the true number of unduplicated people who ever saw the content.

Simply adding the number of followers of the person posting content assumes that all saw the original post. In fact, that’s frequently not the case, and such simple math also fails to de-duplicate the same people across followers. As a result, it’s very likely that the simple aggregation of followers will overstate the true number of people receiving the shared content by a large amount.

The winners will be brands that are able to derive methods to measure and understand consumer demands for mobile engagement and then deliver against those needs.

MOBILE-ENGAGEMENT METRICS
Arguably the most significant change in consumer engagement has been the result of the use of mobile devices. Digital-media time in the United States has surged recently—growing nearly 50 percent in the past two years, with more than three-fourths of that growth directly attributable to the mobile app.13

Mobile has grown so fast that it’s now the leading digital platform, with total activity on phones and tablets accounting for 62 percent of all digital media time spent. It is important to note that apps—which help make it easier for consumers to visit and buy at websites—represent the vast majority of digital mobile time at 87 percent.13

As the use of mobile devices has surged, so have the ways in which consumers can engage with brands. Because of this, it’s vital for marketers to ensure they capture their “fair share” of consumers’ mobile engagement.

Fundamental to this is the need for metrics that measure

• how much mobile time is spent on a marketer’s own brand website versus competitive sites;
• how much of that time is spent via the use of a mobile browser versus mobile app.

Because of the extreme importance of app engagement, any shortfall in consumer downloading and use of a marketer’s app could be disastrous.

Engagement with Mobile Ads 
Certainly, advertising remains important in a mobile world, and the IAB has reported that mobile advertising is the fastest growing format in the U.S. (up 73 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 versus the prior year), accounting for 28 percent of all digital advertising dollars.14

Research also has shown that the impact of advertising is surprisingly higher on mobile than on desktop.8 This suggests higher consumer engagement because there is far less advertising clutter on mobile, and advertisements can be delivered closer to the actual point of purchase— further increasing relevance and, therefore, engagement and impact.

The larger impact of mobile devices, however, goes well beyond advertising. They have allowed consumers to initiate engagement with branded content whenever and wherever they choose. There’s a dizzying array of ways in which this can happen, which Google describes as “micromoments.”15 These unfold through a variety of common “I-want” scenarios that help people take steps or make decisions such as

• I want to learn.
• I want to buy.
• I want to know.
• I want to go.
• I want to do.

These micro-moments can occur anywhere—including in-store. Google has found that consumers often are more attentive to their in-the-moment needs than they are loyal to a particular brand or product. At the same time, they’re attracted to those brands that best address those in-the-moment needs.

Immediacy and relevance in an “I-want”world, therefore, would appear to trump loyalty nowadays. The winners will be brands that are able to derive methods to measure and understand consumer demands for mobile engagement and then deliver against those needs.

CONCLUSIONS
Marketers have only scratched the surface of measuring new levels of consumer engagement, given a digital marketplace that remains in flux. For digital advertisers, it’s clear that some of the metrics produced by ad servers are problematic. In particular, the “click” on a display advertisement has been shown to have no value in terms of predicting effectiveness.

By contrast, the traditional metrics of attitudinal changes or sales lift remain critically important and useful to marketers.

Mobile devices also allow consumers to engage with brand content whenever they so choose and in a plethora of different ways.

Digital advertising also is muddled because of a lack of consensus between buyers and sellers regarding the basic definition of an ad impression in terms of time in-view. Consensus on the issue might simplify matters. But given the ability to measure optimal time in-view of an advertisement—and research showing that impact increases with time in-view—it would not be surprising to see advertisers demand paying only for those advertising impressions that are guaranteed to be in-view for a specific period of time that they define. (For more on the topic of viewability, please see “The Effectiveness of All Advertising Impressions vs. Only Viewable Impressions,” an award-winning case study by Adobe, on page 109.)

Meanwhile, massive use of social media means that marketers no longer can think of engagement solely as a one-way communication from a brand to consumers. The reality is that social media has provided consumers with the ability to impact a brand’s performance by providing public feedback—positive or negative—at scale.

Because of this, metrics that measure consumers’ comments on social networks are important. Advertisers need to respond quickly to negative engagement or risk financial damage. The good news is that social media also provides smart marketers with the ability to engage directly with targeted consumers in many creative ways that result in amplification of persuasive messages.

