Guest Blog: Seven Stories to Watch at NAB

Drawing upon our research and interactions with clients, Accenture is making seven predictions for stories to watch at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) event that occurs April 18 through April 21 in Las Vegas.

Here they are:

-Super Platforms Spawn a Billion New Live Broadcasters

-Ad Blockers In Digital Advertising

-Virtual Reality Gets Real

-Broadcasting’s Big Disruptor: ATSC 3.0

-A “Data Driven” Broadcast/Video Business: What Does That Mean?

-Urgency of Delivering Digital Content

-Cord-Cutting Won’t Kill Cable

Prediction One: Super Platforms Spawn a Billion New Live Broadcasters

The growth, power, and influence of super platforms, such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, will be a big story in the media and entertainment industry over the next several months and at the National Association of Broadcasters show that begins April 16th in Las Vegas. These companies provide attractive, low-cost cloud super platforms and services. Watch for news about them offering competing video products that have emerged as an increasingly important channel for consumers. The super platform giants are on a blazing innovation pace that will drive an increasing amount of radical disruption for broadcasters. For example, Facebook sees video as a growing primary form of communications. The company’s Livestream is a prime example. Facebook will enable a billion new broadcasters with a potential audience of the same size, coupled with an analytics capability to make the right connections.

Consider what these billions of new broadcasters could do to live news broadcasting where everyone at the scene becomes a camera-person. Unlike broadcasters who constantly struggle with what footages to save and archive, Facebook will rewrite the storage rules – by storing all of it.

Prediction Two: Ad Blockers in Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is being threatened. Expect this to be a major story during the next several years. There is widespread consumer frustration with poorly targeted digital advertisements. Digital ads are too frequent and do not address their personal interests. Ad blockers are becoming a required application for these viewers, and the growing sophistication of these tools threatens to undermine the revenue of major media companies.

These challenges affect not just advertisers but broadcasters, cable providers, Internet service providers, content creators networks, and consumers. Expect there to be plenty of news in the next year focused on what can be done to personalize advertising content to consumers and create a monetary system that works for everyone.

The cat and mouse game between digital advertisers and ad blocking providers will be a major story as vendors release programmatic solutions backed by powerful analytics engines. These solutions will do a better job of pulling data together from disparate sources and matching ads with specific audiences. Expect to see programmatic advertising that can travel across devices for a consistent ad experience. There will be announcements about successful ad formats, leveraging analytics tools, enabling interactivity, embedded live texts, and integrating content and ads.

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Gavin Mann is the global broadcasting lead for Accenture, He can be reached at