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From Sci-Fi To Reality: Media Industry Takeaways From The 2024 NAB Show
by: Tom McDonough | June 5, 2024

The impact of Generative AI in media is out of this world

I recently attended the 2024 NAB Show, the preeminent conference and exhibition produced annually by the National Association of Broadcasters that drives the evolution of broadcast, media and entertainment. Content professionals involved in everything from creation to distribution and management to monetization attend this event. This year’s show brought together over 61,000 people and featured nearly 1,300 exhibitors — including Vistex — from more than 40 countries.

Generative AI in Media

I’m committed to maximizing customer revenue and helping customers optimize rights and royalties management. At this year’s event, I met many professionals and businesses seeking a central source to best determine how to monetize rights. Some also needed help finding the right content to service licensees' unique needs. Others were looking to upgrade legacy solutions they have long relied on to determine rights.

As the curtains closed on the 2024 NAB Show, I reflected on what I consider to be the most significant topics that took center stage:

  1. AI/GenAI
  2. Personalization
  3. Cloud

Generative AI in Media

No longer science fiction

AI — particularly generative AI — is rapidly gaining prominence in our industry, reshaping how media is created, distributed, discovered, consumed and monetized. AI isn’t some science-fiction phenomenon of the future — it’s happening now. Generative AI is being applied to areas already using some form of AI, including upscaling, media supply chain and search.

I recently saw a report from MarketsandMarkets stating that the market for AI in media and entertainment is expected to grow to a staggering $99.48 billion by 2025, up from $10.26 billion in 2018. This translates to a wealth of new content creation and monetization possibilities for forward-thinking media companies.

I believe this can be a double-edged sword. On one side, there are concerns about legitimate (licensed) use of generative AI products. Conversely, AI helps data protection algorithms detect and validate content to ensure correct usage. Once validated, rights must be tracked closely to ensure correct usage across all markets.

Personalize or perish

Personalization of content has emerged as a cornerstone for enhancing consumer engagement and loyalty. The struggle against churn is an ongoing problem, especially in a crowded streaming market. Today’s consumers crave and respond to enhanced content discovery experiences like those offered by social media platforms.

I think Deloitte’s 2024 Digital Media Trends study best highlights the pivotal role of personalization in driving subscriber growth. The study reports that U.S. consumers would spend more time on streaming video services if it were easier to find content. Highly engaged consumers are more likely to purchase merchandise and are more receptive to advertising. Personalized recommendations can lead consumers to content with higher licensing fees or more lucrative advertising opportunities, boosting the bottomline as FAST (free ad-supported streaming television) channels are on the rise.

According to AOL, now specializing in the ad exchange space, “A publisher’s audience is their currency. No matter how they make money from content — be it through advertising, paid subscription or syndication — a publisher’s core asset is audience and audience data.” To me, this has become quite apparent as studios race to establish their own streaming platforms. 

Generative AI in Media

Where the cloud shines

As I commented previously, media companies have been pioneers in the cloud, creating content, optimizing supply chains and driving new distribution models. Still, some companies continue to lag in terms of outdated back-office solutions. The cloud shines by offering flexible and scalable processes, streamlining operations, discovering new distribution models and empowering data-driven decision-making for maximum efficiency and profitability.

Most companies are gravitating to all-cloud solutions. This shift relieves the burdensome back-office maintenance for rack space expense and staffing to manage infrastructure, not to mention continually upgrading hardware and software. The preference is to let companies specializing in this area handle these tasks. Cloud solutions offer faster and more reliable access at a packaged cost without the overhead.

Generative AI in Media

Embrace change, reap rewards

I’m always inspired to listen to and discuss perspectives with attendees, presenters and fellow exhibitors at the NAB Show. They all work hard to solve difficult and complex problems facing the ever-evolving media and entertainment industry.

As the industry evolves, so must our tools. With the right strategic vision, data-driven solutions, technology and a grasp of evolving consumer preferences and behaviors, media companies like yours can maximize revenue, find new revenue streams, optimize business processes and capitalize on emerging market opportunities.