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Anne Sweeney, President of Disney-ABC Television Group and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, has said that rather than going through a period of creative disruption, the TV industry is going through creative transformation.
Delivering a Keynote Address at the FT Digital Media Conference in London, Sweeney, who is to step down from her role in January 2015, noted that early TV technology pioneers had no idea how to monetise the service. “Technology’s focus was how to produce a clearer picture; in the digital age, it’s different.”
She said the digital age had reinvented an entire industry and enabled “unparalleled” access to content. The Smartphone was now seen as an entertainment device, with eight-year olds the “digital makers”.
She recounted how Disney envisioned making all its content available over the Internet early in the 2000s, but the ecosystem wasn’t ready. Nevertheless, she suggested that boldness was required to execute such vision. “Take a leap to create the future you want,” she told delegates.
In the digital age, Disney was aiming to meld the best solutions for a holistic view incorporating content and campaigns, with advertising now able to move beyond demographic groupings to target behaviour and location.
According to Sweeney, TV was not going through a creative disruption as a result of the emergence of digital distribution and devices, it was going through a creative transformation. “It’s inclusive … innovation through transformation is the way forward,” she advised.