Stuart Austin, Director of Data and Audience at Live Nation Entertainment, picked Grant Allaway as his digital hero. Now he passes on the honour by choosing his.
Who is your digital hero?
What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?
Matt has been at the forefront of digital since almost its inception and has a canny knack of identifying where audiences and technology best work together.
He has successfully navigated his way through pioneering agency start-up (remember Beyond Interactive?) before being integrated into MediaCom to be at the heart of its specialist digital unit. He’s always had his eyes just on the horizon meaning that he keeps getting pulled from hotshops to networks as niches become mainstream.
His early involvement in mobile marketing has led him to become a leading authority on the subject, whilst his experience at companies like Amobee and Fetch (Dentsu) really put him in the hero bracket!
How has his heroism helped drive digital?
Early champion (no pun intended) of digital display, mobile and most recently blockchain – Matt’s enthusiasm and dedication to grow the market and lead clients to new areas is nothing short of heroic!
A planner/buyer at heart, he’s always worked in partnership with media owners/platforms to the benefit of all and even though he’s definitely a ‘veteran’ he shares what he knows – and knows when to be quiet and listen.
He’s fought the battles of TV dominance; the silos of digital; the silos of mobile. He’s a sort of ‘curious realist’, making tricky stuff work for his clients.
What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?
Having worked on the publisher / sell side most of my career, we still need to answer the most fundamental question of what do we want the web to be?
If publishers of quality content are getting robbed every which way, then we may as well all wave the white flag and hand the future over to the big US players now without any more fight.
Publishers need to be seeing a lot more from each pound sold in advertising revenue, the whole ecosystem needs fixing – apart from that I’m pretty positive.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
It’ll have to be leading an MBO from Vivendi, to gain control of ad2one back in 2002. Alongside my business partner , Julian Miall we grew the company to operate in 8 territories throughout the world before selling in 2016.
Still the best thing is seeing all those who sailed in the good ship ad2one, going on to bigger and other exciting companies, from Snap to Google to Spotify!