Improving EDI in Telco

The telco industry is making progress towards positive diversity and inclusion, particularly in improving gender equality. On Episode 18 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast we spoke with Anna Deppi, the Senior Manager and Co-Chair of the Italian Women’s Leadership Community at Red Hat, about her experiences as a woman in the field. She also shared her advice for companies and other women who are navigating the changing landscape of EDI in the industry. 

Have there been any challenges that you’ve encountered as a woman in telco, and how did you overcome them? 

I have found myself being the only female at the table or in the room at times. Sometimes you have to decide which battles to pick because you can’t win everything. You need to have your strategies in place. There were situations where I had to speak up, but you can do it in a gentle way. Understanding why things are said that way or what makes you uncomfortable is important. I’d advise everyone to ask ‘why?’. Sometimes you hear it wrong because we live in a very globalised world and we all use English in different ways, so sometimes things are not clear. Step up and speak up as well. 

Also, educate yourself. I noticed that by educating myself and listening to other points of view that I didn’t agree with, I opened up my world. I also think the person on the other side is often feeling the same way. Be yourself. I talk a lot about authenticity because you need to learn how you want to do things. Picking some of those strategies and battles was a bit of a shift, but it made me feel at ease around these tables most of the time. 

Have you got any advice for how organisations can make their company cultures more inclusive to improve retention? 

What I’ve seen around me is that mentoring and sponsorship are very important. You might have a tendency to keep your thoughts to yourself, but you need to talk to others from time to time, particularly with someone who’s been there before. Mentoring also helped me see things and do things in a different way. I do suggest building a very strong mentorship programme because it’s such a good support for people who are very shy and who don’t know how to approach people. Having a schedule and regular meetings does help build a rapport, and people get more out of it. 

You also really need to start talking about equal pay. In some countries it’s mandatory, but you have to have this conversation because it’s very important to maintain people’s motivation and work-life balance, because the problem the telco industry already has is a lack of skills, so we can’t afford to lose talented people. Sometimes people need to step away to recharge their batteries and be more creative. Creativity is super important in everything that we do, and breaking out of your routine can really help with that. 

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who’s entered the industry and is struggling with diversity and inclusion?

Go and talk to schools because there’s so much that this industry can give to young people and vice versa. Like I said, education is so important because it helps you understand yourself and other people better while raising awareness of why things are happening. That’s very important in an industry that is changing so fast because we need to change fast as well to be part of that change. 

To hear more from Anna, tune into Episode 18 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Elevating Women in the Telco Industry 

The telco industry is full of opportunity, but is it full of diversity? On Episode 3 of the Women In Telco miniseries on The Connectivity Matters Podcast we were joined by Maria Lema, one of the Co-Founders at Weaver Labs, to talk about her experiences of working and leading in the connectivity industry. Read on for her perspectives. 

What have you experienced as a woman in the telco industry?

I think the telco industry is male dominated, but it’s not sexist. I’ve never experienced the issues some women have with being a successful professional in this industry or getting my voice heard or people not taking me seriously. This industry values knowledge and skills. So, if you know your stuff, people are gonna listen to you, regardless of your gender, age or other characteristics. There are a lot of imbalances in terms of age in the telco industry, which is something I would like to highlight. I think that telecoms is an industry that is very eager to have more diversity and more women and more young people. 

I have met loads of inspirational women in this industry in leadership positions from early on. I’ve always seen myself growing into a leadership role in the industry, because I have always seen female leaders in the industry. I’ve also had extremely good male mentors who have put me in positions that allowed me to grow, develop and challenge myself, and I’m thankful for that because it’s taken me to the place where I am now. If you don’t have anyone that really challenges you and takes you out of your comfort zone, it’s impossible to grow. Nothing good happens in your comfort zone. 

Telco is still male-dominated. What needs to happen for that to change? 

There are a few things that need to change. The first is that telecoms needs to become attractive to the younger generations. For that to happen, we need to start doing things that are attractive. We’ll attract more young people with startups and innovation and actually breaking the status quo. That rebel approach was brought into the software industry 20 years ago, and we can certainly leverage some of those learnings. 

We also need to show that there is a diversity of skills needed in this industry. Why do we only talk about engineers? We can attract marketing professionals, designers, and all sorts of people from different disciplines into the telecoms industry. We don’t need to focus on the techies. The other element is to incentivise women to get into engineering, because it’s actually quite rewarding. That goes back to school and younger education. 

I think the telecoms industry is taking a great approach by putting more women in leadership. BT just announced that they’re going to have a female CEO, which I think is another great step in the right direction, because it’s bringing diversity into the leadership teams. That trickles down to everyone everywhere in your organisation. However, we need to stop tagging people as ‘female CEO’, ‘female founder’ – it’s a job, and they need to be treated exactly the same as any other person would be treated. 

The other thing that I think it’s quite important to tackle if we actually want to evolve as an industry, is the fact that female-founded startups only attract 2% of the funding in our industry. I was saying that the telecoms industry is male dominated but it’s not a sexist industry, but the finance industry is male dominated and it’s very sexist. If we want to incentivize women in leadership and innovation, we obviously need to fund them. Without money, there’s no nowhere we can go.

Do you think there are any tech advancements or trends that will empower women to get into the industry? 

Software is a catalyst of innovation for telecoms, and it is going to continue to impact this space, because it isolates complexity of the network. With AI there’s so much going on now. We can bring developers from the AI community to do something with all the data that we gather in our networks. They can help us organise our data and enable intelligence. 

DevOps professionals could come and help us organise better infrastructures too. Opening up to the developer community would bring more skills and diversity to the industry, and it would bring monetization opportunities. Every industry that has engaged with the developer community through API’s has created a business model out of it. So we could expand our innovation landscape through them. 

To learn more about women in the tech industry, tune into the Women In Tech miniseries on The Connectivity Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Advice for Anyone Struggling With Diversity & Inclusion

During the Women In Telco miniseries on The Connectivity Matters Podcast we’ve been shining a light on a variety of diversity issues. On Episode 2 of the miniseries we were joined by Tinuade Oguntuyi, the Head of Networks and Solutions at ICSL, to talk about diversity in the sector. With a fantastic career behind her, Tinuade now spends her time mentoring women in the workplace, particularly those who are starting their careers in tech, and volunteering for social impact and enterprise groups, where she delivers practical programmes that help bridge classroom and workplace inequalities. Here’s her advice for anyone struggling with diversity and inclusion issues in the workplace: 

“As a woman in tech or stem, you need to do 10x better than your counterparts. Once somebody said that a woman needs to be 2x better than a man to even go as far. If you truly want to be outstanding, that means you need to do 10x the amount of work to be seen as competent. Beyond that, in my personal experience, don’t get distracted by other people’s noise, because you will do yourself a disservice. If you do that, then you’re not able to pursue your dream. It would be better to just go for it. 

Any woman, any girl, even if you’re transitioning, if you’re early in your career, just go for it. Don’t run the risk of not doing something because you were scared or put off. Go on platforms where you can connect or network with people. Find people that will give you some resources. You can learn, you can have it all – maybe not at the same time, but you can. 

Take things easy on yourself. You don’t beat yourself too much. You don’t second guess yourself. Just go out and do your best, and you’ll get there. You’ll make an indelible mark in the space of telecoms.”*

To hear more from Tinuade, tune into Episode 14 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast

*Quote has been edited for length and clarity 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Gender Discrimination in the Connectivity Industry

During a special miniseries on The Connectivity Matters Podcast we’re putting a spotlight on diversity and women in the industry. In the first episode of the Women In Telco miniseries we were joined by Kelly Lazuka, the CEO at FULLERTON. She started her career at SAC Wireless as a product manager, before quickly making her way into senior roles. She’s also a mum of five alongside her incredible work of supporting more women into leadership roles. She joined us to talk about the discrimination that women face in the connectivity industry, as well as advice for other women who are facing it now. Read on to learn from her insights. 

“I think a lot of people have experienced the same things I have, and one of those things was being very qualified for a promotion or a different role within the company, or even just wanting to learn that role, and being sidelined for various reasons, like ‘you’re not ready’, or ‘there’s somebody who’s more qualified’, when you know what you’ve been bringing to the table, so that probably is not true. That has happened to me a couple of times, and it’s unfortunate. 

Another thing that I’m sure a lot of your female listeners will attest to is that sometimes you’re in positions where you know other people’s salaries and see the discrepancy with your own. While we do keep that mostly confidential, it still plays with your mind. You still know what you do, what your title is, what you know, how hard you work, the contributions that you make, and somebody else makes substantially more than you, just because they’re of a different gender. I don’t think that gap ever goes away entirely. I think it’s getting better, but those are things that each one of us will come up against at some point in our lives. 

I’m no different. I’ve had some really great experiences in my career path, but there’s also been some challenges and roadblocks. What I try to tell my female leaders here at Fullerton is that we can sit around all day and list out the roadblocks that women face, or we can focus on how you can overcome them. How do you advocate for yourself? What’s a good argument? What are the skills that you really need? I encourage all women to figure out a way to be a good negotiator, whether that’s by taking a class or getting a mentor, but you need to be a good negotiator, not just for your work, but for yourself. Negotiating is an art, and if women who are committed to growing their career paths can master that art, they’re halfway there already.”

To hear more from Kelly, tune into Episode 13 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Inside Media Supply Chains

The Content and Media industry is a diverse and developing space. On Episode 18 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Taylor Riese, Vice President of Strategic Sales for Signiant. With an impressive career at prominent companies such as Verizon Media, Taylor has a wealth of insights into the Content and Media industry. We spoke to him about the development of supply chains within the sector. 

What are your thoughts on why media supply chains have become more complex, and what does that mean for the industry?

The real question is should they have become more complex? We’ve been standardising supply chains, workflows, etc, but in the process we’ve accidentally made things unnecessarily complex. The art of the possible has been explored very well within the media industry. A lot of the time that leads to complex solutions rolling out – with good intentions, of course – which are not always suited to the industry as it is. That complexity creates diminishing returns and precludes you from doing other things. We have a lot of exciting technology at our fingertips, and sometimes it’s hard not to give it a try.

