NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke On The Facebook Fallout And Snapchat Success

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said Facebook faces big repercussions because it breached users’ trust.

“The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Facebook’s business model is based on data people don’t [always know] they’re sharing and then selling that data … to a buyer Facebook [doesn’t even] know,” Burke said Tuesday in response to Facebook’s ongoing Cambridge Analytica quagmire.

Burke was more laudatory about Snap, calling it a “premiere partner” for the network during his keynote at NBC’s annual Innovation Day in New York.

“We prefer Snap for a variety of reasons, [one being that] Snap values professionally produced content and they really try to curate premium content,” Burke told an intimate audience of big brands and agencies.

Of course, NBC also has skin in the game: It invested $500 million in Snap during its IPO.

Snap helps NBC drive more millennial viewership. 

NBCU sent 15 staffers to South Korea for the Winter Olympics just to post stories on Snap each day and featured a livestream to deliver key moments and highlights from the games in the Discover tab.

About 45 million people tuned in to its Olympic programming through the digital platform, about three quarters of whom were millennials.

Beyond the Olympics, NBCU’s news show on Snapchat, “Stay Tuned,” is produced twice daily and gets about 2.5 million viewers both in the morning and the afternoon.

Five million millennial viewers is substantial, considering that NBCU considers itself lucky to get 10 million viewers, if that, for its prime-time Nightly News.

Big media mergers

Burke also said the spate of big media mergers – CBS and Viacom, AT&T and Time Warner, Comcast and Sky, and Disney and 21st Century Fox among them – are in play for “logical reasons.”

“The world is global, and as you increasingly compete for ad dollars with Google and Facebook, you want to be a global player yourself,” he said. “Consolidation is a natural response to that. … Sometimes deals don’t end up working, but [we’re seeing] more activity than any period of history in the media business.”

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