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Key Takeaways from NAB 2016

Video trends from NAB conference 2016

NAB was huge this year—some were even claiming that the foot traffic on the floor this year was bigger than even CES. With so much to see, it was easy to get overwhelmed. Here were some of the key trends we noticed.
Virtual Reality is becoming a reality. VR was the word of the show. What was different this year was the presence of VR producers—a key sign that we’ve moved beyond just the tech and that real content is on the way. Google’s Spotlight Stories, the VR movie app launched last year, was making waves again as a sample immersive experience on existing consumer phones. Data suggests that in Q1 of 2016, $300-400 million of venture capital money went towards VR. So expect more movement on this in the marketplace soon.
Ad blockers are becoming major concern. Monetization is always a major theme in NAB. This year, conversations are all about the continued evolution of ad blockers and the impact on revenues. No one wants to follow the music industry’s blunders in battling online piracy. Finding ways to protect content with good DRM and use monetization techniques like server-side ad insertion and personalized ads will be critical in the coming year.
The shift from “broadcast” to “online” is reaching a tipping point. This may be one of the most important changes. It was clear from our discussions with friends across the industry and even just from walking the floor that the sea change we’ve all been anticipating is finally arriving. Venture capital money, a good indicator of where to expect major development, is already flowing to various initiatives around delivering, measuring, and transforming online video. With companies like Disney making deals to distribute through Sony Playstation, content owners and distributors are truly embracing online distribution. While revenues once came mostly from broadcast, people are now finally beginning to realize that online is where today’s audience is. With trends like cord-cutting, time-shifting, and binging, monetization schemes are becoming the norm and new measurement techniques like stream performance are becoming ever more important. Disney TV’s Ben Sherwood noted, “Static has always been a bad word in television, and today static, stasis, is a dangerous word.” The industry as a whole is turning to promoting availability and diverse sources of video programming. Ultimately, as online continues to take hold, we can expect more, better ways of distributing and monetizing great content.
NAB always gives us a chance to take stock and get ready for the future. This year, the future of TV is clearly online.
As for us, we had a great time showcasing some amazing demos on a host of devices. As the only vendor to show a true end-to-end workflow for taking your content to the connected generation, we were lucky enough to have some great conversations on the floor. If you’d like to get your own demo, please contact us and we’d be happy to walk you through.

Interested in DRM techniques? Read the whitepaper “Successful DRM in a Changing Video Environment: A Universal DRM Primer.”

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