After months of planning, paidContent 2012: At The Crossroads is coming up Wednesday, May 23 at The TimesCenter. So much has changed since we started — including our own ownership, making this the first conference built with the best thinking and know-how of our combined paidContent-GigaOM team. The industries we cover — media, news, entertainment, technology — have shifted too, sometimes so slow there should be a giant page-loading sign, sometimes faster than the pieces inside a twisting kaleidoscope. A few examples:
- On Friday, Facebook is set to flip the switch from years of hyped speculation to the reality of a mega-hyped IPO. It’s waiting for regulatory approval to spend $1 billion on Instagram. As I write this, the news is breaking that Pinterest is about raise a round that will follow it at $1.5 billion. A quick scan of our own news pages shows hundreds of millions being invested in the digital content ecosystem — often with a firm belief that there is revenue somewhere to justify those investments, but without any real sense of where it will come from. We’ll ask John Borthwick and Fred Wilson, among others, where they are investing and why.
- Cable and broadcast networks have been unveiling new programming slates into a more fragmented video universe than ever before. Discovery Communications (s dsc) bought Revision 3 for $30 million, Turner Broadcasting invested in Funny or Die. At the same time, YouTube’s $100 million investment in original programming is rolling out channel by channel, AOL is finally moving ahead with its major video plans, Yahoo is investing in original programs with Tom Hanks, Katie Couric and others — and so are Hulu, Amazon and Netflix. Brian Bedol, who is trying to replicate his success as a cable network founder with YouTube channels and other efforts; Lisa Gersh, president and COO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and Rob Burnett, CEO of David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, will take us inside their thinking as they make their way through The Video Boom.
- Just this week, one of our moderators turned from board member and adjunct professor to active exec again. That means Larry Kramer will be sitting down as president and publisher of USA Today with John Paton and Jim Bankoff to talk about what it takes to lead and innovate, to be a “new publisher.” Since paidContent 2011, Bankoff taken SB Nation, a network of sports sites, to Vox Media and added a tech vertical with The Verge and has a gaming vertical on the way. Paton, meanwhile, has added MediaNews to his Journal Register portfolio, and is now the the CEO of the much-larger DigitalFirst.
As much as things change, one goal remains the same: the creation and evolution of sustainable business models that will support quality media, entertainment and information across platforms.
We’ll be covering the topics that matter to you in our signature one-day, single-stage, 360-degree style. We have a stellar roster of speakers and moderators who are more than up for the task, including:
- Jon Miller, Chief Digital Officer, News Corp.
- Bob Sauerberg, President, Condé Nast
- Vivian Schiller, Chief Digital Officer, NBC News
- Josh Marshall, Editor & Publisher, TalkingPointsMemo.com
- Mark Johnson, CEO, Zite
- Matt Mullenweg, Founding Developer, WordPress and Founder, Automattic
The full list of confirmed speakers is here.
Just as important as the speakers, though, is the fact that we have great attendees with a lot to add to the discussion.
But space is limited and tickets are selling fast — so if you want to take full advantage of this jam-packed agenda and the opportunities that come with networking throughout the day from breakfast to closing cocktails, I strongly suggest you register now.