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Life is 3D, Media Needs to Follow Suit | SXSW 2021

Sebastian Tomich
SVP, Global Head Of Advertising, Marketing Solutions at The New York Times
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SXSW 2021
March 16, 2021, Online, Austin, USA
SXSW 2021
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Life is 3D, Media Needs to Follow Suit | SXSW 2021
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About speakers

Sebastian Tomich
SVP, Global Head Of Advertising, Marketing Solutions at The New York Times
Monica Drake
Assistant Managing Editor at The New York Times
Danielle Betras
Executive Strategy Director at The New York Times
Marc Lavallee
Head of R&D at The New York Times

Sebastian Tomich was named global head of Advertising and Marketing Solutions at The New York Times in November 2017. In this role, he guides the strategy and revenue generation of the entire advertising team across media, partnerships and services, including T Brand Studio, ad innovation, marketing solutions and sales. Previously, Tomich was senior vice president of Advertising and Innovation, starting in April 2015. Tomich was previously vice president of advertising where he led the launch and rapid expansion of T Brand Studio, The Times’s commercial content studio. He also managed sales teams across multiple categories. Before joining The Times, Tomich was the director of East Coast advertising at Forbes Media. In 2017 he was named an Ad Age “40 Under 40” and in 2014 he was named to Ad Age’s “Creative 50.”

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I oversee new technology and editorial initiatives, integrating tools that expand The Times's storytelling, and developing lines of coverage that span many platforms and media. I lead a multidisciplinary team that is an incubator for innovative journalism.

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I partner with executive teams to reinvent brands and businesses through consumer-centric design, product innovation and brand purpose differentiation. I draw from experience in Consumer Research, Brand Strategy, Digital Transformation, and Entrepreneurship.Skills: Brand Strategy, Product Innovation, Business Intelligence, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Workshop Design and Facilitation, Digital Strategy, Business Development

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About the talk

The New York Times R&D team has a history of developing technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the way we create and experience journalism and advertising. From a sea of potential new ideas and innovations, the organization seeks out and partners with some of the biggest players in tech to bring concepts to existing and potential audiences.

The era of experiencing virtual worlds at a life-sized scale feels inevitable, with enormous power to change the way we experience media, but in what forms, how much and when is still in question.

Join the New York Times head of R&D Marc Lavallee, Head Of Advertising Seb Tomich, and other industry experts, as they showcase behind-the-scenes experiments on how the New York Times is preparing a virtual future, and how they've worked with world class partners along the way.

About SXSW:

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, this year’s online event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. For more information, please visit sxsw.com.

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Hello South, bye. And thank you to everybody is tuning in. I'm set timer to head of advertising at the New York Times, the work today. Something we've never shown before having your times is thinking about the future 3D media, you may have seen some are famous Graphics interactive's or a virtual reality film or a recent story in augmented reality as a x reader. But today, we're going to take you behind the scenes to show you how that work all comes together and how teams from across the times are thinking about 3D journalism, our first guests, to help bring it to life as someone

who was thinking about the future of 3D everyday, our fearless leader of emerging technology and head of R&D. And also, someone who I'm missing seeing in person everyday Mark lavalla to joining us today. Thanks for having me. So Mark, I'm so excited for you to be able to show off this work today. This is work that any people who are viewing this event probably have seen. Just at that the individual story level, some of the really amazing graphics and interactive is that the newsrooms comes out with little. Do they know there's a very big concerted effort to

advance our capabilities here. So I wanted just to start with what is the R&D team and how did it come to the aid of our journalism and South. But there's an army of people within the organization supporting that. And increasingly. I think what we find is that that it's important for us to be working with Companies the biggest tech companies in the world to actually make our dreams a reality different than what you think of me being like frosted glass. And give us a sense of all of the things you were thinking about. It feels like there's an infinite amount

of technology to consider its 5G. It's bits boxing and things like that. A lot of the work that we do with in R&D working closely with our Newsroom is trying to figure out when when can we use these things in our journalism? And in what ways? That doesn't the future, doesn't arrive all at once, very cleanly. And so we're always on the lookout for a specific opportunities to try to try these new technologies out. And that could be at the level of a single-story. Be something that we do as part of our Olympics coverage

or something to do for our elections, could be something that would do that is much longer running as well, but I think it's time to get to the actual stories themselves, a friend, and There she is, assistant managing editor, Monica Drake, From The Newsroom. The person that says no to me most in my life. Monica welcome, just very quickly, tell us about your role of the times and then we'll talk about some of the stories you can make it expand the times is a storytelling and developed. So, so, you know, marks out there,

