NAB Show to Reflect on Year of Adjustment and Adaptation

LAS VEGAS—Change will probably be afoot when the 2021 NAB Show returns to Las Vegas, Oct. 9-13. Masks will probably be ubiquitous. You’ll want proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to even get within the door (sidebar, under). And the outcomes of the once-in-a-lifetime shift that the media trade confronted over the past 18 months will probably be on full show.After the disruption of the previous 12 months, the National Association of Broadcasters has the chance to assist the trade reply urgent questions. How do you stand out in a sea of content material choices? How do you successfully go about monetizing that content material?  What’s one of the simplest ways to assess what labored—and what didn’t—over the previous 18 months?RETHINK OUR APPROACH “This trade, as with most, has had to rethink its strategy to doing enterprise and in some circumstances even reinvent,” mentioned Chris Brown, government vice chairman and managing director of international connections and occasions for the NAB. “No doubt that has been difficult but it surely has opened new alternatives,” he mentioned, including that the pandemic compelled content material creators to tighten their focus on serving the wants of the shopper, whether or not that’s the client, content material creator or distributor.  “The whole dynamics of the trade have developed round a brand new view of media consumption,” he mentioned. “The choices are many and the urge for food for content material has by no means been larger.” So the place can we go from right here? To keep related, corporations on this surroundings should rethink their view of the shopper and their view of the product they ship. “Few can afford to keep of their authentic lane,” Brown mentioned.The NAB Show will try to assist its attendees to spotlight a path forward by way of a sequence of academic periods, displays, pavilions and conferences. NAB President Gordon Smith will mark his closing NAB Show, stepping down on the finish of the 12 months after 12 years as chief of the affiliation. (Image credit score: NAB Show)As the world has modified, so have the logistics of this 12 months’s present—indoor displays will probably be held within the Central and North Halls solely, with outside displays within the LVCC Silver Lot. The NAB Radio Show and NAB SMTE (Sales and Management Television Exchange) will happen within the Westgate. So broadcasters could also be asking: how does the trade go about capitalizing on all that was discovered through the pandemic shutdown—whereas working remotely and making an attempt to broaden this workflow right into a extra steady and environment friendly system?“Prior to COVID, some organizations already had simplified ‘one-off’ conditions like a graphics operator working from house,” mentioned one trade insider and a frequent contributor to TV Tech. Then information organizations in the beginning of the COVID expertise added dozens—typically tons of—of further workflows so as to facilitate a real end-to-end surroundings however exterior a traditional office. All this variation has led to just a few expertise shifts—improved codec efficiencies, communications that concerned hybrid mobile and internet-based options, enhanced distant accessibility and safety over typical ISP paths, elevated adoption of cellphone digital camera video, bonding for LTE or 5G connectivity, and extra. “Many of these, whereas in place or in use for infrequent companies, now had to be ruggedized for close to full-time use,” the trade insider mentioned.EMPHASIS ON INNOVATORSRecognizing this shift, the NAB rallied across the theme of adaptation for 2021. “The trade isn’t any stranger to change, however this previous 12 months has taken the idea to a brand new stage,” the NAB’s Brown mentioned. Through the present ground and a sequence of academic choices, the NAB Show is inserting particular emphasis on innovators and different corporations driving change. CineCentral, a brand new vacation spot on the present ground will showcase adjustments in preproduction, manufacturing and submit and will have a look at how content material creators are using the brand new expertise, from VR to improved workflows.One of the latest additions to the LVCC is the LVCC Loop, which connects the LVCC New Exhibit Hall with the present campus (North/Central/South Halls), and reduces a forty five minute cross-campus stroll time to roughly 2 minutes. (Image credit score: NAB Show)Another new vacation spot— the Future of Delivery—can have an on-floor theater focusing on 5G, cellular supply, streaming, LEO satellite tv for pc and different applied sciences impacting the longer term of distribution and supply.The present will even give attendees a 360-look at the place issues stand with streaming. When customers in mid-2020 responded to scuttled social plans and countywide lockdowns with elevated consumption of streamed content