Next TV: Changes Ahead for Events, Advertising in Digital Sphere

Santa Monica, Calif. —  Transformational changes are on the horizon when it comes to content from digital media and TV Everywhere applications, but there is still much work to be done, according to panel of industry executives at the Next TV Summit on Tuesday.

The session, titled “Delivering Content Anytime & Everywhere,” honed in on live events and advertising as part of what needs to change.

Steve Shannon, general manager content & services at Roku, said that live events have been surprisingly popular on the digital streaming player. What was thought to be a switch from analog to digital and linear to on demand is turning out not to be the case, he added. Applications with live content, like WatchESPN, drive engagement and incorporating live “is a great way to suck people in,” he said.

Content & Company CEO Stuart McLean took the concept further, explaining that companies can get feedback from audiences in real time. But, as was a common theme, McLean added that more work needs to be done on the front end to plan for that.

Advertising also still has a long way to go.

“The advertising model in live is primitive,” Shannon said.

TV everywhere apps give advertisements the potential to be addressable and interactive, he said, but they aren’t quite there yet. WatchESPN, for instance, has just two and a half minute advertisement breaks. “They haven’t gotten to the point with rights,” he said, but when they do “it will be transformative.”

While advertising dollars are shifting from TV to digital, the result is not yet significant, said Frank Sinton, CEO and founder of Beachfront Media.

But John Douglas, senior product marketing manager at Sizmek, added that he is starting to see advertisers ask for that digital technology in advertising. When consumers are faced with an ad, he said, that ad could feel like TV, and be an experience without any adverse impact.