Turner CTO: We need a single app platform for all of our brands

Turner CTO Jeremy Legg. Image: Turner

Turner CTO Jeremy Legg says the problem with mobile is the lack of compatibility across multiple devices.

In an interview with Mobile World Live, Legg said that compatibility gap results in needing multiple code bases to support multiple devices and the various apps produced for each device, which creates a problem in trying to manage everything.

“A lot of folks look at applications like Netflix or Hulu, for example, as a point of content consumption. They just have one app. If you’re a major media company, you have dozens of brands, and even within a brand you may have multiple applications,” Legg said.

“So really, from a technology standpoint, you have to get an application platform. You have to be able to build applications with a single code base that lots of applications can leverage but still be able to differentiate applications from each other. Because one app experience can’t be the same as another app experience if you think you’re going to maximize the number of consumers that use it.”

RELATED: Turner’s new international digital division charged with developing new direct-to-consumer businesses

Of course, Turner is home to a number of brands including CNN, TBS and TNT that all have different mobile apps. Turner is also a significant licensee of sports content from the NBA and NCAA. And while Legg said that the mobile experience across all those brands is top of mind, he said that Turner doesn’t view mobile as a usurper to traditional TV and the efforts that Turner undertakes with linear programming.

“We don’t really choose one as being better than the other. We don’t regard it as a binary choice that people are going to stop watching television and only consume on mobile. We think they’re going to do both,” Legg said.

Besides traditional TV and mobile, Legg said Turner is also focusing on creating content experiences for virtual reality.

“If you look at things that we look at doing, it’s obviously going to revolve around sports,” Legg said.

RELATED: NBA, NextVR to livestream weekly NBA games in VR

Indeed, live sports has been ground zero for much early activity in VR production. NBA Digital and NextVR have expanded their agreement and are now broadcasting one live NBA game per week in VR. Google and NFL have also partnered on a VR project and will produce a nine-part series in VR about gameday culture throughout the NFL.

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