How do you see AI being used when it comes to the content exchange?

AI does such a good job of cataloguing what your content is, transcribing it and telling you what content sits where that you don’t even have to go in and watch the video. There are tons of other potential use cases where AI will be used to decipher or guesstimate what content will be useful for viewers in other regions or languages. In terms of content exchange, AI is going to be helpful for facilitating intercompany movement. We can go into meetings saying ‘We’ve indexed our entire back catalogue, and we’ve got this stuff that we think can be useful to your viewers’ and moving things that way. The same thing goes for the creation of new content, because AI can help you better understand your audience.

Data analytics and metadata are key talking points at the moment. What role do you think they will play when it comes to the media supply chain?

AI is analysing that metadata now. We’re constantly doing things to make metadata capture easier. It’s incredibly important. Having best practices in place for capturing and recording the metadata and making sure it gets put in the right places at the right times is essential. We’re almost forcing that behaviour to make things easier. Having that data will make things easier in 10-15 years, but it also makes things easier in the interim. It saves time and headaches. The more you can do on that side, the easier it is to establish what you have, know where it is and understand what to do with it.

To learn more about the content and media industry’s supply chains, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Importance of Diverse Teams

Diversity is one of our core topics on The Content & Media Matters Podcast. On Episode 17 we were delighted to discuss it with Mark Billinge, who is a Technology & Operations Consultant with a background in the video and media industry. With nearly 30 years in the sector, Mark has a wealth of insights when it comes to how the industry has progressed in terms of diversity, which we explored on the podcast and here. 

How have you seen diversity and inclusion addressed over the course of your career, and why is it important for companies to get it right? 

In the Middle East we had huge diversity in our team. That was one of the things that really made it so fun and exciting, because the team was made up of people from different cultures and ethnicities all around the world. It was a really rich mix. Having many different voices, opinions and backgrounds in a team is a good thing, because different points of view give you a better understanding of a subject, so you can do better work. Having that diverse team helped us deliver. 

Is there anything you would still like to see change around diversity and inclusion?

I think a lot of progress has been made over the last few years, but there are still areas for improvement. One topic that’s been in the news for the last few weeks is the cost of childcare. It raises the question, how do you support young families and young mothers get back into work? There’s obviously an economic side to it, but it’d be great to see companies look at how they can support people with their childcare. That could mean offering daycare in the workplace or making it easier for mums to return to work after a career break. My wife took a long break after having the children, and she’d now like to get back into work. She’s finding it harder than we expected to get back in after an extended break. Companies need to consider people who have had extended breaks and the value they can bring. 

To learn more about diversity in the Content & Media industry, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How AI is Changing Live Streaming 

Since the release of Chat GPT 3, there has been a surge of interest in what AI can do. On Episode 16 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Ingo Hofacker, the CEO at movingimage, about how he sees this technology improving our industry. Here’s his take on how data, analytics and AI play a part in live streaming video solutions. 

There are two parts to these solutions. Initially it was more related to analytical AI’s potential for understanding how someone’s posture looks when they’re setting up the camera. The AI was able to provide feedback on ‘Is that a good posture? Is that underpinning your message at a medical level? Is it contradictory to your advice on wellness?’ 

I’m a big believer in this generative AI. I think it’s premature, but I certainly believe that in five years time we will see the applications of it for video. I think we’ll be able to take a boring text, and say, ‘Can you please make a fancy video out of this, with an avatar that looks like me?’ and that will be doable. 

I spoke to an artist last weekend, a sculptor actually, and he admitted that he didn’t see how generative AI could be a competitor to him. I do believe that there are programs out there who can write poems that very few people – if any – can really distinguish from a poem that comes from an actual writer. AI doesn’t have arms yet, so the sculptor might be a little safer, but there are other challenges for creatives. 

AI has capabilities that can be used for a lot of tasks, which from a business perspective makes a lot of sense. We have to keep an eye on it as it evolves. We are not currently running POCs on it, because the generation of videos that it’s currently creating don’t quite match the market, but they’re not far out. They’re not in the distant future.

We’ve got so many exciting things that AI is working on right now, and so are we. We’re preparing ourselves for that next round.

To learn more about how video streaming is changing, tune into Episode 16 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Growth of Global Commerce in the Content & Media Industry 

Content is a rapidly expanding industry, with huge numbers of platforms and creators all vying for exposure. With vast amounts of money to be made, it’s no surprise that it’s such a popular industry. 

On The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by Simon Miller, who until recently was the MD at Gracenote International Metadata for Product Sales. Simon is an energetic Newcastle United fan, who was previously the Global Director of Sports Specialisation for Grace Knight, CEO of Betfair TV, Head of International and Online Marketing for Ladbrokes e-gaming and the Commercial Executive Producer at Bloomberg TV Africa. 

With such an extensive career in the entertainment industry, we were keen to hear his perspectives on the growing global commerce that’s coming from the Content & Media industry. Here are his predictions for the coming years: 

In the betting industry – which is, in some ways, the ultimate example of commerce emerging from the back of content – if you can’t see it, you can’t bet on it. We relied on content to run our business. That’s why it’s essential to provide excellent video services to the major betting platforms, because it’s those videos that people can bet on. That video can be football, horse racing, table tennis… It can be all sorts of things, but the point is to get the videos in front of people who are interested in placing a bet. That’s an industry that’s often at the leading edge of commercialising content, and it will continue to be there. 

As the demand for profitability is becoming more and more prevalent, advertising and e-commerce becomes increasingly relevant. The industry has long considered this, and in some ways it’s not a new idea. Selling what Jennifer and friends were wearing after a piece of content was released is almost a cliche in the industry that goes back well over 20 years. 

When it comes to valuing the industry, there are a few things to consider. Look at what’s happening in China, where the e-commerce industry that’s been created off the back of content is worth in excess of $400 billion, compared to the US equivalent only being $40 billion. Now, some of that difference can be explained by some basic building block differences between the way the media and those two markets work. I’m not suggesting that you always compare like for like, but nevertheless, I think it’s a clue that many companies are looking at how they can replicate some of the e-commerce giants in China. 

Technology is always evolving the ability to push messages at people. Those messages can be information, they can enhance the viewer’s experience or they could be e-commerce messages. As more and more people watch video on small individual devices, which are naturally far more interactive, e-commerce can grow off the back of that content. What’s going to happen is that e-commerce platforms will learn the difference between different types of video format and the different needs that those videos fulfil, and understand that e-commerce is only relevant in some of those. I think that growth is going to happen, but not everywhere. The technology will enable it and grow it in really specific areas. 

To learn more about the growth of e-commerce off the back of content, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How Technology and Automation are Transforming the Industry 

Cloud technology has been rapidly adopted by various industries, including Content & Media. On Episode 13 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Steven Stewart, the Chief Operating Officer at Take 1, about how this technology is transforming the industry. Steven’s experience includes positions in the BBC, advisory board membership for Rise and serving as Vice Chair for the Royal Television Society, making him an ideal person to provide insights on the subject. 

What do you think it takes to make a transformational project successful?

I think it takes vision, and you need to know what you’re trying to transform to. It’s no use just saying, “We need to transform the business.” You have to work with your team at board level and an operational level. Taking people through the transformation is important, because people generally don’t like change. Usually when you automate a process, people worry that their job is on the line. Taking them through the transformation means assuring them that that’s not the case. People’s jobs become more interesting when you automate processes, so transformation becomes a process of bringing your team across to new departments where they do less mundane work, because the automations are doing that for them. It also allows the business to grow rapidly, which requires new people coming in, as well as keeping the old people. The key to successful transformation is having that vision and taking the team on the journey with you by giving them opportunities, and listening to what they’ve got to say, and doing things for the right reasons. 

Why do you think cloud and SaaS based platforms are so attractive and interesting to the broadcast and media industry?

The cloud isn’t really a thing, it’s just someone else’s datacenter. The reason why SaaS or other people’s software sitting on the cloud is so interesting for broadcasters is because things are changing so quickly. You used to build a broadcast centre, and you’d spend millions of pounds, but you’d have to write off the capital investment over five or 10 years. If you ask somebody nowadays, what their business will be doing in five years, they’ll throw their hands up in the air and say, “We don’t know what it will be doing next year, let alone in five years!” Being able to hire those services rather than paying out for something that won’t last is incredibly lucrative. 

For example, if you want to launch a live channel that’s going to last for six months, because it’s broadcasting a particular sport season for example, you can launch it, run it for six months, then you turn it off again. Then some other organisation will use that cloud technology for their project. Most big companies are not just brands, they’re media brands. They have YouTube channels, they are broadcasters, they’ve got content they need to distribute worldwide to both their customers and their stores. Cloud tech is enabling that distribution without the massive upfront costs. 

Are there limitations that mean it’s not right to do a big transformation or move over to a cloud or SaaS based system?

You need to look at the problem you’re trying to solve. Let’s use the BBC as an example. If they have 20 million viewers watching the terrestrial service all day every day, then that’s a really efficient way of distributing that content. That’s not the reality anymore. You might have the odd show that gets four or 5 million, 6 million like Traitors. But at three in the morning, you might only have 10,000 people watching stuff, but the transmitter power being used is exactly the same. They don’t turn the transmitters off anymore, they leave them on. Therein lies the problem. 

Sustainability is going to be the focus for a lot of companies. There’s obviously advancements like moving from 2k to 4k, then 8k or HDR etc. The quality is as good as it needs to be for what we’re doing at the moment, but there are some really scary statistics that between 1 and 2% of all the world’s energy is used for streaming TV. That’s the same as all the aviation industry around the world put together. That’s something that we need to change. There’s an organisation called Greening of Streaming who are doing some really cool work in that area. 

There’s another statistic that says around 90% of all the packets that are generated to make streaming TV work go unconsumed. That’s another big issue with old systems. We have to make the solutions to these issues into a business case. I would love Netflix to save the planet. Imagine if you had a big dial on your Netflix where you could turn down the quality and pay less for it. If I don’t want to watch Friends reruns in HD, I just want it at a lower bit rate, then I’m going to save money. If you turn that down, Netflix saves money on their data centre processing and you save money on your electricity bill too. Now there’s probably loads of different technical reasons why that can’t happen, but imagine if we as an industry started creating that kind of solution. It would change the world. 

