Also, below is a transcript of the podcast episode:
Jim Hunt: Hello, this is Jim Hunt for Bramasol’s Insights to Action podcast series. Today I’m really pleased to have Scott Campbell back with us and we’re going to talk about media. Scott is head of Media and Telecom Industry Advisory for North America at SAP. Welcome, Scott. Good to have you back.
Scott Campbell: Thank you, Jim. I appreciate you inviting me back.
Jim Hunt: Oh, certainly. Scott’s got a really interesting background. As a young man, he was involved with Grammy winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artists like Annie Lennox and Robbie Robertson as sound engineer, and he’s helped to pioneer e-commerce and new content delivery platforms for artists like Duran and George Michael. And jumping off from there, he moved to the US and expanded on that. And today’s responsible for the telecom, media and entertainment industries in North America at SAP. And just a side note, most of the major media and telecom industries or companies already run SAP for finance and supply chain.
So Scott, today we’re going to do kind of an update. We last talked about media and telecom eight months ago, and a whole lot has changed in the media industry since then. We’re going to focus on that, and then we’re going to touch a little bit on how SAP Cloud solutions are poised to help companies make the most of that. So maybe we can start off, let’s pay a little homage to Robbie Robertson. I understand you worked on a Grammy nominated single for him about Breaking the Rules, which is kind of apropos for this.
Scott Campbell: That’s right, yes. So yeah, it was very sad to see the passing of Robbie. Saw him a few years ago, recorded a thing for a PBS actually in New York, which was a pilgrimage I made to the city to go see him again. But yes, a real legend in the industry, and obviously somebody who did change the game when it certainly came to the guitar and music in the late sixties with what he did with Bob Dylan, taking Dylan from the folk era into the electric era with The Band. So yeah, it was a sad time last week. But since our last podcast, of course, Jim, the industry has broadly faced off challenges through the Covid pandemic and beyond. But it got to the point where I guess in the last eight months that inflation and the rising costs associated with creating content eventually caught up with us.
Even Disney reduced its content budget by a billion dollars last year, according to reports. However, they still spent a very healthy 32 billion. So we still have a pretty vibrant industry when you look across those fundamentals. But we’ve also seen the proliferation of multiple tiers, such as premium and ad supported models emerging. So of course, companies have got to deal with this growth or they die — or they merge with other companies. So M&A has also slowed since 2020. And in fact, I saw a report this week from Adweek that said that indicators are now positive for the second half of the year showing a upswing and resurgence in advertising spend again. So that’s good to see, especially of course, that’ll be getting even better in the next 12 months, given that we’re heading into an election year. But in that same eight month timeline, however, we’ve also seen a real watershed moment with the advancement of artificial intelligence and basically the arrival of extremely convincing auto-generated content, which is really already disrupting the industry. And it might even be alarming some folks with the potential of deep fakes. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of those, Jim, but they can be quite convincing.