Northwestern University: Kellogg Graduate School of Management - Media and Entertainment Club
Daniel Farkas, president of the Media and Entertainment Club at Northwestern University: Kellogg
Daniel Farkas, worked at Monitor Group, before embarking on an MBA at Northwestern University: Kellogg and becoming president of the Media and Entertainment Club.
He hopes to use the skills he has gained from studying an MBA to work for a leading entertainment company in the future. In this article, Daniel discusses the pros and cons of current entertainment features, how he thinks the recession has affected different areas of media and entertainment and about Gaetano Mastropasqua, Head of Franchise Development at Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment.
What is your club’s main aim?
The Kellogg M&E Club aims to strengthen ties between Kellogg and the media and entertainment industries, educate current students on career placement and current events, and act as a window for prospective students, alumni, and companies to connect with Kellogg students interested in media and entertainment. We do so by informing students on job opportunities and connecting individuals to specific recruiting opportunities, fostering a social network for students interested in the space, building alumni-student mentorship relationships, hosting speakers from across the industry, and shepherding the evolution of Kellogg's Media Management curriculum.
Who was the most exciting speaker you have had this year?
We're always most excited to welcome back alumni for classes and informal Q&As. During this past quarter, for example, we were thrilled to host Gaetano Mastropasqua, Head of Franchise Development at Overbrook Entertainment (Will Smith's production company) the night of the Men in Black III premier and Drew Lipsher, former SVP of Corporate Development at Clear Channel. We're always most thankful for opportunities to hear from successful executives in M&E that were once in our shoes and can speak to their career paths.
Where do you see yourself after you complete your MBA?
This summer I'll be interning with Sony Pictures, Home Entertainment in their Business Development and Strategic Planning. After school, I hope to land a comparable full time position in content distribution and/or corporate strategy for a leading entertainment company.
Which areas of entertainment do you think have become more popular during the recession?
I don't have a great perspective on this, but it would seem to me that popularity shifts are more a product of changes in technology that financing. Though you might argue the recession has helped stall box office growth or blue ray sales. I think the forms of media that have really gained popularity since 2009 have done so because they've only really become possible for the masses since then. Social gaming comes to mind, as does streaming video.
Do you think the move towards 3D in cinemas and television is going to be a permanent feature?
Yes, but very niche. 3D was conceived of as a way to boost the value of the theatre over other forms of film consumption as well as margin boost given higher prices. Other than "Avatar," however, nobody has arguably done much with the medium. It would seem that the extra ~$4 aren't really worth it; the effect doesn't really add to the viewing experience. Having said that, theaters are still experimenting with ways to create an enhanced viewing experience for key demographics. I think AMC has a bowling alley / theatre concept, and I love the rare theatre that offers dinner and drinks with the film. 3D is another tool for very specific kinds of films and certain audiences. I don't think it will change the industry by itself, but might help drive ticket sales as one of many opportunities for theaters to diversify beyond stadium seating and popcorn
Do you think the internet is making newspapers and traditional television redundant?
I don't think redundant is really the right word, but it's certainly disrupting both traditional means of consumption and the resulting business model. In the case of TV, we're trending towards device convergence; with the advent of smart TVs (basically computers with huge HD monitors) and HD streaming, there won't be any difference between web surfing and couch surfing. There is clearly a trend away from linear programming towards more modular programming, which will impact how content owners are compensated for retransmission. TV content isn't going anywhere, but broadcasting will change as TV is more often distributed over the web rather than cable or satellite. In the case of newspapers, there will always be a need for ad-supported news and information. The best newspapers have suffered because they haven't transitioned their advertising to the web. The worst newspapers have suffered because, other than local news, they have no utility in a web-dominated world. I would expect to see more paywalls for the big papers (like the NYT, WSJ), more local papers consolidating, and eventually a 100% shift away from paper.
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