Category: GEMA, GEMA Event

Title:GEMA Breakfast Series with Jonathan Carson (C’95), CEO, Digital at The Nielsen Company

By John Burns (MBA ’06)

On August 3rd, 2011, Jonathan Carson (C’95), CEO, Digital at The Nielsen Company, invited a group of 20 GEMA members to Nielsen’s New York office for an informal discussion over breakfast. This was the latest installment of the GEMA NY Breakfast Series. The purpose of the breakfast was to give a small group of GEMA members the opportunity to both hear about Jonathan’s own professional career path, as well as discuss the rapid changes occurring across the media landscape.

The breakfast began with Jonathan telling the story of how he began along his own professional journey, starting with his time at Georgetown. As a student, Jonathan had a strong interest in music, and specifically working in the music industry. However, at the time there was not a set career path for people interested in the music business, as there were in other industries such as marketing and accounting.

His desires to work in the music business ultimately led him to create his own career by becoming an entrepreneur. In 1995, the same year of his graduation from Georgetown, Jonathan co-founded Outer Sound, an award-winning music Web site. The success of OuterSound ultimately led to the Company being acquired by Sharpflat, a music industry application service provider.

The conversation shifted over the course of the breakfast from Jonathan’s own career path, to his point of view on a wide variety of changes occurring in the media industry. He spoke at length about how technology is not only creating new platforms for media consumption, but also changing the ways in which people are consuming media. For example, as opposed to choosing a sole platform to view media (television, tablet PC, mobile, etc) people are now viewing media in conjunction with other platforms – watching television while using a tablet PC.

This changing consumer behavior has forced media companies and advertisers to rethink how they deliver content to consumers. The members of GEMA that attended the breakfast had a great opportunity both to hear about Jonathan’s own story, as well as have the chance to openly discuss the changes occurring in media and advertising with an industry expert.