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Meet the chief technology officer

Red Bee Media's Richard Kydd discusses how media technology can make positive change, and offers three pieces of advice for anyone interested in working in the industry

Richard Kydd, CTO at Red Bee Media
Talk us through an average day in your role

There’s never an average day in my role – each day working in media technology is hugely dynamic, presenting new and exciting challenges and opportunities. Our mission at Red Bee Media is to help customers achieve their business goals. Much of my day is spent on customer-centric activities, such as delivering new customer projects, migrating existing customers onto new technologies, or onboarding new clients onto our platforms.

As a leading global media services partner for major international broadcasters, content owners and media brands, we focus on providing customers with best-in-breed technology and service expertise while driving cost efficiencies and business growth. Alongside providing first-class services that meet our customers’ needs today, the wider Red Bee Media team and I are always looking to the future to design technology strategies that help media companies explore new business models, reach untapped markets and grow revenue streams. 

As part of a global organisation, it’s also my responsibility to manage and empower our international teams of experts. Our organisation is known for its trusted experience and world-leading talent – and that’s something I’m proud to be a part of. 

How did you get started in the media industry?

Timing probably had a big influence on my career. I was fortunate to grow up during an exciting era in computing, and from the age of about nine, I knew I wanted to work with computers. After university, I hadn’t necessarily planned on my first role being at a media company, but I started working for a start-up developing an analogue interactive television service, building set-top-box software and embedded operating systems. I became CTO at that organisation, which later brought me to working in the UK cable industry. 

I’ve held multiple positions at media companies worldwide, but my responsibilities have always been centred on leading technology development. Having also worked across operational roles, I’ve been fortunate to learn how to both build and operate technology in a media focussed environment.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

I’m a software engineer by training; I studied computer science at university, but before then, I had spent a year working at an R&D company programming computers in Canada. I was able to bring both my passion for computing and academic training to an industry full of opportunity, and I haven’t looked back since. Working right at the heart of the intersection of media and technology is hugely rewarding – especially as we go through rapid periods of transformation.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

I love working in the media industry – and I enjoy using technology to help make positive change. That change can be really simple, like making someone’s job easier and more efficient or allowing someone to be more creative and apply that creativity in more powerful ways. Ultimately, technology is a key enabler in helping media businesses run better and provide viewers with ever-evolving content experiences.

Working at Red Bee Media means working at a unique organisation at the forefront of media technology – and that’s incredibly exciting. We hand-pick the best technologies for each application, and by running and maintaining our own advanced technology architecture, we act as the glue bringing together best-of-breed solutions and services for some of the biggest media brands in the world. 

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

If you were to ask me that question ten years ago, I’d point to all sorts of ‘must-do’s’ and talk about the importance of studying and developing knowledge across a range of different technologies, all valid, of course! But today, I’d highlight three key areas – and these don’t just apply to my role. 

Priority number one: Focus on reliability – what you’re building needs to work well, and it must be rock solid. Two: Make your technology cost-effective – an increasingly important factor for all media businesses. Three: Service delivery – make sure you deliver on customer expectations and deliver on time. If you get those three things right, you lay solid foundations for success in media technology.