WarnerMedia Makes Data Cool at SXSW

13 Mar 2019 - By WarnerMedia Staff

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about South by Southwest, or SXSW, recently. But what exactly is it? The annual festival features equal parts music, film and interactive industries and has become the epicenter of cutting-edge technology and digital discovery.

In 2007, Twitter used SXSW to announce its launch. Foursquare announced their launch at SXSW two years later. Brands like Apple and Pinterest have used SXSW to showcase their groundbreaking offerings, and even Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, has been a keynote speaker. So yeah, SXSW is the real deal.

At this year’s conference, WarnerMedia showcased their commitment to tech and innovation with a candid and enlightening panel discussion featuring voices across the WarnerMedia family. Moderated by Jesse Redniss (EVP, Data Strategy, WarnerMedia & GM, WarnerMedia Innovation Lab), the session included Chris Berend (SVP, Global Digital Video, CNN & Co-Founder of Great Big Story), Diana Pessin (SVP, Digital Media & Growth Marketing, HBO) and Justin Herz (EVP, Digital Product, Platform & Strategy, Warner Bros. Entertainment). The panel, titled “How Data Helps to Unleash Creativity in Media,” discussed the overwhelming amount of media choices available to today’s consumer, and the new ways harnessing data can unlock creative opportunities.

WarnerMedia has been on the frontlines, competing for mindshare within media and culture, and figuring out what these new creative avenues mean for our premium content brands. It’s a brave new world out there, and this panel dives right into all of it.

You can view the entire panel right here. It’s just like you were at SXSW, minus the super-cool after parties and killer music. But other than that, we’ve got you.



Other WarnerMedia brands also had a major presence at SXSW this year, with several noteworthy offerings:

Ad Sales

  • CNN ad sales co-hosted a brunch and panel discussion with Twitter on “Reshaping the Business of News.” Christine Cook, SVP & CRO of CNN Digital, was joined by Twitter, BuzzFeed and Dunkin’ to address the industry’s challenges in the form of a solutions-oriented panel.


  • CNN presented a presidential town hall, featuring several 2020 presidential hopefuls: Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The town hall was moderated by anchor Jake Tapper and Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash.
  • They featured a keynote interview with CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker.
  • CNN also featured interviews throughout the opening weekend by anchors Poppy Harlow, Kate Riley, Brian Stelter and Jake Tapper.
  • In a throwback to CNN’s founding in 1980, there was an inviteonly nostalgic bash featuring rapper Biz Markie, followed by an invite-only Great Big Story late-night event featuring Run D.M.C.’s Rev. Run.


  • HBO brought hit show Game of Thrones to life by creating an actual set, complete with live actors performing elaborate storylines and interacting with visitors, making everyone feel part of Westeros. This was one of the most elaborate presentations HBO has made at SXSW, and it was done in conjunction with their global blood donation campaign supporting The American Red Cross.


  • DC is celebrating the 80th anniversary of everyone’s favorite Caped Crusader, Batman, with several events at SXSW. One incredible event will be the moment when more than 1.5 million bats will fly into the night over Austin’s famous Congress Bridge.
  • There are also multiple fan experiences, photo opportunities, limitededition merchandise and an Instagrammable mural created by a local artist.