The evolution of technology is changing the way consumers engage with content. In this podcast series, CTAM’s Vicki Lins hosts conversations with today’s media and entertainment leaders exploring various perspectives on strategy, creativity and marketing innovation.

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    Guest Tom Rutledge, chairman and chief executive officer of Charter Communications, has 45-plus years of industry knowledge and experience. A few of Tom’s many leadership accomplishments include successfully merging four legacy cable companies, creating the game-changing Triple Play bundle, and most recently, announcing a joint venture with Comcast to create a new video platform. This insightful conversation covers what it takes to lead through change, how to execute a vision to win in a competitive marketplace, how to drive value to customers, and the challenges of aligning an organization post-merger, new technologies, the streaming business and more.

    The streaming wars have become a global battleground to reach broader audiences, increase engagement and reduce churn. The major streamers expect half of their revenue to come from the international marketplace within the next few years. Guest Teresa Phillips, Co-Founder & CEO, Spherex, explains why culture plays an integral part in successfully globalizing content and how Spherex’s unique AI supports the ecosystem to help create content that culturally adapts to meet the compliance needs in various countries while maintaining the integrity of storytelling.

    Erin Schmidt, BEN, is behind some of the most iconic brand placements, including James Bond switching his favorite drink to a Heineken, Ant-Man working in a Baskin Robbins, and Steve and Nancy from Stranger Things eating KFC’s finger-lickin’-good fried chicken. Erin and I discuss how entertainment is driving cultural conversations and why . She explains the value and impact of product partnerships between content creators and brands. And how brands can be part of the conversation in an appropriate, authentic way. Join us to explore the dynamics behind several successful integrations, where marrying content and brand ultimately enhanced the viewer experience.

    We seem to have hit a new peak within Peak TV, where different points of convergence are driving diverse programming for consumption and how streaming platforms create a space to connect with new audiences. Guest Catherine Tait, CEO, CBC, provides a glimpse into Canadian viewing habits, examples of successfully crossing borders with the right content and how collaborating with partnerships allow them to compete.  

    President & Chief Media Analyst of Variety’s Intelligence Platform, Andrew Wallenstein, recaps the trending topics of 2021 and predictions for 2022. Wallenstein and host Vicki Lins discuss navigating the three-dimensional metaverse experience; and its potential within entertainment, recent pandemic release strategy experimentations, what competing streaming services will have to do to get ahead and recent findings from Variety Intelligence Platform’s market research reports.

    For 20 years, Redbox has built a deep relationship with its 40 million customers. Their unique customer base, known for being late adopters of technology and 71% of them identifying as deal hunters, is devotedly following Redbox into a new world filled with endless entertainment options. In this conversation, host Vicki Lins explores how Redbox is almost effortlessly taking its customer base on a pilgrimage into the digital world. Galen Smith, CEO, Redbox, explains how their simplified, seamless process helps these late adopters shift to new offerings by having everything in one place from the latest movies On Demand, free live TV channels, add supported On Demand and subscription channels.

    Struum’s first-of-its-kind credit-based subscription streaming service enables users to sample content from dozens of participating streaming services from around the globe in one centralized platform. Struum, founded by accomplished Disney and Discovery executives, combines their passion for technology, storytelling, and research to create a leading-edge approach to monetizing assets. Struum’s “ClassPass” model serves consumers as the ultimate complimentary subscription with access to interest-based content.

    Guest Lauren DeVillier, co-founder, Struum joins host Vicki Lins to explain how the platform’s subscription model is reimagining the SVOD model to bring value to brands and viewers.

    Peter Csathy, founder and chairman, CREATV Media delivers a performance scorecard of the media landscape with strategic predictions about the top streamers, recent M&A deals, and important trends linking success to a virtuous cycle between online and real-world experiences. Peter defines a “great reopening” by detailing how companies are reimagining their business around IP franchising and applying transformational technology that enables improved content production efficiencies and localization for international markets like never before.

    David Smyth, Founder and CEO,, joins host Vicki Lins to outline the development and marketing behind launching the United Kingdom’s first independent AVOD service.

    As VOD consumption grows globally, media companies and entrepreneurs are recognizing a shift to AVOD allows content to reach a highly engaged audience, connecting both viewers and advertisers with a model that delivers more relevant ads and a better customer experience. David expands on his background as a TV executive at Sky Media and 20th Century Fox, his entrepreneurial vision for, and shares insights about the market dynamics happening across the pond and how he intends to scale the business for long term success.

