Steve Sharman, director of Hackthorn Innovation, is interviewed by director of APEX Media Maryann Simson for APEX Insider

Image: Stephanie Taylor

In this episode of APEX Insider, the director of Hackthorn Innovation, Steve Sharman, discusses the need for the content delivery industry to be industrialized, while still managing to keep the personal touch it’s known for.

Steve Sharman, director of Hackthorn Innovation, has spent his career dealing predominantly with set-top boxes and TVs, but he sees more similarities than differences when it comes to content delivery on the ground versus in the air.

Just as traditional entertainment companies are having to package their content for different devices and platforms, content service providers for airlines have to cater to numerous types of in-flight entertainment hardware and airline requirements. “The only way we can start to solve those problems is through automation,” Sharman explained.

The other big issue he identifies is the questions of who owns the viewer’s data. He pondered, “There’s an element of the consumer experience as well. If I’m getting on an [airplane], do I want to log into the airline portal and register my data to be able to access content, or would I prefer to log onto ‘Airline Tunes’ – is there a place for a body that’s going to manage identity and share data across the industry?”

While no one quite has the answer to these challenges yet, Sharman said he believes whoever does come up with a solution “will make a great deal of money.”

APEX Insider is made possible by the support of Global Eagle.