SPROCKIT LA Sync 2020: Disruption – It’s All About the Opportunities

Sprockit LA Sync 2020: Disruption – it’s All About the Opportunities

On February 5th and 6th, Sprockit completed another successful Sync event at Universal Studios Hollywood, hosted by Comcast. The multi-day event connected corporate executives with some of Sprockit’s market proven technology startups in the media and entertainment industry. 

Nearly 30 startups and emerging growth technology companies met with 20 corporate executives, including Comcast, FOX, HBO/Warner Media, Pearl TV, Verizon, Univision, Major League Baseball and Hearst, as well as other industry experts. This group of industry leaders and innovators discussed pain points in the media and entertainment industries as well as innovation opportunities and partnership.

The overall consensus? There are significant challenges facing the industry today, which will be the downfall of some companies, but represent huge opportunities for innovative thinking, transformed into new business models supported by technology advancements. 

The following are the biggest themes to emerge from the day:

Customers are king. Business models are evolving with customer experience at the forefront. Consumers are taking control with many in the industry shifting to direct to consumer. There is increased competition to attract and retain consumers as more options for content become available, switching costs are lowering, and prices are dropping for consumers. The threat of disruption from emerging players and business models is looming for incumbents. As one corporate participant said, “At the end of the day, it’s about being able to own your consumer and drive them to content discovery and aggregation.” 

Platforms are kind of a big deal. It’s not all about cord cutting. Broadcast is still viable and ATSC 3.0/Next Gen TV will be a critical platform to create a better user experience by enabling new levels of interactivity and addressability for content and advertising. Additionally, live TV will remain an important value proposition for cable providers and will drive subscriptions. However, it’s obviously crunch time for traditional players as more competitors emerge for content distribution with unique platforms. 

Content, content, content. Consumers are not only able to access more content, but different types of content as well, including long and short format, premium content, as well as user generated. Technology is, obviously, a driving force behind these shifting trends as experiences become more immersive, including with VR and AR, and the capabilities to build enabling software applications become more simplified and experiences to be more immersive. 

Aggregation. It was good while it lasted, but as the fight to capture and retain customers is becoming more challenging and expensive, aggregation in its former configuration isn’t as great a revenue opportunity as it once was. Bring on the bundling wars… 

And this brings us to… discoverability! In this world of great content and a multitude of choices for consumers, what is the best way to facilitate discoverability? How do companies deliver the right content to the right person at the right time? A clear, best answer has yet to emerge, but Sprockit startups are at the forefront of developing solutions driven by AI. It’s unclear where unbundling will end up, but everyone wants to be there with packages that are more customer friendly. Moreover, as we see more consolidation and some players fail, this will have an impact. 

Advanced Advertising. Consumers will continue to be exposed to ads, but we will see better bang for the buck as advertising becomes more targeted with varied experiences. Advertisers will be able to narrow delivery to reach premium audiences at premium prices (i.e. the value of targeting vs. broadcasting). Moreover, SVOD will not take-over, as AVOD will provide lower barrier content, which will help it maintain its relevance. 

If you’d like more insights from Sprockit on trends in the industry, follow us on LinkedIn, join us for our Thought Leader webinar series, and sign-up for our newsletter. Or are you a startup or emerging growth company looking to make quick connections to relevant corporate partners? Email startups@sprockitglory.com to set up an evaluation call. 

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