Paramount CFO: We’re Already Using AI for Content Localization

Paramount Chief Financial Officer Naveen Chopra revealed Thursday that Paramount Global is leveraging artificial intelligence for content localization, which has produced “very, very compelling economics.”

Content localization is the process of creating (or translating) specialized content for a specific region or international country.

Chopra’s comment comes as the Writers Guild of America is on strike for the first time since November 2007 after the group was unable to reach a deal in contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers before Monday’s contract expiration. Picketing began in New York City and Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The strike involves a long list of concerns that the writers want Hollywood studios to address, from the low pay involved in writing streaming series to reining in “mini-rooms” used to skirt contractual pay practices to addressing the use of artificial intelligence.

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“While the writers’ strike may cause some disruption, we are confident in our ability to manage through it,” Paramount CEO Bob Bakish told analysts on Thursday’s call. “Given the many levers we have to pull, we will continue to deploy content across platforms in an efficient way from theatrical movies that create revenue at the box office then move to Paramount+ to CBS entertainment, news and sports content which drives massive reach and engagement in broadcast and in streaming and more.”

Bakish emphasized that the company has “a lot of content in the can,” as well as a broad range of unscripted and reality programming and sports which will be unaffected by the strike. Additionally, Paramount will leverage offshore production and its large library of content to fill its programming schedule, Bakish said.

He noted that “consumers really won’t notice anything for a while” with the exception of late-night programming. Though the financial impact “ultimately depends on duration of strike,” Bakish said the company is expecting it to be “slightly dilutive to revenue” while lowering its cash spending.

“Writers are an essential part of creating content that our audiences enjoy really across platforms and we hope we can come to a resolution that works for everyone fairly quickly,” he added.

For all of TheWrap’s WGA strike coverage, click here.

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Paramount CEO Bob Bakish Expects ‘Some Disruption’ From Hollywood Writers’ Strike