    The intersection of technology and entertainment has had a fundamental impact on the evolution of TV, transforming the way audiences consume content and how media companies compete for consumers’ time and attention.

    Host Vicki Lins sits down with guest Jon Giegengack to discuss Hub Entertainment Research findings on consumer awareness, understanding, and perceptions of the top players across the TV ecosystem—including both TV distribution platforms and TV networks as well as examining the impact of these brand perceptions on which services consumers use and viewing decisions.

    2020 kicked off the streaming decade, but the growth of streaming skyrocketed faster than even those at the front seat initially predicted. Guest Tedd Cittadine, VP, Content Partnerships, Roku Inc. unpacks what this transformational shift in viewing behavior means for content makers looking to connect with engaged audiences on TV streaming. Tedd discussed the growth opportunities that the Roku platform can offer both AVOD and SVOD services from user acquisition, customer retention, brand marketing, advertising, ad technology and more. Tedd also details the marketing strategy behind the success of the free AVOD service The Roku Channel, the acquisition of Quibi’s multimillion-dollar portfolio of original programming and what the growth of streaming means for advertisers, content providers, consumers and the television industry at large.

    In an increasingly crowded streaming video marketplace, podcasts are rapidly becoming the TV industry’s go-to source for standing apart.  Guest Will Pearson details the evolution of podcasts from a medium bound by Q&A formats, into a safe space for creators to develop uncaged storytelling, and where larger brands can harvest IP and reach diverse, untapped audiences. The television industry has certainly taken notice as evidenced by iHeartRadio’s partnerships with talent, creatives and media giants like ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia to develop TV and streaming series into podcast franchises. Host Vicki Lins and Will explore the nuances of podcast content discovery, ad strategy and what’s on the horizon of the podcasting landscape.

    Guest Kevin Beggs details an “undefined” television landscape that is creating a new breadth of programming. Known for the production of brand-defining shows such as Mad Men, Orange is the New Black and Weeds, Beggs describes an upside to the industry’s disruption. Consolidation and new distribution platforms have rejuvenated traditional programming, creating a world of opportunity for new voices, genres, and storytelling that can be heard anywhere, anytime.

    As gaming, viewing and social interaction increasingly become a single experience, there are more opportunities for broadcasters to develop consumer touchpoints using business intelligence to deliver customized viewing experiences and drive monetization, subscriptions and advertising.

    On this episode of Thinking Out Loud, host Vicki Lins sits down with Miheer Walavalkar, CEO and Co-Founder of LiveLike, an audience engagement platform, for an insightful conversation on emerging technology and the next era of content consumption: social, immersive viewing.

    Real game-changers are not necessarily individuals with recurrent “aha” moments, but rather, leaders who effectively make space for new perspectives and solve problems by creating working environments where diverse ideas thrive. In this episode of Thinking Out Loud, host Vicki Lins sits down with Harvard Business School professor Dr. Linda Hill to discuss her research on some of the world’s most successful companies and how organizations can develop cultures that promote “collective genius.”

    Uncertainty is nothing new to the television industry. Yet critical events of 2020 and the resulting protocols could permanently change the way we all TV. In this episode of Thinking Out Loud, host Vicki Lins sits down with Alan Sepinwall, chief TV critic at Rolling Stone to make sense of the trickledown effect of the pandemic on TV production, the impact of TV show “unrenewals” on viewer behavior and the role of the television critic to make sense of the chaos.

    In part two host Vicki Lins and Matthew Ball, CEO of Epyllion Industries and former global Head of Strategy for Amazon Studios expand on the transitions facing media companies and discuss the impact of scale on content performance, distribution and cost, and how the “Streaming Wars” has settled into a convergence of content and tech.

    In this special 2-part episode of Thinking Out Loud, Vicki Lins sits down with Matthew Ball, CEO of Epyllion Industries and former global Head of Strategy for Amazon Studios to explore the transitions facing media companies as new technologies and consumer behaviors dictate the tide of video and the next wave of competition.   

    In part one, Matthew goes beyond the digital disruption and the rise of the cable bundle to explain how decades of competition in the media industry has created the current entertainment and media landscape.

    Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV opens up on the relationship with ViacomCBS and why PlutoTV’s unique position among competitors has made it a value add for both streamers and traditional TV viewers.

    Networks and content creators have wrestled with shifting viewer trends and bloated content offerings for decades. Disruptors to short and long term planning like new social networks and the onset of the pandemic have accelerated the need for sound strategies that include not only drawing people into linear offerings but expanding out to find viewers wherever they are. On this episode of Thinking Out Loud, host Vicki Lins sits down with Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery & Factual to talk social networking and discuss Discovery’s strategy to attract non-traditional consumers, connect with younger audiences and address programming in the near term, during the pandemic and beyond.

