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Huggers & Rafati: two compelling keynotes

Today’s first Forum Keynote session (15:00-15:35) features Erik Huggers (president & CEO at online music service Vevo), debating ‘Online Broadcasting Evolves: Big audiences and music. Beyond YouTube and how Vevo is shaking up the Broadcasting Playlist’.

Huggers is well-known to IBC thanks to his time at Intel, Verizon, Microsoft and Endemol, and of course his time as the BBC’s executive board member responsible for the BBC’s Future Media & Technology Division, which gave British viewers the ‘Red Button’ initiative, BBC Online and BBC iPlayer.

His focus now is Vevo, which is YouTube’s biggest single content provider, with major stakes held by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music (and minority stakes
by Google and Abu Dhabi Media). Vevo’s thrust is video-based, not audio.

Back in July, Vevo announced a major redesign of its online App and Huggers is supremely qualified to explain to IBC delegates what Vevo’s aims are, not least tapping into a global thirst for up-to-the-minute music video hits. And when you realise that stars like Beyoncé, or Adele, or even Psy’s Gangnam Style can speedily reach 1 billion views, then this is an important business.

This is followed by Shahrzad Rafati, founder and CEO at Broadband TV (BBTV, the world’s fastest-growing and largest multi-platform network specialising in short-form content), discussing ‘Building A Global Digital Media Powerhouse (15:45-16:15). Rafati’s company, only founded in 2005, already has an impressive client base (including FremantleMedia, Sony Pictures and A&E) and a slew of appealing destination sites (Windfall, Outspeak, YoBoHo) as well as growing relationships with the likes of RTL, the NBA and The Huffington Post.

Few are better able to comment – and even predict – the shape of the future of broadcasting in the ‘on demand’ world.