NAB 2017: Mobile Video & Second Screening

We have returned from Las Vegas with heads swimming with new information and experiences! Our topics of mobile video advertising and streaming were not covered as explicitly as we had hoped for, but “second screening” was a big success for us. We learned extremely engaging information from one session in particular, and you can hear Zildjian talk about this in the our video below.

Mobile VideoThe session was titled “2nd Screening as the Key to Effective TV Experience Enhancement & Audience Engagement.” Topics discussed included: how to use second screens effectively, how to enhance customer value, and how to generate overall involvement with the media.

Another session, “The Mobile App-Driven Video Revolution is Here,” addressed a wide variety of topics from AR (augmented reality) and its future with television, to the distribution issue that consumers will face trying to get the content they want. Olivia discusses the most important takeaways from this session in our video:


Overall at NAB, our production team learned a great deal about what the future of TV will look like, both through the use of apps and second screens. It is not enough to just have those components available; they have to be engaging for the audience to truly be effective. Only time will tell if these trends change our TV reality.

-Zildjian Bartels, Piper Davis, Olivia Guns & Madison Steffen

NAB 2017- Virtual Reality is Sick!* (*Caution, may cause nausea)

We’re back from Las Vegas, and we are telling the whole world about what happened there, or at least our handful of internet followers! We went to the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters Show to explore existing and future Virtual Reality technologies and uses. The NAB Show gave us an extensive look at solutions industry professionals are implementing in order to push VR technologies into the media market and into our society.

Virtual Reality

We previously mentioned concerns with nausea, and we immediately discussed these issues with Edwin Rogers, owner of VR Video. Rogers, featured in our video below, said that the industry is combating some of these issues with body stabilization and other production techniques.

The newest rage in VR is 4K resolution. 4K creates beautifully immersive footage, but also requires massive files. As we know, this presents various issues for those with slow bandwidth and little storage. Currently there isn’t much of a solution for these massive files, just a suggestion to “throw money at bandwidth” via Google. The point is, we are somewhat ahead of ourselves, and the industry needs to catch up on viable options for file sharing.

Our final area of investigation involved our curiosity about consumer adoption. Sure, VR is a great tool for filmmakers and entertainers, but how can it be integrated into society? Augmented reality provides a look at existing environments that are able to be altered in order to create plans, such as realtors providing frames for future construction, or the plans of a building for a firefighter entering a dangerous area never explored previously. The point is, virtual reality is here and bigger than ever, and you might find yourself using this technology in your own field regardless of your affiliation to video production.

Here is the short video we created about our VR Adventure!

You can also check out a more personal documentation of our journey, thanks to our team member Josh Berendes, through his Daily Doc’s featured on his YouTube! (Like and subscribe, which we have to say for the sake of shutting up Josh.)

The benefits of traveling to Las Vegas as students were staggering. To be able to witness the media industry from production to distribution, including cinematography, directing, engineering, etc. gave us a one-of-a-kind opportunity to really decide what we want to pursue in this industry. It isn’t often that a university program is able to fund students to attend this sort of event. We are truly thankful to UNI Digital Media Leadership for the opportunity. It was a once in a lifetime experience!

– Josh Berendes, Marielle Gaiser, Tom Randolph & Kyle Stoutenberg

NAB 2017: Next Gen TV is Coming!

While at the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) we saw all types of technologies one could imagine. One of the largest booths there was the NextGen TV Hub booth. NextGen TV explained the future of TV; how streaming and broadcast TV would be become one. This was the answer our group had been looking for! Broadcast TV was not afraid of competing with streaming because of new legislation being brought forward by the FCC that will allow TV stations to broadcast using the ATSC 3.0 format, a newer version of the digital transmission format used today.

Next Gen TVThis was better explained at the session tittled “DTV: The Next Generation.” Here, we sat down and listened to companies who will be assisting with this new merger between streaming and broadcast television. They discussed the positive effects that are to come with the merger and what they hope to see with the new creation coming to the world of television. So with the blending between the two digital platforms, the future looks bright for TV and streaming as they become one. Watch our video on Next Gen TV from the NAB Show for more details!

NAB Pre-Report: The Future of Virtual Reality

As virtual reality becomes more accessible to consumers we are beginning to see the true potential of this new method of media consumption. From short films to video games, Virtual Reality is the next step in media technology. However, many people have also raised questions and concerns in regards to the distribution of the content being produced. Some of the major problems with the distribution of VR content include: bandwidth needed for VR content and the transcoding of said content. At the 2017 NAB Show we plan to discover what these problems are and what some companies are doing to combat these issues.

Virtual RealityNot only does virtual reality provide impressive 360 visuals, but it also provides new environments for storytelling. We are interested on how these industry professionals plan on using these new territories. With the freedom of completely new realities, stories will begin to incorporate new elements into pre-existing mediums that we haven’t been able to capture before.

Currently smartphones dominate the VR industry, however, due to thermal issues on some headsets, most overheat after about half an hour. For widespread consumer use, these headsets need to be optimized for frequent and maintained use.

