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IBC2016: Leaders’ Summit plans for digital reinvention

“The industry will never change this slowly again.” That was the slightly chilling message delivered to the delegates of IBC’s Leaders’ Summit.

Staged on Thursday, the IBC Leaders’ Summit is the chance for invited senior executives from media companies and broadcasters around the world to exchange views at the strategic level. The delegates joined the rest of the conference for the initial plenary keynote – Mad Men, Mobile and Money – before retiring to closed sessions where confidences could be freely exchanged.

Presentations came from organisations as varied as Vodafone Germany and Spotify, Liberty Global and the European Broadcasting Union, Sky and The LadBible. Each was comprehensively quizzed on their views by chairman Andrew Neil.

Interspersed between the presentations and debates were strategic insights from IBM Global Business Services. The message was clear: digitising your business is not enough – digital reinvention is the only way to go.

Delegates were told to ask themselves three questions. Is my strategy ambitious enough? Is my execution fast enough? And can I transform my people and my culture as well as the business?

But above all, the stress was on the way that the pace of change continues to accelerate. The telephone, delegates were told, took 75 years to reach 50 million users. Facebook took three and a half years to reach 50 million. Pokemon Go took 19 days. If the pace seems frenetic today, it is only going to get faster.