ISE 2024 Content Production & Distribution Summit review

ISE 2024 Content Production & Distribution Summit review
Ciarán Doran, content chair and co-presenter of the ISE 2024 Content Production & Distribution Summit (alongside futurist Amelia Kallman) reviews this year's event.

The Content Production & Distribution Summit name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but for 2024 the sub-heading was 'Brands - The New Broadcasters'. While this sub-heading was intentionally provocative it resonated with both conference attendees and visitors to the show floor. Broadcasters have already been visiting ISE, many of them for products that enable virtual production, studio LED screens etc. but more and more are looking at the business case and seeking new customers for the solutions and services they themselves already provide to the television broadcast industry.

Tom MorrodCoining the term 'AV Broadcast', this ISE Summit has demonstrated a coming-of-age in the field of convergence between AV with traditional television broadcast technologies. The growth in this sector is rapid, explained Tom Morrod, co-founder at Caretta Research, and the new buyers are nontraditional media & entertainment companies operating in a new and exciting space. Tom also explained that with a market opportunity of $14bn, premium content is no longer the preserve of big media.

PanelIABM supported the Summit and Lorenzo Zanni, IABM Head of Knowledge, held a discussion of the data provided by both IABM and Caretta alongside industry experts Alain Polgar (Chyron), Tim Strand (Jigsaw24), Kevin Schwutke (ARRI Solutions) and Abi Hemingway (Jackshoot). The outcome was clear from the data and the discussion that the historical interest that pro-AV manufacturers had in the television broadcast market is now (more than) balanced by the interest that broadcast manufacturers have in the pro-AV customer vertical.

Oscar JusteIn his keynote Summit address, Oscar Juste, SVP at Ross Video, summarised this convergence neatly with the definition that the AV Broadcast market is the intersection where state-of-the-art broadcast technology meets advanced AV applications. Juste went on to describe how and why Ross Video and other Tier 1 broadcast manufacturers are focussing on how they serve the corporate and brand market more earnestly. “Viewers retain 95% of a video message, process visuals 60 times faster than text and a single minute of video is worth 1.8m words!”

Frederic FievezThe resonance of brands becoming broadcasters was most interesting in the presentation by Frédéric Fiévez, COO of Broadcasting Center Europe, which, after nearly 90 years at the heart of television broadcasting with RTL group, among others, is delivering its expertise and services to high-end clients in the Fashion & Business sectors such as LVMH and ASO. Delivering content for a fashion show to the screens, small and large, of several hundred million viewers globally, bypasses traditional distribution methods and geographic barriers; it also speaks directly to consumers whose email address and buying patterns the client already knows.

While technology enables creativity it is clear that technology convergence is also enabling flexibility, efficiencies of scale, environmental sustainability and the democratisation of content creation.

Sarah CoxSarah Cox delivered an uplifting presentation about the merging of real and virtual worlds with XR (the combined forces of AR/VR/MR) that, within just a few short years (the pandemic was a factor here) have enabled new spaces to come alive for content creation from anywhere that look like they are anywhere else.

Michael McKennaA real-life example of this was delivered in a case study presentation by Michael McKenna, MD of Final Pixel, on how his company used advanced virtual production to create a winning VP formula for Oracle Red Bull Racing. Virtual production enabled the team to “do things in the time that they had which would otherwise be completely impossible”, not least because the RB19 racing car was embargoed and the drivers could not be present for a live on-street shoot.

Jacques BarreauJacques Barreau showed us how audio is also being democratised through technologies that are enabling dubbing to take place on a global scale with rights management built in for the talented artists regardless of their geography.

While technology convergence has been occurring for the last two decades, a more recent development is the shift in focus from the office of the CIO to CMO. Corporate and brand marketing officers, looking for new ways to engage and excite their customers, are creating high quality content to match their brand.

Storytelling is a key element to success in any media creation and Casual Films cinematographer/ producer David Cerquerio, delivered an excellent presentation explaining how the shift in consumer expectation is one that is in search of “brands who have something to say, rather than just something to sell.”

Quoting Business Insider, Cerquerio went on to say, “Blue-chip brands have been pouring money into filmed entertainment. Mattel's Barbie is just the latest example […] Some see a day when the streamers actively seek out content from brand-driven studios as they would any Hollywood production company.”

Stacia PfeifferStacia Pfeiffer, project manager at Pixomondo and herself a winner of the 2023 CogX Award for 'Best Innovation in the Creative Arts', took the story-telling theme further with her presentation about how an evolution of human capability, through AI, is delivering a new period of creative renaissance. What can these tools can do for our work and for our spirit; posing the question, “Can AI help to usher in a new age of Renaissance and freedom?”

Abi HemingwayThe finishing keynote address from Abi Hemingway, co-founder and managing director of Jackshoot, concluded the summit, aptly describing how and why brands are becoming broadcasters. While the Merriam-Webster dictionary used to describe ‘broadcast’ as “to send out or transmit by means of radio or television”, it has now added “or by streaming over the Internet”. Abi Hemingway is a streaming expert and her business, Jackshoot, specialises in global live streaming of events – for example, some recent major UK royal events that would be fitting of a television broadcaster. Brands are now using the services of such companies like Jackshoot and BCE to deliver important and even exciting content onto our screens in our hands or our homes.

The intention of hosting the Content Production & Distribution Summit at ISE was to highlight corporates and brands that are using broadcast technologies and services providers to create great content to deliver directly to their audiences. While flagship stories may be happening at the top end of this market, it is clear that there is a real desire by many corporate market segments at many different levels in the value chain to match the quality of their storytelling and video making with the quality of their brand.

ISE enables Summit delegates to find the right partners on the show floor; brands and corporates, and even broadcasters, with stories to tell and budgets to spend; they're hungry to make great video and they're looking for the best products, the best services and the best professionals to help them make that happen.

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