NAB Show’s return to the East Coast was triumphant. I’ve attended NAB New York every year since it started and it was more crowded than ever after its two year hiatus with folks eager to hear about the latest video solutions.
NAB, But Make It A Day Trip
What I love about NAB New York is that the barrier to entry is pretty low. For New England and Mid-Atlantic folks, it’s easy enough to get to Javits Center for the day. If you’re coming in via Grand Central or Penn Station, the subway stops less than two blocks from the entrance. If you prefer a bus to a train (or are just looking to get there on a tighter budget) the Megabus stops just one block away.
You can easily walk the whole show (and its partner show AES—more on that later) in less than a day. Even if you’ve scheduled a handful of meetings, it’s feasible to cover the whole floor and still grab dinner and an early show before heading back home. Sure, nothing beats the NAB Show Las Vegas experience, but this is a nice video expo, with an awesome audio companion show to boot, that you can check out between the larger conventions.
Tech Chat Stage & Content Theater
The presenters on the tech chat stage had a clear focus: get everyone on the same page about streaming delivery, connected TV, app development, and all the vocabulary you need to navigate your own project planning. The biggest reason for the shift? Detailed analytics. No real surprise there. Though we don’t want to sell traditional cable short. The latest statistics show folks with cable are still averaging about three hours of daily watch time. For those of us in the PEG world, that’s still a big window of influence to leverage while you mount your streaming channel initiative.
AES - The True Star of The Show
NAB New York presents in tandem with the Audio Engineering Society’s annual convention (AES), which is a natural fit as most video folks need audio tips and tools too. While NAB had its fair share of hands-on booths, AES was the clear winner for gearheads.
If you came looking for solutions for your podcast or LPFM studio build-out, it was a great place to see, hear and touch the best headphones, mics, sound boards and mixers.
But why I really loved AES (and why I say it was the star of the show) was that the lineup of speakers, especially on their Mix with the Masters stage, featured powerhouse producers sharing their wisdom all day long FOR FREE. This audiophile will not be missing it ever again!
Community Media Takeaways
I attended NAB New York on Community Media Day, so I was walking the floor with our PEG friends in mind, many of whom are doing their best to find their new place in this changing media landscape. The good news is, so are the network giants! You’re not alone, but you’ve also got way less to lose by taking risks and shooting for stars. In a streaming media world, the metrics the PEG industry has craved, the equal billing in content marketplaces and search, and high definition channel playback (hello there, 1998!) are all within reach.
On top of that, PEG and other Community Media orgs will have unprecedented direct access to their viewers. This opens up a whole new path for donations, underwriting and more! The cost to launch non-commercial video streaming apps is incredibly low and you’re not under pressure out the gate to maintain a current subscriber base. You can only go up from here.
Another interesting takeaway was on a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, local news. News networks are scrambling to figure out how to produce news while maintaining their bottom line, but many Community Media stations around the country already have great models for this along with zero pressure from shareholders.
I left the show feeling encouraged that Community Media is poised to claim more local media influence on the fastest growing platforms if they’re just willing to reach out and take it in this crucial moment.
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