Build or Partner for Success

Innovating at a Media Company

Odds are you are underfunded or understaffed and you’re asked to produce more and more media. That media, often video, has to be encoded, inserted with ads and distributed to TV, online and mobile in seamless record time.

Take, for instance, the technology NBC chose to broadcast Superbowl XLIX to a record 114 million viewers.  They needed to scale to provide a flawless streaming live event where seconds mattered (remember the last 30 seconds that defined the game?) and the need for ad insertion capability required knitting together technology from different companies.


Now, add the complexity of user-generated content (UGC) to source more video and user-engagement, rights management and revenue splits as well as new technology that can help save costs or generate new lines of revenue. And, I might add, you want all of this accessible to key internal decision-makers and operating units. In fact, the last thing you want to do is rebuild your infrastructure.  If you’re like most, you have plenty to do than revisit and refund previous decisions and efforts.

The key is to think of the over-arching goal for your technology.  This is a crucial business decision that takes a bit of looking at a crystal ball.  Will you be entering a new line of business? Are you in an ad-supported business but you want to defray your risk and get into a video subscription business? How will you ingest video and integrate it with your ad sales or licensing technologies? How can you automate the rights, revenue splits of UGC?

Made a decision? Now the question is will you build internally or will you partner? Most likely you’ll need partnerships for some aspect of your project. I’ve found that’s the best way to save cost AND earn revenue.  But, that’s for a post on another day.

Helen WhelanHelen Whelan is a serial entrepreneur and consultant. She has 15+ years experience creating strategic partnerships and designing new business ventures. She focuses on assisting start-ups and established companies innovate successfully through design-thinking and good leadership. Follow her blog at SuccessMedia or on Twitter @SuccessTV.