• Sony exec highlights power shift to consumers
  • Hiroshi Kawano: Industry being challenged by do more with less approach
  • Industry should “inspire, explore and utilise new tech” to exceed audience expectations

Hiroshi Kawano_D5_Sony_3420

Hiroshi Kawano

“There is no limit to the appetite for audiences wanting to consume content and today they appreciate the convenience of seeing it anywhere and want to see it everywhere.”

That was the view Hiroshi Kawano, senior vice president of Sony Corporation, during his IBC Conference keynote, entitled ‘The future of media technology’.

Acknowledging we are in a period of unprecedented technological change where the convergence of electronics and entertainment is transforming the way content is created, distributed and consumed, Kawano shared Sony’s commitment: “To stimulate further growth of the industry by leveraging power with technology to unlock new opportunities.”

Technology has played a vital role in the corporation’s history and growth, however today it has transformed and expanded its business domain “to become a total entertainment company,” with the goal of creating value for its consumers.

“Consumers are going more mobile, engaging more in all social platforms and seeking more immersive connected experiences,” he continued, “The challenges and opportunities we are focussing on are at the forefront of this change and despite huge changes around us, great content gives us great consumer experience and business opportunities.”

Sony has been innovating technology and powering media and broadcast professionals for over 50 years and since the 1990’s has been at the forefront of the technological advancements for HD, 4K, HDR and most recently the development of 8K with 5G.

Kawano explained: “Innovation is a never-ending challenge at Sony and each door our engineers open is a new start of opportunities.”

He said that although ‘content is king’, the shifting dynamics with audience’s consumption habits are putting consumers first in a “power shift where the consumer makes the ultimate decision”.

Great content experiences are at the core of Sony’s entertainment, he added: “Our goal is to use and maximise technology in an efficient manner, overcoming the challenge to create more attractive content and make it available on any platform.”

Do more with less is a concept that challenges the industry everyday and Kawano said consumer expectations are greater than ever.

“It is time to consider how we do more with more, so let’s inspire, explore and utilise new technologies and solutions to exceed expectations of our audiences.”

Kawano’s aim is to “unlock that opportunity … in a changing market the media entertainment industry needs to make a positive move and strive to capture emotion in content creation, aiming to capture true artistic and emotional expression through technology.”

Showcasing the advanced camera technology that “delivers the feeling as if you are there”, he focussed on new technologies and methods of meeting the consumers demand.

From AI, to IP and sports and entertainment “the industry demand for more live content is growing”, he said, noting that large scale high quality live sports production is very expensive for staffing and technical resources.

Broadcaster are seeking ways to address those needs and Kawano believes IP technology and remote production will be key.

On 8K, he added: “The trend just happened in some countries, but the technology is very advanced and stimulates creativity in the engineers.

“We are at the start of 8K but in the future it might be connected to 5G with proof of concept tests already going on in some areas. The potential is quite interesting.”