Variety co-editor-in-chief Cynthia Littleton moderated a virtual panel discussion with several content leaders at the annual Variety Entertainment and Technology Summit, presented by City National Bank in October 2020.
The State of Entertainment Development and Production panel featured YouTube global content head Susanne Daniels, ViacomCBS content president and chief creative officer for entertainment and youth Nina L. Diaz, DreamWorks Animation chief creative officer Peter Gal, ABC Entertainment SVP of alternative series, late night and specials Rob Mills as well as OWN president Tina Perry, who all offered their thoughts on the way forward for content producers in the midst of COVID-19’s disruption of the entertainment industry.
Gal stressed the importance of maintaining a family-friendly content pipeline in the midst of families spending more time indoors.
“Sometimes it’s not the sexiest thing you can put on your platform, but I think now that people are spending so much time with their kids, they’re reminded of how important it is to have stuff that is educational and wildly entertaining for kid, and also stuff that is sophisticated enough that they can sit down and watch as a family,” said Gal.
Daniels described how YouTube took advantage of its content base coming directly from creators themselves, launching its “Stay Home #WithMe” slate comprising PSAs, mash-ups and more featuring some of the platform’s top creators, musicians and influencers.
“Creators are a remarkable breed who know how to produce from the safety of their home and already have all the production capabilities and know-how,” she said. “So, we did pivot in that we quickly put into development a slate [while] working closely with our marketing team.”