NAMIC-Atlanta 2017 Open House
Written By Alexandra Blakely
Images By Douglas Simmons/Interview By Avia Meadows
January 25, 2017 (Atlanta Ga)- In the heart of downtown Atlanta lies one of the city’s most collaborative and exclusive member’s only social club, the Gathering Spot. Imagined and created by Ryan Wilson and TK Peterson, two college roommates from Georgetown, this duo decided to bring their vision of innovation back home to Atlanta. CEO Ryan Wilson credits the success of the club to its motivated and diverse community of professionals, creatives and entrepreneurs. “We must be able to know who’s here and that’s why [the] membership process is so important.” The Gathering Spot’s chosen members benefit from a 24/7 alternative work and social environment, complete with concierge services, integrated technology, a full-service restaurant and bar, and a multitude of events that are diverse from the age of the crowd to the industry. It is because of all of this, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) -Atlanta selected The Gathering Spot as the premier location for their first event of 2017.
On Wednesday, January 25th, Rob Stoddard, Senior Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, for NCTA - The Internet & Television Association was present to share his thoughts on “The State of the Media Industry” with NAMIC- Atlanta’s membership. A crowd of eager patrons awaited the man-of-the-hour as the networking piece came to a close.
Rob, deemed the “Nicest Man in Cable”, lived up to his title by setting the tone for an open forum discussion. He began by reminiscing about the state of the industry back when he first started his career. “Back in the day it was CATV and now its cable,” Rob explained. “People would see a [tech’s] truck and chase it down the street, begging them to come install cable in their home.” He expressed that since that time, we have come a long way. It has been reported that approximately 93% of US households currently have some form of subscription television service, verifying that the media industry is one of the most progressive industries of our time.
Multiple-system operators (MSOs) provide over 2 million jobs and rake in billions of dollars in revenue each year. With so much success one can surely expect their share of challenges, right? Concerns such as piracy, workforce related challenges, and price inflation all pose as societal concerns, but what’s the trade off? While MSOs may benefit from one of those elements in particular, price inflation, Rob suggests that they also have to give up a significant amount of profit margin to satisfy the economy. Supporting community investment initiatives is one way you will see companies take responsibility to improve society in some way. Initiatives such as Internet Essentials, a Comcast program that connects over 3 million low-income Americans to the power of the internet in their homes, proves that MSOs have the power to shape a world that uses technology and media to improve lives in unexpected ways. On average $1.2 billion in revenue from these companies goes towards public and community service.
So how is our business doing? “Phenomenally strong,” stated Rob, “we are in the Golden Age of television. From DVR to VOD, HD, 4k and a remote control that you can talk to and it does exactly what you say!” Rob outlined some great innovations that have come into the market and briefly touched on the liberties that lie ahead. “We have ample opportunity to excel,” Rob declares, “[As a collective] we have to continue to work on retaining talent and increasing our rate of internal promotion. The burden is on us.”
Rob’s closing remarks reminded us that organizations like NAMIC exist for a very specific reason. NAMIC’s mission is to develop a pipeline of diverse talent from which the next generation of industry leadership will be selected. So, whether you are looking to learn more about the ”State of the Industry”, network in your professional community, or just have some fun while meeting new people, joining a professional association like NAMIC is a step in the right direction!