Tracy Swedlow, CEO, Founder, TMRW Corp., Executive Producer of The TV of Tomorrow Show & Editor-in-Chief of InteractiveTV Today [itvt], is a futurist who also hosts one of the most forward thinking conferences in the industry. Her TV of Tomorrow Conference is held twice a year – in San Francisco and in New York. The SF conference is this week.
Each event is a flash flood of groundbreaking ideas and studies. What are the trends? What is the future? Will disruption ever slow down or stop? I asked Swedlow the following questions:
Charlene Weisler: What are the highlights of this year’s San Francisco TVOT?
Tracy Swedlow: This is the best line-up ever including discussions and firesides by CEO of Machinima, CSO of Mashable, President of PopSugar and President of Vox, CPO of CNN, EVP of Digital from NBC Entertainment. There are also lots of Periscope and YouNow stars and other influencers. Panels include TV and Video Innovation in the 2016 Presidential Election, All about eSports, Debate on the FCC's Proposal to "Unlock the Set-Top Box", Focus on Turner Ignite, The Future of Influencer Marketing, TV's New Entrants and our Verizon DMS Bridge Track which focuses on scale and OTT delivery issues and tracking.
Charlene Weisler: What has changed in the industry since last year’s conference?
Tracy Swedlow: There are quite a few major trends occurring now. More companies getting into the OTT business - It's growing exponentially. Interest in VR/AR is skyrocketing. Social media, politics and advertising have had a huge influence. There is a rise in new formats of content because of increase of democratized livestreaming platforms.
Charlene Weisler : Is there anything going on in the industry now that surprises or shocks you? If so what?
Tracy Swedlow: That the industry is just coming to the awareness of things we predicted in the early 90's!!! I love the rise of new forms of content and experimentation on livestreaming platforms.
Charlene Weisler : Is it even possible to predict how the industry will look three years from now?
Tracy Swedlow: More people will be able to start their own OTT networks. More individuals will get deals and join much larger companies like Michelle Phan did for Endemol Beyond. Advertising will, hopefully, understand the power of Tcommerce (direct ROI) and interactive TV and there will be more social and interactive engagement across all services using video primarily.
Charlene Weisler: What do you see coming up on the horizon?
Tracy Swedlow: There will be more uses of VR and livestreaming, more opportunities for commerce (see above). More people and organizations will be using video as their primary vehicle of communication. More kids will be using video as their primary vehicle of communication and experimenting. Snapchat!!!
Charlene Weisler: I am dizzy! When will disruption stop?
Tracy Swedlow: Never, I hope. I embrace it.
Charlene Weisler: There are so many announcements out there. In your opinion, what is hot and what is not?
Tracy Swedlow: ‘Not’ are the cable companies who continue to lag behind and are not innovating fast enough. Micro video and social media will be hot. Livestreaming and VR will be hot. Measurement and tracking will be hotter and hotter. Data will continue to be the most important thing and the main thing that generates real value and revenue for companies.