After a week packed with conferences and secrecy the Allen & Co. Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, ended with the idea that collaboration is the path forward for distribution and creation of content in the digital age.
The tone was set by the pending merger between AT&T and Time Warner, heralded as a perfect match between content creators and distribution channels of today and tomorrow: internet providers.
Dubbed the “Summer Camp for billionaires,” the Allen & Co. Conference invited both AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson and Time Warner chief Jeffrey Bewkes. An interesting note is the inclusion of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, whose father-in-law an father respectively, spoke against the AT&T and Time Warner deal.
But in a rather liberal environment, Sun Valley didn’t necessarily provide a safe haven for Ivanka and her embattled husband. Some critics of her father were in attendance and are outspoken about their opinions against some of Trump’s politics.
“The immigration policies are reprehensible,” said Barry Diller, CEO of IAC/InteractiveCorp to CNBC last Tuesday at Sun Valley Lodge. “We’re going to lose talent, rather than importing talent that we always need.”
The Sun Valley gathering was created by the investment bank and consulting firm Allen & Company in the early 80s as a way to reunite agents of interest in his specialty: mergers.
First hosted in 1983, the conference started as a merger maker in 1994 when Walt Disney struck a deal with ABC in the Allen & Co., reunion in 2009, even though the merger was not approved until 2011. Another success part of Sun Valley is the merge between Yahoo and AOL when Marissa Meyer of Yahoo and AOL’s CEO, Tim Armstrong, discussed their companies merging over drinks at the gathering, as Ezra Schwarzbaum recalled in Benzinga.
This year, experts and analysts see other kinds of results that will probably begin rolling out soon. For instance, this year, Spotify’s founder, Daniel Ek, was invited and rumors said that he attended to explore the idea of an IPO or an acquisition opportunity for the future of his company that is not profitable yet.
Verizon’s Tim Armstrong attended this year with a future partnership in mind as his company is seeking content to compete with the pending AT&T and Time Warner merger.
“There’s no question that people are consuming content off the TV platform, but the good news is people are consuming more content,” said Discovery Communication’s CEO David Zaslav to Variety prior to the Sun Valley summit.
The results of the recent Allen & Co. Conference event will continue to roll out in bits and pieces over the next few days, months, or years.
Marco Islas for TechFunnel.com