This article is part of our July series about the state of media and entertainment. Click here for more.
Emerging technology is all around us, as brands test, experiment, and make big bets on augmented and virtual reality, voice, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and the like.
For the media and entertainment (M&E) industry, specifically, the use cases involve new forms of storytelling to appeal to younger and connected audiences.
So how are M&E brands pushing the content-consumption envelope in ways that will extend beyond just their industry? Let’s take a look at five doing exactly that.
The Associated Press: AI
Like many publishers today, the AP is trying to figure out ways to boost its content velocity. AI to the rescue?
Indeed, the company is testing AI--image recognition and computer vision, in particular--to automatically tag images and videos in its asset management system. The idea is to help journalists navigate AP’s large repository of visual content.
The company is also using AI for content production. For example, it uses machine learning and natural language processing to automate sports and quarterly earnings updates. Francesco Marconi, AP’s strategy manager and co-lead on artificial intelligence, told AdExchanger in February that this has helped the publisher go from about 300 stories each quarter to close to 4,000--a 12x lift in content output.
The NFL is using 360-degree video to bring fans more immersive replays. To do so, the sports league partnered with Intel to soup up its stadiums with 5K ultra-high-definition cameras to capture the greatest plays from every angle. The strategy? To immerse fans in the game, whether or not they make it to the stadium.
In addition, each venue is equipped with servers that process up to 1 terabyte of data per 15- to 30-second clip. From there, the volumetric video travels through fiber-optic cables to a special control room, where Intel producers virtually re-create the clip in 3D from an ideal vantage point or player’s perspective. In doing so, they are taking fans directly into the game from angles traditional cameras can’t reach, according to Intel.
Digiday reports that the BBC is making a formal investment in voice technology. In December the British media brand made its entire suite of audio content available on Amazon voice devices. The effort took about five months and provides device users access to BBC podcasts and its 56 radio stations.
Right now BBC is just repurposing its existing audio content for voice, with future plans to create content specifically for these devices. In fact, the publisher is pairing its editorial staff with software engineers to collaborate on the content experience for voice technology, according to Digiday.
Nickelodeon: Virtual Reality
SlimeZone is a Nickelodeon-themed multiplayer social virtual reality experience created by the Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab. The experience is currently available in IMAX centers globally. Up to six players can enter this virtual world to play games, watch cartoons, and even slime their friends.
“Our SlimeZone partnership with IMAX lets kids and families interact with Nickelodeon properties and characters by bringing them to life in new and innovative ways,” said Nickelodeon Group president Cyma Zarghami. “This new VR experience will also show the creative community how we are using technology to create unique forms of entertainment for all ages.”
By looking out for certain phrases, Facebook Messenger now delivers Spotify suggestions whenever users bring up music in their conversations. For example, if a user types “play some music” or “listen to music,” he will see the option to “Find Music” in Spotify. Or if a specific singer or group is named, Messenger will ask the user if she would like to listen to her music via Spotify.