This year’s Oscar nominees are about to be announced, but don’t worry: I’ll leave the Hollywood chatter and trophy speculation to much more qualified sources.
What does pique my interest in the entertainment industry right now is how it keeps reinventing itself, turning over traditional models, enhancing user experiences, and creating new opportunities with digital content — topics that are near and dear to us in the meetings world.
Take Netflix, for example, which has evolved from its original role as a mail-distribution channel for DVDs to creating its own original content. Its breakaway, web-only hits include “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards,” and last fall, comedian Adam Sandler announced he would produce and star in four feature films that would completely bypass theaters to be offered exclusively on Netflix.
There’s also some interesting momentum toward live television events. No, this isn’t a new concept in and of itself, but TV executives are looking for more ways to enhance the viewer experience by incorporating the excitement of live productions. After 2013’s stage production of “The Sound of Music Live,” NBC was back at it last month with “Peter Pan Live.” Another example is last year’s season premiere of the ABC drama “Nashville,” which seamlessly incorporated live concert sets with cast members into the mostly prerecorded show.
To address industry changes and inspire future innovation, a new interdisciplinary program was recently launched at the University of Southern California. The founders are music industry moguls Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young (better known as Dr. Dre), who last year sold their wildly successful Beats Electronics company to Apple for $3 billion. As Iovine told The Wall Street Journal, “The kid who’s going to have an advantage in the entertainment industry today is the kid who speaks both languages: technology and liberal arts.” The new school combines a curriculum in the arts, technology, and business.
I think there’s much to be learned from the entertainment industry’s attempt to innovate and evolve in a quickly changing landscape. We’re tackling innovation and evolution in the meetings industry this month at PCMA’s signature event, Convening Leaders. And we’re offering our own version of interdisciplinary education through PCMA’s Business School, taking advantage of digital opportunities with our online hybrid event, and experimenting with new ideas to enhance the attendee experience. I’ll have more on that front next month