Key takeaways from Imagen Technology Summit: The Future of Video

Wednesday morning saw global content distribution platform Imagen hold their Technology Summit. This time, the topic was on the future of video – something that will be a key area for sport in the coming years. Speakers were Mark Harrison, Managing Director, DPP; Liam Chivers, Director, OP Talent; and Neal Romanek, Editor, Feed Magazine.

Already, video is the most powerful means of content distribution. From short filler posts in your social media timeline to Netflix documentaries, it’s part of almost everyone’s daily life – usually for hours each day.

So what’s next for video, and for online content in general?

Here are some of the main thoughts to take away from the summit:

Direct to Consumer is a deserved new buzz-phrase

OTT video is no longer novel – in fact, it’s the new normal. And expertise in delivering it is not confined to one or two big broadcasters as it used to be in the old days of TV. Now, any rights holder, brand or content creator can go directly to their customers or fans.

In an online world, direct to consumer means direct relationships, access to data and the possibility of helpful analytics.

Personalised or targeted ads are a possibility here. As is setting up a direct path to purchase – ordering your half time pizza has never been easier!

Partnerships are on the rise

Conversely, however, partnerships and collaborations have never been more in vogue, said Mark Harrison.

Long before the internet, people have always had their favourite content creators: the journalist you look out for every week, your favourite TV show or even the ads you like from a specific brand. These days, the power of personality is amplified and collaboration means more people can be reached.

Next week at Digital Sport London’s What Next for Sports Marketing event, Bleacher Report and The FA will be talking about their recent collaborations – with tech companies, brands, athletes and even musicians!

Trying to extract too much will turn people off

We’re trying to extract all we can out of digital. Bombarding people with ads, tracking every inch of their data, abusing their trust… but it’s a dead end. The customer won’t come with us and legislation that pushes back isn’t far away. In fact, with GDPR the first laws are already here.

As the privacy model changes, the advertising model must change too. At the moment, the ad model isn’t fit for purpose.

Digital’s Red Flags

There are three Red flags becoming apparent for digital: loss of customer privacy, broken advertising model and “Scary Robots”, says Feed Magazine’s Neal Romanek.

Privacy and the advertising model mentioned above are big ones and go together. But “Scary Robots” refers to the perception of AI amongst the general public – a fair point, given thoughts of artificial intelligence and machine learning are usually accompanied by ideas of mass unemployment or even the overthrow of the human race….

What’s next for video?

Where does video go from here? Not just delivery of video – like the emergence of 5G or the elimination of latency – but how it’s accessed and consumed.

The music industry has undergone significant disruption in the digital age, and the upside is that one big subscription (to the likes if Spotify or Apple Music) are now enough to give most people access to most if not all of the content they need. The same isn’t yet true with video. But Mark Harrison thinks the sector will move in that direction. It’s hard to argue with that.

Don’t forget Digital Sport London’s 28th March event on the future of sports marketing – get your ticket below!

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 836 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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