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  • Writer's picturedumont

Back from TVOT SF 2024: Let's keep it simple!

Just got back from the whirlwind that is TVOT SF, and it was another fantastic experience. Huge shoutout to the organizers for putting together such a well-run event – the format, the location (that view of Alcatraz!), the participants – everything was top-notch. Speaking of the location, it did strike me as a bit ironic for a bunch of us in the "TV is breaking free" crowd to be perched overlooking the historic confines of Alcatraz.

TV of Tomorrow Conference in San Francisco 2024
TVOT 2024

This year, a few topics really resonated with me, and they all centered around a common thread: are we, as an industry, overcomplicating things for ourselves and the people we serve?

Jargon Soup: CTV vs. Addressable TV vs. FAST Channels?

First up, addressable TV. Don't get me wrong, the tech is fascinating. But for the life of me, I can't understand why we keep adding layers of complexity to the market. What's the difference between CTV and addressable TV for the folks buying the ad space? Isn't it all just TV, some of it targetable, some not? Wouldn't it be simpler for everyone if we just called it all TV?

Madhive, built for the big stream, set TV free
Madhive Set TV Free

FAST Forwarding Through Confusion

Same goes for FAST channels. Why separate them from the rest of the pack? Do viewers watching them really care if it's SVOD, AVOD, FAST, addressable, or just plain TV? They're watching content, and advertisers need to reach them – period.

A Breath of Fresh Air: "Growing Up FAST: Content and the Modern Latino"

The session titled "Growing Up FAST: Content and the Modern Latino" was a breath of fresh air. The diverse panel, with its unique perspective, was a welcome change, and Albert Thompson did a fantastic job moderating.

Local: A Complicated Dance, But We're All in the Same Ballroom

Finally, the panel on Local TV was a goldmine. Hearing the CEOs and execs from Gray Television (Pat LaPlatney), Sinclair (Rob Weisbord), Nexstar (Stacey Lynn Schulman), Allen Media (Princell Hair) and Locality (Ann Hailer) talk about their commitment to empowering local businesses was refreshing. They all emphasized the importance of omnichannel distribution and acknowledged the inherent challenges (and creativity!) required to make local content truly valuable.

The whole "frenemies" dynamic in the local space was also fascinating. While there's certainly competition, there's also a sense of collaboration – everyone understands that a bigger pie benefits everyone.

Overall, TVOT SF 2024 was a great chance to connect with industry leaders and get a glimpse into the future of television. Here's hoping that future involves a little less jargon and a lot more focus on the core value proposition: connecting viewers with the content they love, and advertisers with the audiences they crave.


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