As you know, the our Film Live team are currently covering the National Association of Broadcasters show, currently taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The biggest technology and media show in the world showcases all the latest announcements from all the major players in the industry – so far, the Film Live channel have produced content about releases from Livestream, RED, Blackmagic Design and Sony. But it was the focus that what was afforded to the future of content crafted for an online audience that was a first for the event – for the first time, NewTek’s Broadcast Minds discussion was afforded primetime space as a featured NAB event, showing that NAB is realising just how important it is that content creation is discussed from a platform where everyone can take note.
Thanks to the combination of technology and a decent broadband speed, I was able to enjoy Broadcast Minds from the comfort of my armchair here at home in Birmingham, UK, live as it happened. Although I didn’t get to meet Tom Green (although Ben brushed shoulders with him as you can see) – I did get to enjoy the show from the comfort of my own home, one of the many advantages of live streaming.
The discussion was moderated by Jim Louderback, CEO of the Internet TV network Revision 3. Magician Penn Jillette, MTV star and content creator Tom Green, Bruce Gersch of Fishbowl Worldwide Media and Shira Lazar of ‘What’s Trending‘. The focus of the discussion was based very much around the concept of ownership from the perspective of content creators, with the panelists arguing that Internet Television broadcasting has been brought closer to all as a result of falling prices of live production switchers and other production equipment needed to broadcast content online and of course, greater access to the Internet. Film Live revealed some important announcements from Livestream, who announced a whole line of affordable devices at NAB, and NewTek’s TriCaster 40 is its budget option for content creators.
The panel addressed the concept of freedom and ownership. Certainly, Internet Television allows one to escape the bonds placed upon them by traditional media platforms. Content can be viewed any time, any where, across multiple devices. As the panel noted, the days of waiting in for a show to start are well and truly over as people are now able to access their content whenever they want. Interestingly, and something I’d be inclined to agree with, Bruce Gersch argued that screen size was not important for accessing content online – however it is still relevant for certain forms of media, such as movies and sporting events. Certainly, one can imagine a thirst for a high quality viewing experience when watching the latest blockbuster or perhaps Game of Thrones. But with regards to online content, the main focus must always be around quality and interaction. More and more people are watching their content on tablets and mobile phones (40% of What’s Trending viewers consume the content on a mobile) – clearly, screen size is not a priority, finding content that one wants to watch, on their own terms, is the hunger which must be satisfied by content creators.
I was pleased to see the panel note the importance of watching TV via the internet, at home. When this becomes mainstream, (and all evidence points to this being the case), there will be no difference between accessing traditional media with internet content. This is what will ultimately bring Internet TV to everyone – even those who are perhaps older and not interested in watching programmes on mobile devices, and remain committed to their home TV and armchair. When Internet TV is mainstreamed, this group will also be confronted with a hole host of Internet TV options to explore. And it is then, in my opinion, when Internet Television networks and individual internet programming will truly explode.
The panel noted the hunger people today have for getting what they want – precisely when they want it. The concept of delayed gratification, according to Penn, is becoming obsolete as Internet TV production allows people to be entertained immediately. It is clear that it our new digital age the viewer truly is king, and content creators (and advertisers) should ignore this at their peril. And according to Tom Green, people are going to be given even more choice regarding their viewing options. He predicted that soon, bands will have their own channels, and content will become increasingly niche and specialised. This means that no matter what your interest is, the chances are highly likely that somewhere out there, a content creator or network will be producing content to satisfy that interest.
NAB’s product announcements that focus around streaming live and internet television production bring us ever closer to the Internet TV phenomenon becoming mainstreamed within all households, certainly within fortunate nations who have access to quality internet connections and relevant equipment. Looking forward to IBC 2013, it will be interesting to see if they concentrate their focus on the importance of content creation.
Prior to the Broadcast Minds event, Film Live caught up with Carter Holland of NewTek, who give us a little insight into his views on the future of Internet TV. You can check out the content here.
The NAB show will run until Thursday 11th April. Please keep up to date with all the action by following Film Live on Twitter.