21CF CTO Paul Cheesbrough talks technology and media at TecNation 2017 in Washington, D.C.


In a conversation with Axios’ Sara Fischer at TecNation 2017, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center in Washington, D.C., 21CF CTO Paul Cheesbrough discussed how 21CF’s technology investments are shaping the media industry and helping the company’s brands engage consumers around the world.

Paul highlighted how National Geographic’s network of photographers is pioneering the use of platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. “The reach and engagement that we’re driving combined with the new ways that our creative teams are able to tell stories is exciting, unique and unprecedented,” he said.

And noting the role of technology in driving the growth of 21CF’s portfolio in India, Paul said, “With Hotstar, our OTT product in India, we’re setting the pace for the streaming market in the world’s fastest-growing economy – and our technology team in India is constantly breaking records around scale, speed and performance. We’re incredibly proud about the talent that we’ve got driving this business.” 

He also discussed efforts to bolster 21CF’s enterprise-wide cybersecurity programs: “Our growing digital services, combined with our major broadcast, news and sports operations, demand advanced approaches to cybersecurity. This is one of the fastest moving areas to keep up with. We employ a range of innovative techniques both in-house and with partners to ensure that we’re protecting our business –  everything from the use of drone technology through to the adoption of bug-bounty programs where we reward teams and individuals for highlighting vulnerabilities.”

Later in the discussion, Paul highlighted the importance of data to the future of 21CF and the industry. “As we continue to rethink the integration of new technology into our operations, data will clearly be a critical component in strengthening our relationship with audiences around the world, empowering our creative teams in everything from the way that we instrument our business through to the products, services and content that we deliver to consumers.”

Paul credited 21CF’s success in driving the innovation and implementation of new technologies to a diverse team of professionals around the world. “From our creative teams and on-air talent, through to our commercial, engineering and operational teams, the longstanding tradition of teamwork among our colleagues paired with their eagerness to push our industry forward make 21CF the most exciting place to be a technologist today.”