Industry Preview: NBCUniversal’s Krishan Bhatia On The Future Of TV

Industry Preview is a special, limited-run audio series, featuring interviews with key leaders in marketing, media and technology who share their predictions and key priorities for 2021. This podcast is sponsored by ENGINE Media Exchange.

NBCUniversal has aggressively developed technologies designed to help advertisers reach out to audiences across all platforms even before the 2020 pandemic sent everyone to streaming environments.

Last year, NBCU introduced its One Platform initiative to make it easier for advertisers to buy its inventory, whether on digital or the big glass. The broadcast giant also debuted its tiered streaming service Peacock in late 2020, going full throttle ahead despite the rescheduled 2020 Olympics, which removed a key content draw and promotional tool for the streaming platform.

“We’ve been on a journey to invest in the convergence on media across digital and streaming for years,” says Krishan Bhatia, NBCU president and chief business officer.

In this Industry Preview podcast, Bhatia gets into how advertisers are trying to achieve scale by reaching across all platforms, the future of linear TV given all its headwinds and the future of the ad pod.

He also discusses a new initiative facing NBCU: reconciling SVOD and AVOD revenue streams.

“We’ve had a tiered approach to Peacock in particular with a free offering, a hybrid offering and an ad-free product,” he says, noting that most of its audience uses one of the two ad-supported offerings.

While Peacock is currently looking to build scale, NBCU is actively evaluating its Peacock strategy going forward.

“The Peacock team is evaluating…how we continue to add value to consumers in the paid tiers so there is differentiation in the free offering and what you get in the consumer-supported offering,” Bhatia says. “That will be a journey over the next few years we’ll continue to evaluate. But for now, we wanted to prove out that ad-supported streaming is a tremendous opportunity. That’s what our experience so far is showing.”

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