NATPE 2014: The Can’t-Miss and Must-Attend List

/ Jan 26, 2014

NATPE Logo

Are you attending NATPE? If you’re not, shame. If you are, then cool, read on!

On the eve of one of the most important gatherings of the People That Matter in the television and online video ecosystem, it’s as good a time as any to offer a preview of what’s to come across three days at the Fontainebleau Hotel in sunny Miami. What follows is a VideoInk-curated list of which sessions to attend if you, like us, are heavily interested in the current and future state of the online video industry. There are more than 50 sessions every day, across several themed tracks — so sit back, and allow us to tell you which ones to go to.

Some of these sessions will overlap, at which point, dear reader, it’s up to you to determine which one matters more. We’re not mind-readers here!

One of the tracks, “Access to Insight,” are more intimate sessions that require advanced sign-up.

Day 1

NATPE plans to start off with a bang, so should you: Erin McPherson, NATPE board member and freshly minted chief content officer of Maker Studios will lead a panel discussion on how people will watch TV in the future. Joined by the likes of Aereo chief commercial officer Alex Mouelle-Berteaux and Defy Media’s Jordan Levin (who also chairs the NATPE board), this panel will feature some very smart people who are currently knee-deep in the long, arduous path to revolutionizing TV. Who better to talk about the future of TV than the ones most actively trying to disrupt it?

  • Track: Platforms Accelerated
  • Time: 10:00am

It’s time you start paying attention to “content marketing”: If you’ve been following the online video space like we have, you’ll know that brands are increasingly looking to create content of their own, instead of slapping a pre-roll in front of someone else’s video and calling it a day. It’s just one example of this new and growing world of “content marketing,” where brands act more as creators and producers of content than just sponsors. Hear Universal McCann global chief content officer Scott Donaton’s sermon on the “10 Commandments of Content” in the social and digital age.

  • Track: Access to Insight
  • Time: 10:15am

And now for some self-promotion: VideoInk editorial director Sahil Patel will be moderating a panel called “Television Everywhere: How Will Profits Grow as Screens Diversify?” With speakers such as Jonathan Carson from VEVO and Frans Vermeulen from FreeWheel sitting in, this will be an illuminating discussion for anyone in the industry who’s wondering about how to monetize their content as consumers increasingly watch premium programming on multiple screens — which is to say: everyone. This session is important for everyone.

  • Track: Platforms Accelerated
  • Time: 12:00pm

What is Endemol North America up to?: Earlier this year, international production company Endemol (“Big Brother,” “Wipeout”) made a $40 million investment in Endemol Beyond, its digital arm, and hired former Maker Studios exec Will Keenan to oversee Endemol Beyond’s US business. So if NATPE is devoting an entire session for Endemol North America co-CEOs Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin to talk about their company’s future in “scripted, non-scripted, and digital programming,” you better believe we’re telling you to attend.

  • Track: Game Changers
  • Time: 2:00pm

Oh yeah, YouTube will be a major point of discussion: This panel session dives deeper into creating content and distributing it on YouTube — especially if you’re hope is to make a business out of that. The panel will cover topics such as strategies to distribute on and off YouTube; if there are legitimate alternative platforms with greater revenue opportunities; and how much social sharing factors into success on the world’s biggest video site. Panelists will include Erin McPherson, chief content officer at Maker Studios, Alex Carloss, head of entertainment at YouTube, and Drew Buckley, COO and head of digital at Electus. Considering the topics in this panel are also issues we’ve covered extensively at VideoInk, this panel is one you don’t want to miss.

  • Track: Game Changers
  • Time: 2:45pm

A conversation on consolidation, from those who are doing all the consolidating: With panelists like Chris Williams of the Blip-buying Maker Studios, Sean Atkins of the Revision3- and DeFranco Creative-owning Discovery Communications, Brett Bouttier of the DreamWorks-acquired Awesomeness TV, and Matt Diamond, CEO of the newly formed Defy Media, the people talking about consolidation are the ones who actively dealt with the issue the most in the past year. How will all of these deals affect content owners, creators, and advertisers? This discussion will tackle it all.

  • Track: Game Changers
  • Time: 3:45pm

It’s party time: The NATPE Opening Night Party, maybe the best to network (and have a little fun with everyone you want to). The soiree will take place from 6-8pm, Monday night, by the pools at the Fontainebleau.

Day 2

Not completely relevant, but: Listen, it’s not often you’re going to be able to listen to two of the most prolific creative minds in comedy/television. So a special session with James L. Brooks (“The Simpsons”) and Phil Rosenthal (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) talking about their careers and the entertainment industry at-large, should definitely be an interesting one. Brooks and Rosenthal might not be big names in online video, but the lessons they’ve learned in entertainment will apply to all, regardless of which platform you’re creating content for.

  • Track: Storytellers Who Changed Pop Culture
  • Time: 9:45am

Fine, you win, here’s something relevant: AwesomenessTV COO Brett Bouttier will do a presentation on his company, how its “creating snackable, shareable content for the first generation that isn’t discovering new content on traditional TV.” AwesomenessTV was one of the most talked-about stories in 2013, here’s your chance to find out why.

  • Track: Access to Insight
  • Time: 10:00am

This branded content thing is a big deal, and it has the potential to be even more: “Are brands ready to finally see themselves as publishers or even possibly studios?” That’s the question posed by the description for this channel, which will be moderated by one of the top-most brand experts at CAA, David Freeman. With the rise of digital, the convergence of Madison Avenue and Hollywood feels almost inevitable. However, the speed and success at which it happens will be determined by the likes of people in this panel, which features executives from Hulu, Chipotle, Defy Media, and Believe Entertainment Group.

  • Track: Masters of Marketing
  • Time: 11:15am

It’s a Shira Lazar sighting: Shira Lazar of “What’s Trending” chats with filmmaker Jon M. Chu, who has helmed projects for the biggest screen, as well as the newest one. He will share his thoughts on the future of the entertainment industry.

  • Track: Storytellers Who Changed Pop Culture
  • Time: 11:45am

YouTube creators will be here, too: Grace Helbig, who has had an interesting month to say the least, will sit down with Jordan Levin, Defy Media executive and NATPE board chair, and Brian Robbins, CEO and founder of AwesomenessTV, to discuss the opportunities and challenges in creating digital content.

  • Track: Storytellers Who Changed Pop Culture
  • Time: 4:00pm
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