August, 2017


The Director Speaks - "Success is great storytelling and great execution"

JerryThe new season of Game of Thrones, the recent House of Cards release, and mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead, have all streamed to my TV during the last month.  They have all been great and given that they all drew large audiences I am not alone in my perspective.  These programs are also particularly noteworthy because they were all released on different platforms using very different business models.  One could use these three shows to support the argument that success is fundamentally rooted in great storytelling and great execution.  While there is much debate about the user-perceived merits of individual platforms and distribution systems, perhaps the focus should be more on the platforms’ ability to support the content design process and its ability to maximize the benefit of the content.  While such tent pole programming determines near term success, the fan base is fickle and it is hard to determine how long specific programs will continue to thrive.  And, despite the fact that data abounds in our hyper-connected world, it is almost impossible to predict when cultural trends will shift, thereby rendering existing forecasting models based on historic data obsolete. In the entertainment space, it can be especially vexing given that tent pole projects must be green-lit well before they are released and the longer the production window, the greater the probability the markets will change mid-cycle.   Most content producers have developed a level of expertise in the use of social networks, influencers, and other strategies in an effort to predict market success and increase content awareness, however, the data that drives these efforts can also be reused for other valuable purposes.   The same data can also be used to identify subtle cultural shifts that serve as leading predictors of changes to our content appetites.  The same data might even be used to identify opportunities to capitalize on emerging release strategies.  The conclusion might be that while may be many paths to immediate success, process longevity requires an ability to look past the immediate data in order to identify the discontinuities as a complement to its value in managing current release strategies.


Josette1. Hi, Josette! Hope you are well. Could you tell us a bit about your journey with CTM? 

Sure, I would love to. I joined the CTM five years ago as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Research, after serving for 30 years as an executive in the worlds of entertainment, telecom and technology. I was attracted to the CTM by the prospect of introducing new research programs to make it less academic in nature and more directly actionable for our sponsors, something that my strategic consulting background made me a natural for. It has been (and continues to be) a very exciting Journey.

2. What are you working on currently and what excites you the most about your research?  

Aside from overseeing the CTM Research Programs, I am particularly excited by my direct involvement as Program Lead of and Chief Contributor to the “Future of Media” Strategic Research Program. For the past five years, our Future of Media Research Program has analyzed the evolving media consumption and the transformation of filmed entertainment business models. In so doing, the program allows its sponsors to anticipate important industry changes and to develop actionable strategies to take advantage of the trends and factors analyzed in our work. We complement our work with strategy sessions with our sponsors to maximize its value. 

3. Where do you think Future of Media is headed?  

Over the past two years the cord cutting phenomenon has substantially become accentuated and so has younger consumers’ distaste for the full bundle offered by MVPDs. Together with the proliferation of new OTT video services, this trend has given rise to a flurry of “skinny bundle” deployments by the traditional players. The jury is out as to whether these skinny bundles represent a threat or an opportunity for the filmed entertainment industry. In addition, Millennials and gen Z consumers are mostly viewing content that has been recommended to them via social networks feeds or influencers; while companies like Facebook (owner of Instagram) have announced that they will start producing original film and TV content, potentially making them unique content destinations. As the media consumer’s experience becomes front and center; viewership is radically influenced by what can be shared, re-posted and recommended by social networks. At CTM we are analyzing these trends as part of our “Future of Media” Research. 

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  • Aug 5: Big Data Day LA is one of the largest of its kind Big Data conferences in Southern California.  The 2017 session tracks include Big Data, Data Science, Hadoop/Spark/Kafka, NoSQL, IoT and Use Case Driven Big Data. Register at here.
  • Aug 9-10: The fifth annual global supply chain excellence summit will exhibit thought leadership on critical issues within our rapidly evolving global landscape. Key discussions on managing supply chains amidst globalization, innovation, and digitization will be held.  Know more at here.
  • Sept 14: Another in the series of The Future of HR conferences focused on "Deconstructing Work for Future Growth" will be hosted by Marshall's  Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) in Chicago. Learn more about this symposium at here.

If you have an event that you would like us to include in our newsletter, please send an email to

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Internet of Things

The high tech home of the (near!) future should allay concerns of security and privacy. In this article, silicon valley insiders, early adopters, architects, and experts all come together to dig into the current state of home automation. House of Tomorrow

This is IoT with a humanitarian angle. A paradigm shift might be in order as IoT enables the connected worker to operate at peak efficiency and effectiveness. The connected industrial worker: achieving the industrial vision for the Internet of Things

Dealing with Data

There's good news for all leaders who want to know what they’re getting in return for marketing expenses. Marketing ROI measures the effectiveness of efforts towards a goal. A Refresher on Marketing ROI

Although the collection — and subsequent crunching — of data is a mostly digital task, it has a tangible outcome: You’ll know more about your customers and their shopping habits than ever before. Retail Data: How and Why You Should Use Big Data for Your Store


Autonomous cargo ships will redefine long haul delivery; combine that with autonomous loaders and it's a new world! Sailorless Ships Are Coming to the Freight Industry

Innovations in digitization, analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation are creating performance and productivity opportunities for business and the economy, even as they reshape employment and the future of work. What’s now and next in analytics, AI, and automation



Featured Events

05 Aug More

Big Data Day LA

  • USC Campus
  • 07:00 am — 08:30 pm
09 Aug More

5th Annual Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit

  • USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom


CTM is now supporting an innovative experience for Marshall students who want to demonstrate their ability to the CTM command. For Fall 2017, we are encouraging students who are interested in an extracurricular experience to look at the following list of topics. If you see something that you'd like to examine further, let us know by sending an email with the subject - "Student Research Proposal" to

Institute for Communication Technology Management (CTM)

USC Marshall CTM

1149 S Hill Street, 9th floor, 

Los Angeles CA 90015  Map