By Diana Goovaerts

Warner Bros exec hails 5G entertainment potential

Thomas Gewecke, chief digital officer at Warner Bros. Entertainment, spotlighted mobile’s growing role as a medium for content consumption and tipped 5G to open new screens on which users can stream entertainment.

During the closing keynote, Gewecke said “mobile is becoming an incredibly important platform for video consumption,” for short-form content but also increasingly for long-form TV series and films.

“When we look at teen and young adult audiences in particular, more and more they’re spending almost as much time watching video on their phone as on the TV or the PC,” he noted. Gewecke added mobile is one of the “largest and fastest growing categories for mobile gaming as well.

He said Warner Bros. Entertainment is now looking at 5G as a way to build on the benefits of mobile and deliver new content experiences for consumers.

“We think that 5G is going to fundamentally enable us to open up all sorts of new screens in places that previously haven’t been easy or practical to get to.”

Future potential

For instance, he noted the widespread adoption of autonomous driving enabled by 5G could open a new time slot for video viewing and gaming while consumers travel. Gewecke said this “has potential maybe to be the single largest new tranche of entertainment time made available to the public since the invention of the smartphone”.

He added next generation connectivity could also help streamline broadcast and film production, eliminating the need for satellite uplink vehicles for live events and making it easier to transfer daily filming clips back to the studio.

“These are gigantic files, and today often the only practical solution is to put them on hard drives and actually physically move them and it takes a long time. So we think 5G could help us fundamentally innovate even in that core production part of our business.”