MIAMI-Since Bill Koenigsberg founded Horizon Media nearly 30 years ago, he has opted for integrated services and independence over holding companies and their assorted offerings. And while he sees his media agency as a speedboat amid aircraft carriers, all vessels are fighting an uphill battle with the likes of Facebook and Google to attract and retain talent.
“Talent today in my opinion is a culture game,” Koenigsberg says in this interview with Beet.TV at the 4A’s Accelerate conference, a conversation in which he also shares his views on the present market dominance of Facebook and Google and why he thinks Amazon is most worth watching.
As he discusses the evolution of advertising and media agency holding companies, Koenigsberg recalls a decentralized approach consisting of “a ton of companies, not integrated but selling all kinds of different services. And when you think about companies that are completely integrated and non-siloed, it’s the antithesis I think of a holding company.”
Of the genesis of Horizon, he adds, “We didn’t build the company by buying a whole bunch of different companies that have competing interests.”
The industry talent pool consists of “smart kids” with “lots of choices.” So getting the most qualified ones to join a media agency is easier said than done.
“But we’re fighting a bit of an uphill battle with the pocketbook of Google and Facebook and Amazon and some of the other tech companies,” says Koenigsberg. “I believe that our industry has to somehow figure out an enormous pivot if we are going to get the best and the brightest in our industry.”
In a week that saw Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explaining his company to Congress, Koenigsberg observes that nothing is static and that the business world constantly moves.
“There are some storm clouds over Facebook right now. How are they going to deal with their data play in the future. There are some big storm clouds with Google with regard to brand safety and their data play and where are they going to be in the future.”
Nonetheless, he doesn’t count out media companies with a presence in linear and digital as they consolidate, build out digital ecosystems and invest in subscription services and other forms of entertainment to drive scale.
“So I think that Facebook and Google will be chipped away at over the next five years. They’re not going to have the hold on the ecosystem that I think people think they will have,” Koenigsberg says.
He thinks Amazon in particular is one to watch because of its ability to continue to scale, the data and information it has on purchasing power and “the fact that they’re getting into every business under the sun, including the content business.”
This video is part of a series titled The Road to the Digital Content NewFronts. It is a preview of topics to be explored at IAB’s NewFronts, which begin on April 30. This series is presented by Meredith Corporation. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.