Today the global community of media, entertainment and technology professionals and vendors from all facets of the Content Lifecycle are gathered in Las Vegas for the start of NAB Show, the world’s largest convention featuring groundbreaking innovation, industry leaders and powerful solutions that are revolutionizing the creation, management, delivery and monetization of content across all platforms.
This year’s show will guide more than 100,000 attendees through some of the biggest trends facing the industry. One theme threading its way across exhibits, sessions, keynotes and conferences is the power of technology as a tool for storytelling.
While NAB Show continues to focus on the evolution of the distribution side of the business, storytelling is in the spotlight with innovative technologies in the form of new methods of storytelling for film, TV and radio.
“Effectively using technology is critical to creating quality content,” said Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president of Conventions and Business Operations. “NAB Show offers inspiration, training and the very latest tools and technologies to help storytellers step up their game and advance their tradecraft.”
NAB Show attendees will find a range of educational sessions, more than 1,700 exhibitors and technologies that point to the expanded capabilities within OTT, 5G, Next Gen TV, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning and beyond.
AI and machine learning is a topic of several sessions throughout the course of NAB Show including the BEITC and the Next-Generation Media Technologies Conference and Connected Media|IP pavilion.
“We are working with AWS Elemental to spotlight machine-learning applications via a simulation-driven session on Wednesday morning on the Main Stage, and through some interactive displays featured in our Central Lobby,” said Brown.
“On the content-creation end, the media production business is being assisted by AI to sort through many takes of location shooting, as well as quickly finding stock footage and other related content — via facial recognition, for example.”
The convention has added new conferences, pavilions and a streamlined awards programs to connect with those making the decisions in 2018 — broadcasters, editors and post professionals, streamers, gamers and podcasters, among them. One introduction is a conference dedicated to streaming. The Streaming Summit will focus on the culture and dynamics of streaming media.
“Streaming is a burgeoning business and a topic that will be front and center at NAB Show,” said Brown. “We are launching a new Streaming Summit as a forum for education and industry collaboration, and we’re bringing back the Online Video program.”
Christy Tanner of CBS News Digital, will offer an update on the network’s streaming video news service during her Online Video Program keynote.
Other discussions will center around the way technologies such as 5G and its promise of massive bandwidth capability will boost new interactive opportunities.
Podcasting has taken on a bigger role this year. “We have greatly expanded podcasting’s presence at NAB Show with a new conference program, show floor pavilion and recording studio focused on the latest technologies and content strategies to capitalize on the medium’s growing popularity and potential,” said Brown.
This year marks the first NAB Show since the formal adoption of two key standards: the Next Gen TV broadcast standard and the standardization of IP processing protocol. The first is designed to open the door to improved over-the-air broadcast TV offerings; the second offers a common data-center infrastructure to help cut down on bottlenecks within a facility.
Now that Next Gen TV (also known as ATSC 3.0) is cleared for takeoff, ATSC President Mark Richer expects this year’s NAB Show to offer a broad assortment of solutions for broadcasters making plans to deploy it. “We expect products from a variety of companies for various aspects and applications of the ATSC 3.0 ecosystem,” he said, pointing to upcoming demos of ATSC-enabled options such as emergency alerting and interactive capabilities. The technology is already at work in the real world. Station WRAL-TV, NBC Universal and the NAB partnered to broadcast the 2018 Winter Olympic Games from South Korea using Next Gen TV.
Attendees also can expect discussions and deliberations that revolve around ways to embrace the revenue side of business.
“Finding new ways to monetize content is always top of mind for attendees and a great return on investment for those attending the show. This year we’re addressing advanced advertising with a show floor and conference component — the Advanced Advertising Pavilion and Ad Innovations Conference among other offerings,” said Brown.
As NAB Show ramps up the content, exhibitions and networking in the area of monetization, conversations inevitably move to the power of big data. Sessions across the show floor will explore just how thoroughly today’s content media business is being affected by the analytics and insights built on that data.
This year there are additional educational opportunities on the show floor, such as the two new Destination NXT Theaters located in the North and South Upper Halls that take a look at new methods of distribution, delivery, commerce and technological advances.
One tradition of NAB Show is still present — the recognition of industry excellence. Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” will be presented with the NAB Distinguished Service Award during the NAB Show Opening.
NAB shuffled its TV, Radio and Technology Luncheons into two new events. The first is the NAB Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner tonight during which nationally-syndicated radio personality Elvis Duran and two of America’s most popular game shows, “Wheel of Fortune” and “JEOPARDY!,” will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Roger Keating will receive the NAB Digital Leadership Award.
The second event is the “We are Broadcasters Celebration” Tuesday on the Main Stage. Tom Jones, Mark Aitken and Clay Freinwald will receive Engineering Achievement Awards. The NAB Crystal Heritage Award and Crystal Radio Awards for radio station year-round community service will be announced. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will participate in the event. The evening concludes with a live performance by 2016 ACM New Group of the Year, country music band Old Dominion, sponsored by Beasley Media Group.