Virtual RealityNew technology often fascinates people who are inclined to pay attention to the ever-changing industry, but what about the general public? Sure there are Google cardboard headsets, but are people going to accept this new media as a popular attraction? We are heading to NAB with the intentions of securing a more substantial answer about where this media can take us in the future.

With virtual reality making waves and stealing the show at the NAB show last year, we look forward to seeing where VR finds itself in the Industry moving forward as the tools needed become more accessible to consumers and content creators alike. With glaring issues such as vertigo and nausea plaguing much of the early releases of VR now being addressed and ensuring far more practical usage, the content coming from the session planned at the 2017 NAB show hold much more potential for the future of VR.

Though virtual reality has much at stake with their progress we will be seeing at the 2017 NAB show this year, there lies much potential for augmented reality to have a chance to make waves as one of the most interesting pieces of emerging technology at the show this year in much of the same way VR did last year.

On last week’s episode of No Film School’s podcast, they announced a secret project that VR specialist 360 Designs has been working on; a 6k livestreaming VR drone. Sounds crazy right? That’s because it is. This drone is able to be operated by a single person and has the ability to send wireless signals over five miles. This is something we are excited to witness as it paves another milestone in video production!

Josh Berendes, Marielle Gonzalez-Gaiser, Tom Randolph & Kyle Stoutenberg

NAB Pre-Report: TV Steps Into The Future with a New Standard

Another year, another NAB Show. As UNI Digital Media students prepare for this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, there are a variety of trends and topics to see and experience. An interest of this year’s showgoers was how TV technology is changing to create better content, and one of the biggest things on display at the 2017 NAB Show for TV is the next generation of TV, dubbed ATSC 3.0.

TV

This new generation of technology creates a lot of new possibilities when it comes to the broadcasting of TV. With higher quality screens becoming more popular, broadcasts will now be able to handle 4K Ultra HD when the ATSC 3.0 standard goes into effect. High Dynamic Range (HDR) footage will also be able to be fully utilized thanks to this new standard.

This new ATSC 3.0 standard will be highlighted at the 2017 NAB Show this year in the NextGen TV Hub. This hub will showcase all of the benefits of the new ATSC 3.0 standard and will also be showing off a local broadcast from KLSV-LD utilizing this new technology. LG has gotten in on the ground floor of this technology and will be airing the ATSC 3.0 broadcast on TV’s that support the new standard. The technology will soon be included in all new TV’s, in preparation for 4K and HDR screens becoming mainstream. This new technology will also be utilized during the broadcast of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games from South Korea.

Other TV markets have been testing this new broadcast technology in places like North Carolina, Washington DC, Portland and Madison, Wisconsin. The FCC is allowing stations to begin using this new standard on voluntary basis, as well as issuing experimental licenses for those who wish to test out ATSC 3.0.

This new standard isn’t limited to the broadcast and TV industries, however. There is a strong possibility that the mobile, automotive and home technology industries will also take advantage of this new standard, as content is being viewed on more than just TV’s today. ATSC 3.0 and its automotive uses will be highlighted at this year’s show, as well as other industries, at the ATSC 3.0 Pavilion.

-Mitch Diamond, Chris Dummer, Taylor Peterson

NAB Pre-Report: Mobile Video Takeover

A group of UNI Digital Media students are heading out to Las Vegas for the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show! This is an exciting time to explore the latest and greatest in the fast-paced media industry, and the proliferation of Mobile Video is one of the topics we will be researching.

Technology is changing almost as fast as consumer preference for how to use the changing technology. The world of mobile devices is no exception. The concepts of second screening, mobile video advertising, and mobile streaming are all current trends in the mobile media industry.

Mobile Video TakeoverAs you may know, “second screening” is about using a second screen (mobile device) while watching television. The concept has expanded to include out-of-home advertisements that link to mobile devices for further engagement. For more information on this topic click here.

Mobile Video is on the rise and competing with traditional television viewing. Watching mobile video commands our full attention unlike TV where we often multi-task and watch at the same time.

Research has shown that consumers don’t want to read about a product, they want to watch a video before deciding on a purchase. As a result, mobile video advertising spending is on the rise.

One company is already ahead of the game when it comes to advertising on mobile devices. LoopMe is a UK-based startup, “with a mobile video programmatic platform that taps Artificial Intelligence and ‘deep personalization’ to deliver ads that are ‘laser targeted’ to individual users.” It will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit and advertising becomes even more targeted than it already is.

Mobile Video Takeover

Finally, consumers prefer to stream videos and movies on their mobile devices instead of their personal computers. An obvious reason for this shift is due to the fact that mobile screens are the screens of convenience for many consumers. While at the NAB Show, we will be exploring how these devices are used—some research shows that many consumers watch mobile content at home, and not on-the-go as the technology allows.

At the NAB Show we plan to interview mobile video companies and visit the various mobile streaming booths, but we also will talk with cable providers to gather their opinions on the matter. Will they agree that mobile is rising, and traditional is on the way out, or will they laugh in the face of a challenger? We’ll have a report after we return from the Show!

Zildjean Bartels, Piper Davis, Olivia Guns & Madison Steffen

 

Is GoPro Dead?

