In an evolving media landscape, companies need to focus on building communities and creating an ecosystem for consumers, according to Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan.
“You keep the consumer in the ecosystem and give them the value that they’re looking for so that they are not leaving,” Gowrappan told Yahoo Finance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We are a platform company. The biggest secret of platform companies is not just creating a platform but about how all stakeholders participate in that platform.”
Creating great products is the first step, but once the consumer comes onto the platform, it is crucial to make sure they stay, according to Gowrappan. “You have to make sure that you’re listening. When you’re closed and you’re not listening, then you’re not growing.”
Gowrappan alluded to Verizon Media’s recent partnership with MGM Resorts. Yahoo Sports, a subsidiary of Verizon Media, announced that it would provide sports betting opportunities on the platform. Only users of legal age in New Jersey are able to use the service right now, but Gowrappan explained that it would eventually be available in more states.
“The idea was when I talk about closing the loop for customers, they’re not just coming and consuming scores, content, but then going through the value chain saying, ‘Hey, now I’m playing fantasy sports. The next thing I want to do is bet on the player bet on a team,’” Gowrappan said.
Community is massive, and returning value to stakeholders is key, he said. “We touch 900 million consumers globally, that’s a big deal. I think every employee now has become so much about mission and purpose, about creating networks that move the world forward and also connecting people to their passion.”
Disclaimer: Yahoo Finance is a subsidiary of Verizon Media.
Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.
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