Founder’s Field Guide with Patrick O’Shaughnessy – Bob Pittman – Lessons from Building Media Empires
Bob Pittman has a storied career that includes running MTV, AOL, Six Flags, and is now the CEO of iHeartMedia. We cover his philosophy on the consumer, the lessons he learned while creating MTV, and the future of the media landscape with the abundance of user-generated content.
The Key ideas
- Convenience is King: Consumers prioritize convenience, so businesses should focus on making their products and services easily accessible to meet consumer demands.
- Building a Strong Brand: A strong brand is crucial for success in the media industry, as it helps create a lasting impression and fosters customer loyalty.
- User-Generated Content: The future of media will be heavily influenced by user-generated content, allowing for more diverse and authentic voices to be heard.
- Understanding the Target Audience: Knowing the preferences and interests of the target audience is essential for creating content that resonates with them and drives engagement.
- Staying Agile and Adapting: Media companies must remain agile and adapt to changes in the media landscape to stay relevant and competitive.
Key ideas contd.
- The Power of Storytelling: Engaging audiences and building connections with them through compelling storytelling is a key aspect of successful media content.
- Technology’s Role in Media: Technology will continue to shape the future of media and content consumption, with advancements in areas like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and streaming platforms.
- Fostering a Creative Culture: Encouraging a culture of creativity and innovation within a media organization is crucial for staying ahead in the industry.
- Partnerships and Collaborations: Forming strategic partnerships and collaborations can help media companies expand their reach, influence, and access to resources.
- Continuous Evolution and Reinvention: Media companies must constantly evolve and reinvent themselves to stay relevant in a rapidly changing industry, adapting to new trends and consumer preferences
If you’re not in the business of constantly reinventing yourself, you’re going to be left behind.
The consumer is the ultimate arbiter of what works and what doesn’t work.
You’ve got to create an environment where people feel free to fail, because if they’re not failing, they’re not trying hard enough.
Convenience is king
- Consumers are on an eternal quest for convenience.
- If your product saves people’s time or makes their lives easier, they’ll be happy to pay for it.
- Most consumers will choose convenience over quality.
- This doesn’t mean to compromise on quality, but you should remember to maximize convenience.
Podcasts are like what MTV was in the 80s and 90s
- In the early days, MTV was more like a radio station than a TV channel.
- Its main purpose was to keep people company.
- It was not only about the music videos; viewers felt a sense of connection.
- They bonded with the DJ or host playing the music.
- Podcasts are similar in this way; they are “host-driven.”
- Some people think about podcasts in terms of what works on TV (story and production value).
- Podcast listeners form a deep bond with the host, and that’s what they value the most.
What makes a well-run media business
- First, know your mission.
- If you’re just trying to sell advertising, you don’t have a business.
- Build a strong bond with the consumer.
- The media business model is about building relationships with consumers and then “renting” them to third parties.
- You can’t let advertisers abuse your relationship.
- You have to be careful about what you allow advertisers to do.
- If you can figure out how to be important to the consumer, you’ll figure out how to make money.