If ever there was a time for the media, marketing, technology and finance industries to come together to sort through their differences, it would be now. Luckily the Cannes Lions festival is getting underway next week in the South of France.
“I think we ‘re at a point in time in those content industries where the greatest amount of chaos I’ve ever seen in my career is happening now,” said Michael Kassan, CEO/chairman/founder of consulting firm MediaLink, on the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” “It’s just a cluster of everyone trying to figure out who’s on first and what the priorities are.”
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Kassan knows that all too well; MediaLink has been a partner in operating Cannes Lions for the past 15 years. He sold MediaLink two years ago to Ascential, which also owns the festival.
In that time he has seen what began as a haven strictly for creatives has branched out to include media, marketers, their clients and digital-media firms in successive waves in recent years.
“You have a week where the entire convergence of all those industries come together and the senior players are there,” he said. “There’s an efficiency in that. You can see everybody in a couple of days in a couple of blocks. When you get all these people together, you can make stuff happen.”
Kassan also addresses how he sees prominent industry trends, from the rise of direct-to-consumer content to the prospect of government regulation in social media.
“Strictly Business” is Variety‘s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Listen to the podcast below for the full interview, or check out previous “Strictly Business” episodes featuring HBO chairman/CEO Richard Plepler, Discovery CEO David Zaslav, and TV star Tyra Banks. A new episode debuts each Tuesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.