Tony Perkins: Build for the Millennials

By Lauren Keyson and Altynay Demeubayeva

OnMedia NYC 2014 had the tag line is “Where Silicon Valley Meets Madison Avenue.” It held its annual summit last week at NASDAQ’s new round glass building in Times Square. This annual summit gathers the intellect and top entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate players in social media, advertising, and commerce. Tony Perkins, founder and editor of AlwaysOn started off the event with opening remarks and ended the event as host of the state of the “New York Innovation Ecosystem session and a Fireside Chat with Turn, the 2014 OnMedia company of the year. AlwaysOn on has produced media for seven years.

“Media is an obviously large industry that has been highly disrupted by the internet. I think the media world is trying largely to figure out how to adjust to the internet,” Perkins explained. “We’ve seen a lot of the great publishing empires become shadows of themselves, trying to adjust to reality of online publishing and the fact that 50% of the time people online are on their mobile devices. We’ve seen the advertising community slowly catch up with the movement of eyeballs away from traditional media sources like television, print, radio, but there’s always been a gap — there’s always been less money spent on the internet than the internet deserved by virtue of viewership. We now are seeing that gap created in the mobile space, so by various standards there is a $25B gap of un-monetized mobile ad eyeballs.”

Perkins calls himself a son of Silicon Valley where he grew up in the venture capital of the world. He started his career as a co-founder of a technology group for venture startups and said that AlwaysOn is the natural extension of his life mission to champion the entrepreneur.

On giving tips to entrepreneurs just starting out in the media world, Perkins started by saying that due to the radical differences and change in behavioral patterns of the new millennials, there is more opportunity because they are much more open about what they post online. “They are obviously larger and mobile on it, they like everything in the cloud and in the music. They are not big purchasers, they are not big car buyers, they like everything on demand and they much prefer YouTube over cable TV. So, I think my advice is to look at that generation and build the product for them, because they are the future. Build upon on their new behavior patterns because essentially, they are teaching the older people how to do things — like Airbnb [a service that rents unique accommodations from local hosts in 190 countries] and Uber [a way to request a safe, reliable and affordable ride].

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