When you think of GoPro advertisements, the first thing that might pop into your mind is an ad with footage of someone on a vacation or hiking in the mountains, right? What you may not know is that GoPro didn’t make these advertisements themselves. What’s unique about GoPro is that they use their consumer’s videos for their campaigns. The question is, does user generated content effectively advertise the product and make it successful?

GoProWhen purchasing something relatively expensive we are going to want to see reviews on the product. With GoPro, you can see the quality of the camera based on the videos created with them. People may assume that since GoPro advertises with user-generated content that the videos will be low quality and shaky, but this isn’t the case. Knowing that GoPro uses user-generated content makes their advertisements seem more genuine. Consumers are able to create high quality videos and are even advertising the product themselves by sharing it online. In fact, the company more than doubled their income by saving money with user generated content. Instead of spending advertising money on video equipment, a director, and a cast they have one person do take their product, create content, and share it online.

GoProThen the company thought, since consumers are basically advertising for us, why not reward them for their work? So, they introduced GoPro Awards. Every week they would pick photographs from three different categories and the winners would receive $500.They also gave awards for video content in two different categories: $1,000 for unedited footage and $5,000 for edited footage. They created these categories so that amateurs would have a chance at winning money too. The winners of these awards have a chance at making even more money. If GoPro liked their content a lot and wanted to license it to ad agencies, the creator would receive some of that licensing money.

However, in November 2016, it was released that GoPro’s income dropped by 330% compared to the year before. They lost $84 million in three months and their stock dropped 15%. This, obviously, made a lot of their investors angry. Their CEO, Nick Woodman says the reason behind this wasn’t because they weren’t effectively advertising the product, it was because they were behind in production and couldn’t make enough GoPros to meet the demands of the consumers. See link below for more details.

After their large drop in income, GoPro created their first ever scripted TV ad. The purpose of this ad was to show people that with a GoPro you can be more “in the moment” on your adventures. We can all find ourselves hidden behind our phones while on vacations or hanging out with friends, and GoPro can help you to capture what is going on while enjoying it at the same time. But, it’s interesting that they tried to tell people to stop taking videos while taking a video. If the demand really was still high, why would they need to create this new scripted ad? See below for the ad.

I believe that user generated content effectively advertised this product at first. It was cool and exciting so see what you could all do yourself, but this soon wore off. I think that the main reason there was a downfall in 2016 was because there are many different products out there now that are cheaper and do the same thing. It seems that almost everyone has some kind of camera nowadays, so the novelty of a GoPro has worn off. Do you think that GoPro will be seeing any more success in their future, or has their time passed?

Zildjian Bartels

Seeso’s Niche Streaming Service Competes with the Big Boys

In the online streaming market, giants such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube dominate with the amount of variety of content they carry.  On Netflix you can watch horror movies to your heart’s content, Hulu allows you to keep up with your favorite programs, and YouTube allows users to share and create their own content for all to enjoy.  But these services are broad, and lack any sort of niche appeal.  Enter Seeso, a new streaming service which focuses exclusively on comedy.

seesoSeeso is a service which is part of the recently formed NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, which is headed by Evan Shapiro.  Seeso was officially launched on January 6th of 2016, after an open beta that started in December of 2015.  The service has a monthly subscription fee of $3.99/month to gain access to the ad-free content.

Seeso boasts an impressive roster of programs that include a number of NBC shows and original content.  Some of the NBC and NBC affiliated programs that Seeso currently carries include Saturday Night Live, Monty Python, Parks and Recreation, The Kids in the Hall and others.  But Seeso’s main appeal is its original content such as Take My Wife by Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito, Harmon Quest from Dan Harmon, and My Brother My Brother and Me which is based off of the podcast of the same name from the McElroy brothers.

When asked about original content Shapiro said this to Decider.com, “In the first month, our original content was less than 3 percent of our overall content, yet it still drove 40 percent of our subscriptions.  Seven months later, original content is around 8 percent of our overall content and drives more than 80 percent of our new subscriptions.”

Much of Seeso’s content and drive can also be found in its name.  A spokeswoman for NBC said this to the Wall Street Journal about the name of the new service, “The name plays off the curated experience and the ‘right brain comedy’ programming filter.  It’s a reference to the mapping the comedy genome philiosphy (the “You came to SEE The Office, SO we’ll show you other workplace comedies you’ll love.)”

Seeso is online at Facebook, Twitter, and provides content at YouTube.  Across all three social media platforms Seeso has maintained a consistent brand of brightly colored blues, yellows, and greys.  But it’s on YouTube that you see much of Seeso’s branding and promotional material at play.

Almost all of the videos are fast, bright, and most importantly funny.

Some even claiming that Seeso is a actually a cult in a series of short mockumentary style videos.  This series of videos are by far the longest and strangest part of Seeso’s marketing campaign.

While this promotional material may be incredibly funny, is it really effective?  Did they get more people to subscribe to Seeso, or at least try out the free trial?  That’s hard to say, especially since as of writing this, Seeso hasn’t released any subscription numbers or reported any earnings.  But it certainly is entertaining enough to warrant some thought into the service.

Chase Danielson