Noise. That’s a word I heard a lot when talking to CEOs ahead of this year’s Grill conference, which starts Wednesday. With an avalanche of content in production and a mad dash among the media world’s top companies to get ahead in the streaming business, there is more noise than ever before in entertainment.
The challenge for those leading strategy is not just how to get bigger. That question has been largely answered. With the supersizing of Netflix and the merger of Disney with Fox, we are firmly in a two-tiered world where those companies dominate the power dynamic in entertainment and everyone else adjusts their slates and schedules accordingly. At least for the time being.
But the prevailing problem for Disney and Netflix is the same as for everyone else. Content is available and being produced for every platform imagineable: cable channels and linear TV, OTT and movie theaters, podcasting and terrestrial radio, live events and virtual reality. And still more streaming platforms are coming online with Disney+, WarnerMedia, Apple and NBCUniversal.
The problem for all is how to break through the noise and win attention for even the most distinguished and excellent content. (The garbage can fight its own battles.)
That is one of the reasons why we reoriented TheGrill this year away from the noise, scaling down the content to focus deeply on the topics that are essential to staying ahead of the curve. This year we are paying attention to the business trends in consolidation, streaming and production. We’re convening one roundtable among entrepreneurs and financiers, and in another asking leading producers to solve the problems facing their business in a peer-to-peer discussion.
Here, I promise, is a place where the business conversation is intimate and impactful.
The next few years of disruption in entertainment and media promise to require more risk-taking, more creativity and possibly more resources than ever has before. We look forward to the conversations at this year’s Grill — on stage and everywhere else — that will point the way forward.