And that’s just the start of a lineup that includes Amazon, BuzzFeed and more. See you there!
Does your job involve trying to figure out what happens when technology upends the media business, and who wins and loses in the aftermath?
That’s why I write about it daily. And that’s why Kara Swisher, Walt Mossberg and I produce the annual Code Media conference, where we bring together the most interesting people from the media and tech worlds and talk to them about what the future looks like.
Our next Code Media conference is February 13 and 14, 2017, at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California, and you can join us by registering here.
I’m biased, because I produce these things. But I think they’re a great way to get the lay of a landscape that is in constant flux.
Onstage, you get to hear from industry leaders about the challenges they’re facing and the opportunities they see, via our trademark unscripted interviews. In the hallways, and over meals and drinks, you get to exchange insights with executives, investors and entrepreneurs grappling with the same issues you are.
This year, we’re going to spend even more time than usual talking about the way technology is transforming the advertising and marketing business — a crucial but sometimes overlooked part of the media ecosystem. That’s one of the reasons we’re working with strategic advisory service MediaLink, who will program a couple of our breakout sessions. We’ll have more on that later.
For now, I want to give you a taste of the speakers you’ll hear from in February, starting with our keynote speaker:
Eddy Cue is Apple’s senior vice president for internet software and services, which means he touches everything from Siri to Apple Pay. But in the media business, he’s Apple: He’s the guy you talk to when you talk to Apple about deals to deliver movies, music, television. So this is a rare opportunity to hear directly from the man plotting Apple’s media moves.
One of those moves is a foray into original content, via exclusives Apple is funding for its Apple Music service. And next year Apple will launch “Planet of the Apps,” its first TV show. So Ben Silverman, the veteran Hollywood agent and executive whose Propagate studio is making the show, will join Cue onstage to talk about what it’s like to make a TV show with one of the world’s most powerful media companies.
We’re very excited about that pairing, and have plenty of other people you’ll want to hear from as well. For example:
Roy Price heads up Amazon Studios and runs content for Amazon video, which means he’s the guy responsible for groundbreaking shows like “Transparent.” More broadly, he’s the executive trying to help the commerce giant plot a new strategy as an entertainment heavyweight, which means he’s trying to meld Amazon’s tech mindset and money with traditional Hollywood.
So how do you run and build a traditional TV network when your competition includes the likes of Apple and Amazon? We’ll ask Courteney Monroe, the CEO of National Geographic’s TV operations, which reach some 500 million people worldwide. You might think of National Geographic as a magazine with great travel writing and photography, but Monroe’s group is the biggest and most lucrative part of its holding company. Which is why 21st Century Fox paid $725 million for a controlling stake last year.
Brian Robbins got his start in traditional TV — first as an actor, then as a successful producer. Now he runs AwesomenessTV, a digital studio and network aimed at the teens and tweens who don’t watch traditional TV anymore. Awesomeness figured out YouTube early, which was one of the reasons DreamWorks Animation snapped up the company. Now it is expanding its reach to all the big video platforms, which is why both Verizon and Comcast may want to spend a lot to buy the whole thing.
If you’ve ever used Facebook, you’ve seen what Ashley McCollum does for a living: She runs Tasty, the enormously popular food video franchise BuzzFeed hatched just last year. Now it’s a core part of BuzzFeed’s business, and its videos — along with the many clones of its videos — dominate Facebook and other video platforms. What’s her encore?
One of the cool things about Code Media is that it gives you a look at what’s going on in many industries, from publishing to music to movies, and we’ll have more to tell you about all of that soon.
Oh, and did we mention that all of this happens at a luxury resort on a stunning stretch of the Pacific? It does. Which is a pretty nice way to spend two days in February.
Come see for yourself: Sign up for Code Media today, and we’ll see you there.