A virtual who's who of media and technology executives are meeting, greeting and networking Wednesday at the Media Summit in New York. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together the best minds in the industry to try and figure out how to merge entertainment with technology. Luminaries speaking at the conference include Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and chief executive officer, Verizon Communications; Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation; Michael Wolf, president and chief operating officer, MTV Networks; Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi; and Kevin Magee, senior vice president, Fox News Radio and vice president of news, Fox News Channel.
This type of conference is a rare opportunity for East Coast-based media companies to learn what their fellow executives are doing in the industry, as 90 percent of conferences like this are held on the West Coast.
"The Media Summit is Digital Hollywood's event on the East Coast. The Media Summit makes sense here, because New York is home to so many media companies. We are always interested in expanding our schedule based on what our speakers and attendees want to talk about, and where they want to talk about it," said Victor Harwood, president of Digital Hollywood and director of the summit.
The sessions at this year's conference will delve heavily into the business side of convergence as well as the future of entertainment and content and how to monetize that content.
Barbara Kwasnicki, principal, Kwas Inc. and Media Summit attendee, said, "I own a branding agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles. I have finance and media clients on the East Coast and branded-entertainment business on the West Coast. Going to the Media Summit lets me meet new people and get fresh content from all of these industries. It's worth the investment of my time, which not many conferences are anymore."
Mobile entertainment is the hot topic in entertainment this year. It's been said that over 100 million people own mobile phones. Mobile entertainment like ringtones and instant messaging have taken off in Europe; now, American and other companies are trying to crack the U.S. market.
"We expect the mobile entertainment market to continue to grow and expand. In the next five years, we see continued adoption of mobile music services by carriers and their subscribers. We continue to believe that mobile entertainment will permeate our daily lives and become a normal part of our everyday activities," said Jonathan Kim, senior vice president of products and services for WiderThan, a mobile entertainment content provider and one of the major sponsors of the summit.
One of the many unique aspects of this gathering of media executives will be the private themed dinners that will be held each night. For instance, WiderThan is sponsoring a gathering of mobile entertainment executives, while MediaFlow is hosting an event for mobile film executives.
Glenn S. Goldberg, president of information & media for The McGraw-Hill Companies, said, "The convergence of technology with traditional media and entertainment is the Media Summit's central concept."
Goldberg added, "This concept is also crucial to The McGraw-Hill Companies' business information and media properties; we continue to explore new technologies and new means to deliver our content to our audience -- build on our brands and, in some cases, change the game. For example, readers can now access BusinessWeek content whenever and wherever and in whatever format they prefer -- print, online, television, blogs, or podcasts."
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