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CES recap: News & trends gesignaleerd door onze USA Reporter Marjan Inbar-Blumberg
Van 5 tot 8 januari waren Dutch Media Innovators (een consortium Nederlandse bedrijven die samenwerken om business in de USA te genereren) aanwezig op de CES om nieuwe inzichten op te doen, hun internationale netwerk uit te breiden en geïnspireerd te raken door de laatste ontwikkelingen. Marjan Inbar-Blumberg is onze reporter in de USA voor de Dutch Media Innovators. Ze heeft veel sessies bezocht tijdens de CES en deelt hieronder de nieuwtjes en trends die haar opvielen op het gebied van media & entertainment.
VR was everywhere
Just as in 2016, VR was everywhere. Samsung revealed it sold 5 million virtual reality headsets. BBC Earth announced a VR partnership with Oculus and debuted its content, also Discovery had a dedicated space to try its VR app. Pretty much all major media brands showed new VR storytelling techniques and Intel demonstrated advances in underlying VR technology. The company held a press event (with 250 Oculus devices) showing the latest volumetric capture, VR live streaming and merged reality. As for live 360 degree video - intel showcased a live basketball game being broadcast from Indianapolis, choosing from multiple points of view as the action moved up and down the court. Also displayed was a game where players got cordless VR headsets as they moved around the room. A 3D scan of the room allows them to substitute real objects in the room by virtual objects.
HTC seems to have been the big winner at CES in terms of VR: unveiling a tracker which turns devises such as baseball bats or toy guns into trackable VR controllers, they also announced they are building a standalone wireless VR headset, a VR subscription service and a content marketplace for VR arcade operators. More here on Intel’s VR visions or a recap on all the VR product highlights in Variety.
Get Ready for Your TV to Disappear: Companies like Samsung, LG and Sony tried again this year to outdo each other with biggest display, most advanced technology and largest amount of pixels but also showed a future in which the TV itself may fade away altogether. At the CES exhibit there were 4K HDR displays everywhere. The highlights:
- Focus on picture quality and devices getting thinner each year (Apple’s latest iPhone is more than twice as thick as LG’s ultra-thin TV set (OLED TV!)
- Popular new approach for TV manufacturers is putting all of the ports, chipsets and everything else necessary to power the TV set in the soundbar.
- Some companies are working on screen-free future: Sony showed an impressive 4K laser projector dubbed the VPL-VZ1000ES (short throw projector - can be placed inches from the projection target), also Hisense showed a more affordable version.
- Smart TV features: LG offers 360 degree video on its webOS TV’s, Samsung added Chromecast-like features, Amazon has its Fire TV platform now directly integrated into TV sets (teaming up with a few budget brands) - Xiaomi experiments with bringing social features to TV sets and will give consumers in China the ability to use their TV’s voice remote to have instant messaging conversations with their friends while watching a game or anything else. Consumers will even be able to send their buddies stickers that pop-up on top of whatever you are watching.
Comcast Technology Solutions introduced a multiplatform, direct-to-consumer platform for content players, and has tapped two vendors - Accedo and You.i TV - as its first duo of user interface/experience partners. According to Comcast this D2C offering will help programmers and other content partners accelerate the building, launch and management of OTT services. Comcast Wholesale and thePlatform recently rolled out theVideoPlatform, a unified system for the distribution of broadcast and digital video to multiple screens that poses competition for companies such as MLB Advanced Media, BAM Tech, Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), NeuLion, Ooyala, Akamai, AMS and IBM among others. More here
Hulu sneaks a Peek at OTT TV services: New Hulu Experience. Hulu just secured a deal with CBS and is in talks to add programming from Hulu part-owner NBC Universal, will launch a slimmed down pay TV service that will cost less than $40 per month, and tie in Hulu’s $8 per month SVOD service and a cloud DVR offering. Hulu’s new service will compete with traditional MVPD offerings as well as other virutal MVPD services such as Sling TV, Sony’s Playstation Vue and AT&T’s recently launched DirecTV Now. More here
T-Mobile’s CEO predicts the Dish Network won’t be Dish anymore by the end of 2017. Dish has struggled this year and lost thousands of satellite TV customers. Two years ago at CES it introduces Sling TV, an internet only TV services that according to some analysts estimate has grown to more than 1 million subscribers. More here
New business models
Linear TV needs new advertising models: while digital disruption of the TV business is eliminating some forms of mass media advertising it is creating new opportunities for programming and one-on-one marketing. Transition is going on from a pure wholesaler to a consumer focused business which offers an opportunity to diversity a network’s business and get closer to the consumer. NBC recently used live ads on a recent braodcast of Hairspray Live! On NBC where there was branded content, picture-in-picture ads that allowed viewers to watch behind the scenes of the show as well as an advertising. According to NBC this new way of advertising was a great success in terms of awareness, likeability and consumer experience.
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