Austin City Limits Relies on Dell to Enter the New Media Era

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Watching Dell establish our strongest-ever end-to-end solutions made something click for Ed Bailey, the vice president of brand development for Austin City Limits, the longest running music series in American television history. It was in watching our growth and development that Ed realized Dell was a company he wanted to partner with.

“I want next to our brand, companies who do more than just write a check,” he told Dell employees when recently speaking at our main campus. “I want smart partners who can help move things forward.”

Ed Bailey, the vice president of brand development for Austin City Limits and Bryan Jones, vice president of Dell’s Americas Commercial Marketing speaking on stage

Bailey has seen that partnership amped up (pun intended) with the end-to-end solutions we provide Austin City Limits — from the Venue 11 Pro tablet that Bailey mentions in this video gives him everything his desktop does no matter where he is, to the Precision mobile workstation the director uses for rough-cuts of episodes, to upgraded monitors in the show’s control room, and to the servers and storage that are helping them digitize their amazing archive of 41 years of music history.

Working with ACL is an opportunity Bryan Jones, vice president of Dell’s Americas Commercial Marketing team, relishes.

“This is something I’m very personally invested in,” Jones said when talking about how he watched the show as a kid. “When I moved to Austin a number of years ago, I wanted to find the stage because it looked like it was outside. I used to think, man these Austin people must be tough because the shows are taped when it’s really hot and they don’t even seem to be sweating!”

While Austin people do know how to handle the heat, that famous stage was originally housed in a small studio on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. I count myself lucky to have seen a couple of shows there before they moved to the current studio. Gone is the original plywood, fake trees and Christmas light backdrop, which has been replaced with the newer, expanded Austin skyline. And with the advent of high-definition television, and in part thanks to an interesting moment during an Arcade Fire taping, even the fake trees that led Jones to think the show was outside are gone

“ACL has been on the air 41 years and we’ve gone through a lot of transition technology-speaking. It’s amazing how fast things look old in this business,” Bailey noted. “This era has been incredible for us. The entire music industry as we know it has transformed and the media industry, particularly television, is going through massive change.”

The television show remains the way most people get to see ACL performances, but Dell has also stepped forward to help ACL figure out how to bring the live experience of an ACL taping to a world-wide audience via webcast, letting people see the entire taping end-to-end versus the curated version that’s broadcast via local Public Broadcasting Stations.

You can hear Bailey discuss the impact upgrading their technology and live streaming shows has had in this video:

And, as we make plans for Dell World 2015, happening this October 20-22, watch this space for more exciting developments. I can’t say what exactly, yet, but I will say that Bailey was very impressed with what we did during SXSW 2015. His words about it were:

"When you guys suit up, you really suit up!"

 

Top photo courtesy of my Dell teammate at Gretchen G. Photography.

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One thought on “Austin City Limits Relies on Dell to Enter the New Media Era

  1. I'm really happy to hear about good partnerships like Dell and ACL it makes handling business on the computer internet seem worth it. Thank you.

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