hiding all these new technologies, it's your job to now, make them real and translate them into some of the world's best journalism. We just talked briefly and very high-level about our work with Google and Facebook also just very lightly on our work with 5G and Verizon would love to just talk. What are the stories that we want to tell with this technology and just some examples of what we told the date? I want to create more immersive stories on their phones and that loads

and then we also come out of the Verizon program. So on that side is creating these much larger kind of 3D environments me we have for a number of years now The Newsroom the graphics test in The Newsroom has has employed this technique called photogrammetry which is taking a bunch of photos of something and stitching it together and do a 3D model made this limitation of how large of a of a model we could pick. It actually delivered to people because of limitations bandwidth constraints. And so thinking ahead to Can we do an entire house? Can we do

a castle? Can we do an entire city block? And the short answer there is yes. But at every step of the process was really asked two questions. 1 is, how do we deliver that seamlessly, Team, 2, readers, and then, and then to this is been a lot of the work and very close contact with The Newsroom. Is what is the, what is, the actual journalistic value of being able to do that? It's like, okay, great. Now you have 3D reconstruction of a city block, what kind of story can you actually tell what that? Like I was I was that meaningful, right? That's that's where I think being held at work so closely

with The Newsroom on these projects. It is incredibly helpful program. A tree is a mouse Bowl. What are the actual stories that we love each other? So you know, this is a place History and reconstruct the experience of walking down the street and seeing to Historic images that match, you know, frame for frame self-examining spaces like this really helps us. Not only use words to tell a story but really puts me there using photogrammetry we've all heard about side G and we're all getting commercials from carriers just talking about

faster faster, faster Monica's questions for you what was life like for The Newsroom this for 5G maneuver. So you know they would have to go and file the photos. I took a really long time to upload one example of a factor in the way that things are easier. Now is the Oscars Last year, for instance, on the red carpet without having to bump into them. So journalist walking around on the red carpet in the brake on their backs now that breaks gone now. They're free to hang with Reese Witherspoon and whoever else. Turn the free to do more journalism

photos and a few hours with faster than the than the year before in this also is useful in the field to I last summer or during the protest in the wake of the gorge was allowed to 5G. Enabling us to do better Oscars coverage enough. 5G enabling us to do better breaking news coverage Transformer, getting an image more quickly and can share with our readers extra like what's happening with able to get people information faster. We're able to get them more immersive stories Translating that now to augmented reality news. Our perspective. Why is

augmented reality important to you? Really show how a cleats and perform I'm watching people to sort of many months across. A lot of teams are so we could and we very curious about how to use it, much more responsive to me, you're particularly excited about going forward. I will send you some. That's a definitive yet very vague statement. True politician. Monica, thank you for joining. So Mark, let's talk about another big project in the works spark. AR is an exciting new is platform from

Facebook, they're one of the big tech companies, making the massive investment in the whole augmented reality. Space from The New York Times perspective, we're looking at that to really understand how to make really highly immersive visual journalism. One of the effects that we we published in the in the fall is really about showing people how effective masks are in, in how it is that they work until you. Do you think about being able to take the point of view of a, of a single molecule and really understand being at that level of detail, Cowboy

molecules coronavirus particles and things like that, get trapped inside of a mask to really understand the efficacy. That's the kind of visual that you're not going to able to do in a newspaper very easily. What is put some other stuff you're working on before we move off of all day today, our stuff. I mean, there's so much paperwork happening with the with the newsroom wear on your basically a weekly basis. These days they're they're trying to put new types of effects out. Right now we're in this. Right now

to bring games in the people's daily routines on on Spotify from like Instagram, you think about the crosswords being able to do that in a 3D way be able to share the results with your friends as well. And so you know there's there's a lot that we put out there for months that we're learning from and I don't need search fuels more repeated engagement on on this exit 5 forms. Let's let's talk about gymnastics because I know you're a big fat, there's a lot of the Olympics every every two years, provide such a great opportunity to try

out a new thing. You know, we're always looking for ways to be able to cover these games and Beyond what you see on television. And then just words And a lot of that comes down to trying to help people understand, you know, what these athletes train for their entire lives. For these for these moments and know we've, we've been really interested in Technologies, like, computer vision that allow us to have an incredibly precise understanding of exactly what's happening from frame-to-frame. You think about Simone biles on the balance beam? You know, what is it about for her performance,

