LAS VEGAS – At events like CES 2018, noisy headlines about bright, shiny new technology can get ahead of reality. Take advanced television and shifting viewing habits, as seen through the eyes of WPP Group CEO Sir Martin Sorrell.

“If you define television as screen and screen hours, there’s a bigger opportunity than there’s ever been. If you narrowly define it as free to air TV, it’s a bit more difficult,” Sorrell says in this interview with Beet.TV.

So will there be a tipping point between ad-supported and subscription-based TV services? “People are discussing whether there’s a tipping point. Are they coming under more pressure? I think the answer is yes.”

This is where headlines come into play. “Is it to the degree that we’ve seen in newspapers, no. Will it be to the degree we’ve seen in newspapers, no, I don’t think it will be,” Sorrell adds. “At the end of the day, there are significant changes taking place in the way that consumers consume.”

Like other big, global holding companies, WPP has tried to keep pace with all of the change. This includes realigning long-established agencies while making investments in content creators like Vice and Refinery29.

“We’ve made some mistakes as well as had some successes. But it’s rapidly changing and I think you have to be extremely flexible in your approach and be willing to experiment,” says Sorrell. The core problem facing companies like WPP is “an infrastructure and a set of legacy companies that have been doing this for up to 150 years. We have to adapt as rapidly as we can in a rapidly changing world and that means we have to be very, very flexible and responsive and agile in what we do.”

This video was produced by Beet.TV in Las Vegas at CES 2018.   Please visit this page for more coverage. 

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