Get set for another big wave in media disruption. That’s according to Joe Ripp, the media executive who has led some of the biggest beasts in the business.

“I was vice-chairman of AOL in its heyday when it owned the internet – I watched the transformation of that,” he tells Beet.TV. “We are in another transformation all over again. Over-the-top video and the way that millennials consume content, it’s all up for grabs.”

Joining Time Inc 1985 as an assistant comptroller, he eventually became SVP, CFO treasurer of the company in 1993 and, a few years later, served a AOL vice-chairman until 2004.

After leaving the stable for senior roles in pharmaceutical, marketing services and several high-profile boards, Ripp returned to the new-look Time Inc, the magazine group, in 2013 as chief executive.

And now Ripp reckons things are about to be ripped up again. “It couldn’t be a more exciting time in the industry right now,” he says. “When you look forward, it’s still going to be about great content. But it’s going to be about distributing that content and creativity in different ways.”

But Ripp can’t help but sound a word of caution about the exciting changes ahead, which will be ad disruptive as they may be liberating – that’s the business model, of course. Some pretty fundamental questions are posed by the demographic shift of media audiences.

“If people are not watching networks and they’re just buying video on-demand, what’s happening to advertising, how are we going reach those audiences?, Ripp asks. “Who’s going to pay for television, if it’s not supported by advertising, if its subscription-based?”


Ripp was interviewed for Beet.TV by David J. Moore, Chairman of Xaxis and President of WPP Digital.  The taping took place during the Cannes Lions Festival in 2015.  This is part of Beet.TV series title the Media Revolutionaries.  The series is sponsored by Xaxis and AOL.