What problems are we currently facing as an industry, and how are we creating solutions to them? 

The problems we have are around measurement and making the devices consumer aware.When you go to tech shows, you still see the latest big thing with all these LED volumes. And has anyone done the measurements of all the power it takes to run a studio of LED volumes? How does that compare with driving some trucks to the real location? Now, logically, you’d think the LED volumes must be more efficient, because you’ve got fewer people travelling around. But has anyone ever done the sums? People should focus on measuring that kind of thing. 

People like the BBC are setting up sustainability requirements for their providers. I think the big players are leading the way with consumption, which is going to change the market for these huge pieces of technology. At home, you don’t put all the lights on all the time and boil cyclicals in the driveway. As an industry though, we have been doing that just to drive quality. Let’s turn the lights off. There’s no downside to that. 

To hear more about improving the sustainability of technology in the broadcast industry, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Experience of Being a Senior Woman Within the Technology Industry 

On The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Alaina Hall, the Vice President of Global Account Management at JW Player, about her experiences as a senior woman in the technology industry. Alaina’s career started at Z Media before progressing into media, where she has spent the past five years working her way up from a Senior Account Manager up to the Vice President of Global Account Management. She shared her experiences of progressing in the industry as a woman, and gave us advice about improving diversity in the sector. 

How have you experienced your career as a woman in technology? 

Over the years, it’s definitely gotten better. I was the first woman in our UK office, which isn’t a judgement, just a reflection of the time and the place. We were a very small presence here, so when I came over and became a leader, one of my main priorities was hiring other women to join my team. I focussed on helping the other sales leaders find the right talent that was also different. There are less women in leadership in tech, and that’s been an underlying thing throughout my career. I’ve tried not to let it prevent me from moving forward or wanting to do more, or take on new projects, etc. It’s always been an underlying fact that I’ve had to navigate. 

Why are there so few women in C level positions? 

It’s a chain of events that starts when you have less women in individual contributor positions. Your funnel gets smaller as people move up in their careers to become leaders. I also think there is sometimes a gap in women continuing along that leadership track when they have children and take that leave. It creates a gap when they come back into it, because they take so much time off. Maternity and paternity leaves can also be a factor in helping that person progress into leadership positions. The buzzword ‘imposter syndrome’ has some truth behind it, because sometimes women don’t think that they can get to that level in their career. It’s our job to encourage people who want to go down that path. 

Why should organisations address that imbalance and get women into leadership?

If you do have more different types of leaders, people from different backgrounds can look up to someone like them. They see that this company does support different types of leadership, so they will aspire to be in that position because they know that it is a possibility at that company. When people are interviewing, they look to see what kind of people the company has in leadership positions, and that encourages them to join a company.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is all about creating a safe space for these types of conversations. If companies create a space to have difficult conversations about why they don’t have women in leadership, that at least shows that they’re open to learning. We’re all just trying to do our best. We’re all leaning on each other to understand how we can do better.

How can companies get more women into leadership?

It all comes down to changing the culture of a company. You have to go through a process of educating people on why this is important, why you’re talking about it and how it is going to affect your company’s goals. Typically that’s because D&I helps companies retain and attract new employees. Start with small programmes. Bring those values into a review cycle. It’s not just on stats of how you’re doing against your targets, numbers and KPIs within your job. Are you also following company values and principles that are inclusive? Have more open conversations and learning labs so that people can understand what it means to be inclusive, what microaggressions look like in the workplace etc. Small things add up over time to change the way that the company culture evolves. 

Tying it back to the business is really helpful because programmes like DE&I get scrutinised from a budgeting and time perspective. Everyone knows it’s the right thing to do, but how do you justify spending your resources on it? If the company takes it on, they need to be able to tie it back to that return on investment. Understanding how D&I is going to make the company more profitable will help you justify that spending.

Do you have any advice for somebody who is a minority in the workplace? 

It sounds generic, but don’t give up on it. There’s always going to be setbacks or people who discourage you as someone in a minority. You might really like the product or the company that you’re working with, but there’s some other stuff that is prohibiting you from progressing. Keep pivoting and figuring out ways around those obstacles. Ask for help. There’s probably someone at the company who has been through something similar, who would be open to sharing advice on how they tackled that problem. Keep going and pursuing whatever next step or ambition you have.

To hear more about diversity in the industry, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Maintaining Diversity in Media Companies

Diversity is an important topic for us as recruiters. We regularly talk to guests of The Content & Media Matters Podcast about diversity in the industry, but in this episode we got more in depth with our special guest, Laura Blaisdell. Laura is the Director of Talent Acquisition and champion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Avid. For the last five years she’s been helping them secure top global talent and deliver on their commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Alongside being a Director of Talent Acquisition, you’ve got diversity, equity and inclusion in your job title. What’s the motivation behind that?

Companies know that diversity matters, but most of them don’t understand what it means. It’s more than having something at the bottom of your job posting that says ‘we’re an equal opportunity employer’. At Avid, we really wanted to show that we’re a place that not only celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion, but is also focused on driving innovation and a high performance culture alongside that sense of belonging. 

We know that more diverse companies perform better; that’s the business case. Years ago, that’s what we had to sell to get programme funding, but now leaders and business partners understand that you have to mirror your customer base, and the media and entertainment industry is incredibly diverse. It’s a combination of wanting to make sure that we’re finding the most diverse talent with sourcing the best skills, experiences and perspectives that we can. It’s not just about how somebody identifies themselves, it’s diversity of thought. The best way to bring the top talent in is to create an environment of belonging. We’re putting our money where our mouth is. I’m leading that function because it’s tied to the talent attraction function. It’s given me the opportunity to partner with our leaders to infuse that sense of belonging and equity into everything we do, from our hiring process to our employee incentives, mentoring and succession programmes.

What changes have you seen in recent years for topics like diversity and inclusion? 

I see common themes surrounding branding, inclusivity and hiring processes being talked about in relation to diversity. There are very specific things that each organisation has to focus on depending on their niche as well. We’ve prioritised what we call our education forums, where we invite all employees to talk about things, and we schedule them in all of the different time zones to make people feel included. We’re focused on things like how we benchmark and identify what our goals and hiring stats are. This year, we’re really excited that we’ve kicked off a women in technology mentoring programme. Not only do we have women engineers in the company, but we’re enabling allies like male engineers to share their knowledge with a younger female in engineering or somebody like myself, who’s not an engineer, but I am a woman working in technology. That’s the kind of active and intentional change that we’re starting to see in companies now. 

What would you change about how the industry attracts and keeps diverse talent?

It really has to be a top down commitment. When I accepted my position we had a 100% male executive team. I agreed that I would come on board full time, as long as I could put in place programmes and policies that supported D&I efforts. By the end of the first year that I was in my role, which was 2018, we hired a female CMO and a female CHRO. We went from 0% to 40% females on the executive leadership team. That showed that it can be done – we don’t have to hire the first person that meets the requirements, we should be actively looking for diverse candidates to fill the roles. I told our leaders, we are not going to make a hiring decision until you have seen an inclusive slate of candidates. That’s my responsibility, while theirs is to choose the best candidate. 

It’s not enough to have an inclusive slate of candidates, you have to have an inclusive panel of interviewers as well. That’s steering the committee I’ve built for D&I. I’ve gathered about 15 people who are all committed to being part of the interview process, whether or not it’s their function, because they can provide diverse perspectives. If you’re a female interviewing with an all male team, then we’ll bring a female in from the DNI steering committee to talk about their experience with the company. Candidates have responded really well to that, and that’s what I want to see more of. 

To learn more about improving diversity in the industry, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Sustainability in the Broadcast Industry 

As our world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, we have to consider the environmental impact of our consumption. On Episode 12 of The Content & Media Podcast we spoke to Kristan Bullett about how we can promote sustainability in our industry. Kristan is the Founder and CEO of Humans Not Robots; a remote-first startup developing an analytics and observability platform, which works to reduce the environmental impact of online video. 

As an industry, there’s a lack of awareness regarding energy consumption in streaming versus broadcast. How do you think we can change this?

Bodies like Green Streaming are doing a great job of raising awareness. They had an event at the House of Commons last year and a couple of good media interviews that offered an understanding of the significant environmental impacts of video. As consumers, we like to make sure our pockets are comfortable, but that often comes with an environmental cost. I’d like to see companies like Netflix showing that by going down the UHD subscription route, you’re having a negative effect on the environment, because of the additional encoding and CDN storage costs. They could offer packages that cost this much more, but are responsible for producing this much less carbon. It would be good to put cost side by side with the environmental impacts from a consumer perspective.

Why is it so important for workflow and analytics to be more sustainable throughout the broadcast media industry?

As an industry, we like to say that we’re very data-driven. I don’t think that’s the case. If we’re going to reduce our carbon footprint by 10% we have to stop doing some things. But, you need to be able to measure your impact to actually achieve those goals. My first point is to continue to advocate for a data-driven approach. I don’t think anyone’s really doing that. Loads of organisations jumped into the cloud, because they wanted to believe in the hype of reduced infrastructure costs and cheaper usage patterns, but they’ve had their fingers burned by it. People are moving back out of the cloud, because actually, for whatever their use case is, it didn’t make sense. Taking a data driven approach would have helped them wrap that understanding into a safety net before taking action. So I’m an advocate for data driven analytics rather than sustainability.

How can supply chains in your work be cleaner, faster and cheaper?

Everyone likes things cheaper, so there’s already a desire to pay less for things. The problem is that we’re focused on getting suppliers to charge us less, not optimising our processes so that we use less. We should do both of those things. In the usage based world though, where’s the incentive for a supplier to help you use less? There isn’t one. Lowering your own resource utilisation will save you money and use less resources, which is a win-win situation.

How do we turn these discussions into action?

