How are US media companies dealing with the challenges of tomorrow?

Published 22.11.2018
In November, a delegation from the Media Cluster traveled to New York to meet and learn from the world’s most forward leaning media and tech companies, including Turner, Vice, Adobe, IBM Watson and several others.

The purpose of the study tour was to learn how American tech and media companies are coping with the industry challenges of tomorrow, as well as meeting the market across the pond. The group was also introduced to new research, knowledge and schools. 

The study tour coincided with the US midterm elections – a grand spectacle that is among the events with the heaviest media coverage worldwide. New York City is the focal point of a colossal showroom for technology from the Media Cluster. In 2008, when President Barack Obama won his first election, Vizrt had its breakthrough as CNN implemented the Viz Magic, and in the following elections the major broadcasters followed suit.  

Highlights from the study tour:

VICE Media: Charlie Travis, VP Media Technology. 

VICE has expanded into a leading global youth media company with bureaus in over 30 countries. VICE operates the world’s premier original online video destination, VICE.COM, an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a magazine, a record label, an in-house creative services agency and a book-publishing division. CEO Peter Peng, pitching Jetson's intelligent voice commerce platform.

Jetson enables customers to order anything by simply speaking to a smart speaker or mobile device. With Jetson's intelligent voice commerce platform, partners can offer their customers a frictionless buying experience; enabling you to sell more, faster. Voice-first design centers around the precept that humans and machines should be able to communicate naturally and effectively without the need for a screen. With the rise of IoT devices enhanced with speakers and a microphone, now more than ever does voice-first design matter when building next-generation applications.Check out demo below. 

The team

The Intercept: An award-winning news organization that covers national security, politics, civil liberties, the environment, international affairs, technology, criminal justice, the media, and more. We met with investigative journalist Henrik Moltke. 

The New School, Parsons Institute of Media and Design: David Carroll, the professor that took on Cambridge Analytica in the UK courts to recover his personal data. Later the same day, Facebook announced that it had banned Cambridge Analytica from using the social network because the company had acquired the personal information of more than 50 million Facebook users in a way that contravened the social network’s terms of use, and had failed to delete it as requested. This was the start of a series of incidents landing both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in serious trouble. 

The New School, Parsons Institute of Media and Design: Netflix crew shooting a documentary with Mr. Carroll. 

Plug and Play Tech Center: RJ Carver, Director NYC, giving a talk about their innovation platform, bringing together the best startups and the world's largest corporations. The Plug and Play platform offers over 50+ accelerator programs a year, as well as corporate innovation and investment. 

IBM Watson Experience Center: Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. 8.3 billion devices around the world automating our lives with the ease of AI. But, few understand how these systems work. That’s why IBM created the Watson Experience Center — a collaborative space where visitors learn about AI with immersive explorations told through a combination of storytelling, design, data and expert-guided interaction. Here, we will be presented the stories of Watson at work — sparking imaginations and seeding understanding of AI.

IBM Watson Experience Center:
Stein Irgens, Regional Director IBM Bergen, welcoming the delegation to the IBM Watson HQ. 

IBM Watson Experience Center, at Astor Place. 

IBM Watson Experience Center: Tom Darlington, Services Executive, IBM Global Media & Entertainment, presenting the stories of IBM Watson at work.

Election Night at the impressive Fox News Studio at Manhattan.

Election Night at Times Square. 

Turner: We met with David Beck, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Operations, presenting Turner, one of the largest media companies in the US. 

Innovation Norway: New York has evolved as a leading hub for technology and innovation, offering Norwegian entrepreneurs and companies an excellent starting point for developing their knowledge of the US market, build networks and strengthen strategies to grow both in the US and internationally. We will visit IN NYC, and learn how Norwegian Companies works in the US and how IN are able to assist in internationalization. We met with Hege Barnes, Head of NY Office and Ola Forsstrøm-Olsson, Senior Advisor.

Madison Square Garden: Madison Square Garden is unique in the media and entertainment universe. Not only does it comprise a world-known venue for sports and concert, it also hosts a full-scale television production facility and even has its own channel on the largest cable distribution networks in the US. Direct from the floor to the screen, MSG Network is able to deliver an in-house and on-screen experience like no one else.