NAB 2014: Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device

Emma Scott

The NAB Show brings together global leaders in media and entertainment to discuss and showcase what’s next for the broadcast industry. Fjord joined a panel during the show to debate entertainment in a multi-screen era. Panelist Saul Berman, Partner & Vice President at IBM, announced: “the days of the industry telling people how to consume the content are gone.” This is nothing new to the music industry, but the panel of industry leaders agreed that the broadcast industry has yet to fully realize this reality. The panel brought together Fjord Vice President, Mahin Samadani, Albert Lai from Brightcove, Kevin Gage from National Association of Broadcasters, Harri Koponen from NPTV, and Saul Berman from IBM to share their insights on how to prepare for the future of broadcast.

The panel discussed the various dimensions for success: the right content and a great consumption experience, delivered in the right contexts, and monetized in the right way. This is no easy feat in today’s world. Digital disruption within the industry requires companies to juggle multiplatform delivery, increased global reach, and evolving consumer expectations and behaviors. All this will dramatically change the industry: who thrives and who dies will depend on how companies adapt to meet new customer expectations. While traditional business models might support the broadcast industry today, companies need to prepare for the near future.

The key to thriving in broadcast’s future is organizational change. Today, companies have been slowly evolving, adding on capabilities when needed but functioning largely in the same way. However, these piecemeal solutions block companies from being proactive and organizing for the future. As Fjord’s Vice President, Mahin Samadani explained, it’s about “elevating the role of user-centered design within your organization. It’s not just a function plugging it in at a lower level, but it’s actually at the more senior level; it’s saying we want to listen to our customer and build things that delight them.”

And to achieve this, experimentation and failure is key. Berman continued to say that “everything is not going to succeed, and you need the culture of innovation and a culture of rewarding failure, It’s not going to always succeed, but you have to give people the power to try and fail.”

Although the panelists agreed that reorganization was fundamental to meet the customer’s future needs, the panelists disagreed on the specific areas of change. Harri Koponen of NPTV argued that the industry needs to focus on the big screen because it offers great opportunities to energize the content and make the consumer the producer. Mahin, on the other hand, saw personalized mobile experiences “as the impetus for business transformation.” Ultimately, the second screen is now the primary screen as it moves between contexts and personalizes against those changes.

No matter what your company decides to focus on, one thing is clear. As Berman summed up, the industry has “to reorganize to capture the value you are creating. Content is king but content is not good enough anymore.”

Emma Scott

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