There are a couple of pieces of legislation coming in the next year that penalise big companies if they don’t focus on their environmental impact. Unfortunately, that seems to work. If you hit them with a stick, they’ll try to do something about it. It would be brilliant if we could turn it the other way around. Wouldn’t it be great to have a top 100 Clean Companies list that people would try to get on? That would actively support companies who are working towards a cleaner future. 

To hear more about improving your environmental impact within the industry, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How to Develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative in the Media Industry

Diversity is a regular topic on The Content & Media Matters Podcast. On Episode 10 we spoke to Megan Wagoner, the RVP of Media & Entertainment at Bitmovin, about how to develop a DEI initiative in your company. Meghan advocates for diversity and inclusion within the industry, and serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Women in Streaming Media, making her the perfect person to speak to us about DEI in the Content & Media industry. 

Why is a diversity, equality and inclusion initiative still needed in 2023?

It’s still blatantly obvious that ours is not a diverse industry. The good news is that we’re starting to see more diversity, but we still have some ways to go.

As a hiring manager, I see a lot of resumes, and there are very few women that I have found that are qualified. The issue isn’t that we’re not picking women, it’s that they’re not being brought up to know that this is an option. We need advocacy at a much earlier stage. A good friend from my MBA class said, “I hire based on skill and who’s the right fit. Why does diversity have to come into it?” 

That made me realise that you have to have the right candidate pool. You need to have people who are willing and able to do the job. You can’t hire someone just to fill a diversity quota. If you do bring in a diverse candidate, they’re going to bring a new perspective and experience, which will result in a better company – but they need to bring in relevant skills and experience to the role as well. 

It’s so easy to stereotype when you’re looking at a resume. Just from a person’s name, you can make assumptions about their gender and nationality. It’s essential to strip away the stereotypes and remove that unconscious bias. Hiring should be skills-based, so it could be 100% anonymous. Instead of going on LinkedIn and identifying who a candidate is, you should look at their skill set instead. 

There have been so many women that I really wanted to hire because I could see their potential, but they weren’t the most qualified candidates. I knew we could coach them, but we didn’t have the time to do it. We need to get out there and talk to girls in high school and universities, and we need to be telling people, “Hey, this is a really fabulous industry, and it’s something that you can do anywhere.” Flexibility is a big thing. If you’re a lawyer in Australia, you can’t just move to another country, because the laws are very different. The content industry is almost universal, so it opens up this whole new world of opportunity. 

We will start to have a pool of rising talent that is able to get those C-level seats. I want to see women represented at the highest level. You see most female leadership in HR and marketing, but I want to see that in tech. Women are so smart with operations and analytical thinking, so they’ll be able to push the envelope in terms of what’s available for the next generation. 

What should a company leadership team be doing if they want to develop a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative? 

Social media advocacy is phenomenal. Liking and interacting with content is a great start, especially if you add your two cents and a comment. Not many companies have the resources or the budget to be able to allow somebody to do the DEI full time. Oftentimes, it’s a volunteer position within a company that you are adding to your current workload, without an additional payment. It’s another different hat to wear. 

If you’re in that position, know that you don’t have to do it all at once. You have to be able to take baby steps. Find a group of people within your company who are passionate about inclusion, and form a committee. You’ll need to strategize in a top-level way at first. Consider what you want the company to represent in terms of diversity. Do you want to make sure that everybody in your audience is represented? Do you want a diverse tech team? Look at the demographics of your company, and see if there’s a gap or difference in the ratio of gender, race, nationality, etc, then start by addressing that. It doesn’t have to happen overnight. 

It needs to start with recruiting. You don’t have to hire somebody because of their characteristics, but you do have to be open to it. Take those blinders off. It might mean that you take a little bit longer to recruit a new team member, because you’re looking for someone who is a great fit and brings a different perspective to the team, rather than just hiring the first great fit you find. You need to be able to see the candidates for who they are and who they can become. If women or minorities are underrepresented, you should be looking for another way to get them into the company. You should be hiring with the idea of parity between everybody.

To hear more about developing a diversity, equity and inclusion initiative in your company, listen to The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How has VOD changed throughout your time in the industry?

We have been seeing a massive shift from linear to digital consumption over the last few years. On Episode 9 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Julie Mitchelmore, the Vice President of Digital at A+E Networks UK, about how that shift is affecting the industry. Julie’s career began at Sky, where she moved from Presentation Scheduler to Head of On-Demand planning, giving her a depth of insight into our topic. 

How has VOD changed throughout your time in the industry?

It’s like moving from being a mistress to a wife. It’s a bit on the side. VOD was a side to the main event for years, but these days, digital streaming is becoming central to entertainment companies.Customers being able to watch what they want, when they want and where they want is changing how we’re all consuming content. What’s changed is the industry’s flexibility to satisfy those customers where their viewing needs are. 

Having spent your career working within this space, what’s your take on how attitudes have shifted when it comes to going from linear to digital?

It’s been a journey to bring it more into focus. It’s not about this massive shift or big upheaval, it’s really about diversification and making sure that we are hitting the customer touch points, wherever they are. Linear is still incredibly important, and you could argue that it’s having its own reinvention. It’s all about getting content where people are watching. It’s a shift. At the heart of things, you have your brands, your content, and your trusted customer touch points. It’s less about linear turning into digital and digital taking over the world, and more about being in the right places to get your content or brand where it matters.

How do you see the future of the nonlinear space changing?

Is such a big question, isn’t it? It’s the age old question of visits; are there going to be multiple entrances? Are things going to get merged together even more? Platforms like Sky are doing a fantastic job at bringing everything together under one roof for people who don’t want to pay for TV. There are also smaller companies who are forging their own path for those outside of the kind of paid TV industry. That’s a blend of aggregation versus the independent route, which is interesting to see. Discovery is still continuing their partnership with Sky, which I think is setting the tone for the industry. Everyone needs to look at partnerships, because they will be a focus going forwards to help businesses thrive and provide the broadest reach possible for customers. 

What’s your take on linear TV’s place in the industry?

I think this question really summarises what a lot of us have been talking about in the industry. I remember when I was at college, my media teacher said that the music charts were dead. It was changing in a very similar way to how linear is moving. The music industry is more vibrant today than it ever has been, because of the way it’s managed to diversify into the digital space and move from Top of the Pops to Spotify. Music at its core is as popular as ever. We need to find the evolution of making content available in different places and different ways. Linear is having that evolution, but it will always be a place for certain types of content. Whether it’s Love Island or sports, live TV will always have its place for people to come together for those water cooler moments.

To hear more about the changes happening in the Content & Media industry, listen to The Content & Media Matters Podcast here.

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Leading and Motivating Teams in the Content & Media Industry

Leadership is an essential part of any industry. On Episode 8 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke with Lionel Bringuier, the EVP of Product & Engineering at Videon. Beginning his career as a software engineer, Lionel has since worked across various technical and product leadership roles. He shared his insights on how to be a good leader and get the most from your teams. 

What do you think it takes to become a successful leader of a team and more strategically?

I’m becoming a better manager every day. It’s not something that you can learn at school because you always have to adapt to the people you’re working with. When we’re talking about leadership, we tend to see more leaders as mentors. My job is not necessarily to lead the team, but to provide guidance for them. I’m there to eliminate all the blockers from anyone on my team so that they can be as efficient as possible. That means that they don’t get distracted or sidelined by things that don’t really matter, which allows them to be successful in their jobs. Leaders need to know the path forward and what problems are in the way, then make sure that the whole team is laser focused in that direction. 

It’s really important to have a diverse team too. It makes you a better leader if you have diverse opinions and ways of thinking on your team, because it’s always good to be challenged by people who have different experiences, backgrounds and cultures. That opens up new possibilities that you wouldn’t necessarily see if you were just thinking by yourself.

How do you motivate people to go the extra mile in a sustainable way?

When you’re working on something that is completely new or unique on the market, it’s extremely motivating and rewarding for the team. You’re making history, you’re changing things, you’re solving problems with out of the box thinking that nobody has explored before. I am an engineer at heart and I’m very motivated by technology. Because I’m leading technical teams, I tend to think that people on my teams are also motivated by new technology and doing something innovative that nobody else is doing. There are civil aspects – you can obviously have cultural problems or salary problems on a team – but if you work on something that is unique, that will motivate people by itself. If I’m spending 8-10 hours a day working on something, I have to be passionate about it. I have to wake up every morning looking forward to the day.

What would be the one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry today?

I would echo what Steve Jobs said; “be foolish, be hungry.” Never take things for granted, always try to do new things and be innovative. Think big, think long-term. When I started to work on voice over IP and video over IP, people said there was no point trying to sell services on something as unreliable as internet networks. When I was creating the first OTT origin server I thought that pitched-up delivery would be the future, but people said there was no point trying to do high quality content on IP. People said they’d never pay for Netflix because it was a DVD rental company at the time. Never be short-sighted or focussed on the current limits you have. Think big and be hungry for trying new things, because that’s what pays off. It’s more rewarding if you really believe in what you do.

To hear more about Lionel’s work leading in the industry, tune into Episode 8 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Exploring the Metaverse

The Metaverse is a huge topic in the content and media industry. There are plenty of split opinions about its uses as a tool for socialising, entertaining and working in a virtual space. On Episode 7 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Marianne Carpentier, the Chief Innovation and Technologies Officer at Newen Studios. Marianne has spent her career working within the content and media sector in varying roles, such as a producer, sales manager, head of development and director of marketing, as well as spending a long period of time as an author. She told us about her recent experience of using the Metaverse in a professional setting, and shared the lessons she learned from that experiment. 

What are you most excited about in the future?

The future in my head is super cool. The challenges in our future came from the new tools we’re seeing now. NFTs, the Metaverse and Viettel stages are all beautiful things that could completely reinvent the way we work. At the same time, we’re humans living on a planet which is being destroyed, and we are more and more separated. I am trying to link human capabilities with our virtual spaces to help us reach that future. I want to see that happen.

What are your thoughts on the metaverse, and how do you think it will change the industry?

