Alan Mercer is a media professional with over 30 years of experience. Alan’s career has seen him build expertise with the BBC, EuroNews and Al Jazeera, evolving at managerial level in these organisations’ engineering, production and new media environments. He has also designed, built and implemented a state of the art IPTV platform to deliver high quality video over the public internet in conjunction with bespoke back office systems. Previously, Alan has been a key member of the launch team that saw the global news channel Al Jazeera English, based in Qatar, exceed its objectives, with over 80 million viewers at launch, and produced in HD. His consulting firm, GBF Media offers a wide range of broadcast and new media consultancy expertise with partners worldwide. He has worked extensively in interactive, convergent New Media and in Television. He has a track record managing and delivering complex digital projects. Company website.
Benjamin Schwarz has over 20 years of international experience in consulting for telco and media organisations. He is recognized as a world-class industry expert in converging media, especially IPTV and innovation. In August 2008 Benjamin created “CTO innovation Consulting” bringing his unique expertise to Content owners, Technology companies and network Operators and is now involved in many projects including TV business modelling and deployment, advertising, hybrid and “over-the-top” content delivery and quality of experience. He spent 8 years with Orange, whom he joined in 2001. Benjamin started as a manager within Orange Labs focusing on video, search and other technologies. In 2004 he joined the Content division running international music download then IPTV deployments in Europe (France, Poland, Spain, UK) and Africa (Senegal). In 2000 Benjamin was CTO of Net4Music, a digital sheet music Internet start-up. Previously he spent 10 years with Logica-CMG and fresh out of university he joined the ‘World Press Centre’ in 1989. Benjamin is based in Paris and has a BSc from King’s College London in Computer science and completed an executive MBA within INSEAD. Company website.
David Short is a systems engineer and architect who has spent 25 years in the TV industry and has been on the leading edge of digital TV development since the first DVB deployments through VOD and PVR to the current wave of connected, IPTV and hybrid projects. He specialises in providing technical leadership and strategy during the design and start-up phases of major projects. This includes product management, the technical aspects of vendor selection, bid management and project initiation. David has worked in full-time and consulting roles for broadcasters, platform operators, TV technology vendors and service providers. These have included the BBC, NDS, NagraVision, Farncombe Technology, OpenTV, JacobsRimell, Virgin Media/NTL, chello Media, Plastic Logic, BT and the Interactive TV Research Institute. He has significant experience in many relevant technologies such as DVB head end systems, conditional access systems, set top boxes, IP networking and IT systems, together with OSS support systems. David is a co-founder of Broadcast Projects.
Dominic d´Souza is a successful director of business change and improvement within Europe and North America. He combines his MBA credentials with 25+ years experience in Post-Acquisition Integration and Change Management. Following 10 years of experience within the Media & Entertainment sector, Dominic established his business, Wise Rabbit, with a specific focus on Second Screen, Social TV and Mobile Technologies. Through his close associates, he is actively involved in helping businesses to leverage converging technologies and create a differentiated strategy. In particular, the identification and selection of critical components of the ecosystem that supports such a strategy underpins the value brought through Wise Rabbit. He also maintains strong relationships with technology vendors to facilitate relationship management and delivery of their solutions. Company website.
Gary Olson is a media technology and business advisor specializing in the transition of traditional media workflows and business processes. His focus is the adaptation of organizational structure, staffing models and workflows to implement digital media technology. Gary advises on the best use of technology in the migration and transition from traditional media technology to digital platforms for broadcast, broadband, wireless, portable multimedia and On-Demand media. Gary’s substantial experience in working with project sponsors and stakeholders helps them understand the changes associated with digital media platforms and file-based workflows.Gary has advised major US and international broadcasters, corporations and institutions on new digital production and distribution. He is a recognized industry leader with practical experience in the analysis, selection, and uses of technology and as an innovator in media technologies and broadcast design. Company website.