But to reap the rewards of positive ROI from social marketing, it’s clear that advertisers need to think beyond simple metrics such as “Likes” or “Followers” that have not been shown to be correlated with improved sales and embrace more powerful metrics such as “Shares.” However, in computing the total number of people reached by organic shares, it’s important to de-duplicate the counts of followers and recognize that not all “Shares” are ever seen by all followers.

Mobile devices represent the most important dislocation in the historical communication flow from brands to consumers. Not only does mobile usage now account for the majority of time spent online but also apps dominate that mobile time. And, under such circumstances, understanding how consumers are using apps to interact with brands is vital.

Mobile devices also allow consumers to engage with brand content whenever they so choose and in a plethora of different ways. There is an immediacy associated with most of these mobile communications that provides marketers with many engagement opportunities, and because of this, brands need to be able to measure and address engagement “in the moment.” But the very nature of this far-reaching engagement also means that measurement, for the moment, is a work in progress.


gian-fulgoni
About the author

Gian M. Fulgoni is cofounder and chairman emeritus of comScore, Inc. Previously he was president/ceo of Information Resources, Inc. During a 40-year career at the c-level of corporate management, he has overseen the development of many innovative technological methods of measuring consumer behavior and advertising effectiveness. Fulgoni is a regular contributor to the Journal of
Advertising Research.


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About comScore
comScore’s mission is to measure what matters in order to make cross-platform audiences, advertising and consumer behavior more valuable for our clients. We can do this because we have built a new measurement model for today’s dynamic cross-platform world; a world that can’t be adequately measured by legacy small sample size approaches. comScore relies on 21st century technology, data assets and methodologies that leverage our expertise in measuring unduplicated person-based audiences across multiple platforms. We use massive data sets at scale, including viewing behavior across 40 million TV’s and the activity represented by 1.5 trillion digital events per month that occur on desktops, phones and tablets.  This census-like audience data is then combined with our unique capability of applying granular measurement of target audience descriptors that go well beyond traditional demographics by incorporating actual brand buying behavior. The result is a scalable and future-proof syndicated audience measurement solution.


REFERENCES

Fulgoni, G. M. “How Brands Using Social Media Ignite Marketing and Drive Growth.”Journal of Advertising Research 55, 3 (2015):232–236.

Fulgoni, G. M., and M. P. Morn. “Whither the Click? How Online Advertising Works” Journal of Advertising Research 49, 2 (2009): 134–142.

Sexton, D. E. “Managing Brands in a Prickly Digital World.” Journal of Advertising Research 55, 3 (2015): 237–241.

1 “The great brand engagement myth.” (2012, January 30). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from Marketing website: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1113464/great-brand-engagementmyth
2 “IAB digital ad engagement whitepaper: An industry overview and reconceptualization.” (2013, January 22). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from Internet Advertising Bureau website: http://www.iab.net/adengagement
3 “How Brands Define Engagement.” (2012, August 29). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from Digiday website: http://digiday.com/brands/how-brands-define-engagement/
4 Proprietary survey conducted by comScore in September 2014 for inclusion in a presentation at the IAB U.K. Engage 2014 Conference.
5 “Measuring Engagement: A White Paper.” Association of Online Publishers.
6 “WPP And Unilever Video Woes Mean Human Viewability Metrics Are A Must.” (2015, September 17). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from MediaPost website: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/258504/wpp-and-unilever-video-woes-mean-human-viewability.html
7 Marshall, J. “Marketers Push Back on MRC Ad Viewability Standards.” The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2015. Accessed on November 13, 2015, at http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2015/02/25/are-online-ad-viewabilitystandards-failing/
8 “The Value of a Digital Ad: How Delivery and Brand/Sales Effectiveness Can Drive Digital Advertising ROI in a Cross-Media World.” Millward Brown. Accessed on November 13, 2015, at https://www.millwardbrown.com/Insights/MBArticles/Value_Digital_Ad/default.aspx
9 “Ad blocking unleashes anxiety across the ad industry.” Financial Times, October 5, 2015.
10 “The state of ad blocking.” comScore and Sourcepoint. Accessed on November 13, 2015, at http://sourcepoint.com/comscore-and-sourcepoint-the-state-of-ad-blocking/
11 “TV networks confront ad blockers erasing their commercials online.” (2015, August 31). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from Advertising Age website: http://adage.com/article/media/tv-networks-confront-ad-blocking-erasingcommercials-online/300143/
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"This article previously appeared in the Journal of Advertising Research"

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