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Tech and Media Divide Boils Over

People in the entertainment industry say they’re at peace over the tense relationship between tech and media. But it takes only a slight prodding into topics like advertising revenue, short-form video and the industry’s crack-like addiction to Netflix revenue to see that between California’s two great industries still lies some scars from the past and a genuine fear about the future.

On Tuesday evening, The Information brought together a collection of executives and investors from both media and tech to discuss the future for both industries. On the panel were seasoned television executives like Kevin Reilly, chief creative officer at Turner, Lauren Zalaznick, a former executive vice president at NBCUniversal where she oversaw cable and digital properties, and Ross Levinsohn, former interim CEO at Yahoo and senior digital executive at News Corp.

The diverse group of attendees—and fellow interlocutors, as the conversation quickly turned passionate and opinionated—included Rio Caraeff of music video site Vevo, Andy Forssell of Hulu and Ze Frank of BuzzFeed.

There were also traditional media stalwarts who’ve branched into digital—like former CNN president Jon Klein along with business partner and former chairman at NBCUniversal Jeff Gaspin—as well as executives who’ve led significant investments into streaming video, including Chernin Group president Jesse Jacobs and Machinima founder Allen DeBevoise.

As the discussion progressed, a few key themes cropped up. We’ve summarized them below and provided some key quotes to fill you in on the conversation:

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On Facebook’s potential to build a serious video ad business: “If you think about it, scrolling through Newsfeed is very similar to sitting on your couch and watching TV. The average user consumes 130 stories a day and some of those are ads.” — Justin Shaffer

Andy Forssell and Lauren Zalaznick commented on this article.
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