WarnerMedia launches Content Innovation Lab

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WarnerMedia has revealed plans to launch the WarnerMedia Innovation Lab, a future-forward incubator that will combine emerging technologies with content from across its operating units to create new and innovative consumer experiences and businesses. The initiative will further encourage deep collaborations across WarnerMedia and AT&T, as well as between key corporate partners and developers of emerging new technologies.

“Our goal in launching this dedicated laboratory is to accelerate innovation around how our content can thrive and grow within emerging formats and platforms,” said WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey. “By taking advantage of AT&T’s technological capabilities we are literally creating a next-generation playground for our creative, tech and strategy executives and key business partners across HBO, Turner, Warner Bros. and Otter Media.”

A key accelerant to the Lab will be technology and infrastructure expertise garnered from across all of AT&T’s businesses. The Innovation Lab will meld core competencies in areas ranging from the Internet of Things (IoT), AI and Machine Learning to Virtual Reality & Mixed Reality with WarnerMedia’s world class IP and creative talent in order to design new creative experiences for consumers and drive more immersive content engagement.

Initial areas of exploration are expected to include AT&T’s 5G infrastructure offerings to develop, deliver and deploy new immersive consumer content experiences in the form of AR/VR/MR/Gaming Offerings, enhancing real-time interactivity and connectivity. The Lab will also look to combine data and insights from across AT&T’s more than 300 million direct-to-consumer relationships across wireless, video and broadband services with WarnerMedia’s premiere and engaging content, in order to harness the potential of dynamic content, innovative advertising formats and delivery using Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning research.

One of WarnerMedia’s initial partners in the Innovation Lab will be the NBA. Together, they plan to explore areas including utilising AT&T’s IoT infrastructure, connected car partners and connected environments across stadiums, airports and cities to re-imagine localised content and fan experiences, as well as utilising a vast array of creative talent to bring the immersive game experience beyond the court.

“We are always exploring what is next for sports media and what it means for the future NBA experience,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “This collaboration with WarnerMedia will help identify cutting edge ways to use technology to deliver more immersive experiences to NBA fans.”

Turner, a division of WarnerMedia, and the NBA have routinely driven innovation within the industry by providing fans with novel and engaging experiences. The two organisations will collaborate to further help shape the future of the consumer experience around live sports and entertainment. Turner and the NBA jointly-manage NBA Digital, the league’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets including NBA TV, the NBA App, NBA.com, NBA League Pass and NBAGLEAGUE.com.

Additionally, the Lab will foster further collaboration with WarnerMedia’s Turner division and Xandr, AT&T’s newly launched advertising company. Together, Xandr and Turner are working together to redefine the consumer advertising experience and improve the relevancy of advertising, fuelled by data and content connections.

The Lab will be led by Jesse Redniss who will add to his responsibilities as Turner’s Executive Vice President of Data Strategy and Product Innovation. A marketing and creative product development veteran, Redniss will oversee the lab’s creative priorities and objectives.

“The future of consumer experience will be personalised, both participatory and passive at the same time, while also dynamic based on how viewers want to receive and engage within their media content journey,” said Redniss. “By infusing emerging technology innovations led by AT&T and methodologies with our world class IP, partners like the NBA and story world developers, we expect the Innovation Lab to help redefine the future of the entertainment and sports experience.”

Redniss will work closely with operating executives across all AT&T’s entities and will be responsible for identifying partners in the creative, emerging technology, agency and consumer brand worlds.

The Innovation Lab, which will be housed in New York City, is another way WarnerMedia and AT&T are realising one of the benefits of the merger by bringing to life innovative media experiences. The company has already begun rolling out offerings that blend its key franchises and an array of cutting-edge technologies in exciting ways. Existing projects include Turner’s VR short film for TBS’ Final Space, a partnership between Warner Bros. and Magic Leap to develop a mixed reality theatrical trailer experience for blockbuster Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and a partnership between Warner Bros. and Intel to demonstrate a first-of-its-kind concept car that transports guests to Gotham City, home to DC Comics’ Batman, showcasing the future of immersive entertainment in autonomous vehicles.


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