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Variety’s Innovate Summit 2018: What We Learned

New insights into how data collection plays a role in the tech and entertainment spheres were revealed at Variety’s annual Innovate summit held in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg discussed the exciting future of television designed for mobile phone viewing with their new streaming platform, “Quibi,” an executive from “The Ellen Show” discussed the key to 16 years of success, and Facebook dispelled the rumor that they listen to users’ conversations.

Facebook wants to be more transparent about data collecting

Erik Johnson,VP of Global Client Management at Facebook, insists that Facebook doesn’t store users’ physical addresses — but it does keep details like their mobile phone number, name and date of birth on hand, as well as what operating system users have and even their location. “That’s something that can be used for targeting. We think that’s actually a valuable thing because certain apps work on different environments,” he said. “One thing I think we can do which will help build this trust and help people understand better how the online advertising business works, is be clear about what data is used.”

Facebook flags fake news

“In a world where technology enables sharing so much easier than in the past…it’s become increasingly easy for things that are actually not true to spread. And this could be that Facebook is listening in on your conversation or it could be some political thing,” said Erik Johnson, VP of Global Client Management at Facebook. 

When Facebook monitors see posts going viral from accounts without reputable sources, with comments like “‘must see this,’ stuff that really makes it obvious that this is just someone who’s reposting something,” Johnson says, “We won’t take it down, we won’t take it out of someone’s newsfeed, but we can try to flag that.”

The Ellen Show’s” secret to success is good branding

Michael Riley, general manager of Digital Ventures on “The Ellen Show,” describes how one of America’s most beloved talk shows has stayed successful over the last 16 years. “I think one of the things over 16 years of learning the daytime space is how to build out your brand and really establish this critical reach through the television stations. And Ellen’s voice over those 16 years has continued to get louder,” Riley said.

Quibi’s content takes advantage of millennials’  short attention span

Quibi, a new streaming service founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, designs its shows to fit in perfectly with its target audience’s tendency to check their phone in short bursts throughout the day. “Our 25-25 year old target audience is on their mobile phone four-five hours a day. Interestingly, the average session length is six-seven minutes,” Whitman said. “We want to fill some of that time.”

Quibi is a win-win for investors 

“This is the first time in the history of our industry in this town in which everybody — and I mean everybody, every single media company — has come in and been an investor,” said Katzenberg. Each investor has “committed to make their talent and their IP available to help build out this platform and..actually get paid great value for doing that,” he said.



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