Interview: David Kline, Viacom | Executive interviews


Speaking ahead of his planned appearance at the IBC session "New Now Next: The Definitive Roadmap", David Kline of Viacom reflected on the fact that he is "always drawn to the examination of what is happening in the sector now, and what is likely to happen later.And of course, at the moment there is a phenomenal amount of changes taking place in the global media industry … "

With a long and distinguished career in the media, Kline is certainly well positioned to track this spate of changes, though In fact he started working in the IT health sector before moving on to technology consulting with Integrated Systems Group.

  Kline, David Photo 2018

Later Kline moved into the media, initially with the Cablevision subsidiary Rainbow Media Holdings.

spent the better part of a decade before joining Discovery Networks as CIO and then, in 2010, at Viacom as VP of Technology and CIO. Six years later he was nominated for the current role of EVP and chief information & technology officer.

The Viacom footprint in the global media sector is substantial to say the least, including 170 networks reaching over 4.3 billion subscribers in 183 countries. In addition to owning the iconic Paramount Pictures film studio, the company is also home to some of the world's most recognized broadcast brands, including Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land , CMT and Logo.

Owns and also manages many international properties, such as Channel 5 in the United Kingdom and Colors in India.

Next Generation Comms
The technologies that Kline had planned to discuss in the minutest detail of the IBC included the 5G. "It's coming very fast, both for landline and mobile phones," he says.

"I am sure we will have discussions on how this allows the Internet of Things as well as advanced opportunities in advertising, content delivery and / or content consumption." There are also conversations about the appearance. data in general, whether it is blockchain or other data opportunities based on progress in speed and connectivity. "

" The main change [from blockchain] will be the breakdown of measurements and the ability to merge data more effective "

Of course, these and other developments are increasingly playing against the wider context of the" move to the cloud – what it means, what it brings and how it works? "continues to be dynamic in what we are doing to improve visualization habits and consumer fun? "

Kline agrees with the suggestion that the blockchain is intended to be a primary discussion point at the IBC but implies that the general implementation is unlikely

"The nice thing about the blockchain is the ability to share data in a private or anonymous way, also I think it will continue to change the way the measurement takes place, both in the media space that in general ", he says. "But there must be a reason to use blockchain and it can not just be the case that a company works there because we want to do it."

"So if there's a reason to share that data, or a reason for the appearance of the associated consortium, then it's something to look at and invest in. However, if it's just for the 39. hell to use blockchain to replace a traditional data warehouse or data lake, then there may be too high and probably not worth using it.

"So, for me, I think the main change will be the rupture of measurements and the ability to combine data more effectively without incurring the entanglement of whose data is who, and how to make sure that you expose the wrong things to the wrong people. "

In terms of specific implications for Viacom, Kline confirms that" we are delighting with blockchain in some areas, and I am hoping that it will allow some of the consortia [that we work with] to join from ta on the advertising space. We are also working with some of our third-party partners to have conversations about what they are doing for ad serving and opportunities in that space, in order to try to understand how the blockchain will play. So essentially, we are in the mode of understanding and in the operational mode. "

Entertainment on speed dial
Like many observers, Kline expects the 5G to have a galvanizing effect on the distribution and consumption of content across the board." The speed of 5G will certainly be a great advantage important, "he says

" The 5G will really bring it all to the next dimension "

" Another interesting aspect of the 5G is that you'll be able to have both the 5G fixed aspect – in which you'll have antenna in your home similar to the one you currently have with a cable modem, except that it will be an incoming cellular signal – and therefore also the mobile side. "

Cites the expectation that more telephone operators will soon launch dual-capable 4G / 5G devices, but in the long run is excited about the possibility that these next-generation products" open up a new world of usability, usability and identification of opportunities. "

Kline draws a parallel with the gradual emergence of self driving cars -" now they are becoming more prevalent, and closer to being an opportunity, to be a part of what is happening rather than being a spatial leap in decades. "[19659024] So you think it will not be long before there are considerable opportunities for" the 5G IoT advancement, as well as AR, where you will have the chance to experience the virtual appearance, in the real world & # 39; to bring things with you, be your child in a visual image next to you, or watching The Daily Show and having [presenter] Trevor Noah sitting near you while you look at Trevor Noah! Those speeds will be enabled and 5G will really bring everything to the next dimension. "

The transition will not happen from one day to the next but will probably reflect the introduction of 4G devices, cable modems and HD TV." [that] was a slow proliferation [at first] – and then suddenly it was the norm, "he says.

" I think it will take two to five years, but I think there will be a region by region, and a very specific qualification based on where telephone companies are trying to aim. Viacom has been involved in testing with suppliers to understand how we will transmit our content on these new opportunities, particularly 5G, and what it means to us and how our production and delivery could change. To make sure we can take advantage of the changes when they arrive, we want to start building something now. "

In this regard, Kline states that Viacom is greatly assisted by a long-term defined plan, as established by CEO Robert M Bakish in 2016, which" defines a five or six-point strategy focusing in particular on our channels of points, on how we are working together as Viacom globally and on the production of abbreviated content. "All of this resoundingly resonates with current technological changes and is proving to be" a truly exciting vision that is helping Viacom to move into the future " .

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