Bad news if you’ve been avoiding CES, the sprawling tech show in Las Vegas: You’re going to have to go next year. That’s because the show isn’t just about gadgets and big screen TVs anymore. It’s now the second Cannes, declares Ashley J. Swartz, founder of advertising technology collective Furious Corps. It’s a hub for media professionals: CES is about more data, more content, and more consumer touchpoints. It’s important for advertisers to understand that. They need to know where ads will show up and be meaningful.
The biggest media news coming out of CES ’16 was Netflix’s shocker that it had launched in over 130 countries and was now a global network.
“At the end of the day, their share price rose 12 points after that announcement,” Swartz says. “So I think that no matter what, the ad-free subscription VOD model—or SVOD, as we call it—is working. I think it’s really notable for us in the industry that we need to stand up and pay attention to that, given the numbers we see coming out about fragmentation of audiences and cannibalization of TV over digital platforms.”
Virtual reality was another big theme this year. While it’s still early days for VR, this more immersive type of video could open the door to bold new advertising experiences.
“It’s still kind of weird, and if you put on the Oculus Rift I still feel a little nauseous, but I liken virtual reality to Google Glass, which kind of was virtual reality, right? The idea is that it’s not scalable until we have a more meaningful way to make it wearable or usable. And I’m not really sure what the advertising play is,” Swartz admits. “There are really interesting unique ideas for shopability in VR, and in-store experience, and try-ons and things like that, but are they scalable, and how quickly is this technology really going to be adopted unless we address some of the issues around the physical impact you have when trying to use this hardware like Oculus?”
For more CES ’16 takeaways, watch the Beet.tv video below (used with permission). The desert air made Swartz hoarse, but she still has a lot to say.