    As the world continues to adjust to the impact of COVID-19 and social distancing, the time at home and subsequent increase in the use of mobile, digital and social platforms offer marketers more touch-points to reach young Millennials and Gen Z audiences. In this episode of Thinking Out Loud, host Vicki Lins sits down with Mark McIntire, Head of Marketing at Fuse Media, Inc. for a fascinating conversation about why Fuse’s social responsibility initiatives resonate with young, socially conscious, multicultural audiences.

    In this special edition of Thinking Out Loud, Vicki Lins flips the script and has a host-to-host conversation with Tracy Swedlow, editor in chief of Interactive TV Today and host of Televisionation. Vicki and Tracy discuss the impact of COVID-19, how its changed consumer behavior and the various ways the TV industry has proved to be particularly nimble as the nation practices social distancing.

    Consumers are compelled by socially conscious documentary programming like never before. BBC America’s Seven Worlds, One Planet reached new heights when AMC Networks premiered it across BBCA, AMC, IFC and SundanceTV. Guest Jonny Keeling, Executive Producer of Seven Worlds, One Planet talks about its appeal, his decades of experience developing documentary films and how advancements in technology have enhanced the viewer experience.

    As content choices increasingly flood the landscape, Spectrum Originals places a few bets on bringing a new type of value proposition to fickle viewers.  On this episode of Thinking Out Loud, Host, Vicki Lins sits down with Katherine Pope, Head of Spectrum Originals to explore the strategy for building customer value through a robust library of premium content in an ad-free, VOD portal.  Quality, exclusivity and convenience are a few of the drivers Pope recognizes as levers to keep up with consumer demand and power Spectrum as a premium destination for subscribers.

    In the dynamic world of television, the ability for brands to balance between relevancy and integrity within the framework of creating compelling, captivating and entertaining content can be challenging. In this episode of Thinking Out Loud, Vicki Lins sits down with Courteney Monroe, President of National Geographic Global Television Networks to discuss how National Geographic continues to satisfy consumers and advertisers while maintaining its status as the world’s leading destination for premium, factual storytelling.

    Dan Cesareo, founder of Big Fish Entertainment, a leading production company has created a host of successful unscripted programs. Most notably Live PD, which has hit a high of 2.4 million live viewers garnering A&E the lead among adults 25-to-54. Continuing to feed the consumer’s appetite for unscripted programming, A&E and Big Fish Entertainment are set to launch a new canine competition series that promises to appeal to a built-in fan base of 48million+ dog-loving households in late 2019. Join our conversation as I tap into Dan’s thoughts on what’s so compelling about live television, the technology behind filming it and what’s next in the unscripted programming world.

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    Guest Brett Weitz, general manager of TBS, TNT & truTV oversees the creative development for these now WarnerMedia networks. In this episode, he discusses taking risks to give audiences unexpected and exceptional programming, the importance of fostering the creative process, his strategy for rising above the crowded landscape and the necessity of creating multiple and unique touchpoints for consumers.

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    C-Span logoFrom the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle to the Internet boom and rapid rise of digital media,
    C-SPAN has held true to its reputation of providing an unfiltered view of Washington and politics. Founded as a public service and funded by the cable industry, C-SPAN has kept to its mission and maintained its uniqueness and integrity by providing 40 years of impartial, unfiltered coverage of the workings of the U.S. Congress. In this conversation, Vicki Lins and C-SPAN’s President and co-CEOs Susan Swain and Rob Kennedy discuss the current political climate and how C-SPAN has adapted to industry growth and new technologies to become a game changer.

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    SCTE • ISBE logoTechnology advancements are transforming our connected lifestyles and are a vital part of today’s consumer experiences. ​Find out the latest trends in technology and how it can shape and influence a marketers go-to-market strategy.

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    Kreativ Inc logoSome could say it’s the golden age of documentaries. Hits like Free Solo, Leah Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath, Surviving R. Kelly, Blue Planet II and a long list of others are resonating with viewers. We decided to take a closer look at the documentary movement and spoke with some of the creative leaders closest to the trend. In this episode, Thinking Out Loud host Vicki Lins sat down with the masterminds behind the wildly popular hit docu-series Surviving R. Kelly. Together they discuss how visual storytelling allowed them to provide a deeper connection to R. Kelly’s victims, why viewers are gravitating to docu-series and what the future holds for documentary programming.