Janet Greco is an entrepreneur and consultant actively involved in digital media, entertainment technology innovation and regulation. She co-founded Broadcast Projects in 2004, and does consulting projects for some of the world´s top media, entertainment and technology companies. She has an extensive background in TV metadata, having started the first pan-European TV listings company, Infomedia, in 1991. Her current work is at the nexus of TV metadata, content regulation, connected TV and content identification/recognition technologies driving ¨Second Screen¨ apps. She also covers content regulation and connected TV policy issues, and implementation of the Audioviisual Media Services Directive (AVMS) affecting video-on-demand service providers in Europe.
John Holland is an independent consultant in digital media focusing on product and marketing strategies. He also has a track record in research, sales and the delivery of complex projects. His career has embraced a wide range of disciplines: general management, sales & marketing, account management, strategy, branding, professional services and programme making. At the BBC, where he led a £35m department, he played a prominent role in the strategic development of online and interactive TV into the Corporation’s offering. Holland believes strongly that for digital media to fulfil its potential and deliver increased profitability, service providers must focus on building enhanced levels of customer trust and on satisfying consumer lifestyle needs, with technology acting as an invisible enabler. Great design, ease-of-use and accurate measurement tools are essential. Furthermore, digital media must be integrated with traditional, non-digital media to realise fully its potential. He is an alumnus of Cranfield University School of Management and a member of the Royal Television Society. He has spoken extensively at industry events. Company website.
Justin Hewelt is Managing Director of the PayMedia Consulting Group, providing strategic support and knowledge to leading Digital Broadcasters and Pay TV operators around the world. Justin Hewelt has written for a number of leading industry publications including Cable & Satellite Europe, Broadcast, Multichannel News International and Interspace. He is also one of the original co- founders of the Global Interactive TV networking organisation ‘Broadband Bananas’. Working alongside Gay Bell (Platform PR), Clare Bramley and Ferhan Cook, (Mediaplay Intl / Anyscreen Productions ) Broadband Bananas built up a membership of more than 25,000 digital TV professionals and an online archive of more than 450 video examples of interactive television via its web portal before its purchase by Digital Media Publishing in 2005. Justin works alongside leading figures in the global Pay TV industry, providing strategic advice, industry reports, relevant case-studies and introductions. Justin provides unique skills in the areas of Pay TV Product Development and Marketing, Brand Development, Business Strategy, as well as specialist skills in User Interface, Electronic Programme Guides and interactive services. Justin has helped a number of key operators around the world develop, launch and market HD, PVR and other advanced products and services. Company website
Lluc Pallejà is co-founder and CEO of Extens Solucions S.L., an IT consulting firm based in Spain. Founded in 2005, Extens has experience delivering multi-platform solutions with Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux and Apple Mac OS X environment. The company also has experience on a wide variety of web projects, dynamic web pages and SEO. Lluc was trained in Barcelona as a graphic designer, and is also founder and CEO of the design firm Squeaky Carrot which offers graphics, website design and marketing solutions in English, Spanish and Catalan. Company website.
Mark McKeown is COO at Oil Studios, and a Digital Media Consultant at PayMedia Consulting. Mark has extensive experience in both marketing and commercial development across a wide range of digital platforms. Mark has a proven track record in the Transactional TV value-chain, particularly related to Advanced Products, Format and Channel Distribution, Participation TV and Betting & Gaming. Throughout his career, he has managed large multi-disciplined creative, commercial, customer service and technical teams. He has both worked for and advised a number of industry-leaders in this sector including BSkyB, NTL, Cablevision, NBC Universal, DirecTV, Motorola, Apple, TIVO, Littlewoods, Ladbrokes, NetEntertainment and Chartwell Technologies. In 2007, he established his own digital multi-platform production company, Oil Studios, which has developed formats which have been commissioned by the Guardian New Media Group, Channel 4, BBC and Unilever and have won awards from BIMA, Prix Jeunesse, Broadcast Digital, IVCA and been nominated by BAFTA, MediaGuardian and BANFF. Company website.
