If you want to understand where the media is heading, talk to someone with experience — someone like Ken Lerer, who has a lengthy résumé as a New York media mogul.
He helped start MTV, co-created HuffPost with Arianna Huffington, and was an exec at AOL Time Warner during its highest-flying days. On the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, Lerer explained what he learned in all those roles and how those lessons are still relevant today.
"When you live through something, it's hard to figure out what's important," he said. "But looking back on it now, and I've thought about this a lot the last couple years, MTV was always about the brand. It wasn't about an individual video, it wasn't about an individual recording act, it was all about the brand."
More from Recode:
Recode Daily: Uber's newest problem; Amazon may buy Slack
Why Disney made a huge mistake by selling its content to Netflix
Meet the Wall Street analyst the big media companies love to hate
And he noted the same could be said today of BuzzFeed, where Lerer is chairman, even though its brand has changed over the years. Responding to recent reports that BuzzFeed is considering an IPO in 2018, he said "it's too early to predict what happens next year" and declined to draw a direct comparison between BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post, which AOL bought for $315 million in 2011.