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Published May 2017

Top tier broadcast execs weigh in on the convergence of linear and digital television.

At the 2017 NAB Show, Google’s Shane Peros spoke to top execs from some of the largest media companies to uncover what we need to do today to reach the bright future of TV. Everybody is moving towards convergence, but the path is less than easy.

5 key takeaways from the panel:

  1. The TV industry is ripe for a shakeup and the convergence of digital and linear TV will determine the new winners.
  2. TV will be in a perpetual state of innovation. Change is the only constant.
  3. Data presents the largest opportunity in IP TV. The trick will be identifying what data is good and usable, and what’s not.
  4. To succeed, broadcasters will need to offer viewers additional value. Machine Learning could be the key to uncovering that value.
  5. The role of culture and hierarchy in driving innovation and change cannot be underestimated. The winners will be those ready to disrupt.

The panel, which included some of the brightest technological minds in the broadcast space, didn’t hold back as the participants laid out the future of the $185B global linear TV market.1

Panelists included:

  • John Honeycutt, Chief Technical Officer, Discovery Communications
  • Joe Inzillero, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, MLB Advanced Media
  • David Kline, Chief Technology Officer, Viacom
  • Vikram Somaya, Senior Vice President, Global Data Officer & Ad Platforms, ESPN

What our panelists said: 

“I think there will be winners and losers in this [convergence] for sure, and I think there will be a change in the guard, in a lot of ways. Those who are quick to adapt, understand how advertisers are now looking for outcomes across all of their platforms.” - Vikram Somaya, ESPN

“I don’t think this transition is a technology problem. I think there is plenty of technology that is fully capable of doing what we need to do to move to an all IP future. I think all of that is fully capable today. I think the real question today is about data and how it gets driven.” - John Honeycutt, Discovery Communications

“We’ve been trying very heavily to figure out how to use machine learning, as an example, to ingest content, so that a user might be able to go out and not worry about what they’re looking at or why they’re looking at it, but simply have a great experience.” - David Klein, Viacom

“I’ve always found it ironic that people that would consider themselves technologists would also say that they’re averse to change. You can’t really be a technologist and be averse to change. The reality is, there are a lot of folks that aren’t technologists, and I think there’s a little bit of this game of now pretending everybody’s gonna win.” - Joe Inzillero, MLB Advanced Media

For those of you who missed the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters Show conferences in April, you have a lot to catch up on. Luckily for you, several of the main stage sessions, like the one featured below, were live streamed and recorded. Giving you ample time, to get up to speed.

1 Magna Global, “Global Advertising Forecast”, December, 2016


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