NBCUniversal MMP Graduate Anita Lee

Executive Producer, NFB Ontario

NBCUniversal Multiplatform Matchmaking Program

NBCUniversal MMP program alumni Romeo Candido, Davin Lengyel, and James Milward.

The NBCUniversal Multiplatform Matchmaking Program (MMP) explored the creative and commercial challenges of developing multiplatform content from the ground up for a changing media landscape. Participants were immersed in a week-long intensive exploration of creative and business strategy development, culminating in the creation of a new multiplatform product or service idea. While the event had a defined structure and elements were repeated from one lab to another, each one responded to the particular needs of each group of participants. The first three days of the MMP were rigorously scheduled, whereas the schedules for the final two days were more open, with participants working together in teams on ideas that they had chosen with support from mentors.

The principles that informed the design of the program were:

  • Bringing together creative people with different skill sets, who would not normally work together, can provide a good source of innovation
  • Media professionals from different sectors of the media industries have a poor understanding of each others’ cultures, languages, working processes
  • At this early stage in the development of cross-platform content and services, there are very few experts - we can learn from each other
  • Developing ideas as ‘concept cars’ is a very effective method of understanding the changing media ecology and adapting to it

The MMP was divided into four phases:

Introductory

In the introductory phase, participants discovered who other participants were, and what they knew, built a common understanding of the territory that the lab explored and established the best possible environment for creative collaboration. The main outcome of this phase was knowledge transfer; developing an understanding of the values, culture, language and approach of producers working in different sectors.

Cross-platform idea generation

In the second phase of the MMP, participants were challenged to create original ideas for cross-platform products and services. Using a range of techniques from classic brainstorming, lateral thinking techniques, user-focused design processes, Stanford Research International’s Innovation methodology and other tools, participants worked in constantly changing interdisciplinary teams.

Selection, evaluation, development

From the third day onwards, MMP adopted a more convergent approach. The mentoring team provided a framework within which the participants selected ideas to develop further, working in a team with diverse knowledge and skill sets.

Presentation

In the last 24 hours of the program, teams focused on developing a value proposition and a pitch for the single project that they presented on the final day of MMP. Presentations were made before an invite-only audience.