that sets her apart and took the other big question as we work with The Newsroom is, how, how exactly do we tell that story? How do we use that data in a way? That is incredibly easily? Understandable, as I mentioned earlier, it takes many times to bring these programs to life. We talked about how are and he's looking at new technology, we talked about how The Newsroom is telling you stories. Now, welcoming Daniel Beatrice, executive strategy director. At the Times is going to take us to the journey of how we find the right partners and how we bring value to them. Welcome Danielle, by the

way, how do you pronounce my last name? You have this incredibly challenging role which is bringing it all together into a into a program that is ultimately it's for the partner as well. Just talk to us briefly about your role in the type of work that you're doing day today. The new tools that we create for journalists to think about the value to our brand Partners across the New York Times for projects and I am, especially on the lookout for projects ambition, but we might be missing the technology or the expertise and we really need a brand partner.

Give us some behind-the-scenes examples. Give us an image of of that spunky really well to do. The first one is really when it comes to these Partnerships, to see, you're saying that the cloud might be boring, favorite stories, one of the most interesting stories that is more interesting than the building that has six million physical. Photos and they're organized by a physical Decimal System card system. Archivist to is incredible accessible to more of our journalist

hours are spent scanning those assets as well. Just absolutely covered on the back of the photo or taped on there. You know, info not just who took the photo and also every single time in our report and what the headline was associated with The current century, we were able to do that kind of coverage. Past tense is an example. And the value to Google is really tremendous as well as readers are reading those stories there also right there next to it. That that possibility for

us just consumers, but also people that are inspired to do the same in their own businesses. Really clever when it comes to the cloud How Cloud can transform other businesses to work as well? We talked about. How does how does Verizon take advantage of the world? Have a reason to be showing up in these massive cultural moments like the Oscars and other kids with their homework. And sometimes they also make really valuable MIT and business decisions about the types of Technology.

Especially, I think it's so exciting about the partnership is that out of it as well? We're seeing in full before in their pass, really seeing them as a technology company, all the way down to the bottom of the intent and consideration. All these things that we as marketers measure. We're really seeing the partnership Drive magic, Napata special ingredients. We have the world's best journalism. Then talk about some of those stories. We've got forward-thinking technology. Mark that you're leading. We got the value of Brands. We've got another

powered for the New York Times to work with an organization like Verizon and create at least from our view which is definitely biased. Some of the world's best advertising is we talked about how this all comes together in a campaign for Verizon Facebook in a r would love for you to talk about that from a brand perspective for Facebook. You know, what is this mean for them? While we talked a lot about there's also a real consumer benefit, as well, Facebook

crazy. He really wanted to encourage her to grow up because they are so many other applications as well to inspire their audiences. That could be business, is like ours are really just individuals at creative Critters that are using the platform. Are in a different way to become a more meaningful part of our Lives. Covid virus as well as so. Thank you, Danielle, thank you for joining us. I'm so happy. You were available. So what is the future look like I think we've we've learned over the past couple years that trying to be in the production

business is a Fool's errand, what we try to do for a future that we think is the the way, but make sure that the company in The Newsroom are poised for a bunch of things I could unfold over the next couple of years. At said, a lot of signs point to being able to do more of this of this type of 3D journalism. Brother, looking around the corner a bit too. You know, what may unfold over the next couple years old, what we want to make sure of is that there's great journalism from The New York Times that you can experience as part of whatever device has made, man. Thank you,

Mark, and thank you to our are the guests. I mean you doing incredible work and another world experiencing it to I would say that our Indian these projects are some of that hidden gems of the times, the very few people get to get to see you soon as an honor to show it off today and I would just say looking forward, there's going to be more whether it's our work with VR visual lens with Google in or are fighting in Smith. Information with ID on to our recent work with Facebook and they are there's going to be more coming. So mark, thank you for everybody else. Thank you for joining. Yeah,

thanks for having us. Everybody who is tuned and thanks for joining. Can you put until we're incredibly excited about the future 3D media? And how it's going to change how journalism's experience? This was especially fun, 2% of the South by crowd who is equally as excited, about the intersection of media and Technology. We have some very big work coming from our Partnerships with Verizon and Facebook and also some new really exciting programs to come and close the discussion. I think we can all agree that the entire New York Times is not going to be in 3D anytime soon,

but you can expect some inspiring work for most along the way. Thanks for joining today and hope to see you next time.

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Sebastian Tomich
Monica Drake
Danielle Betras
Marc Lavallee