THE TOP 10 TAKE-AWAY POINTS FROM DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD SPRING 2013 By Catherine Clinch May 3rd 2013
In this century of the global marketplace, Digital Hollywood is the conference heard round the world. But twice a year, Victor Harwood brings Digital Hollywood back to its point of origin for a four-day love fest of all things digital. What began as a three-ring circus of panels and presentations has evolved into a ten ring circus of fun and wonderment. In the center ring, Day One opens with the VARIETY Entertainment Technology Summit. From there, attendees move through the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey on a journey along the cutting edge of the digital world. If you weren’t there, here’s what you missed:
1. It’s all about mobile. Phones are getting bigger and tablets are getting smaller. Technology and behavior have created a convergence point where we now expect to access the entire world from a little piece of plastic that fits in our pocket. While much of the content is re-purposed from other media, LIVE entertainment is becoming a major player in mobile. A demonstration of the spin on LIVE consumer generated content was presented in a single visual of two pictures taken from the same angle at the same event just six years apart. During the introduction of a new pope in 2005, a photo from behind the crowd showed one man holding up a smart phone to record the event. However, another photo from the same angle at the introduction of our newest pope in 2013 showed the entire crowd holding up smart phones and tablets to record the event. By the time we elect our next pope, chances are the photo will resemble the 2005 image because everyone will be wearing Google Glass.
2. Gen Z (12-16 years old) is turning into Gen TMI. They may not tell their parents what they’re thinking, saying or doing – but they have no problem telling the rest of the world WAY too much about what they Like, Follow, Check-In, Tweet, Reddit, Stumble Upon or post conclusive evidence about on Instagram. Before we know it, privacy issues will be just another plot point in some spy movie…that Gen Z will download (without paying for) on Bit Torrent.
3. Crowd Funding is getting ready to expand – and that may or may not be a good thing. The JOBS Act is still hashing out the details that will enable small businesses to use Crowd Funding to raise capital in the form of investments rather than donations. The problem is that the government has put its primary focus on protecting the “investor.” Venture Capital experts believe this will create a nightmare scenario because hundreds (or thousands) of investors at the early stage can make it difficult (if not impossible) to raise subsequent rounds of funding. Attorneys warn that there is a huge potential for litigation from minor investors.
4. There’s an App for that! But, it’s probably not available for Windows 8. Apple’s iOS is still the gold standard for app developers, coders and engineers because Apple tends to be their personal tech choice. Unless they work for Google – in which case, Android comes in a very close second. Windows 8 has a small and underwhelming assortment of apps available (for phone or laptop). But the lack of enthusiasm from app developers has left a hole in the marketplace, creating a perception that Windows 8 users are doomed to a life without apps.
5. Did I mention that it’s ALL about mobile? Advertisers are searching for new and exciting ways to lure their customers through a combination of geolocation and MMS. Most speakers referenced the ability to reach shoppers when they are at or near the point of purchase for products and services being advertised. However…
6. …it’s really ALL about Gen TMI and the way they consume media. They want to watch what they want to watch when they want to watch it and they’ll do it on the largest screen available (which almost always means mobile). If they’re watching a series stream on their phone, they’ll call it “watching TV” and there’s nothing you can do about it.
7. The Water Cooler is dead. Long live The Water Cooler. The networks and studios are still exhausting themselves trying to devise ways to recreate the Camelot that was Brandon Tartikoff’s Water Cooler Conversation Theory of Marketing. In the meantime, Second Screen apps have eliminated the need for waiting until the next day to talk about what you watched. These apps have replaced it with the immediacy of instant discussion while you and your friends all watch together from locations scattered across the globe.
8. Those fabulous folks at Adobe® who gave us Photoshop and the entire creative suite of tools have a new goal: “Make Every Screen a TV.” The Adobe® Primetime platform combines content publishing with advertising and analytics, thereby eliminating previously complex systems that might have prevented smaller content creators from venturing into this brave new digital world. It’s a modular component system that can be designed to suit individual needs of size and scale. Theoretically, it could enable a new wave of independent content networks that could help shape the future of entertainment and informational programming. What will Adobe think of next?
9. That 33rpm Vinyl album may not be your Grampa’s Led Zeppelin. Millennials have discovered the fact that analog recordings had a depth of sound that gets lost in the “clarity” of digital downloads. The emerging trend is toward the purchase of turntables and vinyl. Nielsen’s 2012 report on the music industry was referenced because it showed that last year’s greatest sales category increase was from legacy artists in the catalog that were being rediscovered through exposure to the songs on vinyl. In other words, all of those aging rock stars that show up on Vh1 specials about whatever happened to… may actually be ready for another round on the road. One important point to note – the new turntables are equipped with a USB port so that the songs can be recorded directly from the vinyl onto a digital drive. What goes around…
10. On a purely financial level, the decision to retain a celebrity spokesperson is now considered to be the same as any other media buy. The cost/benefit radio depends on how many followers and fans the talent has in social media. Yet, in the post-Tiger Woods era, the use of talent typically requires a leap of faith. One company retained the endorsement services of a renowned hip hop artist. On the day of the campaign’s launch, said hip hop artist was busted in Amsterdam. Ironically, it was decided that this did not pose a damage to the brand because a significant portion of the user base was considered to be in the same category of individuals who might also get busted in Amsterdam.