I’ve been in “Future of TV” startups directly and indirectly since 1999, yet haven’t once made it to SXSW Interactive (I was even supposed to speak this year, but my third child arrived way too close to the conference for me to make it unfortunately). For 2012 I’ve proposed a talk entitled “Why the Future of TV has Four Screens” and hopefully the conference organizers will find it interesting to include. This is obviously a space I have a lot of passion about, so I decided to go peek around at what other interesting and related presentations and panels are in the “PanelPicker”.
Here’s the ones I’ve found, in no particular order:
Speaker: Jeremy Toeman, Dijit Media
Studies have shown that over 70% of TV watching happens with a second screen in hand, whether it’s a phone, tablet or laptop, people are no longer just watching TV. They are tweeting, checking-in, Facebooking, searching the web for information and more. The rise of this social TV trend is causing companies across the entire TV industry, including content providers, TV manufacturers and startups in the convergence space to take notice. They are now trying to blend content, social and additional screen interaction in a variety of ways, from social networking on your TV screen to controlling your TV with your phone. However this is causing more confusion, not more entertainment. In this panel, we will explore: How are consumers using the second (or third or fourth) screens? Why are the additional screens important? How do those additional screens affect the way consumers interact with TV? And how are the additional screens are changing the entertainment landscape for the next decade?
Speakers: Michael Aragon (Sony Network Entertainment), Jason Spivak (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
With 24/7 internet access on our mobile phones, Blu-ray players, HDTVs, laptops and gaming consoles, the ability to easily stream movies, TV shows, and other digital content has forever changed the way we consume film and video. People older than 50 are more likely to tune into TV broadcasts, while people younger than 25 are actively watching online video. The revolution in business models and digital distribution that disrupted the music industry has turned the TV and film industry on its head. As a result we are seeing a paradigm shift where producers, TV execs, gaming publishers, and print authors are paving new roads to build business models around on-demand video that is accessible across multiple devices. This presentation will discuss where the present round of convergence is leading, what the opportunity is for monetizing content beyond ad-based revenue, and what forms of new interactive media we can expect to see on network-enabled devices
Speaker: Amit Jain, Prysm
The way we interact with our television is changing. Submissive TV watching is a thing of the past. What does the demand for larger, interactive video displays mean for the future of in-home entertainment? The days of passive television viewing are gone. Today’s audiences are savvier and more engaged in the technology around them and expect more from their television screen than simple 2-D moving pictures. Television screens continue to get bigger and deliver a more immersive viewing experience accompanied by high-def picture quality and 3-D capabilities. As these technologies continue to improve, in-home entertainment is getting more and more life-like. Unfortunately, the current television market cannot keep up with the consumer demand for a bigger, better viewing experience at home. While 55” plasma screens seem like the next best thing, they offer a logistical nightmare. From the transportation between store to home, to the installation and additional infrastructure needed to support them, to the mass quantities of power they consume, it seems the larger the screen the bigger the headache. In this session, Prysm CEO, Amit Jain, will explore the future of television and discuss the changes in technology needed to make this a reality.
Speaker: Mario Queiroz, Google TV
The age of convergence is finally here, but the landscape remains complex and confusing. In this session, Mario Queiroz will work to address the common myths and misperceptions around smart TVs and the promise the category holds for consumer electronics manufacturers, content owners, and consumers. Like the smart phone before it, the smart TV will bring a new layer of functionality to your existing home entertainment experiences. Mario will explore the value the web will bring to your living room experience. This platform will be targeted, personal, and discoverable with a touch of the button, and it will be integrated across multiple screens, from mobile phones to tablets to TVs. The developer transformed the world of smart phones and is doing the same for tablets. Mario will also address why smart TV is the next frontier for application development and why the prospects for killer apps that will fundamentally change the way we view and engage with television look promising.
For years we’ve debated the promise of interactive TV. Until now, the promise has not been realized but with the advent of real-time social services like Twitter and TV-specific social apps, we seem to be on the cusp of a sea change when it comes to how people watch and engage with television. This session will discuss the state of the second screen, why it’s important and what it will take to finally make interactive TV a reality.
