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SideCar’s Gail Berman and More: Panel Discussion at CES 2020

There is an embarrassment of riches in entertainment. After blowing past years of predictions that we’ve hit a limit in new content, what comes next to advance this business? Is there enough audience for all?

The founder of Fox Entertainment’s SideCar Content Accelerator and Producers Guild of America co-president Gail Berman, IMAX Entertainment president Megan Colligan, WWE’s EVP of advanced media Jayar Donlan, HGTV president Jane Latman and YouTube’s head of unscripted content Alex Piper all congregated at CES 2020 to share their strategies in this panel moderated by Variety New York digital editor Todd Spangler at the Aria Resort & Casino.

Covering the span of content across broadcast, cable, sports, cinema and the digital sphere, these platform execs directly examined the future of the seemingly limitless content landscape.

“We’ve always had a really diversified approach, leaning pretty hard in the SVOD space,” said Donlan. “We have an incredible AVOD presence, over a billion social media followers, over 50 million YouTube subscribers…we have fantastic TV partners, FOX being one of those key ones.”

“It’s really just the evolution of our space, creating more content and being platform-agnostic,” he continued, describing WWE’s approach to getting its content to as many viewers as possible.

“I’ve always learned to listen to what Gail [Berman] has to say,” said Piper. “I think we agree with her that it’s important to kinda zig where everyone else is zagging. So at a time when you’re seeing a massive proliferation of SVOD services, I think YouTube got back to basics and said, ‘Let’s lean into what we do well, which is advertising and content generation, and let’s put all of our great YouTube Originals content in front of the paywall.'”

“We have two billion monthly unique users globally at YouTube, so when we make content we can talk to talent and say, ‘Hey, if you wanna reach a truly global audience there’s no paywall. The 18-34 year old demo is completely leaned into the platform, so your voice will be heard.’ And so our area of focus is trending more in the unscripted direction.”