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Wonder Women of New York 2024: Kate Morgan

Wonder Women of New York 2024: Kate Morgan

Wonder Women of New York 2024: Kate Morgan

By Kent Gibbons published 1 day ago

Kate Morgan
Chief Product Officer, Executive VP, Global Media Entertainment and Games, Magid

Kate Morgan is all about using data and insights to help the Magid consulting firm’s media, entertainment and games clients better serve the changing tastes, needs and desires of consumers. She leads teams in both the development and go-to-market strategy for products created around core areas of Magid expertise and in custom research and consulting work across the media ecosystem. 

What kinds of products has her team of about 40 people created? One that got a lot of attention recently is SubScape, which helps predict not only when people will unsubscribe from streaming services but why, and how to plan for and respond to different kinds of churn to grow overall subscriber base and ARPU. 

Another is called DiversityLens, which measures the audience perception of cultural authenticity and diversity across most TV shows, providing information for content creators and advertisers.

“In today’s environment, what makes people tick is changing a lot, particularly with the younger generation. So what we do is even more important.”

Kate Morgan

A third new product, Brand EmotionalDNA, has been rolled out in beta to help media sellers and brands find optimal emotional matches between content, brands and ads. 

Magid president and CEO Brent Magid said SubScape has not only brought in new revenue for the firm, but has demonstrably helped Magid customers address a key concern, which is maximizing customer retention and subscription income. 

At a recent industry conference, NBCUniversal co-presented with Magid on using
SubScape to improve NBCU’s projection modeling on a corporate level, to inform and prioritize investments and merger-and-acquisition decisions, he said.

“Kate has two things that are just amazing,” Magid said. “One is, she’s a brilliant person. She’s just exceedingly smart. But I think more than anything, she’s really, really good with people. She has built a team and helped us build a culture at Magid that is really outstanding. She’s just a tremendous leader, a leader of people.”

Moving Into Media

Morgan joined Magid in 2016 after working for a couple of financial hedge funds and a software publishing company. She and Brent Magid had both gone to Princeton and were introduced by Magid’s brother, who was in Morgan’s class there. Morgan said she was ready for a change to a business helping entertainment companies understand what influences customers’ decisions and make determinations based on those insights.

“In today’s environment, what makes people tick is changing a lot, particularly with the younger generation,” she said. “So what we do is even more important.”

Morgan was an English major in college and wrote her thesis on Samuel Beckett, whose works are “all about the human experience.” 

“I think now I can look back and say what’s really always compelled me and motivated me and interested me is strategy, innovation, growth and people management,” Morgan said. 

She worked for an energy company that was doing deals in Japan and helped steer it toward projects that were appropriate for the culture, such as buying a wind-energy producer. At the hedge funds, she helped visualize and explain an esoteric commodities fund to everyday investors.  

Between college and business school (Dartmouth) she lived and worked in Germany, where she worked for BMW. (She speaks German.) She has lived in Munich, Frankfurt and London, and three of her four children were born in Germany.

Morgan appreciates the cultural differences sometimes reflected in different languages. In Britain, they say “take” a decision, which feels more like “take what is offered” than the American “make” a decision, she said. In Germany, they say “meet” a decision, Morgan noted, which seems different still. 

Magid research has even helped media clients shape creative directions in programs. One medical drama found that while the viewing reach of the show had not declined, viewer engagement had. It turned out that a romance introduced in the show didn’t feel authentic. The romance was mitigated and engagement rose. “That’s one example of impact, which is really cool,” Morgan said. 

Downtime, besides being involved with her four grown children, includes yoga. “And I work out quite a bit because I’ve gotten quite into hiking,” she said. This past autumn, she did the rim-to-rim hike in the Grand Canyon in one day (“24 miles, 10,000 feet of elevation”) and a five-day hike in the hill villages of Tuscany. 

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