NAB New York, a relatively new show happened last week and I went to go and see what it was all about and if it could live up to its Las Vegas counterpart
New York: Invited by the General Manager for Tedial USA, Jay Batista, I attended the NAB New York Show at the Javits Centre in Manhattan. Faced by what surprised me as a large crowd of people at the entrance this seems to be a very popular show and reminded me how big the market in New York is for Media and Entertainment. The queue to pick up my badge in the morning was over an hour wait which was luckily cut down to 15 mins as Jay came out with one of the spare passes he had, which was in the name of Esther, the head of Marketing, so I resigned myself to a day of been called Esther by everyone.
NAB New York is on one floor of the Javits Centre and is about half the size of one of the smaller halls at NAB Las Vegas. There are 7 halls in Las Vegas. Walking around NAB New York took about 2 hours whereas NAB Las Vegas takes about 3 days, so substantially smaller but still very well attended.
What fascinates me about New York Media and Entertainment is the mix of old and new. There is still a lot of very traditional resellers, the largest of them being B&H, who have a huge shop nearby. They are the go-to people for cameras, editing kit, audio and peripherals. They had a large stand right at the front of the entrance, which dwarfed everyone else.
As you worked your way into the show the stands had no real logic to them, you would have a cable supplier next to a cloud provider and then a satellite supplier. This was, in retrospect, good as you had to do the whole show in case you missed something.
All the normal players that you would expect were there: BlackMagic, Dalet, Tedial, Sony, Panasonic and then some others that surprised me like Pebble Beach, a UK playout software company.
The mid-level MAM market was well represented by Axel, CatDV and Cantemo. Talking to people at the show about anything for below $30K, CatDV seems to be the choice as they have a very strong distributor in the USA. I think we should expect to see the larger players enter this zone soon as they begin to double-down in order to gain traction in the middle space. There are a number of stories going around about how companies have invested in asset management products, outgrown them very quickly and had to pay big bucks to transition over to more enterprise platforms. I hope that works its way through very soon as it is not great for the market and the users.
In Europe, we are very focused on workflow, automation and OTT delivery. In the USA, they are not so focused on that or at least at the show I did not see a lot of evidence of that. They all know they need to do the digital transition but with so many channels, traditional broadcast and delivery are still very strong there. You do not see quite the same pressures that we do in the UK, with BBC, ITV, C4 and 5 being pushed out by Netflix and Amazon. HBO, Viacom and CBS are still very strong there and especially in New York where they have their headquarters.
On talking to some of the big players, it is interesting to get their points of view on the market. They see that Amazon and Netflix are a risk but they also know that most households have and watch traditional TV still, mostly to watch Sports. NBA, NFL are all massive in the USA, as is college football, and that is what drives cable and TV usage. As long as sports is king, they all have a market.
Media management and media automation is important to them and going forward they know they will have to compete, but the reality is that the market is just so much bigger, so they can afford to experiment and they can afford to wait and see. They do not have the same challenges over formats and standards that we have over here. 4K and UHD is not nearly as prevalent and in fact, is challenging for the US market as most broadcasters do not know what to do with it.
It is an interesting time for us in New York. NAB New York reminded me just how big that market is and what a unique offering we have in what is still quite a conservative marketplace but one that is also happy to take risks and invest in innovation to get ahead.