Panel Discussions

NBA’s Portia Archer and More: Panel Discussion at Variety’s Innovate Summit

This panel conversation looks at how major streaming platforms are distinguishing themselves with audiences, spanning design, user experience and business models. How are viewership analytics used to evolve and define these businesses? As new streamers join established players, what tactics differentiate leaders in a crowded landscape?

NBA G League COO Portia Archer (formerly SVP and general manager of direct-to-consumer at NBC Sports), Disney+ VP of product Michael Cerda, Hulu product management VP Jim Denney and Condé Nast product VP Lindsay Silver all converged at Variety’s Innovate Summit in December 2019 to talk about their stand-out streaming strategies, with VIP president and chief media analyst Andrew Wallenstein moderating the discussion.

“A lot of my job comes down to what to build for whom, for what period of time and what drives outcomes,” said Cerda. “That’s really what it is, and you do all kinds of things like looking at customer journeys. What are those like, and what can you do to make them better along the way?”

“Doing this is an extremely large commitment, but the acquisition of BAMTech was a big thing,” he said. “It’s been honed and crafted over many years and there’s a lot of domain expertise there, so you bring that into a Disney, and of course Hulu is part of Disney, so there’s a lot of examples of how this is happening.”

“Hulu has been a technology company since its inception,” followed Denney. “Joining the Disney family, I think that the mission still stands to be the same as it was. Our mission as a product organization, a product company, is to get consumers to their content as quickly as possible in as easy a manner as we can. So being part of the content source your mission stays the same, and culturally it’s been the same.”

The Variety Innovate Summit is a day-long event exploring the technologies transforming today’s entertainment industry. Other topics have included the science of discovery and curation through artificial intelligence, trust and transparency in advertising and the growth of Esports.