The metaverse could help us reinvent the way to work. We are working from different places in the world, so we need to find ways we can work together. Zoom, Teams or Meet are not the right tool, but virtual spaces could reinvent the way to work together. The Metaverse could be a new place to be creative, because you don’t have limits in there. You can invent anything you want in real time, whether it’s new tools, new products, new stories… even new images. 

The metaverse isn’t ready for the public yet, but it will get there. It’s very easy to figure out that you could watch a movie in VR, because you have super sound quality and a great image inside your goggles, so it could revolutionise cinema. It could reinvent the cinema and entertainment business, so I’m excited to see where that goes. 

On the business side, I’ve done some fascinating experiments in my last recruiting campaign. I was looking for a Metaverse project manager, so I did everything inside and Metaverse. What was surprising is that I followed how I felt about the candidates, because I completely forgot about their image. In that environment you focus on what they’re saying, their voice and how they make you feel. Your intuition is really important because you’re looking for someone you are going to work with for a long time. The conversation itself was completely different because these young candidates used to be shy or they followed a very strict process to present themselves. Now they were just asking questions about our projects and the company. We began to feel comfortable together. We were better in the virtual space than in person. 

Do you think Interviewing in the metaverse was a success? 

It was a success, but I don’t think it works for every kind of recruitment. I was recruiting for a Metaverse project, so it made sense. I was looking for someone who feels comfortable in a virtual universe, so meeting people in their avatars showed me how comfortable they were with the tool. Those 30 minutes together meant you could learn things about each other that you don’t have time for in the real world. When you think about diversity and inclusion as well, the Metaverse is a great tool because girls in the Metaverse are much more confident. In the Metaverse you don’t have things like posture and body language, but that’s the point. You have to focus on something different. It puts everybody on the same level. I would use it again. 

To hear more about how Marianne’s work is building towards the future of the industry, tune in to Episode 7 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Changing Behaviour in Content Consumption

On Episode 6 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Emilia Kasper, the Chief Operating Officer at 3SS. Amelia began her career as an engineer, then moved into project management before taking on the role of COO. Being highly ambitious, Amelia now leads the delivery unit for 3SS and is really passionate about using her commercial and communicative skills with her technical background to provide outstanding services for her customers. We talked about how content consumption is changing the industry as we know it. 

How do you think that the introduction of IP video has impacted the industry?

When I joined the industry, TV was all about cable and terrestrial distribution. At the time, IPTV was rather new and was more like an add on, but now live stream IP is the norm. That’s influencing consumer behaviour. In the past, people were consuming TV channels, whereas now they’re using catch up or recordings of specific shows. Another aspect of IP is the scalability and the possibility of decentralised distribution. That has opened up a multitude of production and content spreading possibilities. Everybody can be a content creator now.

What do you think the growth of the automotive space will have on content owners?

Automotive is a subject which has a lot of attention at the moment. 3SS had its own car upholstery in front of IBC, and we are seriously looking into that area as a platform. Automotive offers us a new screen and new ecosystem. When we talk about that ecosystem, there are multiple aspects to look at from the content owners point of view. The first is the distribution channels. A lot of the automotive OEMs have their own app stores, so  as a content owner you need to make sure that you are on the respective stores, just as you are on TV or mobile app stores. 

Content owners also need to consider format, because content needs to be optimised for this new platform. Mobile data is still costly in some countries, so how will consumers be streaming? When you’re on the move there may also be connectivity issues, and the content format needs to be adapted to enable a good consumer experience on the move. With automotive you’re in the backseat of a car, so there’s noise, distraction and movement to compete with. Content owners need to consider the consumer’s attention span in this context. They tend to watch this bite or snack sized content which is 10-15 minutes long and easy to consume. Content owners have to consider all of that and adapt the content. 

Do you think that one approach will become dominant in the automotive space?

I think in reality it will be a mixture, because everyone will want to keep the users engaged in their ecosystems. It’s a question of agreement between content providers and operators on how much data is shared by the content owners. If you don’t know and understand user behaviour, you can’t understand their preferences, so your recommendations are meaningless. People won’t be engaged long-term, so you’ll lose them as consumers. Even the big players like Netflix or Disney will have to allow their content on the aggregation platforms if they want to keep up with the changes in consumer behaviour. 

To hear more about the impact of changing consumer behaviour in the Content & Media industry, listen to the whole podcast episode here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How do you implement a culture of success through a set of shared values?

On Episode 5 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we sat down with Bob Lyons, CEO of Edgio. With over 20 years of senior leadership experience, Bob has worked to scale businesses across the enterprise, cybersecurity, and now media and entertainment industries. Outside of work Bob is the founder and chairman of the Willow Street Foundation, which supports disadvantaged children through the school system. Many of his colleagues describe him as a fantastic leader, great mentor and all-round good guy. Read on to find out what makes Bob such a successful leader. 

What do you think it takes to become a successful leader?

You have to really have a passion for what leadership is. Leadership and management are two very different things. Leadership comes with the responsibility of making tough decisions, giving tough feedback, but also being humble and giving other people credit for their work and bringing them on the company journey. It’s all those things. One of the questions you often hear about leadership is ‘are you born with it, or can you learn it?’ I think it’s a little of both. My job is 50% leadership, 50% whatever I’m doing at the time. I’ve got to be able to impute leadership across 1000s of people, and you can’t do that in one conversation. I’ve spent a lot of time on not only having one on one conversations and group conversations, but putting tools in place. 

We have five values in our company. They’re all focused on what good leadership looks like. Every one of our employees knows what those values are, they get trained on it from the day they walk in the company. We hire against them, we promote against them, we constructively give feedback against them. They’re the values that essentially are not just creating value for the company, but they’re also creating an ecosystem that we all want to be a part of, because we’re a leadership oriented culture.

How do you motivate people to go the extra mile?

The right people generally motivate themselves when they feel excited, encouraged and good. I try to motivate people by focusing on building a culture of empowerment, trust, and accountability. We give people the empowerment to go do things, be creative and use their whole brain. One of our values is ownership, so we empower people to make decisions. We trust them to take ownership of their work. With trust comes the belief that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you recognise them, and accountability comes with that. When you build a culture like that, people motivate themselves. It’s little things like your vacation policy. We had all kinds of bureaucratic stuff around it, and I said, ‘if we’re about trust and empowerment, why do we even have it? Why don’t we just tell people, if you need time off, take it off, just use your best judgement?’ If we’re truly about empowerment and trust, let’s do that. We abolished the policy and it was amazing. People love that flexibility. It’s little things like that, and it’s bigger things like letting them make big decisions on investments and so forth as well.

Think of your culture as a centrepiece and four legs of the table. The centrepiece is client obsessed. We wake up every day and ask the question, ‘are we doing the right thing for our clients?’ If you don’t solve for clients, you can’t solve for shareholders, and if you don’t solve for clients and shareholders, you can’t solve for employee value. 

The four legs are our values. The first is about our team. There’s communication, accountability and trust. Everybody has to do their part. We believe in feedback. We believe in collaboration. We believe in trust. That’s how our team functions.

Design thinking is another one. It’s always about stepping back, looking at the context and having some tough conversations about what adjustments and course corrections we need to make. 

Ownership is another really important one. There’s a set of behaviours that come with ownership that go above and beyond. We want to cultivate ownership behaviours to take the company to the next level. 

The last leg is performance. You have to know your numbers, drive the plan and measure your business. We want you to manage the details of plans, dates, names, KPIs and metrics. 

When you tie it all together you’re going to create a great culture where people work together and have that high performing culture. It’s amazing how much value you can create in any environment when you do those four things.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry?

Find your own values. Be a constant learner, from people, situations, books, whatever. Be content with what you’ve got, that’s got to be enough. We live in a world where people are always judging, there’s always somebody that’s got a point of view on what you should or shouldn’t do. I think it’s driving some of the anxiety you see in kids today. We’ve got to find a way where people feel content, where they can say ‘I did enough and that’s good enough’. And I think if people can figure out those three things, you know, they’ll do well in life.

To hear more about Bob’s insights into the the Content & Media industry, listen to our fantastic conversation in Episode 5 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Getting into the Content & Media Industry

We love hearing from people within our industry. Recently on Episode 4 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Rowan de Pomerai, who is CTO of the DPP and has an impressive 15+ years of experience in the industry. We talked to him about what got him into the industry and asked his advice for people who want to do the same.

How did you first get into the content and media industry?

It’s something I wanted to do for a long time. As a kid at school, I didn’t have a fixed idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I had a sense from pretty early on that TV and theatre and those sorts of disciplines were interesting to me. When I went to university, I ended up doing a degree in electronics and media engineering, but I got really into student TV, that’s what got me really enthused. When I left uni a possibility came up to join the graduate trainee scheme at BBC Research & Development that was right up my street, and I went for it. 

Is there a particular area of technology that you are interested in at the moment?

Cloud has been huge for the last few years. It became very tangible over the last three or four years, and is very much in the mainstream. At the DPP We’ve done a lot of thinking about integration and how different tools and technologies work together. I think data driven decision making and machine-learning AI are exciting too. Our members seem interested in it and tell us that they want to know about it, and I’m personally very interested in that space.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry?

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. A number of times in my career, I’ve had conversations with the company or manager I’m working for about what I would like to achieve, work on and deliver, and the types of roles I’d like to work towards. 

I’d like to be very clear that a number of times the answer is no, but a remarkably frequent answer has been yes. I’ve literally sat in an organisation that’s going through a reorganisation, looked at the new structure, phoned up the manager of the team that I think looks most interesting and said, ‘I’d really be interested in coming and working in your team’. Following a coffee and a bit of chat, I was able to go and work in that team on things that I was really passionate about, just because I’d asked. 

You’ve got to have realistic expectations and a bit of humility, but also be thoughtful and be open and honest about what you want to achieve. It’s amazing how often you can take steps towards what you want when you ask. People won’t come and hand things to you on a plate if you don’t ask for it, so just see what happens.