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    Television Critics Association logoEnding his two-year tenure as President of Television Critics Association (TCA), Dan Fienberg, Chief TV Critic, The Hollywood Reporter, discusses the unique opportunity the TCA Tour provides and why it’s so important to the industry. In typical Dan style, we also review the highs and lows of a transforming industry.

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    Consumers want a seamless TV viewing experience, and that includes advertising. As the TV industry evolves, brands, programmers, and operators are becoming increasingly thoughtful in how they’re positioned within the consumer’s viewing experience. New technology is making it possible to deliver a seamless, personalized, and measurable ad experience across screens. In this episode, find out how Google enables advertisers, programmers and operators to provide the best ad experience everywhere people are watching.​

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    Crunchyroll logoMargaret Dean is the Head of Studio for Crunchyroll, the world’s most popular anime brand with over 50 million registered users, 2 million subscribers, and more than 30 million followers across their social platforms. In this conversation, host, Vicki Lins and Dean discuss anime’s potential in North America, providing more opportunities for women in animation and how the new studio will bolster both missions and more.

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    Visionary, cable pioneer and founder of Curiosity Stream, John Hendricks takes listeners on an incredible journey through television’s migration from linear to cable and onto streaming services. He shares his vision for the next decade and what the changing consumer will expect.

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    Wharton University of Pennsylvania logoJoin host Vicki Lins for a thought-provoking conversation with Kartik Hosanagar, author of A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control. On this episode of Thinking Out Loud, Kartik discusses the opportunities, risks, and implications of AI, algorithms and machine learning on society, consumers and businesses.

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    Discovery logoKathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer, U.S. Networks Group, Warner. Bros. Discovery  oversees an astonishing 11 network brands. On this episode of Thinking Out Loud, host Vicki Lins sits down with Kathleen to discuss Discovery’s strategic plan to keep, grow and push viewers from one network to another through co-branded shows, fun talent mashups and tactical program scheduling.

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    Television Critics Association logoOn this episode, host, Vicki Lins explores the role of a television critic during times of disruption and summarizes the best of the 2019 Television Critics Tour with Daniel Fienberg, TV Critic, THR and President of the TCA.

    From binge-worthy breakout hits to digital shorts consumed in minutes; current, new and emerging players are pushing the envelope to create a successful model with cultural influence and impact. In this conversation, Dan shares his thoughts, themes, and ideas for what’s next in television.

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    Magid logoTechnology is dramatically changing the way consumers engage. On this episode, host Vicki Lins and Jill Rosengard Hill, EVP, Magid, reveal key discoveries from their recent study on how technology is changing consumer behavior. The conversation offers insights to anyone looking for a future-forward read on the preferences and expectations of tomorrow’s consumer.

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    ESPN logoChris LaPlaca, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, ESPN and host Vicki Lins discuss how today’s connected environment, consumer’s brand expectations and the 24-hour social media cycle have transformed how companies communicate. Chris shares his experienced perspectives on the importance of being transparent, staying aligned with corporate values, and assessing if a speedy response is the best option.

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    Parrot Analytics logoIn this episode, Vicki explores the world of data science with Wared Seger, Co-Founder and CEO, Parrot Analytics. They cover how the company uses stats and facts to empower media companies, brands, and agencies by providing “the most comprehensive measure of the popularity of TV content around the world.”  This includes understanding the difference between measuring demand and aggregating demand, and how technology fuels science commercialization.

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    Liz Janneman, EVP of Network Strategy, Ovation explains how their strategy of “going all-in” strengthens brand value, fuels the arts, and supports local communities. Ovation has made an art out of creating an immersive brand experience. The network captures consumers with high-quality original programming and then feeds their desire for more by offering related documentaries and short-form ad-supported content on multiple platforms, such as OTT and TV Everywhere.

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    A and E Studios logoBarry Jossen, EVP, A+E Studio, conveys his love for the industry through quick-witted, storytelling and relaxed sharing of thoughts, ideas, and revelations. Barry walks us through the creation of A+E’s in-house studio, the evolution of the viewer experience, the importance of talent when generating content awareness, and his thoughts on the future of entertainment.​

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    Part 1

    Part 2

    TNT logoWithin a few minutes of listening to Sarah Aubrey, EVP, Original Programming, TNT describe her past and current productions, listeners will have no doubts why TNT has decided to double down on its original programming slate. Following the viewers lead, Sarah is filling the slate with serialized shows boasting complicated stories with rich characters and twisty plots. All of this with a commitment to creating opportunities for new voices and new points-of-view.

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