Media Insights Q&A With New Media Vision's Todd Lituchy
Read the full interview on the Weisler Media blog.
Charlene Weisler: Todd, what is your background, and how did you get to where you are today?
Todd Lituchy: I have worked in television for the past 20 years. My first job was in the NBC research department in NYC while still in college. After college, I had short stints at Lifetime Television, Viacom, and Nielsen. Then, after receiving an MBA from Columbia University, I moved to Los Angeles. I spent five years working for Walt Disney Studios in research and moved over to the programming side and ran Program Planning & Acquisitions for UPN. I was then recruited to run Viasat Broadcasting's entertainment division. Based in London, I oversaw Program Planning, Acquisitions, and Commissioning for Viasat's free and pay TV channels throughout Europe.
After five years, I left to run the creative departments of News Corps' Asian TV operations as president of entertainment for STAR TV, based in Hong Kong. I returned to London last year to start my own media consulting firm, New Media Vision. Clients include: Discovery Networks International, BBC Worldwide, and a number of production companies globally. It is a very exciting time for me.
CW: What is the difference between the American, Asian and European media marketplaces?
TL: I have found that things vary more on an individual country basis than on a continental basis. Some countries rely heavily on local production; others are extremely competitive when it comes to acquisitions. In some markets there are volume and output deals and it is difficult to do ad-hoc acquisitions. In other markets, such as the U.K., ad-hoc acquisitions are the norm. From a production standpoint, the production values from the U.S. studios are top notch, but you'd be surprised at how solid programs look on a $10-$20,000 per hour budget coming out of Eastern Europe or Asia. I admire the risk-taking that comes out of the U.K. and The Netherlands. You see a lot of interesting concepts being tested on air.
CW: From your perspective, what would you say has been the most dramatic change in the industry in the past five years?
TL: TV Everywhere - the ability to watch TV shows online and over mobile phones. It is a huge game-changer and is a fantastic advancement from a consumer perspective. In terms of programming and scheduling, it has made the industry rethink a lot of traditional practices. From a business side, we are still trying to work out how to monetize it.
CW: How do you think we can best measure TV Everywhere? Will the measurement differ across countries? Why?
TL: I think media research companies will strive to measure television viewership however and wherever it is viewed. In addition to measuring traditional TV sets, it is important to measure streaming video on the Internet, inside and outside of the home, and to measure viewing on mobile platforms such as cellular phones and iPads. I think measurement will likely differ across countries for a number of reasons including technological differences and the cost required to capture the information.
CW: How will Internet-ready TV impact media usage?
TL: Overall, Internet-ready TVs will cause an increase in media usage. Almost anytime consumers get new hardware for their TVs -- whether it was cable boxes, VCRs, or DVRs -- viewership increases. This will be the case with Internet-ready TVs as well. You won't see an across the board increase for all channels, so that makes the old guard nervous. You will see consumers watching YouTube, iPlayer, Hulu and other catch-up services directly on their living room sets and, in aggregate, viewership will increase.
CW: Tell me about New Media Vision.
TL: New Media Vision is my baby. I started the company at the end of last year helping international clients with format scouting and expansion of their channel portfolios. I have worked with start-up organizations as well as established global media companies with billions in revenue.
Lately, I have started working with content owners, helping them sell finished product globally and with producers to help them sell their formats across the world. I am working with interesting people and I get to choose the projects that are appealing to me. It is very empowering to hone my skills across a wide variety of disciplines, including: program development, research, format scouting, sales, channel management, acquisitions, production, and digital strategy.