Denise Shrivell

Digital People - Megan Brownlow

Welcome to Digital People where this time we feature Megan Brownlow - Executive Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Each year Megan edits PwC's influential Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook Report & creates the Digital Media section. She is also actively involved in advising key clients in digital media & it is from here that she offers us this highly worthwhile market perspective.

Megan BrownlowName:  Megan Brownlow
Works: PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
Job Title: Executive Director and Editor of the Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook

1. Please highlight your industry experience and how, where and when you came to digital media?

I have spent 20 years in media, starting as a producer in radio in the early 1990s. From there I moved to television – producing news and current affairs - and then to the internet, to the online division of PBL, ecorp. My role was to connect the online division with the television division, “translating” each to the other to create synergies between the two. That was in 2000. Ecorp was a great experience because I got to work across a number of digital businesses including ninemsn, eBay and Seek. These businesses brought strong brands together with good technology, a winning combination.  

2. Can you outline your role with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) - what do you actually do?

I am the editor of the annual forecasting publication, the Entertainment & Media Outlook. The Outlook provides forecasts and commentary on eleven media segments including online, free-to-air television, subscription television, filmed entertainment and publishing. Apart from editing the book, I write the internet chapter.

The Outlook takes up about 50% of my time. I also do client work – joining teams across the firm from economics, transaction services or strategy to provide an industry lens on projects they are delivering in the entertainment and media sector. Often these projects come to the firm through The Outlook, which makes me very proud.

3. Can you offer a brief insight into PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) - your market position and forward plans?

PwC is a global professional services firm. It is the world's largest professional services firm and the largest of the “Big Four” firms measured by 2011 revenues.

PwC has offices in 771 cities across 158 countries and employs over 169,000 people. It had total revenues of $29.2 billion in FY 2011.

PwC has a large entertainment and media practice with a focus on digital. Globally, there are 3,575 consultants working in the entertainment and media sector. The Global Entertainment & Media Outlook covers forecasts for 48 territories, including the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China. These markets are of great interest to many of our clients.

4. Please share your general views on the current state of the digital media market?

Very healthy, although Australian publishers are under a great deal of pressure from international competitors like Google and Facebook. Display advertising is not growing as fast as search. The supply and demand dynamics of digital are difficult for marketing and advertising businesses and so this is one reason why discovering content through social means is becoming such a focus for many online publishers.  

5. Is there any one person, digital business or sector you think we should be keeping an eye on?

Mobile.  It’s hard to ignore when more than half of us are permanently attached to these small, hand-held computers and yet it hasn’t fulfilled its promise of ad revenues. There are still constraints keeping mobile advertising revenues low, but many smart minds are working on it so I have faith.

6. What do you see as the key challenges and opportunities in the digital media market in the coming 12 months?

Optimising the huge uptake of smart mobile devices in Australia. Finding ways to put them in the service of the marketing industry and then finding ways of measuring beyond-the-banner ie: new forms of advertising and marketing on mobile devices. 

7. How do you see digital and other media evolving in the next 5+ years?

More direct-from-consumer revenue models for traditional media and more transactional consumer models for digital media. Advertising channels are fragmenting – both traditional and digital – and therefore it’s important to find several revenue streams that together make up what has been lost through advertising fragmentation and migration to cheaper, digital channels. 

8. What does the digital/interactive industry need to do better right now? 

Convey the importance of metrics outside of click-through rates (CTR). Everyone is saying it but it really is an important goal so the value proposition of interactive marketing doesn’t get lost through its commoditisation.

9. Where do you get your industry information from?

Personal contacts, following the right people on Twitter, old fashioned interviewing, PwC’s thought leadership, especially the Global Entertainment & Media Outlook and ZITE magazine

10. What industry groups or networks are you a part of?

AIMIA (member), Creative Industries Innovation Centre (Advisory Council member), Arts Law Centre of Australia (Board member), Centre for Screen Business (Advisory Council member)

Thanks for your continued support and interest in Digital People.  If you have any comments please feel free to get in touch - denise@mediascope.com.au or phone:  0424 100325.  I welcome your feedback.


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