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NAB 2024 Preview: Ready to take deep dives to discover what this year’s world premier show offers you?

By Shirish Nadkarni

NAB 2024, the world’s premier broadcast, media and entertainment industry exhibition, opening April 13 to 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, will offer trade visitors opportunities to take deep dives into three carefully curated areas that will impact the broadcast industry in the months ahead as AI (Artificial Intelligence)  continues to permeate all nooks and corners of the media operations.

The organisers of this year’s NAB convention, in face of the fast-changing media landscape, have curated the latest best-of-breed equipment and best practices into three core areas:

  • Create. Everything from pre- to post-production — this is where content finds form.
  • Connect. Everything to do with distribution and delivery — this is where content moves next.
  • Capitalise. Everything to do with ROI (Return on Investment) — this is where content meets commerce.

“This year’s NAB Show drives the stories you tell, the audio you produce, the experiences you create,” says Eric Trabb, NAB Show’s Senior Vice-President, Business Development & Chief Customer Success Officer. “It’s where ambition is amplified, where craft is fine-tuned, where a panoramic view of the content lifecycle pairs with zoomed-in education and a swell of emerging tech and tools.

“Things change fast in this business — literally, in the blink of an eye, like the shutter of a lens. The show allows you to advance to the next frame on all the trends, topics and technologies rewiring the content economy.

“It takes you to the forefront of the conversation on Artificial Intelligence, Audio, Creator Economy, Live Events, Streaming, Virtual Production, Workflow Evolution and every shape-shifting innovation, redefining the future of how you work.”

NAB 2024 is spread across a bigger area this year. While the 2023 edition was spread across the Central, West and North Halls, the forthcoming convention sprawls across the newly reopened South Hall (which had been closed last year for renovation), Central and West Halls, even as the North Hall has been shut down for refurbishment.

The three editions that have followed the  somewhat muted event in the COVID-ravaged year 2020 have witnessed a steady swell of interest in the exhibition. This year’s show promises to be the biggest in recent years, with a mammoth 305 new exhibitors expressing a desire to show off their broadcast products and/or services.

For influencer marketing, one of the biggest key trends to watch for in 2024 is the increasing use of AI. From the integration of AI technology in content creation to enhanced metrics and personalisation, AI’s integration into influencer marketing is reshaping how content is created, how audiences are engaged, and how campaigns are measured for success.

AI will extend its reach even further into influencer marketing in 2024, industry experts agree. Hyperpersonalisation, which tailors content to each individual follower’s specific preferences and behaviours, is one of the biggest AI trends to watch out for this year, according to a report from Ogilvy, entitled “2024 Influence Trends You Should Care About”.

“Captivating narratives, stunning visuals and life-like character interaction – AI is disrupting traditional content creation and delivery,” says Trabb.

The strategic-by-design organisation of NAB 2024 enables delegates and visitors to easily customise the experience to their time and talent. Each area, or collection of technological innovations, is anchored by limitless discovery, learning and networking around ultra-relevant, community-specific trends and topics. 

The expansive Create, Connect and Capitalise innovations and software-defined solutions on the show floors are awe-inspiring, especially in the area of make-and-measure solutions. Whether you want to stay singular focus, go wide-lens or weave in cross-aisle collaboration, NAB 2024 offers exposure to ground-breaking products and broadcasters will get the opportunities to meet some of the experts behind them.

Your journey can be punctuated from the all-new Creator Lab and PropelME to return favourites like CineCentral and Futures Park to the collection of International Pavilions. The organisers have arranged one-hour tours for delegates and visitors at staggered times during all the four days of the exhibition, to allow you to explore in detail the themes or topics of your choice. The Capture Your Vision tour unveils all the insider tricks to help navigate the show halls. 

“AI is reinventing the production workflow across current and emerging media and entertainment disciplines,” says Trabb. “As audiences look for interactive, immersive and responsive experiences that personalise their narrative, AI offers creators the ability to build centralised story-worlds that enable seamless experience creation across multiple platforms.”

Another tour will focus on how AI-enhanced data is improving efficiencies in the media and entertainment value chain and delivering valuable insights. From how content is created, consumed and personalised to impacting the entire production pipeline through predictive and generative AI.

The Evolution of the TV/Video Landscape tour will focus on the most noteworthy technological trends driving the evolution of today’s TV/video landscape towards its innovation-laden future – including the already industry-altering capabilities of AI and machine learning. 

Thematic areas of focus will include broadcast and streaming distribution, video content creation and production, delivery latency, interactivity and personalisation, measurement and data analytics, viewer guidance and navigation, TV/video operating systems, and more.

The New Workflows tour will focus on new production workflow and creation tools that are driving virtual production solutions, real-time content creation tools and the building of immersive experiences. It will reveal how new AI tools are finding ways to streamline and automate critical parts of the production pipeline. 

“Look for information on new LED technologies with improved image quality, spatial computing and its applications and use cases around the management and creation of digital assets and hybrid cloud systems,” says Trabb.

AI’s integration into content creation tools is enhancing the way creators produce, manage, and distribute content. From automating mundane tasks to amplifying creative innovation, AI is transforming the creator economy; and, as it continues to evolve, its integration into the creative process heralds a new era of efficiency, personalisation and engagement. 

New tools like Opus Clip that simplify the video editing process, transforming long-form content into engaging short videos with a single click, cater especially to the preferences of Gen Z audiences. 

Meanwhile, creator-designed platforms such as Prismatic will enable creators to design and produce content that is modular, composable, and remixable, significantly reducing the time and effort required to update and adapt content across various formats and platforms.

Among the exhibitor booths that are likely to draw great attention are the product displays of giants like Sony, AWS and Panasonic, but there are some lesser known brands that appear likely to attract attention. Lexi Recorded makes captioning recorded content quick, easy and economical. This fully automated solution provides lightning-fast turnaround times for time-sensitive news clips, highlights, and promos. 

Companies have also seen the need to incorporate AI to streamline costs and supercharge creativity. In one of the conference sessions that run concurrently with the exhibition, Pinar Seyhan Demirdag, co-founder of creative AI production company Seyhan Lee and a leading advocate for using AI in film-making, plans to clarify assumptions (and quell fears) that the industry has around the new technology. He firmly believes that AI is a tool that benefits human workflows.

Leading AI and computer-vision researcher Dr Hao Li will dive into the cutting-edge world of generative AI during his keynote presentation at the opening session of the this year’s Broadcast Engineering & IT (BEIT) Conference.

NAB’s SVP Trabb is confident that the show’s new Creator Lab will attract eyeballs and footfalls from among the 46,000 visitors expected over the four days of the event. Designed for both creators and organisations looking to partner with them, this initiative encompasses the creative, tech and business of today’s creator economy.

“Creator Lab will be a groundbreaking experience that includes interactive exhibits, expert panels, hands-on workshops and networking events,” he says. “It focuses on creators, equipment, distribution channels and monetisation strategies.”

If you survive NAB 2024 and emerge dizzy with happiness as you find what you need, that’s great. But if after the deep dives, you become dizzy and cannot wrap your mind around what you’re absorbing, it’s normal … relax and slowly distil what you’ve discovered on your long journey home to Asia.

See you at NAB 2025. Or earlier at BroadcastAsia 2024, May 29 – 31, in Singapore!

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