TV Academy Ponders Its Future With Help From Intel

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Credit: Intel's Brian David Johnson

Intel Corp. (NSDQ: INTC) futurists gave the Academy Television Arts & Sciences’s technology-minded members a glimpse of what’s to come for the medium.

Two of the company’s top TV research minds, Brian David Johnson and Genevieve Bell, led a panel of experts for ATAS’ Interactive Media Peer Group on Thursday evening at the Academy HQ in Los Angeles,where they pledged the core storytelling experience would remain intact no matter how many changes were bound to reshape the industry in the coming years. “People love TV, and we don’t want to mess that up,” said Johnson, author of the new book “Screen Future: The Future of Entertainment, Computing and the Devices We Love.”

With social media’s integration with TV and the growing number of sets equipped with Internet connections just two of the many changes discussed, what emerged as a recurring theme was Hollywood’s inability to catch up to technology. “The business structures we have simply aren’t nimble enough,” said Henry Jenkins, a USC professor who studies media issues.

Earlier in the week, the IMPG announced it was redefining eligibility standards to expand the ranks of its membership and named three new co-chairs: John Gilles, VP and general manager at Code and Theory, Marc Johnson, director of digital experience strategy at United Future and Michael Gregor, CEO of Velope.

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The panel was terrific. Especially illuminating were the discussions about how social media has changed viewing habits, particularly when it comes to the TV version of “release windows.” No one wants to be the last person in their social network to see something — which results in situations like “Prison Break” being the most popular show in China, before it even airs there. Comment from the great Henry Jenkins: “TV is suffering a market failure in not getting content to consumers in the right time frames and formats.” Correcting that failure is a major opportunity …

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