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The Future of Media & Entertainment: A Conversation with Grant Thornton’s Howard Homonoff – MassTLC

In this illuminating discussion, dive into the dynamic landscape of media and entertainment. Joanna Rosenberg, Manager, Communities, MTLC sat down with Howard Homonoff, Senior U.S. Media & Entertainment Industry Advisor at Grant Thornton, to gain perspectives on industry trends, challenges, and strategies.

Joanna: Can you share a bit about your background and role at Grant Thornton?

Howard Homonoff: My background is primarily in media, entertainment, and related tech industries. I began my career as the general counsel of NBC’s cable networks. Later, I transitioned into strategy consulting, spending several years at PwC. About two and a half years ago, I joined Grant Thornton. In my role, I serve as a hub connecting experts in audit, tax, technology, and other advisory services with media and entertainment clients. Additionally, I oversee thought leadership and events in the industry. In addition to my “day job” at Grant Thornton, I have been writing on media and entertainment for Forbes for the last ten years.

Joanna: How has the business landscape in media and entertainment evolved recently?

Howard Homonoff: The traditional business models in media and entertainment have undergone significant changes. With the rapid evolution, we focus on examining all aspects of our services through the lens of our media and entertainment clients and how they can respond. This includes adapting to changes related to deals, cybersecurity, and AI, which are prominent topics in recent discussions.

Joanna: Could you elaborate on the impact of AI and data monetization in the industry?

Howard Homonoff: The evolution of business models has had a profound impact on data usage. Previously, data needs were more straightforward, such as box office data or Nielsen ratings. However, today, consumers access content through various platforms, leading to a multitude of data sources. The challenge is to distinguish meaningful signals from the noise and leverage this data to enhance business strategies.

Joanna: How does Grant Thornton assist large media clients in navigating these challenges?

Howard Homonoff: Grant Thornton adopts an approach as a trusted business advisor, considering needs in people, processes, and technology. We begin by understanding the client’s business objectives, identifying areas for improvement or efficiency. We then explore the relevant information needed and best practices for accessing and analyzing data. It’s about aligning data usage with overarching business goals.

Joanna: How do recent events, like strikes and concerns about data use, impact the industry?

Howard Homonoff: In the media and entertainment industry, there’s a certain level of fear surrounding AI, often fueled by dystopian views depicted in movies. However, on a practical level, AI tools offer significant benefits, especially in administrative tasks and facilitating content creation by artists. The industry must strike a balance between embracing AI tools to improve efficiency and creativity while addressing concerns about job displacement.

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