Lee Hunt has built a nice little reputation for himself; and a nice little business to go along with it. You see, Lee, in no uncertain terms is an expert – a branding expert. It used to be that if you were a media company looking for the most cutting edge branding and positioning strategies, you went to Lee. Many still do, in fact. The problem, as Lee sees it, is that the media he knows are evolving so rapidly, so dramatically, and so utterly, there’s a good chance that by the time its taken you to get to this point in this column the principles governing media branding have morphed yet again. "All the rules are completely changing," Lee told me. "And no one knows what the new rules are yet." He calls it Moore’s Law of media. Moore’s Law, for those of you who might not know, says that the memory capacity of a computer chip doubles every 18-24 months. Media is changing exponentially, he says, with no end in sight. That’s no surprise, but I was interested to find out Lee credits Disney president Bob Iger’s content deal with Steve Jobs and his video iPod for kicking the media content revolution into high gear. "It’s common now for networks to put episodes of shows online, but that deal was less than a year ago. That’s amazing. For a guy new to the job, it took a lot of guts to make a move like that back then." Lee claims that deal allowed the migration of content from television to new media to leap forward three or four years. When I caught up with him, Lee was getting ready to head to Boston for the CTAM Summit, where on Wednesday he’ll moderate a panel on "bugging a 2" screen." We talked about the challenges of branding such a small screen, and while I suggested that sound tones would likely be a key component to branding hand-held content, he said probably, but that the bigger issue was the content itself. "I don’t think anyone can tell you with any certainty what the content will look like, or even how long it should be." I asked Lee if he thought new media, VOD and other such concepts represented a death knell for linear networks. "It’s not so much a death knell, but I do believe that video will ultimately migrate to broadband, and that television will be more or less a barker channel. It’s no mystery that a new medium doesn’t kill the old one, it just forces it to change. I still see television as the most pervasive – and persuasive – medium out there; at least for the next ten years or so." The big challenge for linear network branders, he told me, is staying relevant. How does ABC, for example, continue to get credit for "Lost" on an iPod? Or HBO for "Entourage?" "The consumer is watching television for content and the gatekeeper is becoming less relevant. It used to be the gatekeeper was a television network, or satellite or cable provider, but soon it will be a broadband provider or iTunes – which, if you’ll notice, doesn’t allow network bugs. In such cases, the originating network really becomes irrelevant." Lee says he’s equally blown away by the prospects of Web 2.0 vs. Web 1.0, and the impact that will have on how consumers use video and interact with media. "I’m still having trouble coming to grips with it will all mean." So how does an expert like him keep up? "It’s tough," said Lee, "but exciting." We’re all just bushwhackers, out here blazing a trail."

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