Phil Haggar is a broadcast systems engineer by training, having worked for a variety of channels such as MTV, Viasat (TV3/TV1000), QVC and for sports broadcaster TWI/IMG before 3 years in Africa starting Zambia’ first independent radio station. Returning to the UK, Phil joined Parliamentary broadcaster CCT Productions as Technical Director. As a pioneer in the nascent industry of webcasting in 1998, he started Westminster Digital, which carried out the first live webcasts for Tony Blair, the Houses of Parliament and many other government departments, before founding webcasting and DRM company Makeni Ltd, which included clients such as the Houses of Parliament, ITV.com, Limelight Networks, the European Parliament, BBC Audio & Music and the Press Association as clients, and carried out live webcasts for government, enterprise and some wet and muddy music festivals such as Glastonbury and the Reading Festival. Leading UK independent production company Twofour then acquired Makeni in 2007, when Phil became a board director of Twofour for 3½ years, focusing on the development of Twofour’s digital business and product development.At the end of 2010 Phil left Twofour to spend 6 months in Africa, and now works as an independent consultant focusing on online video strategy – both commercial and technical. He regular presents at conferences, and was named by Streaming Media Magazine as one of their inaugural Streaming Media Dream Team in 2009. Company website.
Rod Large is an expert in the development of digital thematic TV channels for major media groups and the design and marketing of subscription TV platforms and video on demand services for cable and fixed line telecoms operators. He has strong expertise in the field of film and video archive management, IP management and development, new product development and implementation. Rod has worked as a senior project manager for clients including Intel Corporation, ProSeiben AG, UPC Cable Networks Europe, Centrica Plc, VideoNetworks, OnDemand Management Group, Callahan Cable Networks Germany and Spain, Virgin Media, T-Online, Burda AG, RTE Television. Rod has also developed a pan-European digital TV channel operations plan for a global institution. His corporate career includes JWT Advertising London, The Irish Export Board Germany and Dublin, as a division head and as MD International of one of Europe’s largest NPD (New Product Development) Consulting firms, CLK Plc London. Rod worked in The Soviet Union in the mid-late 1980′s acquiring client projects from Soviet companies and organisations such as Aeroflot and Soviet State Broadcaster GostelRadio. He developed and launched the USSR’s first western-style game show (Trivial Pursuit) in 1988 which ran until the mid-90′s. He was then recruited by Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest Media Group to be MD of PubliEurope SA, a TV sales and programming business with business centres in UK, Germany, Russia, Madrid, Munich. After a period working Aegis Plc (Carat International) as VP Broadcasting Services, Rod went on to Grundy Worldwide Television as SVP Corporate Development. He was appointed to the board of Alliance Atlantis Communications International in September 2006.
Sebastian Becker is CEO & Co-Founder of [tbb\*] thebrainbehind, established in 2002. He is a well-known expert with many years experience in the field of strategy and product consulting, using best practice methodologies. He has an extensive industry network that catalyses research, strategy, deal generation, partnerships and execution. As a media expert Sebastian’s focus is on the international digital TV market. He is a well known speaker and panel host supporting relevant conferences across Europe. His specialities include strategy, business development and benchmarking. Company website.
Sheila Cassells is Director of Cassells Consulting Ltd, a company established in August 2009 to provide strategic policy and regulatory advice to media and communications technology businesses. She is a highly respected and trusted public policy professional with extensive high level contacts in the industry and the EU institutions and has over 20 years experience on both the regulatory and regulated sides of the media and communications industries. From 2001 to 2009 Sheila was Head of Economic Policy at BSkyB and a Member of BSkyB’s Top 100 Leadership Team. Before BSkyB, she worked for the Independent Television Commission in the UK, holding the position of Director Economic Regulation. In 2003 she established and since then has chaired the Digital Interoperability Forum (DIF), a pan-European trade association that addresses technology policy issues for the paid- content distribution chain, becoming DIF’s first Executive Director in 2010. Sheila is an economist with a MA degree from the University of Edinburgh, a MPhil in Town Planning from University College London, and a MBA (Finance) from the City University Business School. She also studied graduate economics at Queen’s University, Canada. On January 21, 2011 Sheila was appointed Executive Director of AEPOC, now re-named the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance. Sheila continues in her role as Executive Director of DIF. Company website