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New Furious Corp. President Schaffer On Reengineering The Television Industry

Cloud-based media inventory yield management specialist Furious Corp.’s new president, Neil Schaffer, has helped execute business process reengineering to industries as varied as paper and optical products. When he views the television industry, he sees more “reacting more than pro-acting” in the face of platform proliferation.

With more than a decade in the media industry, including interactive TV pioneer Canoe Ventures, Schaffer likens his role to bringing “fire to cave men” in this interview with Furious Corp. CEO Ashley J. Swartz at Beet Retreat in the City on June 6 in Manhattan.

What has long been done in other industries—process automation—has proven to be “very challenging” in the media industry because of its deep legacy infrastructure, closed systems and “a lot of challenges to being able to transact business electronically with trading partners,” Schaffer says.

Having “started life as a Price Waterhouse CPA,” Schaffer thinks the media industry is going through the latter stages “of what we have been studying for a long time and expecting. This notion of convergence. This notion of linear television becoming digital.”

With so much change being forced on the industry because of the way consumers are receiving and consuming content, the future must be one of “open systems, open communication, more efficient delivery of transactional information back and forth among trading parties. It seems to me it’s time to harmonize and streamline the transaction process.”

And it’s not just between buyers and sellers of media but within media companies themselves, according to Schaffer.

“There’s still the requirement of dealing within very siloed business units that are very, very separate, and there’s very little connecting those various systems inside an entity that allow them to transact with outside third parties in a more effective way,” he says.

Asked by Swartz whether change involves simply “chasing platforms,” Schaffer says it goes well beyond what consumers have largely become indifferent to: how they consume content.

Along with more open systems and data-driven decision making, “new measurement tools are going to be required, harmonization, being able to deal with multiple different measures and multiple different currencies.”

Asked to cite three major challenges facing media companies, Schaffer identifies becoming platform agnostic, achieving more efficient distribution and gaining scale. “Scale is incredibly important to media companies as we’re seeing a lot of pressure for each of them to become larger and frankly more global,” Schaffer says.

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat in City & Town Hall on June 6, 2018 in New York City. The event and video series are presented by LiveRamp, TiVo, true[X] and 605. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.