Content Is King, But Data Is Heir to the Throne

The current rapid pace of content creators transforming or expanding their respective online content menus will be explored from numerous angles at the Online Video Conference today and Tuesday.

Case in point: CBS is among a growing list of major media players dramatically evolving its traditional core linear product into an expanding digital video dynamo before our eyes (literally) — while continuing to create its own premium news and entertainment content earmarked for multiple online platforms including news and entertainment apps, 24/7 all-news CBSN and its new Hollywood-centric subscription service, CBS All Access.

CBS Chief Digital Officer Jim Lanzone, a key architect of the network’s digital evolution, will share his insights as today’s keynoter at 10:30 a.m.

“One of the trends which I’ve been following closely is mobile video,” said conference moderator Will Richmond, editor/publisher of VideoNuze. “With the advent of unlimited data plans, the proliferation of mobile-first platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, and the vast changes in consumer behavior, mobile video is poised for huge growth going forward. We’ll explore these catalysts and who the likely winners will be.”

“The Mobile and App-Driven Video Revolution Is Here,” Richmond’s session today at 2:20 p.m., includes Himesh Bhise of Synacor, Joe Fiveash of Raycom Media, Jason Flick of You.i TV and Ralf Jacob of Verizon.

Braxton Jarratt, general manager of IBM Video Cloud Services, said in addition to generating popular content, the ability for companies to extract valuable insight about consumer-viewing behavior has become a major competitive differentiator. “We’ve said for years that content is king. But as the industry evolves, it’s clear that data is heir to the throne. With the proliferation of streaming services on the market today, providers must utilize every competitive edge available to them.”

Jarratt said advanced analytics and new cognitive technologies can offer insights into exactly who is watching what content.

“This information enables service providers to make more informed content-acquisition and marketing decisions, and ultimately, it helps the industry deliver a more personalized experience for viewers.”

Jarratt will be a panelist during the session “When Video Is King, Data Rules: How Analytics Puts Companies Ahead of Competitors,” joined by Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek of Global Marketing Weather Co., Ben McLean of NBC Universal and moderator Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

On Tuesday, the conference keynoter will be Michael Paull, formerly of Amazon and now CEO of BAMTech. The company is a video streaming venture originally created by Major League Baseball. Tuesday sessions also will target online advertising and video innovations.

Virtual reality and immersive media continue to grow — not only as a form of entertainment, but as tools to inspire and help sell brands and products, according to Marcie Jastrow, senior vice president of immersive media at Technicolor. “In order to drive adoption, there first needs to be a ‘breakthrough’ piece of content or technology that engages a broad range of users, followed by a reason for these users to come back ‘into’ the [VR] headset.

“Content creators, distributors and device manufacturers need to work together to address the ‘pain points’ in every step of this rapidly expanding ecosystem,” said Jastrow, a panelist in Monday’s session “Making Virtual Reality a Reality,” with Alexandre Jenny of GoPro, Julina Tatlock of 30 Ninjas, Serge Kassardjian of Google and moderator Paul Heitlinger of Verizon Ventures.

Avi Cohen, COO/GM at LiveU Americas, thinks another online venue — live streaming — has suddenly exploded, with social media such as Facebook Live becoming the new destination for live video content.

“In the next five years, only broadcasters who have a robust live online streaming component to their programming will still be around. Currently both non-live streaming venues such as Netflix and traditional linear broadcasters are seeking how to incorporate ‘live’ into their content mix,” said Cohen, who will take part in “The Future of Live Streaming” with John Petrocelli of Bulldog Digital Media, Jesse Hertzberg of Livestream and moderator Mike Chapman of Accenture Strategy.