Rich Greenfield remembers being presented with a DVD by Warner Bros. in 1995. “It was being talked about as disruption,” he recalls. “But it was basically just the evolution from a VHS cassette to a DVD,” said the LightShed Partners co-founder at Signal 2020 in July.

Today’s disruption is a different story. “It is happening at a pace that we’ve never seen before, and you don’t have to look any further than the market caps of these companies,” he said, pointing to Netflix’s dwarfing of legacy stalwarts such as Verizon and Disney. 

The culprit: “The reality is that you need to have this direct relationship with your consumer,” he said. Netflix and other digital and data-first companies that target individual consumers are accelerating their takeover of a market once dominated by cable systems that reached 100 million subscribers with their multi-channel bundles. 

Greenfield says the way forward for brands is to “make great content that doesn’t feel like ads and doesn’t waste somebody’s time.” 

Watch his full presentation here: