General Session Addresses TV’s ‘Most Transformative Period’

Daniel Alegre

Daniel Alegre, president, Global Partnerships, Google Inc., will present the keynote at this morning’s Closing General Session “Transforming TV — VR, Cloud and the Multi-Screen Revolution.”

After his initial remarks, Alegre will be joined by Kristin Dolan, chief operating officer of Cablevision, for a conversation about how TV has evolved, and where it’s heading.

“TV is at a crossroads,” said Alegre, citing mobile viewership, the centrality of the Internet to content delivery and changes taking place in how, when and where video is consumed.

“The industry is going through the most transformative period that it’s ever faced,” he said.

Alegre and Google are bullish on the future of TV, and said that the transformation that is underway will have an impact on four key areas: discovery, distribution, monetization and creation of content. His talk and the follow-up discussion with Dolan will explore these areas and more.

Discovery has become one of the biggest challenges for TV, largely because the amount of content available to consumers has become staggering.

The amount of content viewers have access to will only increase, and helping viewers “discover” the right content is critical for TV’s future.

Topics sure to be discussed during the session include smarter recommendations based on viewing history or interests and better content searches and recommendations.

“The smartphone is now a user’s first screen for everything. It’s the screen we see viewers using to find what to watch and where to watch it, and ultimately the one they use to watch a lot of content as well.” said Alegre.

Another key aspect of TV as it evolves is the centrality of the Internet. Alegre said this is not entirely unlike the shift from terrestrial broadcasting to cable and satellite delivery.

“Devices like smartphones, tablets, Chromecasts, Apple TVs, Smart TVs with Android TV, whatever the device, all access content, including TV content, via the Internet,” he said.

Another dramatic and very important change is monetization and addressable advertising. The shift from broad-based advertising that hits a large group, to advertising that reaches specific consumers with personalized messaging will have a profound impact on how TV ads are bought and sold.

At the tip of the TV spear is content creation, and this is where the cloud comes in. Creating TV content with animation and CGI takes a lot of computing power, and the cloud can democratize access to this, said Alegre. Cloud-based services can give content creators instant on-demand access to massive computational power when they need it without needing to invest in infrastructure that might lay unused at other times.

“‘TV is dead’ headlines don’t fully capture shifting viewership and the massive transformation happening in TV today,” said Alegre. “While this is a major challenge for the industry it is also big opportunity, Video is very much alive and everywhere.”