To hear more about Rowan’s insights into the the Content & Media industry, listen to our fantastic conversation in Episode 4 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How Data Will Change Video Entertainment

On Episode 3 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast, we were delighted to be joined by Jerónimo Macanás Candilejo, the CEO, CTO and co-founder of JUMP Data-Driven Video. He has had more than 20 years of impressive experience in the industry, having worked all the way all the way up from product engineer to CEO, Jerónimo is a hands-on startup leader, who is helping businesses in the media and entertainment space utilise Big Data and artificial intelligence technologies. 

We asked him about how data will affect the future of video in the content and media industry. Read on for the highlights of that conversation!

What do you think is the most exciting thing happening at the moment within the broadcast media industry?

I would say that the most exciting thing is that the disruptors are being disrupted. Netflix, Amazon and all these people that pushed hard to change things for the better in terms of initial experience and how people want to be entertained are making things very competitive. The disruptors now need to defend against that. I think that’s the most interesting thing that is happening now. 

There is a second factor that everybody’s talking about, which is that the world is slowing down. There is some fear about the new model. Both the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine have created these new trends that we are living in with the socio political and geopolitical space, which have been accelerating a lot of consumption and waste of entertainment at a level that was probably something that we weren’t expecting until five years from now.  I’m a believer that the industry is very healthy. What is probably not healthy is the expectations companies had when they saw a pandemic and thought ‘We are gonna get a lot of revenues, money, growth, everything, very fast’. Changing people takes time, they need time to really assimilate new habits and all of that. The market is trying to balance again after all of those changes. Seeing how the industry handles those two factors is what I’m really excited about. 

What is it that makes data a differentiating factor for successful players in the industry? 

Data has been there for decades, so it’s nothing new for companies. What is new is that now they need to use it as a competitive advantage. In this increasingly competitive environment, you need to differentiate yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s because of content or experience or verticals or whatever, you need to fully understand your audience. You can only do that if you use data. You need to make things very personal to your audience, otherwise they feel that they are another one in the basket, and people tend to go away and find another place where they can be treated more personally. We’re all different and we need to be treated differently, not just in consumption, but also in messaging and in channels. In many different aspects, that’s something you can only do with data. Data is going to become more of a key element in the centre of the strategy for media and entertainment. We’re seeing that customers and companies are thinking that data-driven strategies are optional or later stage activity, but they’re becoming more and more central in their strategies from day zero.

What do you think of players like Netflix going full circle in terms of subscriptions?

I think it’s a good movement, despite what everybody’s saying. There are target audiences for all these different tiers. We work in especially good freemium models as a starting point for this land-and-expand strategy. Once people are engaged and they really see the value of your service, they’ll move to a subscription model. You can monetise this content in your service for these people that otherwise wouldn’t be able to subscribe through ads. There will always be a percentage of people that are paying subscriptions now who will move to the freemium one, so you could lose certain people. At the same time, as you are acquiring a lot of other customers that you cannot sell to otherwise. There are not enough people in the world that can pay for six subscriptions, so giving people a taste of why yours is better is a good strategy. I think it’s a natural movement after all these different years, and people will move along tiers and services towards your premium ones. 

Do you think that the focus has shifted from trying to attract people to the platforms to trying to retain the people they’ve already got, and does that change what people want out of data analytics services like yours?

There are two angles on that. First of all, that decision needs to be linked with retention. If you attract the right audience to your service, the people that have the highest customer lifetime value, you’ll churn lower percentages. Retention starts with acquisition. Everybody has a limited budget for acquisition, so you need to use it in the right way. There are data-driven ways to really focus your budget in the right acquisition channels with the right segmentation and the right audience. Apart from really optimising the acquisition cost of your decision strategies, do make sure that you’re moving forward in the funnel, so you’ll have people less likely to churn and more likely to have a higher customer lifetime value. These two concepts need to be linked. 

Now more and more it’s not just about the first churn, because the consumption habits are going to be more about churning re-subscriptions. You need to manage that process as well. You need to really focus on reacquisition because more than ever there is an opportunity for these people to come back to your service. In the middle is the more traditional retention strategy; put people in front of the content they want to watch. That’s the bliss-maker, right? If you have the content they want to watch, and it’s enough content for you to sustain and maintain their entertainment expectations, people will keep it for the right price. Otherwise, you don’t need any strategy or retention study, you need to fix that price point. If you have all these checks, everything is about content and how you present it. The trick is in how you make people feel that there is always something for them to watch. 

To hear the rest of Jerónimo Macanás Candilejo’s opinions on the future of the industry, tune into the full episode of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What Advice Would You Give Somebody Who Wanted to Enter the Industry but Who Felt They Didn’t Fit In?

On  Episode 2 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we sat down with Jill Porubovic, the Global Operations Leader for Take-Two Interactive Software. While some of her peers are winding down, Jill is still ramping up. Alongside her current role at Take-Two, Jill is also a board member for Tential Solutions and Rise, a group promoting gender diversity in media technology. Plus she has her own consulting business which enables people to work through times of change. 

With such an impressive professional history we were keen to hear her insights on how to enter the industry and thrive within it. Read on for the highlights of our conversation with her!

How have you seen attitudes towards diversity and inclusion change throughout your career?

I mean, I’m old! I’ve had 30 years in the industry, and I’ve seen some things. I would say I’m grateful for how things were in the past, because it taught me a lot about the need to be very loud and outspoken. I’m really more of an introvert than an extrovert. But you can’t be quiet, especially as a leader, so I’ve learned a lot about my own ability to be loud. From the companies’ side though, being more engaged and thinking about how to expand their workforce has changed. At Discovery we have a couple of programmes that really helped us leverage that. We partner with two-year schools locally to get students in who weren’t going to a four-year university, which allows us to get a more diverse workforce. We also partnered with a company called Broad Futures who support the neurodiverse workforce, and together we build internship programmes specifically for them. What was so amazing about that experience was my team’s desire to really dig in and understand where they were coming from and build a programme that was supportive of them. I sort of just handed it to them and said, ‘If you need me, I’m here, but I need you to build this programme so that they could learn’. It’s wonderful. Helping people access our industry is so important.

Why do you think mentorship is so important when it comes to encouraging a diverse workforce?

Because I didn’t have that growing up, at home as a young person or through my career. I always say you have the chalkboard of life, so as you’re going through your career and you’re learning, I really think it’s up to you to figure out what those key lessons are. The US has a lot of rules and regulations about compliance from a physical disability standpoint, but I always feel that we need to go above and beyond those things to really support people with diverse needs. 

We had an internet discovery person who was wheelchair bound and she was amazing. She actually graduated college and is a lawyer now, but when she started with us she was fully dependent on everybody else for support and assistance. We met with her and went through the entire building to talk about the things that weren’t easy for her, which was eye opening. Talking to those individuals who fall into those categories of need is so important. Getting our employee’s perspectives is amazing, because we were able to make some changes from that, and enable incredible people to perform to their full potential. 

What areas do you think we still need to change and improve when it comes to diversity and inclusion?

I think we just can’t stop. It’s always changing. It’s like an onion, right, you keep peeling back the layers, so you find more and more and more and more of the people that need to be supported. I supported the disabilities employee resource group, which I think are super smart. I also feel like they need to be supported by external resources that really know that area, so that you’re not limited by your internal knowledge base, you’re also getting that rich external knowledge that helps you grow.

How does impostor syndrome affect people today, and what can we do about it?

I don’t know many people that don’t have that. For the bulk of my career, probably until I was in my mid 40s, I had that. There’s a lot of personal things that you have to go through and do. If people externally are saying or doing things and you aren’t, it’s easy to be beaten down and put up that barrier and not allow all that external pressure to get to you. A lot of impostor syndrome is what you allow to get in your head. It really is ‘fake it till you make it’. Especially as a woman, a lot of it is your tone and your like your prep work – don’t go into any meeting without that prep and understanding. Act like you own the place. This is your money. This is your reputation. You have a seat at the table, you have something to say, even if you’re pretending. Eventually you’ll get to the other side and realise ‘Okay, I actually do know some things. I have a point of view that’s worthwhile’. Everybody has to go through their own personal journey.

What would you say to somebody who wanted to enter the industry, but felt that they didn’t fit in?

Fight for it. You really have to be tenacious and ambitious and not give up and not let any rejections stop you. Try to be positive about it. I know it can get really negative and feel like the world is against you, though. Whatever is against you, set that aside for a minute and instead turn it into ‘What do I need to do? What do I want to do in order to get this done?’ Go after it that way. Anything that you can’t change or is already in the past, put it on the shelf. You can’t reread that chapter, so move on to the next thing. Forgive yourself for whatever happened and don’t stop. Don’t let your mind just continue to think about it. You really do have to just keep moving.

To hear more from Jill’s incredible interview, listen to the full episode of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here.

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Future of the Content & Media Industry

On the first episode of our brand-new Content & Media Matters Podcast, we were joined by Neale Foster, the CEO of 24i. Growing up, Neil always wanted to work in technology. As a child, he loved computers and electricity and found it incredible that something he couldn’t see was so powerful. Neil began his career working for British Aerospace as an engineer and is now the CEO of 24i, a role which he took on in March 2022. We talked about his experience of the industry and his insights into what might be coming next. 

How do you see the current state of the content and media industry?

I think it’s wonderful that Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Hulu, all of those companies have made it so that you can tell people what you do now. Before that, you’d say, ‘I work in the video space’ and they would look blankly at you. You could say ‘Sky stuff, or Virgin stuff’, but that would be the limit of the conversation. But now when you say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m in the world of video streaming where Netflix and Amazon are, they’re all ‘Well, I use Netflix or Amazon!’ We’ve got all these different devices like mobiles, TV, etc, so now it’s relevant. The really fascinating thing for me is that people now talk about operating systems, whether you’ve got Android or Apple iOS, whereas 20 years ago, if you mentioned the word operating system, people would look at you blankly. Yeah, I’m really happy that the general words that we use are actually relevant to people’s lives. 

Do you think that streaming will replace traditional broadcast and cable? And if so, when do you think that might happen?

