SXSW 2020 is Streaming Central
The Forrest Four-Cast: March 3, 2020
Innovative thought-leaders from the technology and entertainment industries come together in Austin at SXSW. For 2020, one topic that these thought-leaders are devoting a lot of attention to is streaming. What follows are ten of our favorite panels and presentations at the SXSW Conference that cover this ever-evolving method of content delivery.
After Amazon and Netflix: Navigating Distribution (March 13): North American indie film and doc distribution has been on a wild ride over the last decade. The arrival of Netflix and Amazon as aggressive acquirers of content for their SVOD services resulted in almost guaranteed licensing fees for films with prestigious festival premiers for many years. It was a golden age for filmmakers and distributors. Then they changed direction to focus on producing their own content and the word on the street was that the ground had fallen out from beneath the industry. Where are we today and what are the opportunities? How has the market changed?
Are There Too Many Subscription Streaming TV Services? (March 21): There is no shortage of subscription streaming TV services in the marketplace from which to choose: Disney+, Philo, fuboTV, YouTube TV, and the list goes on. Has the market reached a point of saturation? Is there room for more? What does this mean for traditional distribution systems? Our panel of experienced dealmakers will discuss these questions and will explore the legal and business issues that arise in contract negotiations in this space.
The Battle for the Streaming Consumer (March 16): The streaming wars are heating up as consumers are cutting the cord at a rapid pace. Hulu and YouTubeTV are just two of the streamers looking to change the way viewers are consuming film and television. With more entrants entering the category every day, competition is rising, the stakes are higher and the bundles are bigger. Join leaders from today’s top streaming services as they discuss the major shift underway and discuss where is the industry headed.
Fair Use in the Age of Content Consumption (March 21): Netflix, Disney+, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, Quibi, Twitch . . . . With the rapid growth and expansion of digital platforms allowing for content to be at everyone’s fingertips, one thing is clear — Content is still King! An ever increasing need for content to fill these new media outlets inevitably means pushing the boundaries on the use of others’ works without permission. With legislative changes to the law impractical in order to keep up in the fast-paced world, this panel will discuss how and if fair use can be used to give consumers the content that they crave.
How HBO Max Plans to Break Through the Streaming Space (March 16): While consumption habits have changed over the years, one thing hasn’t: consumers crave a good story. In conversation with MediaLink Chairman & CEO Michael E. Kassan, Warner Media Entertainment’s Chairman Bob Greenblatt will shed light on HBO Max’s strategy to expand a treasured brand into new (streaming) territory, how it will stay disciplined in a marketplace that is anything but, and the importance of quality programming in an age of infinite content.
How the Rise of Short Form Content Impacts Music (March 18): Clocking in under two minutes, the hit “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X has exemplified the power of bite-sized content and how a meme can provide the momentum for an artist’s success. As short-form content services like TikTok and Snapchat increasingly become a place of new music discovery, we’ll discuss how content specifically tailored to capitalize on the strengths of these platforms can drive views, new sources of revenue, and more for artists.
The Music World Beyond Streaming (March 18): Troy Carter, founder of Q&A, the Atom Factory and former Head of Creative Services at Spotify, and Damian Bradfield, Chief Creative Officer of WeTransfer, focus on fostering musicians’ growth. Drawing from experiences working with artists like Lady Gaga, John Legend, Lykke Li, and FKA twigs, they will explore why brands need to focus on identifying and shedding light on the stories behind each artist, embracing the uniqueness and goals of each artist, and maintaining artistic integrity.
QuickTake by Bloomberg: Disrupting Global News in a Streaming World (March 15): Social media has transformed the pace and delivery of global news. So why does broadcast news still feel like it’s stuck in the 20th century? And what should news look like across our devices in this new age of social and streaming? Get the first look at the new streaming global news channel and over-the-top (OTT) programming from QuickTake by Bloomberg. Hear how QuickTake is taking the fight to the traditional networks and reinventing premium news video for the next generation.
Rising Sun: Japanese Streaming Market now in Asia (March 19): This session’s purpose is to share what is actually happening in Japanese digital music market now (third largest now). See the market and shift that has been started through the data as macro point of view and introducing the unique functions and campaigns on the domestic streaming service provider, practical promotion and tips from the independent artist producer in Japan. The Japanese market is starting to open up to the world through streaming, now “the Sun is rising.”
Supporting Artists Beyond the Stream (March 19): This session explores the latest tech driving live event discovery and e-commerce beyond the more traditional channels of music streaming and discovery. From voice-driven commerce, travel platform integrations, to discovery and purchase directly on search results and maps surfaces, come hear about how technology is being utilized in groundbreaking ways.
Too Much Damn Content (March 16): The Washington Post alone publishes nearly 3,500 articles per week. More than 20,000 songs are added to Spotify every day. Your mattress company has a lifestyle magazine. The race to make the internet a seamless, content fountain is starting to feel more like a firehose. Are we ignoring a growing mindset — people who feel anxious in the face of content overload? If so, how do we design for them?
User Centric: Streaming Gentrification or Fairness (March 19): Streaming is here to stay, but is it a sustainable ecosystem for new artists? Artists call the current model “streaming gentrification” because the status quo seems to be a hyper efficient market share distribution of royalties to the biggest sellers. Fans pay for music they don’t listen to. What is the “user centric” or “ethical pool” alternative to the status quo and is it any better? The audience gets to participate in critiquing each model.
Streaming is just one of the many many different content threads at the 2020 SXSW Conference. Find the topics that interest you most by browsing the online schedule. Use the search bar at the top right corner of the interface to locate what you find most compelling.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.