Advanced Television

Sorrell: Media world changed for ever

April 2, 2009

From Colin Mann in Cannes

Attaining global, multiplatform reach will prove to be essential if companies hope to see their way through the current economic difficulties intact, WWP Group chief executive Martin Sorrell warned delegates in his keynote address at MIPTV yesterday.

“This recession changes our industry forever. If I was a media owner, and in particular if I was in one medium in one country, such as ITV in the U.K., I would be very nervous,” he said. Media owners with operations across a range of mediums in many countries, will be the ones best placed to survive, he added.

Sorrell said that the combined effect of global economic turmoil and the digital evolution would shake up the way content producers, media owners and distributors operate. “Production models are too expensive and will have to change. This is actually a big opportunity for content producers, particularly those who control talent and for the agencies,” he said. “These groups have to work together to try and develop content that is attractive for the new platforms, particularly the growth platforms of mobile and the Internet," he added. He added that China Mobile, with 450 million subscribers, is regarded by WPP as the fifth most valuable brand in the world.

He noted that innovations such as the iPhone would change attitudes to receiving content, with subscription models becoming more important. "They have been under-valued and under-appreciated," he said. "Monetisation is a bad word in new media it should be all about commercialisation," he added.


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