A couple of us were among the 100,000+ attendees at the recent NAB Show in April. If you’ve never been to the show, it would be kind of tricky to describe it fully since it’s rather broad and all-encompassing when it comes to media and digital content. The National Association of Broadcasters describes it as follows:
[NAB Show is] the world’s largest convention encompassing The M.E.T. Effect, the convergence of media, entertainment and technology. With 103,000 attendees from 166 countries and 1,700+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is where global visionaries convene to bring content to life in new and exciting ways.
That’s not a bad summary of what we saw, nor of the kinds of media companies we’ve enjoyed working with over the years. At this years’ event, there were dozens of drones on display, flying in cages that were just big enough to accommodate their impressive maneuverability and stability control, and frequent enough to make it very clear that there will be a lot more cameras flying above us in the near future, be it for use by hobbyists, news crews, filmmakers, or even emergency services.
As one would expect, in addition to drones, there were cameras all over the place. From 8K machines projecting to 8k TVS to 360-degree cameras that could live stream for a viewer’s fully immersive experience (we actually found one of the round screens that were set up to be bit dizzying).
Throughout the conference, we had numerous conversations that revealed an interesting trend, something we had already experienced at SXSW and were now hearing again in Vegas: content management systems (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM) are of the essence. As the NAB noted in a press release, throughout the show, a “diverse array of leading industry professionals highlighted the latest advances in streaming, engineering and content creation.” Which is to say that almost everything around the show was driven by the need to manage and deliver digital content.
At SXSW, we heard many experts in the medical field talk about the vital need to manage patient data and to make that data more refined, reliable, and useful. At NAB, there were similar discussions, not so much in terms of individualized data, but rather in terms of getting huge amounts of data to the right people in the production pipeline, and doing so efficiently, across multiple platforms, and through varying types of security protocols. Some companies have found that AI could help manage the storage of data, but there were still issues concerning the use of that data across different types of production software and hardware.
The opportunity we saw at NAB was for a firm like Art+Logic to step in and help some of these industry-specific companies create plugins and modules to help make their software and storage solutions work more effectively for their clients. We also talked to a number of companies that found themselves in what seemed like a familiar bind. They had a lot of work in development, but were starting to fall behind with their in-house development processes. It’s not that their teams were unable to do the work, they just had too much work to be done, and some of it fell outside the scope of their in-house expertise. Over the years, we’ve often found ourselves in the unique position of having the kind of experience and expertise to help companies through these periods of growth. When a company in this kind of a bind hires us, it allows their in-house team to focus on their immediate needs, thereby easing their pressure a bit by trusting us to take care of the coding that could either be too costly or too temporary to bring in-house.
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