A senior Warner Bros. Discovery executive has given IBC delegates an insight into the company’s thinking around technology and distribution.
Chief Information Officer Dave Duvall said the merged company was working on the combination of the existing Discovery+ and HBO Max propositions, along with its sports offer where appropriate.
“Scale is a big driver and we’re in a position to be whatever we wish within the content landscape… we think consumers have been very loud about what they want.”
Duvall explained that while the company was “Tilted towards the US” in terms of headcount, the technology teams were more evenly matched with a significant presence in both Europe and Asia. There were, said Duvall, industry legends everywhere he turned in the technology unit.
When it came to technology, as with any merger, there were issues with multiple instances of the same kit. WarnerMedia, through its earlier merger (and subsequent demerger) with AT&T was already on the trajectory of slimming down the tech. “We have no shortage of best practices that we can choose, just the challenge of bringing the tech states together.”
After being forced into remote working earlier than organisations might had planned for by Covid, there was now a more flexible approach.
900 people were sent to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018, but for the Tokyo Olympics 300 people were on the ground with another 800 or 900 at home.
For Duvall a key worry is content protection. He said that when Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon was dropping the million dollar product was also a social moment as well: “You don’t want piracy to ruin something that you’ve been working on for four years.”
Forensic watermarking in place at Warner Bros. Discovery at multiple points in the chain.