Industry Voices: Berquist, Lambert, Becker & Leifer

The NAB Show Daily News asked a number of industry leaders to share their thoughts on technology trends with respect to the future of the media and entertainment industry. Here are some of their answers.

YVES BERGQUIST

Data Scientist and CEO, Novamente | Founder, Director of the Data & Analytics Project at USC’s Entertainment Technology Center

“… I think the eruption of neuroscience and AI research into the media space is very exciting because it promises to ‘hack’ the cognitive relationship between audiences and content in ways that will not only create an explosion in creativity in media (data will show that there are many more ways to innovate in film and TV stories than are currently made available by content distributors’ risk models), but will drive profound emotional experiences for audiences. Contrary to what often is being heard, data and machine learning are not a constraint on the creative process; they create more granular risk models and allow creatives the freedom to innovate more and in more efficient ways. Add to that the fact that automation in production and post production will reduce the cost of content production, and you see we’re on the cusp of a creative explosion in media.”

MARK LAMBERT

CEO | VArtisans

“360 video has been advancing rapidly from just a few years ago when most were shooting on GoPro rigs. For ‘off the shelf’ 360 systems, it is great to see continuing improvements in camera sensor and lens quality, low-light performance and simple ‘pro’ aspects like sync and timecode … but we are, for most practical rigs, still stuck in an 8-bit world of image capture and the resulting challenges for color grading. Hopefully this year or next, we will start seeing solutions that bring us closer to quality levels we are used to in conventional video production. Spatial audio is also important in our industry and I’ve been excited to work with new microphones and capture abilities. Most 360 audio software is fairly new and spatial audio still has a dark art to it. We are watching those tools closely and expect it to advance quickly as more clients understand and request it.”

CAROLYN BECKER

President | Riverfront Broadcasting

I think the most pressing business trend facing us today is that there are so many ways to spend money in order to keep up with a changing society, but there aren’t as many ways to make revenue with these ideas. … The technology I am most excited about is the possibility of the FM chip being on all smart phones. I also think that Alexa and similar gadgets are bringing back listening to radio in homes and that is wonderful. Many thanks to our industry for working hard to keep our listeners and grow listenership in such a fragmented world. Radio has survived the test of time and I believe the future looks great. We just have to continue to use trial and error to decide what is best for our communities and at what expense. We have to remember our focus is our communities and try not to get so distracted that we lose that vision. We need to take care of our communities, our listeners, our staff and our advertisers while still trying to make a profit.

JIM LEIFER, CPBE

President | Society of Broadcast Engineers

“Broadcast engineers have the challenge of maintaining existing systems while simultaneously embracing and implementing new technology. The Society of Broadcast Engineers, through several channels including educational programs (such as the SBE Ennes Workshop) and SBE Certification, is a resource for engineers to obtain the knowledge and skills they need. Whether it’s streaming, the TV repack and Next Gen TV, or radio on the dash and AM-band noise reduction, the SBE is already providing the tools to help engineers succeed with these new technologies and advances.”