The NAB Show is a huge conference. There are over 100,000 people that attend, and it’s growing each year. The last time I went was 3 years ago, and a lot has changed since then.
Overall, I thought the content was really great. There was a nice mix around local media, VOD and addressability, but in my opinion, there was too much conversation around programmatic. More than 50% of air time is being given to a topic that will make up only 1-3% of TV revenue over the next few years.
Linear TV is rapidly being replaced by digital TV. What people should be spending more time talking about is business transformation, setting up for an impressions-based world, digital video, and enabling the revenue engine – their sellers. Driving overall profitability should be at the forefront of every conversation around advertising.
As a result of this, the audience for this content (companies looking to solve real problems in digital media) was at the show, but not at the convention center. They were at the Wynn next door. I know because I could barely get a table or a seat at the bar. Many of the top TV executives, even though they were wearing NAB Show badges, were simply having conversations with each other at the Wynn, rather than attending the sessions.
I look at this as an opportunity for the NAB. They’ve got all the great content and all the right people, they just need to bring those things together without moving away from their core. That’s why they’ve asked me to join the AdTech/MarTech Advisory Committee for the show. They want to enable the networking AND the engagement piece of their content. They want more digital media people there, and they want to make them part of the brand and part of the event – not attendees that go to Vegas just to network. They want to bring great speakers and be a player in digital media. And they have to be, because regular TV is only going to be here for so long.
Did you attend NAB show this year? Tell us your thoughts. Do you agree with Lorne’s point of view?
Lorne Brown is CEO at Operative, delivering the world’s leading business management solutions for media companies. Lorne is focused on providing media companies with profitable advertising capabilities that scale across TV, digital, and more. Lorne was the founder and CEO of Operative, Inc., a digital advertising management company, which was acquired by SintecMedia, a TV ad and content management company, at the end of 2016. SintecMedia rebranded to Operative in 2018. Lorne's expertise in providing premium media companies with innovative, flexible business management solutions has helped in to grow the combined company from an outsourced ad ops provider to a global enterprise with products that traffic over $40 billion in digital advertising.
Previously, Lorne worked as Vice President of Sales and Operations at several financial services and technology companies, including BCJ Systems and Royal Blue Technologies, where he oversaw implementations and client partnerships for a web-based trading system. He took the workflow automation knowledge he gained from the finance world and brought it into digital media, creating the first real ad business management platform that spans the process from quote to cash.
Lorne has a degree in Finance and Management Information Systems from the State University of New York at Albany. You can find him on Twitter – @LorneBrown.