Jan 17, 2019
Industry leaders share how multi-platform expansion, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars will define the next era of entertainment.
This year’s Consumer Electronics Show offered a peek into a content-consuming future that’s customized, over-the-top, and on-the-go.
The disruption of the traditional television industry—spurred by OTT and SVOD services, reach and measurement challenges, and even Smart TVs—is leading companies to find new ways to turn challenges into opportunities. This has led CES, which was once mainly a gadget-ogling occasion, to become a venue for television industry insiders to showcase their positivity and ambition.
Based on comments on- and off-stage during the conference, here are the major trends ahead in the world of content according to experts.
"One of our greatest challenges and opportunities is to meet consumers wherever they are."
“One of our greatest challenges and opportunities is to meet consumers wherever they are,” said Tom Gorke, Viacom’s EVP of content distribution sales and business development, when describing the increased fragmentation among television audiences at Variety’s Entertainment Summit.
“Our objective is to be on as many of these platforms in a material, meaningful, and smart way so that we can reach the consumer who wants to enjoy the content that we have provided,” echoed Mark Garner, A+E Networks’ EVP of business development, distribution, and digital content licensing.
Networks and OTT providers are also rethinking traditional content formats. According to Colby Smith, SVP of content and partnerships at ABC News, the company’s 24/7 streaming channel ABC News Live is rethinking the elements of its newscast. “Content might be UGC [user-generated content], professional feeds from our radio producers, content from another streaming platform, even a look into the newsroom Slack channel,” Smith explained. "These are experiences you just don't see on TV."
"The last vestige of video-free consumption is the automobile."
Carmakers at CES debuted multiple autonomous vehicles equipped with new features, including bigger, better, and more immersive screens. If the hype is any indication, car commuters will soon replace their hours behind a steering wheel with hours behind a screen.
“The last vestige of video-free consumption is the automobile,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish during a keynote conversation at Variety’s Entertainment Summit.
Among the models on display was a BMW X5 SUV, the result of a partnership between Intel and Warner Bros., that offers a 270-degree immersive theater experience with lights, audio, and haptic feedback.