If I’ve learned anything from observing the media industry over recent years, it’s that ideas come and go – and fast.
I’ve talked quite a bit about some of the big trends making waves in the industry today – programmatic advertising, social media, mobile initiatives, cloud and big data – but it’s important to keep an eye out for the “next big thing” ready to shape tomorrow’s headlines.
What follows are 5 ideas I think have this potential. I’ll be watching these projects with interest in the months to come – and you may want to do the same.
1 BBC Envisions IP Future
Leaders in BBC’s research and development team recently did a fascinating interview with Broadcast Tech on how to personalize the TV experience with internet protocol (IP) technology.
In the article, Jon Page, BBC R&D head of operations, describes IP’s ability to create “immersive, pervasive experiences that get into every nook and cranny of your life” – in a good way!
They’re talking about things like TV screens that deliver multiple pieces of content tailored to individual viewers (so families can watch different shows, together); augmented reality that turns event coverage into a 360-degree experience overlayed with user-generated content; TV programs that automatically adjust to the length of time viewers have to watch.
It’s all very cool, somewhat futuristic – and still in the incubation stage. But the BBC has an IP Studio dedicated to testing out this all-IP production, delivery and consumption model. The approach could prove to be a gamechanger in broadcast entertainment.
2 Programming TV + Digital Ads
The American-based broadcasting group Nexstar is taking a fresh crack at the programmatic game with something called Digital Mirror. It’s touted as the “first integrated linear television and digital programmatic video advertising technology” – a mouthful that boils down to the ability to broadcast on-air and digital video ads at the same time to targeted audiences.
The technology taps into viewers’ location-based data to serve up ads relevant to designated market areas on desktops, laptops and mobile devices. At the same time, ads are synchronized with on-air versions, providing a simultaneous, multi-screen solution.
It will be interesting to see how this technology performs. As the Financial Times recently reported, more digital news start-ups (entities like BuzzFeed) are investing in TV, which is still more profitable than the online ad space. The Digital Mirror model may be a no-brainer for these types of companies.
3 Billboards and Payments
This next one really caught my attention: A U.S.-based billboard company, Outfront Media, has made a strategic investment in a digital payment systems startup. That’s right: A billboard company has invested in a payment service.
Outfront, which also sells advertising in transit centers, on buses and the like, sees the next-gen mobile payment as a natural place to advertise, so they’re getting into the transit payment game now to stay ahead of the curve.
The idea seems to make sense – and it’s a neat example of a changing media ecosystem that embraces ideas and technologies across industries.
4 VR Takes Flight
You know I’m a fan of virtual reality and its potential uses in media, and I’m pleased to see companies taking up the case. In particular, Sky has launched a big commitment to VR, promising to bring 20 films across a range of topics to market in the next year.
The European entertainment company has set up the Sky VR Studio to fulfill this mission. The first bits of content (filmed during Formula 1 testing in Barcelona) are available now. Pop on your headset and give them a ride!
5 Budding Beacons
Beacons – those Bluetooth-enabled gadgets that can transmit data to mobile devices – have been on the horizon for a while now and seem to be coming into focus.
The American-Chinese startup Sensoro recently installed 110,000 beacons across China in places like movie theaters, airports, stores, tourist sites, universities, high-speed trains and, oddly, 1,500 Pizza Hut restaurants. The idea is to gather data on customers while sending out personalized, on-location discounts, advertising and content.
It seems promising: A pilot with a Chinese jewelry store chain yielded a customer conversion rate of 63 percent.
What breakthrough technologies do you see on the horizon? How does your company stay on top of the changes?
As always, I welcome your input on how to approach changes and challenges in media. If you think I’ve misread a situation or trend, let me know. If you have a new way of thinking about the topics we discuss, pass it on. I want to engage with all of you in this space as together we make sense of today’s media industry.
Scott Dryburgh joined CSC in 2015 as the Industry Lead for Media with responsibility for UK projects in broadcast, publishing, advertising and entertainment. Prior to joining CSC, he worked across a broad range of clients and was responsible for transforming multi-faceted businesses using a creative and entrepreneurial approach.