That’s always an interesting question. There’s always a migration or transition, and people always kind of misunderstand that the Skys and Virgins and Comcasts and all the other cable and satellite and telcos are iterating their models all the time. The good news for the consumer is that there are a lot of different possibilities, and companies are fitting whatever kind of personal circumstances or cost point or niche you might be in. I think the biggest growth is that there are niche and genre specific services. Now you can actually decide how you’re going to get what you want delivered, rather than just saying, I’m going to have the cable operator, and I’ve just got what they offer me. You can now customise effectively. There’s lots of different interesting words for this, but you can choose what you want to watch and pay for what you want to watch, so I quite like that choice factor in the industry now.

What do you think some of the challenges are going to be for the industry over the next 12 months?

There’s quite a few challenges. I mean, obviously, the cost of living crisis is going to be happening with all the energy costs, and there’s clearly going to be some sort of recession. In many ways, the irony is that people watch more TV when they don’t go out. But this is still gonna show the value; it’s all about the value base. There’s a graph chart that came out – many people are saying there’s an enormous number of services that people were paying for, and how mind blowing it is. It’s a classic, you’ve got to show value for your service. In fact, one of the reasons we’ve done 24iQ is that data analytics works to give people recommendations and make sure people can find content, which is absolutely critical. It’s not just about having a big library. If you walked into a conventional library and just saw all the books there, and didn’t know where to go, you’d be lost. Content discovery is a huge problem.

We’re anticipating the hot topics to be around engagement and analytics and fast networks, and really how to cope with this rise in demand for streaming. What’s your take on some of these topics?

We’re quite unusual at 24i in that we’ve got both the new generation of video director that goes direct to consumer, people like Pure Flix that do a friends-and-family version of Netflix effectively and Sony Entertainment, who have done quite a clever thing with Crunchyroll and and others, creating this niche that’s genre specific to quite large subscriber bases. Alongside that we’ve also got the classic pay TV,  and cable satellite operators. It’s quite fascinating to see the competitive elements that are all going into the ecosystem. 

How do you get video streaming simple and easy for the consumer and for the operator? One of them is discovery. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got rails of content, and as we’ve just discussed, getting content easily discovered is a major problem, in fact there’s too much content usually. It’s either got to be done by discovery, or it’s got to be recommended to you that you should watch that. It reinforces that you’re paying for this service so you want to know that the content that you’re probably going to watch next is on there. Otherwise, you’re going to switch to a different service to give you that content. We’re showing all sorts of really quite clever algorithms that cluster and connect all the different types of consumers to content so that platforms can recommend the right stuff. It’s highly mathematical, which I personally enjoy, but from a consumer point of view you want to be simple. So it’s how you translate what’s actually complicated into a simple, fun and enjoyable user experience. It’s very visual. 

Who do you think is doing some exciting things in the industry at the moment?

I think Amagi are really quite fascinating. They’ve been identified as a unicorn. It’s not surprising that they have a true cloud. So much of it is about the cloud. Whoever’s got stuff going on at the cloud, clearly, if they’ve written code properly for the cloud, not just put their code on the servers, will be one to watch. I think it’s fascinating. Verimatrix is always fascinating too. Datto and other content protection companies are emerging now. Some of the content protection has a lot of security issues, so I’m interested to see how security develops. Whilst all these apps and devices seem great there’s a lot of data protection that needs to happen, because you’re dealing with consumer data. So I’m particularly interested to see how the security implications and content protection develops, alongside the pure models of how you connect the consumer to that content. 

To hear more of Neale Foster’s insights into the future of the content and media industry, listen to the full episode of The Content and Media Matters Podcast here.

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Holiday Hiring, do it right!

Desperate to get new hires in place for September?

Currently running a hiring process that is lengthy due to vacations and holidays?

Keen to make sure that the summer doesn’t cause too much disruption?

Hiring throughout the holidays can take on average 1.5 – 2 x as long. Consequently, it is really important to organise a recruitment timeline before starting a process. Check if and when Candidates and Hiring Managers are away and manage everybody’s expectations. Recruiting across the summer, can be a seamless and efficient process. It is ALL about the preparation, organisation and management of expectations.

Timing is everything! Don’t start a hiring process unless you know you can finish it. Before starting a recruitment process, block out times to review profiles, conduct interviews, and present offers for all stakeholders involved. 95% of hiring processes that are planned well end in successful recruitment. Furthermore, Candidates who know what to expect in a hiring process, feel much happier and comfortable and you will see the best of them in interview.

Make sure everyone is agreed on budget, job title, location, benefits, region, team size etc before embarking on a recruitment process. Are HR, Legal, Finance and Hiring Managers all in agreement? On working with global companies, we have found that sometimes external departments can slow a process down, if they are not kept up to date at the start of a process. Agreeing on a salary, even if there is a broad range, means that at the end of a process offers can be given quickly.

It is crucial to be mindful of the candidate experience, and communicate well.To represent your organisation in the best light, remember that candidates are people, and you will come across brilliantly if they are kept up to date and not left with radio silence. “People don’t remember what you did, they remember how you made them feel…” recruitment is no different. Let all Candidates know when interviews are booked for, and keep them updated on how long it will take to give them a decision. It’s ok to tell Candidates it will be a week long wait due to holiday absence. That’s far better than having them guessing. 99% of Candidates understand that a recruitment process takes time and are happy to be patient if they are given good timelines. 100% of Candidates will remain flexible if they are waiting for weeks without an update.

Can you have flexibility with interview scheduling?

If people are away, to keep the process moving forwards, move the interview order around! If a key stakeholder in the hiring process is away on vacation, get all the other interviews completed in the interim time. Then they can be slotted in at the end of the process. If we are asking Candidates to be flexible during the holidays, then companies should also showcase this quality too. It demonstrates good willing and proves that you are a good place to work. What is more important… securing top talent or being ridged in an interview process? Candidates are much more likely to be flexible if the organisation itself reflects that.

Look at combining and shortening the hiring process.

Candidates that have shorter interview processes are statistically less likely to suffer from interview fatigue and therefore more likely to accept the role. Good recruitment processes are not always made up of many long interviews. Three is the magic number! It is far better to have 3 strong interviews than 5 mediocre ones and leaves companies in a stronger place.

Prebook interview times out so that everyone knows when interviews will take place.

Especially if it’s a face to face interview.Hiring Managers, Senior Leaders and HR have very busy diaries. It can be really hard to get interviews booked in with everyone, especially over the holidays. Before starting a process identify times when interviews can happen and put placeholders in the diary to protect them. This will make booking interviews in later much easier. Adding structure to an interview process and proactively protecting time to interview your prospective employees may feel like a big ask, when time is precious but it can make all the difference to a successful outcome.

Get ahead with references so they don’t delay you.

Make sure your Candidate has got referee’s ready to go. Ensure you have their contact details and reference forms ready for them to complete. Take references while you are wating for security checks, or for contracts to be signed. Remember referees go on holiday too, so have some back-ups during vacations times.There’s nothing worse for a Candidate who is excited to start with your company having to wait weeks for a reference to come through, make sure that you aren’t waiting for them to come back, by requesting as early as possible.

Be prepared that resignations may not happen quickly – particularly if a Hiring Manager is away.

Over Holiday seasons, while candidates are often eager to resign, depending on company policy, they may not be able to if their own manager is on annual leave. This means you may not get a resignation and indeed a start date as quickly as you would like. Check how a Candidate has to resign when you make them an offer and what will be required of them.

Get aligned on start dates ASAP!

Notice periods are not only a legal requirement, but also very important. Exceptional talent cannot simply walk away from their current roles. Work with Candidates to agree on a start date that works for everyone and understand that compromise may be required. From the first interview, start to clarify when a realistic start date will be. Some candidates have 3 – 6 month notice periods, and this is not abnormal. Therefore, don’t expect that your outstanding candidate is going to be with you in a few weeks! (Even though that would be nice!)

The holidays come around each year, and at neuco we firmly believe that holiday hiring does not need to be stressful. Following a few thought through processes can help you to secure top talent when you need it.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

neuco’s Hot Companies to Watch in the Content and Media Space

If you are wondering which companies to keep your eye on within the Content & Media industries, then look no further!  

We have taken a look at the Analytics & Measurement, Broadcasters, Content Distribution/Production/Protection, Front End, Multi-Platform, OVP & TV Platforms, System integrators and Video Processing categories and collated the exciting companies trailblazing the industry right now. 

Analytics & Measurement 

We have found that companies are no longer looking for new users, but putting effort into retaining the users they already have an understanding how end users are engaging with content is more important than ever.  

Measuring end user engagement throughout the streaming media ecosystem is becoming front and centre for many organisations. Analytics are the cornerstone for success as video intelligence becomes a vital part of what broadcasters, OTT Platforms and Content Creators require for success. 


Broadcasters are constantly reformulating their work and relaunching to try and get it right. More and more broadcasters are adding OTT platforms, continuing to diversify to try and make it in the OTT world.  

These household names are seeking to recreate themselves, continue to push boundaries and bring high-quality entertainment to our homes. 

Content Distribution  

Content would be meaningless if we couldn’t transport it!  

We searched for the top companies in the Content Distribution space working hard on getting content from A to B in the most efficient, affordable and reliable way possible. Working hard, these companies are providing continuous innovations with Edge Content Delivery, promising faster and more efficient, agile and reliable delivery.  

These are the companies that empower the largest media brands in the world to be successful. 

Content Production 

With production being more remote and flexible than ever, we’ve hunted down the top companies within the Content Production space who are proving themselves.  

Covid-19 had a huge impact on many industries but gave the Content Production industry a shove out of necessity however, many companies are finding more flexible solutions integral to their continued growth. 

Video Production Solutions, MAM, Graphics, Virtual Solutions, Playout tools, Video Editing and much more, are all playing their part to bring sports and entertainment experiences to life.  

Take a look at the companies making strides in this area.  

Content Protection 

We believe your content is worthless if it is not secure.  

With security being at the height of importance due to video content needing to be stored and delivered across the globe, every innovation in security is met with innovation in piracy. 

These companies are proving they deserve their spot as a company to watch. 

Front End 

All your hard work is going to waste if your content does not have good discovery. In addition, users are not going to continue to interact with bad interfaces in this day and age!  

