Complete Coverage: CES 2016
While a lot of the news in the media world is about downsizing and restructuring, Viacom has lots of jobs open—in the technology sector.
"Viacom invests a large amount in technology. We're not a technology company but it feels like one," said Viacom chief technology officer David Kline speaking at a session Wednesday morning at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
"We have a lot jobs open," Kline said. Especially in demand are video developers and engineers, people who know how to build APIs and SDKs. Viacom wants to build the office of the future, for a new generation of workers comfortable with social and texting rather than today's email. "It kind of makes us stale. We want to grow."
Kline said one big task has been making sure that content is ready to run on all of the different platforms from cable, to online to OTT.
"You've got to make sure you're telling that story across all platforms and the experience for the consumer is pleasing," he said. If an app takes too long to load or the quality fades, "it's going to be a bad experience and what do we do to anticipate that."
Building apps now presents both challenges and opportunities. "Having to build an app for the latest Roku box or Apple TV can be very challenging if you don't have a good strategy." Also challenging is the way in which many consumers download apps, but quickly tire of them.
"Data is huge. It's becoming as important as the content and as important as the technology," he added.
Other areas Viacom is looking at from a tech perspective including the burgeoning over-the-top world. "OTT gives you the opportunity to build something different and new," he said. "The goal is trying to figure out how to give an experience that's different and that has value behind it," he said.
Wearables and virtual reality could be the next big things, Kline said. Viacom is looking for ways to bring fans to live events like the VMAs or Kids' Choice Awards in a virtual way, he said. Even driverless cars present an opportunity, though no bold announcements are imminent.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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