Speaker: Alison Moore, HBO
It’s 2015 and over half of the devices in your home are connected to the Internet. On the drive home you consider taking a longer route, but when you ask for directions the GPS system reminds you that you need to get home soon – you have a viewing party. The television recognizes you when you walk in the door and suggests that you pour a glass of wine since everyone else is online and waiting for you to join the Game of Thrones premier party. In response, the wine cooler switches on, illuminating the last bottle of red – a 2007 Scarecrow. You cringe but open it anyway. Your HBO app automatically loads a summary of last season’s characters since you still seem to have them confused, and then asks if you’d like to join the group video chat. “Go ahead”, you say, “I will catch up as we go.” Join Rhonda and Allison as they think aloud about the future of media immersed in a world where everything is connected, and television becomes something that you live instead of just watch.
Speaker: Richard Bullwinkle (Rovi Corporation)
We love our gadgets — all three, four, or even five of them. Daily, we constantly use our iPad, smart phone, laptop, iTouch, and devices that interact with our TV. Research confirms that we love to multi-task with our media — while watching TV, we surf the web, text and instant message. Generation Y may not have grown up with electronic gadgets but they face it full on as corporate America is grappling with how to use the iPad as a business tool while for many Generation Z ankle-biters, the iPad is their Fisher-Price busy-box. Today, technologists and content owners struggle to make content flow freely from one device to another, but we all know that day will come. This session will take a look at our fascination with being connected anytime, anywhere as it weaves itself into the very fabric of society, forever changing how we live, work and play. It will address how touch screen, connected, and high-resolution technologies are shaping consumer and social behavior, and defining what consumers expect their gadgets to do for them tomorrow.
Speaker: Maureen Costello (Little Cannonballs)
New TV technologies are being launched at a breakneck pace, yet, right now it is all noise until some standards are set. Our industry is poised for a future of innovation, but the landscape still looks like a jumble of wires. Who are the current players breaking through the noise? What intellectual capital have we netted from the world’s investment in the Internet and its standards? What have we learned from the mistakes of the music industry? How can industry players—new and old—work together to define standards for success? Can we predict who will be left standing in the greatest reality competition ever—for TV’s digital future? Let’s break through the noise and get with the program folks!
Speaker: Perry Cooper, NHL
As TV audiences age, marketers are challenged to appeal to their prime demographic of 18-to-49-year-olds. The younger demographic is definitely watching TV, but they now require a second screen to enhance their viewing and steer away from the traditional TV experience. The second screen of choice, being the mobile device, is now accessed by 86% of mobile Internet users simultaneously while watching TV to browse the web, social network, and text, according to a recent Yahoo! study. To appeal to this younger, more tech-savvy demographic, the NHL will be offering an in-game experience for the mobile users that will stimulate behavior and keep fans engaged throughout the entirety of every game. What will be referred to as “predictive gaming” will combine the attraction of fantasy sports to live games where users can compete with friends to predict what their favorite player or team will do next in real-time, adding a new layer of excitement to the game. The proposed presentation will examine how the second screen will become the virtual requirement for future TV programming.
Speaker: Wes Williams, Scripps Networks
Many factors distinguish great apps from coulda-been-a-contender apps. We’ll do a deep dive into questions you should ask when producing convergent apps for connected TVs, smartphones and tablets. The framework will be an unbiased review of apps in the real world, balancing user-oriented thinking with business needs. This will reveal factors to consider when building interactive apps related to TV viewing. Learn how to determine which features you need to reach marketing, advertising and audience goals, whether on just the TV screen or multiple platforms.
Speaker: Klemens Wengert, Turner Broadcasting
Creating phone and tablet companion applications for television shows presents a unique opportunity for content providers. By linking the two screens together we have a new way to engage and deliver content to the users, integrate advertising and enhance the experience of watching television. This presentation is going to focus on how to create a second screen experience that makes sense for your audience, for your brand and your advertisers through case studies from Turner Broadcasting as well as some best practises and lessons learned.
A full 70 percent of US tablet owners say they use their devices while watching TV. Companies like Verizon are baking social into their products and enabling users to tweet, watch online videos and update Facebook directly from their TVs. Channels like Bravo capitalize on this by weaving emerging tech like Foursquare, Foodspotting and Shazam into their TV output, as well as having personalities engage actively with fans and critics on Twitter and other social media. Google Hangouts allows people to watch web video together online. Join as forward thinkers from Verizon, Foodspotting, SportsNet NY (SNY) discuss what’s next for the convergence of social media and TV.