Your users being able to find and engage with your content across multiple devices is what every streaming and VoD provider aims for.  

Meet the companies working to provide the best interfaces and solutions to help your users engage with your content.  

Multi Platform 

Fibre and 5G are transforming our video, broadband and mobile connectivity and there are many companies thriving in this part of the ecosystem. 

These are some of the most ubiquitous companies around, providing TV, internet and communication services for almost every one of us. 

OVP & TV Platforms 

The industry is transforming from legacy and On-Prem to cloud and SaaS models, giving opportunity for these companies to grow and develop but, SaaS and cloud-based solutions are no longer the innovation – they are the standard! 

With more and more video experiences being powered by the Cloud, with FAST and SaaS here to stay, this part of the industry is dynamic and growing fast, with these companies being at the top of their game.  

System integrators 

With so many great solutions out there, sometimes you just need someone to bring it all together for you. Systems integrators provide you with the best-of-breed solutions to solve your problems. 

More and more systems integrators and vendors can be the same people and are providing a mixture of first and third-part solutions. With such a complex technical landscape, a trusted partner that provides technical solutions and advice is key. 

Powering sports streaming platforms, MPUs, Newsrooms and media centres around the globe, and enabling service providers to deliver live content to the end user, these companies are pushing this industry forward.  

Video Processing 

Efficient, high-quality video encoding may not be the most exciting of topics, but it is a fundamental pillar of the ecosystem. 

There will always be capacity limitations, so moving video data more efficiently is often the way. 

Production and distribution workflows, monetisation of content, growing audiences and putting video workflows onto the cloud, these companies are innovative and changing the way the ecosystem operates. 

Do you think we have missed any out? Or are you thinking that your business should be on our list? Then get in touch! 

Changes in the Content & Media Industry with Krishnan Nair

In another insightful episode of The Tech That Connects Us, we’re joined by the VP of Data Integrations at Conviva, Krishnan Nair. Conviva is a census, continuous measurement and engagement platform for streaming media, enabling advertisers, tech operators, engineers and customer care teams to acquire, engage, monetize, and retain their audiences.  

As the VP of a platform that processes close to 2 trillion streaming events daily and supports over 500 million unique viewers, Nair gives us his take on the changes in the content and media industry.  

How and why did you get into the media industry, and particularly, the streaming industry?  

I came to the US in 2008 to study my master’s at Boston University. And, despite the difficult job market in 2009-2010, I was fortunate enough to secure an internship at Samsung, in what was essentially an analyst role in the product solutions group. We were exploring ways in which smart TVs could be more than just a great screen. And it was my boss who came up with the idea of having apps on a TV just as you have on phones.  

Throughout my internship, I produced a report highlighting the things that were working well in the industry, the things that should work and shouldn’t work etc. Then once I graduated, I e-mailed my former boss to ask if they had any openings at Samsung, and he told me the report I had completed was actually in production, they had built an app store, and asked me whether I wanted to join them on the team.  

Of course, I said absolutely. I was very focused on liaising with content partners like Netflix Hulu, and other media providers. So, that’s where it all began.   

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the Smart TV space?  

When we started this journey, trying to build apps on Divi was just a side-project. Back then, it was seen as just a hobby. At Accedo, we worked with some of the largest TV publishers in the world, building some of the apps that are familiar today. And as the industry matured, a lot of that work was done in-house as it became a more predominant part of the business.  

As apps became more popular, they were spread across all devices. And people began to get fatigued by so many devices. Data became really important, not just for improving content programming, but people’s overall application and video experience.  

Now it’s down to around seven or eight devices that have really captured the market, by using data to ensure their customers are having the best viewing experience. And the next steps is going to be very interesting for the media and entertainment industry because of web3, though I won’t get into detail.

And what technologies do you think have had the biggest impact on the streaming space?  

Data. In the past, it was very difficult to get information to publishers quickly. So, this has made a huge impact. Front a front-end standpoint, application development has become much easier too thanks to tools like React js and so forth; you no longer need to build a separate app for web TV, Android TV, or Samsung TV.  

And given the upheaval of the past few years, what do you think the upheaval has been in the streaming space more generally?  

We’ve been relatively blessed in the media industry; when people were stuck at home, the was a surge in the number of people streaming TV. So, in that sense the pandemic had a positive effect on the industry, at least for the bigger players. 

Also, if you look at the industry over the last few years, there’s been a lot of consolidation in the industry. A lot of companies buying each other out and forming large conglomerates. We think it’s a fight for content; at the end of the day, everyone wants to provide their consumers with the best experience. More consolidation means the best content will live on one, or at least fewer platforms. From a technological standpoint, things are evolving too; everything’s just getting faster.  

And what does Conviva have planned for this year?  

Well, we started off as a company focused on quality of experience and measurement analytics. Fast forward to today, we’re a technology company with a primary focus on analytics and streaming. So, our focus moving forward is on the messaging of our vision, to showcase the fact that we’re a streaming measurement partner for some of the largest publishers and articulating how best to work with Conviva to obtain accurate data.   

We’re really excited about NAB coming up this April. What are you looking forward to for NAB 22?  

NAB has always been looking at the evolution of what we’ve seen in the media space, but it’s becoming even more media centric. And I’m excited about all aspects, from the evolution from a technical standpoint to the things happening in the content space.  

What do you think the impact of the return of in-person events will be for the industry? 

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to gather at large events, so people are excited to socialize and catch up with folks in the industry.  

What advice would you give to anybody attending NAB for the first time this year?  

Go with an open mind. Check out what’s happening. I like to spend some time in competitors’ booths to learn about some of the things that are happening and the new innovations.  

You can catch the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Tegan Lloyd Williams – ‘Wondering am I good enough to loving the Tech Tribe’

“Tremendous amounts of talent are being lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.”

Shirley Chisholm. 

Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to US Congress in 1968. She must have been an incredible individual, and though she is not a household name, her life has a direct impact on my own, as a woman who proudly works in Tech, half a century later. 

Though undoubtably my own journey has been far easier, like Shirley Chisholm, I know how it feels to be the only woman in a room. I know the deep-seated reality of being “different” and the whispers that follow of “am I good enough?”.

The first eight years of my working life were spent in education, either teaching itself or recruiting into the classroom. Surrounded by female colleagues and young children, this was where my reliance on coffee was born! Back then I couldn’t have imagined being passionate about anything else other than being involved in providing an exceptional start in life for our children. 

If anybody had uttered the words: “OTT, VOD, AI, Machine Learning, VSAT, LEO, GEO, Cyber Security, RF, End-to-End” or even “Content or Connectivity” to me I would have thought they were speaking a different language. At this point, as an avid reader, I didn’t even own a TV! In fairness, these terms are akin to their own language, but what I would never have dared to believe was that this would be a language I could speak and a community I could be a part of. 

And yet, here I am… AND I now own a TV! 

I have forever been inquisitive, in fact (pre-covid), I would be that person who struck up conversations with strangers on public transport and would end my journey with a new friend or having inherited a new recipe – much to my fiancés’ bemusement. Growing up, I must have asked “why” a lot, because one of the phrases I recall my Father often saying was “it just is.” Little did I know, these qualities, not previous knowledge, are what has made me successful in the industry I now inhabit! On deciding I wanted to see what was outside of Education I begun to explore what was behind this mythical term: “TECH”. 

And it was thus how I ended up at neuco. My journey begun in a coffee shop, with a very good cappuccino and one of my now Directors. From my recollection we discussed the Northumbrian Downs, the thrilling 2005 Ashes series, Strictly Come Dancing and Puppies. A few months later, I started at neuco. Did I know what I was letting myself in for – probably not. But what was crystal clear was that this “TECH World” seemingly was made up of friendly, normal people. Ok I was yet to meet somebody who looked like me, but we were certainly cut from the same cloth. Actually, it was deeper than that. I felt like I was coming home. 

Those first 6 months were mind blowing: Discovering just how many satellites were in space, how quickly content could be distributed and crucially how the organisations we worked with were changing the world. My new clients were on a mission to better society for all, they were striving to connect the unconnected, and transform millions of individuals lives. How did I not know about all of this?! I had found myself in an epicentre of passion, innovation and talent. Did I understand all of it straight away – of course not. Though I have come to realise that these industries change so rapidly that even the CEOs are learning daily. 

Within my first 8 weeks of joining neuco I found myself on a plane to Vegas for NAB, whilst I was met with a sea of men in grey suits and was acutely aware of my bright pink nails, the people that I met were only too delighted to introduce me to their colleagues and explain their newest technology. I’ve never learnt so much in such a short space of time as I did on that trip. In fact, in general a lot of the time there is so much going on I am unaware of the fact that I am the only woman in a room. Either a virtual or physical room!

Furthermore, every hiring manager I speak to wants to engage in ways to increase diversity in their teams, not because HR has told them to, but because it is recognised that diverse teams equate to better, healthier companies. I am often asked, what it is like to be a woman in the industry and for ways to increase diversity. I should mention, my friends think I have the coolest job … they would of course be right! 

How do you begin to sum up the creativity, hunger and desire for change that I encounter daily?  How do you accurately communicate the sheer talent and genius of individuals and organisations I get to work with? How can I talk about the closeness of my “work-family” or “tribe” of colleagues that I have the privilege to both laugh and work with, without sounding sickly sweet?

So yes, I am different to a lot of the people I work with, I do not look the same and I come at things from a different standing point. I am a deaf woman, in a world of men! The thing is, that deep-seated reality of being different, that used to worry me, is celebrated and encouraged. Of course, those whispers of “am I good enough”, creep in from time to time. But my goodness, I only need to pick up the phone and I have an army of colleagues cheering me on and showing me that YES! I am good enough!

Here’s the thing – I refuse to be ‘lost talent’ just because I wear a skirt. I will not rule myself out. If Shirley Chisholm were alive today, I would like to think she would be astounded and overjoyed and how different the world is. How far we have come and the energy we have propelling us forwards as we continue to make changes. 

Being a woman in this industry has changed my life. I have never been happier. I have never felt more included. I have never looked forwards to the future more. 

Tegan Lloyd Williams