#TVe Was ON at the 2015 Media Summit New York
How does one encapsulate the entirety of the 2015 Media Summit NY…the stuff of multiple panels featuring some of the most impressive leaders of web, TV, VOD and technology, each offering their experience and expertise on the present and future of media and entertainment? With a tweet, of course. The assembled executives from every possible segment of the industry — content owners, networks, magazines, websites, publishers, start-ups, analytics firms, mobile developers — they all brought their “A” game and sharp insight to the event, making for lively conversation. My final tweet of the first day of the conference, as it turns out, tied together both days and summarized it all in less than 140 characters. From @GiantInfo (follow us on Twitter, if you haven’t already)… “It’s a great time to be in video.” I think that the offhand remark I heard at the Cable, TV and Broadband panel packs a powerful, and truthful message. Digital distribution has unlocked the dilemma of distribution for so many, whether they may be niche online channels delivered by an Overlook.tv, or are 5000 new voices delivered via Stylehaul and Tastemade on YouTube. Entire new business have been and are being built… Digital distribution has also brought choice to audiences as well. Once upon a time, there used to be just a handful of television stations in each major market (7 where I grew up in Los Angeles), which then grew to hundreds with cable TV in the ’90s and the ’00s. Now there are thousands of channels delivering content to every niche, interest and obsession…almost to the personal level…to any device a consumer may want to use, with more to come. “Consumers deserve the ability to watch our content on whatever device they want”, noted @bskyb’s Hilary Perchand on one panel, illustrating how companies are adjusting to new audience expectations. The expansion of choice has allowed a greater democratization of content — more voices producing unique video means more, and different, audiences seeking…and finding…a connection, a common ground. But what is also interesting to note, this trend has also enpowered brands to take a greater role in developing and communicating their message. Redbull is a great example of a company which as effectively and extensively used self-produced content to engage, inform and inspire their fan base of young(er) males. OTT channels like Amazon and Netflix have jumped into the original content business as a way to create “stickier audiences”, noted one panelist, creating must see programming like Orange Is The New Black and Bosch. Others would likely follow suit, since exclusivity begets loyalty. “More content, more partnerships between MVPDs and OTT leaders.” With Sling leading the way for MVPDs into the online video distribution space, there was general consensus that more would follow. In fact, many attendees thought multi-channel video program distributors would have to follow for reasons of competition and audience behavior shifts by the newest video consumers, Millennials. As a group, millennials under-index for cable subscription, home ownership and movie theater attendance. Alternately, they tend to over-index on YouTube use, social sharing and online video patronage. As our own Millennial blog contributor pointed out in Giant’s last blog post, their lives are geared toward more choice, more flexibility and different content than previous “televised” generations. Case in point: The most popular channel on Roku, by minutes watched? YouTube. #TVe, TV Everywhere. Though it isn’t there quite yet, TV will be everywhere. Traditional networks will expand into online video and and alternate ecosystems such as Roku. We can already see this happening. Magazine publishers, and their new video publishing businesses, will push to join the traditional channel universe. Again, we can already see this happening. Video consumption will no longer be an activity relegated to the living room and the television set, but one which is enjoyed without limits of location, time or content. For attendees of the Media Summit NY, those who are creating the #TVe-powered future, these trends were the subject of two days of inspiring, stimulating discussion. For everyone else, that future is just ahead, at the intersection of what you want and where you want. Think about how YOU consume video now and how different that is compared to just 5 years ago. The habits of the last century have metamorphosed into something new and different, and, dare I say, BETTER. For those in the video business (and these days, who isn’t?), it is…it will be a great time to be in video.