“Welcome to the experience era,” Jennifer Cooper, Adobe’s global head of media industry strategy and marketing, told the audience at Thursday morning’s Media & Entertainment Super Session at Summit 2017, in Las Vegas. “And experiences start with great content, and experiences are powered by data.”
Cooper then introduced Adobe’s Jeremy Helfand, vice president of M&E industry solutions and Primetime, who sat down with Eric Black, SVP and CTO of digital at NBC Sports Group/Playmaker Media, for a wide-ranging fireside chat.
When asked about the milestones in the evolution of video, Black said, “The growth of video has been incredible ... exponential, really. What’s more, consumption patterns have changed radically—tablet, phone, etc.”
Black explained that his group has been involved in many of the “tent pole events” produced over the past years, including the Olympic Games. These events, he said, “are catalysts” for technological advances. And these advances are then able to be tapped for all content and experiences produced.
The divide between digital and linear TV has been obliterated as well. “We are all one team now,” he said. “And there is not just linear anymore but a complete experience—however the user wants to consume it. These are complementary, not competing, experiences.” He admitted, though, that orchestration is hard. “All of this requires a diverse set of resources,” Black said, “that must work in concert.”
When asked about what trends he is seeing in content consumption, Black was quick to cite the explosion of connected devices—Apple TV, Roku, etc. “The growth here is just remarkable,” he said. “But the consumers here want to watch whatever they want, wherever they want. They also expect a broadcast-quality experience, which puts pressure on the technology side to deliver it.”
In conclusion, Black was asked what the idea of “experience business” meant to him. His answer: “It means the delivery of our content to the consumer how and when and where they want it. And this content will be high-quality and always-on—the cutting edge of engagement. But most important, the technology will never get in the way. It is transparent.”
To round out the session, Cooper brought to the stage NBC Universal’s Denise Colella, SVP of advanced advertising products and strategy. Colella got the audience’s attention by declaring that “there is a renaissance in TV—digital is old, and TV is the new digital.”
“We now have the opportunity to look in the rearview mirror at the complications that digital created,” she explained, “and learn—not make the same mistakes.”
According to Colella, here’s what’s coming down the pike for TV:
- ATSC 3.0 (interactive)
- Rise of addressable (including linear TV)
- Automated buying (programmatic)
- Connected TV