NAB Show Launches New Digital Committee

In an effort to keep pace in an increasingly digital world for media, the NAB Show April 16-21 in Las Vegas will see the launch of a new digital committee, one geared toward establishing standards and creating a forum for media and ad professionals to collaborate on new digital initiatives.

Top broadcasters, programmers, MSOs and MVPDs will kick off the launch of the committee at an invite-only event during the show, where they’ll tackle potential digital roadblocks facing the industry.

Lorne Brown, CEO of digital media sales and ad operations company Operative, has been named chairman of the committee. He’ll be joined on the committee by David Morris, executive VP and chief revenue officer for CBS Interactive, Eric Johnson, executive VP of global multimedia sales at ESPN, Rick Welday, president of AT&T AdWorks, Ben Tatta, president of Cablevision Media Sales, and Peter Naylor, senior VP of advertising sales for Hulu, among others.

“It’s something we’ve been [working] on for nine months now, with the idea that the NAB along with the TV companies all agree that the industry needs to work together on not just preserving [revenue] but growing it, and the biggest opportunity is for convergence across screens, using data,” Brown told B&C. “And there aren’t a lot of measurement standards out there that cover the use of data across all screens.

“We’re in the same spot print was 10 years ago, when nobody could believe a tech company with no real content could compete for brand dollars,” he continued. “We all know how that played out with Google and Facebook. That’s where the NAB can come in. It’s an important initiative for them, where they want to be part of every screen, not just linear, which is what they historically have done, be an ecosystem player, not just broadcasters. Now we can take the issue head on, because nobody else is doing it.”

Brown said that the committee hopes to have standards recommendations to present at the NAB Show New York event in November.

“Now is a perfect time for media companies to collaborate on the right metrics, processes, and technologies that should be used to maximize media sales across linear and digital channels,” CBS’ Morris said in a statement. “Media companies should take a lead role in determining the best way to streamline video advertising across all platforms.

“The TV ecosystem is healthy and digital opportunities hold great promise only if we are smart enough to avoid unnecessary complexity and expense. The obvious goal is a common set of standards that will enable us to grow ad revenue for years to come.”

Bernard Gershon, former senior VP and GM at The Walt Disney Company and current president of GershonMedia, added: “I'm thrilled that NAB Show is providing a platform for media companies to come together around important digital topics. The time is now for media companies to work together across new TV and video channels to shape the processes and technologies that are used for converged media sales. NAB Show provides an ideal venue for media companies to determine the best way to move forward in the age of TV and digital convergence.”

For more information about the committee, click here.