I’ve said it before, and as we approach the close of another year, I’ll say it again: There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the TV industry. Like so many other industries, it’s in a state of transformation, giving us the opportunity to rethink some fundamental ways we’ve worked for decades. At Viacom, we have a unique view of this transformation because of our young and diverse audience. Our fans are the reason we can see—before any other television company—how the nature of viewership is changing.
But it’s not enough to learn about them, we have to learn from them. If we want to continue to inspire and empower audiences, we need to understand how they behave and why. To do that, we have a team of neuroscientists, social psychologists, physicists, and mathematicians who are studying human behavior as it applies to content creation and viewership. Can we use data science to map the process of creativity in the brain? Or, how can data help us understand the moment when people stop watching a show and start loving a show? When do we move from counting an impression to making an impression—and how can data science give us deep insight into both? Why is our data team so interested in something that seems unbound by ones and zeros, something seemingly immeasurable? Because if attention is the currency of advertising, we have to focus on human behavior, not just ratings. Ultimately, understanding our audience—our fans—in-depth unlocks the ability to create better content, better marketing, and better experiences.
To that end, this month on V by Viacom, we’ll explore the connections between data, technology, and art. We’ll publish the first of a series we’re calling “Uncharted Territory,” profiling creative leaders in academia and business whose work intersects science and art. Through their stories and careers, we can start to understand how technology is revolutionizing every step of the creative process, from conception to consumption.
Kodi Foster, our SVP Data Strategy, will lead the first of these conversations with a panel discussion on how new technologies influence the creative process at Design Miami, the annual art fair that runs concurrently to Art Basel Miami Beach. The panelists—Visionaire founder Cecilia Dean, new media artist Anne Spalter, rapper Young Paris, and contemporary artist Daniel Arsham will discuss how, in a world where artists and creatives are clamoring for attention, they can use technology to quantify their impact and ultimately impact the work they create in a way that, historically, artists could not. Kodi will continue the conversation here by recounting the ideas, trends, and people that are helping to define the current state of the art and technology dynamic. It’s part of the ongoing effort to understand technology’s implication on commerce and the creative process, forcing the evolution of what it means to be an artist, a brand, and a viewer.