Advanced Television

Sony CEO: Technology boosts storytelling and distribution

October 17, 2016

Colin Mann @ MIPCOM

Sony’s position at the intersection of creativity and storytelling, as well as the passion of its staff, ideally position it to deliver create and deliver compelling content in the modern multi-platform, multi-device era, according to Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Sony Corporation.

Delivering a Media Mastermind Keynote at MIPCOM in Cannes, Hirai said that he was “excited to share the advancements that we see that are transforming content creation as well as content delivery from his position at Sony at covering the interesting and intersecting worlds of creativity and technology.

During his time at Sony Hirai said he had seen some “great ideas” once thought just to be the musings of the imagination become movies, become games, into real products. “I see great opportunities for what we can accomplish as an industry to explore the potential synergies in storytelling and technology,” he declared.

“At Sony, and across the industry, we look for IP that can take multiple forms and work across platforms: games movies, music, television,” he advised, admitting that during the time he had spent at Sony’s PlayStation unit it became clear how intertwined the worlds of creativity and technology were becoming. “I could see the vast potential of computer entertainment.”

According to Hirai, demand for all kinds of new content has changed viewing behaviour. “While we used to watch TV dramas once a week, we can now stream all episodes at once or increasingly watch whatever, whenever and where you want. We record, we save, we watch when we want and we expect ‘on demand’. We flip from one device to another. It’s all a part of the new media landscape and storytelling has been transformed by these changes,” he said.

“Binge viewing has led to a sea change in the way TV programming is created. Storytellers can think and write in longer story arcs almost as if they are creating three, six or 10 hour movies,” he observed. “Today’s content creators have tremendous potential to attract audiences, but the consumer is always in control as never before. Matching the right content with the right channels is essential. At Sony, we can see how important continued advances of technology are to provide more efficient access to the wealth of available programming,” he suggested.

“There’s tremendous potential in identifying better ways to deliver quality entertainment experiences that are tailored to the viewer’s taste,” he observed, admitting that changes in consumer habits were also challenging Sony to think differently about how it distributed programming as well. “What we do know is that global demand for content is growing, as is the spending for it,” he reported. “Networks and delivery channels must provide more flexible viewing to keep the audiences fully engaged.”

“The perspective of my 32 years in this business tells me that there is no limit to what is possible if you stay tuned to the sensibilities and the interests of the consumers, and you understand where they’re going. As an entertainment company, we know that audiences ultimately determine how successful you have been in connecting with them. And as a technology company and innovation enterprise, we are proving that new technologies are vital to enhancing those entertainment experiences,” he concluded.

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