Saturday, July 01, 2006

DMC2006: Keynote #1 - Dawn McCall, President, Discovery Networks Intl.

(Notes from the DMC 2006)

Discovery Networks International, (DNI) programs content for 704 million subscribers outside of the U.S. and it operates the largest international footprint in the industry. (i.e., consists of 17 brands, multiple continents, 100 unique feeds, 35 languages, 1000 employees in 24 offices throughout the world.) DNI is committed to ambitious growth in the next 5 years, investing in their viewers and brands. The company is currently delivering 731M in revenues and 109M in operating cash flow.

DNI is a longstanding supporter of platform neutrality. A key to their growth is the strength of the brand = customized programming and custom scheduling. “Trusted brands and quality will always win out.” They possess an in-depth understanding of their audiences and cultures. They try to make their brands as relevant as possible by owning their own content. For example, each year they produce 5000 hours of content. Their massive library of footage can be easily be repurposed– making them one of the most nimble players in the space, which helps differentiate them in the marketplace. Lifestyle is the next big area of growth, with each of the 3 lifestyle brands targeting a different demographic group.

Through John Hendricks’ leadership , they delivered the 1st international HD factual international network operating 24/7. HD is currently in 7 markets outside of the U.S., making them the leading HD network in the entire world. DNI is also currently in 23 spanish speaking countries with 3 specific latin channels. The company embraces platform-neutrality.
In a crowded media environment, trusted brands are critical. DNI has been active in the new media area for the last 6 years (i.e. they have a Made-for-mobile channel on Vodafone which contains 2 hours of streaming video that is refreshed weekly. Specific footage is carefully selected to complement current cell phone screen limitations.) DNI is also active in the development of new genres in mobile film-making, which offers a new type of online forum.

NEW PROJECTS: Google earth partnered with them this year to share video footage. “Cosmio” is another new venture which is basically a digital encyclopedia. The Discovery Atlas series is another new HD initiative. They’ve also recently done a deal with the video iPod. As soon as the ability is there to capture video elegantly, they will push the content out asap. They’re always looking for new ways to inform and entertain their audience.

No comments: