January 2020

AI, Screen Technologies (8K) & 5G Shape the Future of Innovations for the Media & Advertising market

A CES2020 Roundup by RTL AdConnect

CES this year focused heavily on TV, content and connectivity. Everywhere, from mobile devices to cars, the emphasis was placed on being smart and connected to provide greater access to quality content which, as it’s part of our DNA, is great news for RTL AdConnect.

For Stéphane Coruble, CEO of RTL AdConnect, the 2020 edition of CES was an outstanding occasion to start this new decade. The week was filled with over 20,000 product debuts revealing the future of technology, being fed by the latest trends and technologies from 4,400 companies, introduced by 1,000 inspiring speakers to an audience of 170,000 attendees from all over the globe.

The main take-outs:

  • Everything is getting smarter and more connected to simplify people’s lives.
  • Screens are becoming more flexible, with an unbelievable level of quality (8K).
  • Artificial intelligence is becoming a must-have in most businesses.

Connected Homes on the rise
Ballie was a much-covered highlight from Samsung. A small, rolling “robot butler” designed to connect to smart homes that can wake you up, open the curtains and even act as a fitness assistant.

Security is hot in connected devices. From outdoor lights to accompany connected cameras, fingerprint security and there was even a connected garage cam, probably for keeping an eye on your connected car.

Cars become more connected too
Self-driving cars are still not ready for the road. But, you could have a Lamborghini with built-in Alexa personal assistant thanks to a tie-up with auto start-up Rivian. 

A surprise to many, the Vision S concept car from SONY was a chance for the firm to illustrate a future for connected in-car entertainment. Samsung also unveiled a vehicle, the Digital Cockpit 2020 providing more than legroom for interactive possibilities.

Artificial Intelligence reshapes content production
Artificial intelligence was presented as the key to surviving the new decade for most companies. Expected to spread significantly across industries over the next decade, AI was a huge focus for media and advertising companies – from Samsung’s NEON avatars with Alexa-like conversational skills, through to AI camera systems from a number of companies at the show. In terms of TV data, Warner announced that it is adopting a customized AI platform from Cinelytic. While the system will be used “throughout the content value chain,” studio sources emphasized that distribution data is the focus.

Rosebud.ai creates avatars of people that can be used in advertising. They can be easily changed in terms of race and hair colour, and L’Oreal the global cosmetics firm, discussed how artificial intelligence could be used to create photoshoots that don’t need models, an idea that could have a huge impact in terms of cost for talent, production and how audiences feel and react to fake advertising content.

I was impressed by the technology. This could totally change how models and celebrities appear in advertising, It could be very lucrative for models and famous people who may look to licensing their image, increasing the amount of work they can do and appear in while advertisers could pay for those images and end up with multiple celebrities at a fraction of the cost. Meanwhile, not having to fly models around the world could also mean less of a negative impact to the environment,” said Stéphane Coruble.

Creating this content provides an amazing opportunity for content production companies, but also brings dangers around falsifying images that is leading companies such as DeepTrace to develop synthetic video verifications and identifications.

My main concern is that the use of such a convincing technology needs to be clearly communicated to audiences. Nobody likes to be tricked. As AI improves, legacy media owners and brands need to discuss and devise a framework to regulate the use of computer generated images and ensure that advertising does not end up being distributed for the wrong reasons like deep fakes and their possible impact on news reports.” commented Stéphane Coruble.

Television tech boosts consumer choice
Television manufacturers really took a big step forward this year in terms of reinventing TV usage. The outstanding innovations at CES this year – including Samsung’s massive The Wall, the rotating Sero, and LG’s roll-up and roll-down OLEDs.

The industry is also simplifying the usage of television. Super-connected and smart sets, complete with high-quality image and sound, can now completely supplant the smartphone screen when it comes to watching content.

The big brands in TV had plenty to show off. TCL’s Hisense presser was about adding more features in its 2020 line-up of quantum dot TVs. Ad support streamer Tubi will be embedded in Hisense TVs offering over 20,000 titles, from horror films to reality TV. A big ad draw for Tubi is its demographics – reaching more thirty-somethings than traditional broadcasters.

And 8K was everywhere, Samsung’s 2020 TVs bringing many more consumer choices to market. Samsung Filmmaker Mode was well received and promises to improve picture processing so that viewers can watch as directors meant them to in terms of aspect ratio, colour and frame rate.

Growth of streaming and OTT reach to fuel ad growth
The Global Over the Top (OTT) Services Market is set to reach USD 132.4 million by 2025, so there was plenty to talk about in streaming and OTT services at CES.

TiVo is tossing its hat into the streaming game with a new 4K-capable, Android TV-powered device that will be sold at retail and distributed in tandem with cable operators. Quibi, designed for viewing on a phone, in 10 minutes or less, was also present at the show, with the promise of a roster of Hollywood stars to build interest in video-streaming technology.

A key stat quoted at CES was 20%-30% of TV viewing is on streaming services but only 3% of advertising budgets are allocated to these platforms. Linda Yaccarino of NBC said that 2020 could be the year of change and significant benefits from digital advertising in terms of responding to demand from advertisers for safe environments in which to run their ads.

Digital dominators unveil new partnerships
With Fire TV Edition for Operators, Amazon plans to make it easier for cable and satellite companies to offer a customized streaming experience. It is also pursuing deals to start selling streaming video advertising outside of its own Fire TV ecosystem, on platforms such as Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation and Android TV.
Twitter is developing enhanced interactive features for its media partners including interactivity for events like the Oscars. Meanwhile, Twitter and the NBA, together with WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports, announced a multi-year deal extension.

Dabby, the streaming device that merges Netflix and other services, made its debut at CES 2020. This device aims to break down the barriers between streaming services, letting you search for any video content as long as it’s legal and online, without the use of apps.

Project OAR, the consortium working to recommend standard protocols for TV programmers and platforms to easily manage, sell and deliver more relevant advertising, announced a series of updates that put it on track to hit its first targets.