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Boston PLAYs Center Stage For Media Innovation Next Week

Boston plays the host role for media innovation next week at the annual Brightcove PLAY conference, a global gathering of media companies, technology leaders and video innovators at the forefront of the digital media revolution.

TV[R]EV will be in attendance with a keen interest in hearing what the networks and streaming platforms are up to over-the-top as 2018 is shaping up to be a transcendent year for TV Everywhere revolutionizing premium video consumption.

Our friend and media cohort Will Richmond of VideoNuze is playing host to a panel which includes Roku, ABC News and BBC, entitled “The UX and Monetization Landscape of the Connected Living Room.” The panel promises to “discuss the current and future capabilities of connected living room devices and how they’re tackling opportunities and challenges.”

(Side note: VideoNuze events are great, and quick heads up today — Friday, May 18th — is the LAST day to save $100 on registration for the 8th annual VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit on Tuesday, June 12th in NYC.)

I consulted TV[R]EV chief analyst Alan Wolk on questions we hope to get answered at the aforementioned PLAY panel. Here’s what we came up with below.

Questions for everyone:

  • How is video content’s form factor evolving to meet the demands of the multi-device connected living room?
  • How important is voice? Does Amazon (and to a lesser extent Google) already own that, or is there room for new players?
  • With the exception of Comcast and X1 (which is still only in around two thirds of their subscribers homes) the MVPDs have dropped the ball badly on UX, leading to what TV[R]EV has been calling “paying Nordstrom prices for Kmart service” syndrome since users rebel at the thought of paying such high prices for something that so clearly says “we don’t care about our users at all.”  Why have they dropped the ball so badly and why is Comcast the only MVPD that seems to get how important UX is?

Questions for Tom Wolfe, VP Advertising Business Development at Roku:

  • What, if any, new ad inventory is Roku introducing this year?
  • How is Roku working with TV networks to offer innovative ad opportunities beyond the standard 30-, 60-second spot?  
  • If I was an MVPD or vMVPD, I’d partner with Roku to create a white-labeled streaming stick and/or TV that had my interface at its core. Why have these guys stuck to their own set top boxes and not tried to get into the TV OS space? Given the low price of the streaming devices, it seems like an obvious play.

Questions for Doug Vance, VP Product Development at ABC News:

  • How does ABC News’ approach to advertising differ on Roku versus linear TV?
  • What new original programming is ABC News developing to respond to the increasingly vibrant mobile-social video consumer?
  • Since streaming devices are connected to the internet, have you played with ways you can add to your stories, sort of an Amazon X-Ray type functionality that allows for additional storytelling?

Questions for BBC’s Andy Webb, VP Product Strategy & Head of Voice AI Assistants at BBC:

  • What’s sort of role can voice play in complementing premium video?
  • Where does voice advertising in the living room come into play, if at all?  
  • Who is using voice controls today? Is it still an early adopter play or is it becoming more mainstream?
  • The UK has a wide range of accents. How much more difficult does that make using voice there versus the US?

See you in Bahston.