material, content material creators answered, providing pretty cheap subscriptions and unique content material. Now, 18 months later, as subscriptions proceed to rise, content material creators are responding with new choices like area of interest programming, bundled affords and VIP entry. According to Nielsen, as of May 2021, streaming utilization throughout all tv properties has climbed to 26 p.c of all time spent on TV. Add broadcast programming to that pool and streaming/broadcast mixed now account for half of all tv time. When manufacturing ramps again up and new content material enters the house, that may drive further traction, mentioned Brian Fuhrer, senior vice chairman of product technique for Nielsen. Other estimates surmise that the quantity of properties with televisions which might be watching streaming companies will hit 33 p.c by 12 months’s finish.THE STREAMING EXPERIENCEOTT appears to be like to be pretty secure, mentioned one broadcast trade insider, with maybe one exception: broadcasters are judging the aggressive nature of the streaming companies they provide throughout the extra conventional “massive 4” networks to keep related, resembling making an attempt to mirror the mannequin set by Disney+. Other broadcast teams are making changes in an effort to meet altering calls for, he mentioned.In response, the Streaming Experience within the Central Hall foyer will have a look at linked TV promoting, video high quality and content material bundling methods alongside demonstrations of greater than 50 streaming video platforms and gadgets. “The Streaming Experience will present a first-ever have a look at the complete vary of streaming choices and the expertise provided,” Brown mentioned.Several different applied sciences are anticipated to develop in 2022 too. New 5G functions will probably be anticipated, as nicely a transition to merchandise like PCoIP, next-gen intercom merchandise, and a renewed emphasis on software-defined techniques and cloud-based playout merchandise.Others are trying forward to environment friendly means of monetizing content material to greatest take benefit of digital platforms. “One precedence we wish to discover additional is an environment friendly workflow to embellish our video streams with applicable SCTE markers,” mentioned David Burke, senior vice chairman and chief expertise officer for the Gray Television station group. “[We want] to cleanly point out the beginning, finish and period of all industrial breaks, significantly throughout reside or breaking information, in order that we are able to maximize the stock fill and income potential on our digital platforms.”According to Brown, what makes this 12 months thrilling is not only that it has been some time since we’ve been ready to come collectively, however it’s that there’s a lot chance. “The trade has been resilient and has set itself up for nice success going ahead,” he mentioned. “I feel it will likely be emotional for everybody to lastly be collectively and it should characterize an essential milestone for all concerned.” lTo register for the present, go to Check for the most recent updates on its COVID-19 security protocols. (Image credit score: NAB)Health and Safety on the NAB Show Multiple indicators present a robust eagerness among the many NAB Show group to return in individual, mentioned Chris Brown, government vice chairman and managing director of international connections and occasions for the NAB. But NAB mentioned it is usually keenly conscious of well being and security issues tied to the unfold of the COVID-19 Delta variant, Brown mentioned. In response, the affiliation is placing what it calls a complete, data-driven plan in place that prioritizes security and creates a productive surroundings. In mid-August, the affiliation introduced that every one attendees and contributors should present proof of  COVID-19 vaccination to enter the conference. Attendees is not going to be required to put on masks, nevertheless. This follows an announcement on August 16 by Nevada’s Gov. Steve Sisolak who mentioned that enormous indoor venues will probably be allowed to choose out of the state’s masks necessities so long as everyone seems to be vaccinated.“This is leading edge. There’s no different venues within the nation which might be doing this,” Sisolak instructed the Associated Press. “I feel it’s going to get extra folks wanting to go to an occasion as a result of they know that after they stroll in that enviornment, or that stadium, all people’s vaccinated.”The NAB is presently finalizing a sequence of protocols that may maximize the security of attendees. According to Brown, this course of has concerned session with well being and security specialists, gathering suggestions from a variety of exhibitors and attendees, and evaluate of the security measures really useful by nationwide and native well being authorities.Susan Ashworth

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