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Digital Leaders Discuss the Future of Media

Here in New York City, I’m fortunate to have direct access to leaders who are developing the future of media and entertainment. Some of these executives work at our Acquia customers here in the city; NBCUniversal and Warner Music come to mind. Others are old friends who I’ve met along the way in my career in media at companies like Dow Jones and CBS Interactive.

This year we have started to gather these talents at a monthly meet-up in New York City, so that we can all learn from each other and discuss the latest digital media trends. Last month when we met up at The Ace Hotel, sidebar conversations broke out including one between our customers, Hot 97 Radio and Warner Music, regarding the best digital marketing methods to promote music events. Meanwhile, the director of monetization at Gawker and a consultant to the shopping portal Spring, were off discussing CRM best practices. We’ll be convening again on March 11th at the Ace Hotel. If you work in the media industry and with digital media, please email us if you are interested in these gatherings.

We want to foster this media and technology community in other cities that are leaders in the media industry. Cities that come to mind as media leaders are Los Angeles, London, San Francisco, Hamburg, Stockholm, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. Do you think there are other centers of media? Tell us why in the comments section below.

Now to the EU: On Thursday March 5th 2015, Acquia will be getting some of the best minds in digital media in the UK together at London’s Hospital Club, which bills itself as a hub to create, connect, and collaborate. We certainly expect to do cover those 3 C’s at this event.

Matter, a UK based creative agency that helps firms in all industries innovate and create digital products, has a breadth of experience in working with media companies and publishers. Matter is hosting the event with us, and has brought the start up Immersiv.ly along to discuss how virtual reality (VR) will soon be coming to not just to entertainment brands like games, but also to news media brands. You can see how Immersiv.ly captured the news about the Hong Kong protests in VR manner via their demo site: http://hongkongunrest.com

virtual reality capture hong kong
Immersiv.ly’s virtual reality capture of the Hong Kong protests in 2014.

When I talk to media companies we normally discuss digital media platform priorities such as single sign on, social media curation, video player integrations, content personalization and analytics. So to hear that next on the list is virtual reality, well to me it seemed a bit far off on the product road maps of most media companies outside of the gaming world.

I had the chance to talk with Hugo Pickford Wardle (follow @hugopw), Chief Innovation Officer and founder of Matter, about where virtual reality and even artificial intelligence have a place in today and tomorrow’s newsrooms. We also discussed the digital media community in the UK and what it means that the Daily Mail just bought the US media startup Elite Daily. Hugo will be leading the programming of our event on March 5th.

Hugo Pickford Wardle, Chief Innovation Officer of Matter and Chuck Fishman, Director of Media Entertainment and Publishing, discuss the digital media industry in the UK

Also joining us at the event is Lee Wilkinson, Director of Product and Strategy at Hearst Magazines (follow @ProdDev_LeeW). Lee has quite an extensive background in developing media product and we look forward to hearing his perspective on what media publishers’ digital roadmaps look like in the years ahead. His CV includes time spent at News International where he developed award-winning web, tablet, and smartphone products including the Times and Sunday Times iPad editions, Times Mobile and The Times.co.uk. You can see some of the work Lee did for News International in conjunction with the Matter agency here.


Digital Media Product by News International, Lee Wilkinson and Matter.

Lee also spent time at the Financial Times developing FT.com subscription, FT Mobile, FT Search, and FT.com’s B2B products. What does it mean to develop “media product” that is future proof and engages news audiences and subscribers? We will discuss that at the March 5th event along with Immersiv.ly and Matter. If you are a media executive in London and would like to attend, there may be space available, please email us.

In the meantime, you should check out Lee Wilkinson’s presentation for the UK based Mind The Product where he discusses 15 years of experience in the media industry and how to bring a broad portfolio of disparate digital media products into alignment. Lee has 22 brands at Hearst UK that he has to manage, along with 88 digital products!

Lee Wilkinson - Managing a Product Portfolio from MindTheProduct on Vimeo.

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