Media’s Wild Ride Is ‘Off the Rails’

NEW YORK — Peter Tortorici likens the media business to being on a rollercoaster.

“It’s a ride that sometimes makes you want to scream, sometimes makes you want to throw up, and is never boring,” the CEO of GroupM Entertainment said last Thursday (Nov. 13) in a keynote conversation with Broadcasting & Cable editor in chief Melissa Grego at The Content Show during NYC Television Week. But that rollercoaster is “off the rails,” Tortorici added, and nobody knows where it’s headed.

“Technology is driving the pace of change, and we as human beings are having a hard time keeping up,” Tortorici said. “We as businesspeople are having an even harder time in reinventing our business models to meet the new behavior that we as human beings are engaged in as a result of what technology has provided for us.”

Tortorici discussed the accelerated rate of change experienced in recent years by the television industry, and contrasted that with the comparatively static nature of the business a few decades ago.

Tortorici also discussed the current state of the industry and how it is dealing with the rise of digital media. Asked by Grego about Disney’s deal earlier this year to acquire Maker Studios, he said it was a smart strategic move.

“I think that being in business with an MCN that provides an opportunity to young, creative talent to do what they do, to make a business out of it, and to also be a hotbed of development that can move into other larger, more monetizeable media platforms like television and movies and the rest, is a smart place to be,” Tortorici said.

Daniel Holloway is programming editor of Broadcasting & Cable.