Dan Scheinman Cisco
Senior VP and General Manager, Cisco Media Solutions Group
Dan Scheinman will be the first to tell you that the rise of the Digital Age and the proliferation of social networking have turned the media industry upside down. But the spirited businessman sees excitement and opportunity in the tumult and, as such, has devoted a good portion of his career to finding ways network-based solutions can assuage the media business’ 21st-century ailments.
His latest project, Cisco Eos, provides a one-stop shop for media companies looking to manage and improve their multitude of digital content and sites, integrating social networking, content management and site administration features into a single operating environment. Mr. Scheinman took some time to speak with Art and Living about his new network brainchild, the creative challenges he faces, and what excites him as a digital creator
Art and Living: What are the possibilities of Cisco Eos?
Dan Scheinman: For media companies, content really is king. Media companies produce about ten percent of the content that exists in the world. But the reality is that 10% represents 75% of the revenue generated from content. And so media companies produce the things that people are willing to pay in some form or another to watch—they pay through subscriptions, they pay through buying a DVD, or they pay through going to watch a movie—whatever. There are many ways that people can pay for content. Because of the Internet, media companies have had a lot of trouble adapting and meeting their customer needs. What we enable is this world where media companies can create content, merge it with our technology and provide social entertainment experiences with their consumers. In other words, we allow media companies to create social platforms where customers can come and interact with the media they love without having to spending gobs of money to do it. The media company just has to add content.
A+L: So, what’s the top creative challenge for Cisco today?
DS: I’m very focused on the consumer part of the world and how to meet the demands of the entire consumer. And the entire consumer wants all this technology made simple and usefull. Figuring out how to do that across a whole entertainment experience is our challenge.
A+L: What personally excites you right now?
DS: I think we’re at the dawn of a new age. It’s almost like 1910 in the media business, and the motion picture camera has just been introduced, and all that opportunity got set up. I think that we are at the beginning of a new age and that, while there are a lot of challenges in the media business, those challenges are creating a lot of opportunities. And what I’m really excited about is being able to combine the network and device to help drive really great, new revenue opportunities for media companies and to create new ways for consumers to have great experiences with the media they love.
A+L: What are some of these new experiences?
DS: For the last 100 years, media companies have created content that people paid to consume, and there haven’t really been a ton of totally new experiences. But, as the media business has changed, all of a sudden we’re breaking away from just one-way communication to new experiences—like meeting virtually with the actors, chating with them, doing a video conference with them—that helps create more depth. This makes for better entertainment experiences that create deeper relationships with the content and everyone else. For the first time, you can actually have a real voice with the things you love. You can say, “I don’t like this,” or “I do like this,” right? And people listen, which is really fantastic. This dynamic environment presents a ton of opportunity now to create the types of new experiences that I think fans really want. And they’re going to create value for media companies—and ultimately great sales for media companies.