Rapid TV News reports Turner Chairman and CEO John Martin believes that, for the company which operates 22 digital and broadcast networks in the United States, traditional ratings are less important than fan engagement.

At the New York MoffetNathanson Media and Communications Summit, Martin said:

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“We’re no longer in the Nielsen, day part, CPM game. We’re in the fan engagement business. It’s become increasingly clear to all of us that we need fans, not viewers. That’s a different concept in TV because TV has always been about getting as much reach as you can. I’d rather have a smaller audience that is more dedicated and that loves the products we have, versus casual viewing that may aggregate to greater reach. I think engagement is ultimately going to lead to monetization.”

On the rise of “skinny bundles,” Martin said:

“My guess is we’re not going to be able to get ten networks in all of those packages. But 85% of our affiliate fees are in four networks and 90% are in five. If we can get four or five, we’re in good shape. If that means you could grow the overall pool of subscribers, because aggregate bundles of networks are being bundled in a way that subscribers like better, so they’ll be more subscribers, we’ll be fine.”

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