The Variety Entertainment and Technology Summit, presented by City National Bank and held Thursday in West Hollywood, brought together entertainment industry leaders and visionaries to discuss the rise of technology and its impact on television, film, gaming, music, digital media and to discuss consumers. Trademarks:
Brand executives from Disney, Universal Television, Mattel, the NBA, Twitch, Paramount, Taco Bell and more participated in panels covering different ways to incorporate new technology into their workplaces. Read below what entertainment industry leaders had to say about the evolving intersection of entertainment and technology.
Creativity remains mainstream in a crowded world
During the TV panel Titans, TV executives discussed their presence in a streaming world moving away from cable and toward ad-supported and subscription streaming services. Dan McDermott, president of Entertainment and AMC Studios at AMC Networks, said executives always value creative storytelling and intellectual property with mature audiences.
"What has remained constant is the value of creativity and long-term quality stories," McDermott said. "It's a much more crowded landscape than it's ever been, but as a developer you're definitely looking for IPs that have a built-in audience and fan base."
Social media is an inevitable battleground for brands
During the Brand Storytelling Elite panel, representatives from consumer and entertainment brands discussed at length how best to engage audiences in a media environment that often feels oversaturated and cluttered. Nicole Veltman, who leads social media at Taco Bell, talked about competing with mainstream news outlets for consumers' attention.
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"When we think about what our content shows in relation to Vice and NBC content, it shows places with built-in audiences," Veltman said. "When we think about the stories we want to tell, we rely on those fans to tell their stories and let them be heard." He then formed a bona fide collaboration with pop artist Dojo Cat, promoting the return of his Mexican pizza.
The future of audience engagement could be creating immersive experiences
The future of audience engagement. insights into how innovation and creativity create powerful connections with today's audiences. The panel included a conversation between Omar Zayat, Senior Director, Head of Entertainment at Meta; and Keisha Senter, vice president of culture and impact at Monkeypaw Productions, founded by Jordan Peele. The pair spoke with Variety's Heidi Chung about how they can further immerse audiences in the experiences they create around different media, including film.
Their collaboration led to the Metaverse experience centered around Peele's new film No, and Senter highlighted some of the key questions his team asks as they develop new ideas and experiences; “We really care about who we are. we are high Our content is high? representative of our content. Is it gender specific? Are we looking for ways to be naughty and fun? There are many ways to think about this, both with the filmmakers and with the partners you work with.
Web3 has great potential for the entertainment industry
In the Realizing Web3 for Entertainment panel, industry leaders discussed at length the potential ways new Web3 innovations can better and more effectively drive change in the entertainment industry. Melody Hildebrandt, CISO and Fox Corp. & Blockchain Creative Labs shares two key areas where they believe the potential of Web3 can be harnessed for the benefit of consumers.
“I really see this as a technological innovation that allows for completely new models in two key areas for media, one is on the content side, how is content actually created and marketed? The other side is distribution, and we think there's an opportunity to deliver content directly to fans in a much cleaner way,” Hildebrandt said of Web3's potential impact on the industry.
Stagecraft could revolutionize the possibilities of future virtual productions
Lucasfilm general manager and executive vice president Linwen Brennan and Lucasfilm senior vice president of visual effects and ILM general manager Janet Levine discussed how to use Stagecraft as an "end-to-end virtual production tool"; landscape at Lucasfilm. Having previously applied the tool to many of their popular projects, such as The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Book of Boba Fett and the upcoming series Andor, executives shared positive predictions based on Stagecraft's benefits.
“What made Stagecraft possible was the incredible collaboration with all the department heads and directors before filming,” explained Brennan. "Then all of those visual effects are in-camera, which means we've been able to save money on our visual effects budget, and we've been able to save time in our post-production schedule and get this amazing quality output."
Assessing the future, Brennan replied: "I think it really depends on our filmmakers, and that's what makes it so exciting."
“Now we have a proven production methodology, but we like to be inspired by new ideas that come our way. Also drive development in this area, both with real-time tools like Unreal and future advancements in LED technology,” he continued. "It is difficult to predict where the journey will lead. For some industries, there is currently a barrier to using the toolkit because it is expensive. But if you get a kick out of it, it can be very effective.
The international market is no different from the local streaming market
On Thursday's "Best Business Strategies in Streaming" panel, Jeff Schultz, Paramount's chief strategy officer and chief business development officer, explained why the international streaming market shouldn't be feared for domestic businesses.
The word "international" has lost its meaning, Shults said. "International means nothing because every market is different when you look at the market as it is; that means content rights, proprietary content, consumer taste, consumer willingness to pay, consumer appetite for free and paid, relevant CPMs and maturity. end-to-end advertising marketplace.
“All these things combine to give each market its own unique formula, and that adds to the complexity of the problem to be solved. But for a company with global resources, it becomes an advantage," Schultz told the crowd.
Authenticity is the key to marketing to Gen Z
Snapchat's US head of entertainment Alexa Levine revealed the secret to reaching Gen Z during the Unlocking Gen Z Audience panel on Thursday. Reaching people between the ages of 10 and 25 is key to capturing this particular group of real appeal.
“Being authentic is very important to Gen Z,” Levin said. “We had a PURPOSE growing up. Then after AIM there were phones and text messages. This generation communicates with images. Again they shoot to be authentic. Augmented reality has become a key element. That's why you see everything. These companies are delving into augmented and virtual reality because Gen Z is used to it, it comes naturally to them.
TV is not always the best model for delivering content
During the Unlocking Gen Z Audience panel, HBO Max Chief Marketing Officer JJP Malo discussed why Netflix's popular viewing model may not be the right launch vehicle if companies want to stay relevant to Gen Z.
"You can't always assume that an episode will last," Malo explained. “You're crazy, and you can't guarantee that everybody's going to be in the same part of the show, and you can't guarantee that the same conversation will take you two months, three months between breaks for the next series. »
As a result, he shares, HBO Max has adopted a more "agile" approach that involves working closely with the planning and programming team to determine how each show is programmed and scheduled. The model they came up with seems to be a bumpy release schedule with marketing activations between episodes to "keep the conversation going".
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