NBCU Exec Discusses TV Everywhere and Second Screens

NBCUniversal executive VP Lauren Zalaznick spoke at South by Southwest on Tuesday about big picture issues the television industry faces in meeting the evolving tastes and needs of today’s wired consumers. During the Q&A with former CEO of CBS Interactive Quincy Smith, Zalaznick spoke about TV Everywhere authentication services and the second-screen — two digital areas currently in her strategy sights.

“Zalaznick said that varying early iterations of TV Everywhere are somewhat complicating consumers’ understanding of the concept, offering examples of three very different models — the ad-free HBO Go, NBCU’s live app for the London Olympics which enhanced the live streaming, and ESPN’s TVE service,” reports Variety.

“TV Everywhere has a simple goal but if you have a complicated answer to the simple question of what it is then consumers become a little confused,” she said. “My primary concern, and my company’s, is delivering on the promise of TVE and marrying advertising to it, which is the next evolution of the thing we call television.”

“The bridge between great content and advertising and the value that creates in the ecosystem is that you only get paid by proving how many people consume your content,” she added. “There’s a divide between not being able to measure TV accurately enough and then not measuring off-TV screens at all. But my belief is that the technology will catch up.”

Zalaznick suggests the second screen drive is the most interesting thing in TV: “Not so much as another place to watch shows, which was been around for ages, but the fact that at least 50 percent of people watching TV have another screen in their hand. So now you are judge, the trivia expert, the question asker, the quiz taker and the next wave of this will probably loop back to e-commerce and m-commerce,” she said. “That ‘I like that thing and I want to buy it’ manifestation.”

And things are starting to move forward on the advertising front, as well, she said. “The good news for us is that advertisers are asking for our help for navigating our content off the TV screen and that’s where we’ll see the next wave of partnerships and economies happen.”