Wednesday, February 6, 2008, 10:30 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Last week's NATPE conference brought numerous opportunities for attendees to learn about broadband and digital media. Based on the Q&A I heard, plus the hallway chatter, there is intense interest - especially from independent producers - about how to take advantage of the rapidly changing video landscape. Today I want to spend a few minutes reviewing some of what I learned at the conference.
A big chunk of my time was spent hosting a day-long Digital Briefing track, during which 10 companies presented for 30 minutes each, back-to-back throughout the day. The companies that presented were:Leichtman Research Group, Joost, SpotStock.com, Broadband Enterprises, Livid Media, Vuze, Enticent, Teletrax, PermissionTV and Digital Fountain.
These companies offered a highly diverse range of products, services and solutions, all aimed at growing the broadband video industry. Joost, Vuze and Broadband Enterprises in particular drew lots of audience questions, focused on distribution and monetization, 2 key items for indie broadband producers. Similarly PermissionTV received lot of interest for how it can help large and small content providers build out their broadband presence. And Digital Fountain's demos of its high-quality video distribution network garnered a lot of attention (btw, it's soliciting participants for its beta trial here).
The other companies also showed valuable products and services: Livid Media demonstrated its personality-based content and Enticent its loyalty programs. SpotStock premiered its new digital stock footage library aimed at helping indie producers quickly and legitimately gain access valuable resources. And Teletrax explained how its watermarking technology helps broadcasters secure and track their digital streams. Last but not least, Bruce Leichtman of Leichtman Research demystified what's really happening with consumer behavior changes based on his firm's extensive market research.
Outside of the Digital Briefings day, the advertising-related sessions provided lots of needed information to attendees about how monetization is unfolding for broadband delivery. I've already written about Shelly Lazarus branded entertainment speech. Tim Armstrong, head of sales at Google provided insights on how the company is approaching YouTube monetization. Another session elicited reactions from big-time brand marketers about issues with pre-rolls and explored alternatives. And as I previously wrote, NBCU's Jeff Zucker delivered a candid wake-up call to the industry about challenges ahead. Even as someone who follows this stuff pretty closely, I thought there was a lot of new info and perspectives being shared.
All in all, these sessions all served as another reminder to me about how broadband video is becoming a vibrant part of the overall economy. There is so much entrepreneurial energy going into developing all the pieces of the overall broadband ecosystem. A consistent theme I heard at NATPE was that people recognize broadband is challenging incumbent media distribution, but it is also expanding producers' options in unprecedented ways. For me that's the real potential ahead.
If you want to discuss the specifics of any of these, just drop me a line!