When you think of AT&T you don't immediately think "entertainment company," but all of that is changing as it embraces the world of film.
AT&T hosted its Shape Tech & Entertainment Expo for 10,000 attendees recently, which brings together the worlds of technology and entertainment. Amongst the competitions at the event were a Hackathon – which TechnoBuffalo was on the judging panel with executives from AT&T – as well as a Create-a-thon that the above Deaf vs the Dead won.
What's intriguing is how AT&T is putting content at the forefront of everything it does in this space currently. Speaking at the conference during a panel discussion, actor Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) said:
When I hear that AT&T, which is obviously looking for content and distribution, of course, has an awareness that there are stories there that they can use all their facilities and means and talents and resources can promote. That's the answer. Because the stories exist, the writers exist, the audiences exist, it's just a matter of using the means to get those stories out to those audiences and it requires that type of leadership.
Content is definitely the king of the entertainment world right now. With the number of outlets continuing to expand – even AT&T's own DirecTV Now, which has hit 500,000 subscribers – the demand for content is at an all time high and looking to climb to levels most could have never dreamed of.
Despite all of this demand, getting the content made is still the major hurdle. AT&T is stepping in to help content creators realize their dreams, and with its acquisition of Time Warner expected to close in the fall, the company will be in an even better position to expand the facilities and resources it can offer to content creators.
Technology and entertainment have always had a tight relationship thanks to the need for special effects and advancements in filming techniques. As Virtual Reality continues to expand its presence in our lives the two industries are sure to grow even closer. Conferences such as Shape may be unusual for now, but something tells us we'll see a lot more of them in the coming years.