Overheard at CES 2014

/ Jan 11, 2014


Now that the 2014 International CES is over and done with, let’s do a quick post-mortem on what various people in our industry, from content creators to executives, were paying attention to during the week. Because if you want an idea of what’s in the cards for the online video industry, there’s no better way to crowd-source that than by listening to people when the entire industry congregates for a week in Las Vegas.

Television Technology

Patrick Norton, Revision3’s Tekzilla:

“Samsung and other companies are bringing 4K to the people… 3D didn’t work as well because there was no content… The YouTube people are getting into [4K]… I want to see ‘House of Cards’ in 4K.”

Mark Watson, YouTuber:

“4K technology is coming down to the consumer level. After this year’s CES, I will probably try to get one [4K TV] in my home.”

Lamarr Wilson, YouTuber:

“4K is just the biggest thing right now. I wasn’t excited until I saw the camera [Sony 4K camera] that costs about as much as the one I bought.”

Shaquille O’Neal:

“I saw there a TV that bends…it’s nice”

Creating & Distributing Content

Werner Brell, Red Bull Media House:

“It’s imperative that we deliver the highest quality, most premium experience. All of our current productions are shot in 4K. You want to give the consumer the best experience for the screen size he chooses. If he chooses mobile, 4K is not as necessary, but you still want to make sure you offer the best available experience.”

Rob Hayes, NBC Entertainment:

“We are creating more content that can live beyond the 30-60 minutes you watch on TV screen. This past year, we aggressively embraced YouTube from a promotional perspective. In September, we were the fourth largest network on YouTube — measured by unique users per month. On YouTube, it’s mostly short form or derivative content, not full episodes. There is a huge appetite for users to engage with our content there. It’s also content that can travel, and something which fans and communities can rally around.”

Manish Jha, NFL:

“In a mobile context, you have very sophisticated and powerful devices which are capable of processing HD video. The combination of all these — the processing power — gives us an unprecedented ability to present quality. We’re seeing multiples of 100% growth in mobile video consumption year-over-year.”

Jake Katz, Revolt TV:

“We think of TV as just content. TV no longer describes the screen because it’s consumed across so many different screens. For us, how does our content experience have value across screens? How is the social experience beneficial to the content you’re consuming?”

Charlotte Koh, Hulu:

“I think the reality of it is, choice is good, but not too much choice. The great thing about data is that it narrows the options. It gives you the menu that fits what you want.”

Lewis Hilsenteger:

[On YouTube]: “As much as it’s about production value and creating fancy looking videos, there’s also the personality you bring into it”

Nick Cannon:

“Millennials create their own content.”

The Future of Content

Werner Brell:

“I believe more and more content providers will shift to a system of tile-based content delivery — an app-based TV economy. I think building the brand of your network is increasingly more important, and ensuring that the consumer understands what the brand stands for. Otherwise how you’re going to build an audience?”

Jake Katz:

“TV is due for an update in terms of being more real time, more agile, and more able to react. Development cycles on TV are often six months or longer. A lot of our programming is real time. In some cases it can be as quick as three hours — something happens and later that day we produce a piece of content for TV.”

Freddie Wong, YouTuber:

“The question is, if you want to do a level of content that requires a little more production, that requires a little more budget, where does that live and how do you support yourself on it? Because the advertising side of it is not quite there yet on the online side. So it’ll be interesting to see, because I think that’s [online video] kind of where the future is, that’s where a lot of interesting things are happening.”

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