NBCUniversal addresses the future of television

Stephen Whiteside

Broadcasters can draw strength from one constant in the otherwise chaotic world that is redefining the relationship between consumers and television content. "Storytelling itself is way, way too old to fundamentally change," Lauren Zalaznick, executive vice president at NBCUniversal, told attendees at Internet Week, held in New York in 2013.

Zalaznick's job description, however, provides evidence that reaching viewers with these stories is more complex than ever before. Her duties officially include "identifying and executing on new business opportunities driven by the rapidly changing media landscape." Her personal depiction of what this demands was less formal, but no less informative: "It's everything that we haven't been doing for the last 70 or 80 years at NBCUniversal."

While the digital revolution is often argued to mark an unprecedented shift in behaviour, Zalaznick reminded delegates that TV had a similar history. "I think we're in a place where the audience has migrated in significant fashion for the first time, in this scale, since - I guess - the advent of television, off of radio and away from movies," she said.