Welcome Gerry Byrne, our newest MediaBizBlogger

But boy has the playing field changed.

It once was quite simple. Create content, find an audience, sell some advertising. Do lunch….maybe with a cocktail. Perhaps a round of golf……more cocktails. Followed by…make the content more unique and exclusive, broaden the reader/viewer base, add some research and sell some more advertising……at a higher rate. Then do lunch…perhaps with two cocktails.

That's what I stepped into post a few years in the Marines. Not at all a bad alternative to extending my visit to Southeast Asia. I fell in love with the simplicity of it all, but most importantly, saw how advertising creates a transaction. For instance, as a new kid on the block at the NY Daily News, I saw 2000 readers with tearsheets in their hands waiting for Macy's doors to open so they could be the first in for a specially priced Panasonic TV. I sold that ad. I was hooked.

As an addicted media executive, my business life has been a search…. to define, find and capture productive content paths that marry audiences (readers/viewers/listeners/consumers) with brands/marketers who need to target, reach, influence, engage and sell their products and services. That's a mouthful with lots of connectors….yet, that's the mission.

Today, disruptive digital technologies and the internet have changed the playing field forever. Actually, that's not really a bad thing. However, while there have been many noble attempts by old school media to create "web versions" of its brands, there are few who have uniquely distinguished themselves with offerings that differentiate. Tablet "apps" are making headway but the attack of the five screen marketplace is a challenge and it's redefining how media assaults the consumer.

As a media executive today I'm still on my search but my view has dramatically changed. I see the marketplace through an entirely different set of lenses as I search for that new generation of digital tools and media platforms that better engage buyers and sellers, both consumer and B2B. My self-serving offering today is to note a few enterprises I've personally identified that have this older kid on the block totally excited and engaged. And, yes, I'm happy to wave their flags!!

AdGenesis….they've created a set of tools that enables video advertising to be delivered to highly profiled, opt-in audiences who then verify they have watched the ads and are rewarded for that view. Ad-matching at the highest order. This team of the best and brightest also sees watching advertising as a tool to unlock content. Video ad viewing as a content gatekeeper. Makes sense.

Black Ocean….an enterprise launched to acquire, build, incubate and operate media and tech businesses that address disruption as the igniter of opportunity. From TvGenesis, a digital content syndicator, to Streamworks, a technology company that creates significant bandwidth efficiencies for digital streaming (an incremental cost reality being faced by all companies who stream content), Black Ocean has its sites set on new generation business platforms. And are deftly looking around the corner.

PMC…..The Penske Media Corporation. An emerging leader in the entertainment sector with products that include HollywoodLife.com (Bonnie Fuller), TVLine.com (Michael Ausiello), and DeadlineHollywood.com (Nikki Finke, Michael Fleming, David Lieberman), I am totally captivated how rapidly PMC has engineered such a credible and powerful position among Hollywood's one time brand leaders. And they are in India too!! And looking at India……

212 Media…..another well crafted enterprise, 212 has, over the past six years, launched digital media ventures around sectors it can uniquely own and monetize. Examples…..SAAVN is the largest digital distributor of Bollywood entertainment…..music, film and television. That's a wow considering India's population will surpass China's in 2013. 212 also ceated Sportsvite and League Apps, digital enterprises that capture a multifaceted and vast US recreational sports community with a powerful social network and complimenting toolset.

These are just prime examples that have inspired me that invention and enterprise are alive and well. And I'm certainly delighted to be part of it all…..even without the cocktails.

Gerry Byrne launched his media and entertainment consultancy, Fidelis Global Enterprises LLC, on January 1, 2010. His decades of accomplishments as a media executive, entrepreneur and community leader are highlighted by a long time run as publisher of Variety where he dramatically transformed that business into a powerful, diversified, global media brand. Gerry can be reached at gerry@fidelisglobal.com.

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