CES Preview Looks At Tech Trends For 2011
Reported By Perry Michael Simon, At CES
January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM (PT)
Amidst talk that little compelling new technology appears to be on tap at the convention and with consumer appetite for recent developments like 3D TV disappointing, the 2012 International CES opened for the press and analysts SUNDAY with the CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION's Chief Economist and Dir./Research SHAWN DUBRAVAC looking at "2012 Trends to Watch," including the scaling of attributes and content to different sizes of devices (like tablets) and the addition of more sensors in more devices.
DUBRAVAC also said he sees the present as the beginning of the second phase of the digital transition, leveraging the additional capabilities of all the digital devices now owned by the public. He also called 2012 "the year of the interface," with voice and gesture controls becoming more commonplace
The rapidly changing face of the global consumer electronics market was the topic of a presentation by CEA Director of Industry Analysis STEVE KOENIG and GfK Boutique Research Global Business Director STEVE BAMBRIDGE, with the key takeaway being how developing markets are driving growth as developed markets like most of the West are declining overall. Smartphones and tablets are leading that growth, although they, too are slowing. Spending on older technologies (like printers, game consoles, camcorders and home audio) is shrinking as the newer technologies supplant them.
Press Gets Head Start On The Festivities
Press Day at CES is being held TODAY (1/9), with the show officially opening on TUESDAY (1/10). TODAY's activity included several press conferences by major manufacturers at the VENETIAN hotel, starting with LG's introduction of motion sensor remote control of TVs and a refrigerator that can chill a beer can in five minutes. Meanwhile, at the LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER, comSCORE SVP of Telecom and Mobile BRIAN JURUTKA presented his company's research on Internet usage, including the substantial shift from only occasional use of online video to frequent use as quality has improved, and the ascendancy of "connected devices" like smartphones and tablets for Internet use. Significantly for advertising purposes, a large majority of consumption of major sites is from outside the U.S.
ENVISIONAL Head of Piracy Intelligence DAVID PRICE offered his consultancy's research on content piracy, claiming that 23.8% of all content traffic is unauthorized. BitTorrent, he said, accounts for 11.4% of all content and 18.9% of U.S. content, and about half of all pirated material, with cyberlockers second. Americans are heaviest users of legitimate alternatives, while Russians are the heaviest per capita users of BitTorrent. He recounted the "lessons of NAPSTER," suggesting that the music industry's main takeaway -- that it could sue foes out of business -- should rather have been the technological lessons that peer-to-peer distribution works well and can be profitable. As far as what is being torrented, most of it is pornography and movies; only 2.9% is music, PRICE said. He added that while the system can be used for non-infringing reasons, practically all of the torrenting is of either copyrighted, protected material or porn. Music is only slightly more popular via cyberlockers, just under 10%. PRICE suggested three approaches to counter piracy, suing the file-sharing services (which he said was battling the tide of the Internet), work to provide legitimate alternatives (with NETFLIX as an example), or, through legislation like SOPA and Protect-IP or by blocking IPs, stopping users from finding the material, an approach he said is not preferable to encouraging legitimate, easy-to-use alternatives.
New Media Metric; It's All About Actual Sales Generated
At a forum on advertising accountability in digital media, the panel discussed how the metric in new media has shifted from ratings numbers to actual sales generated by the campaigns and the importance of mobile marketing as the category becomes a larger part of companies' marketing mix. MOCHILA President and CEO BENJAMIN CHEN raised a side issue of what cell phone carriers can do with the marketing information they have amassed, noting, "VERIZON's problem is figuring out what they can legally provide to advertisers," namely the usage and personal data the company has compiled about every one of its subscribers. And FIZZOLOGY COO JEN HANDLEY noted that one change wrought on agencies and clients from the new media landscape is that marketing campaigns need to be turned around and launched faster.
More Apps, More Immersive
The explosion of smartphone and tablet apps was examined by a panel MONDAY afternoon, with SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT EVP of Global Digital Business MICHAEL PAULL touting the company's use of apps to create a more immersive experience for fans (it "gets the soul back" into the music, he asserted) and noting that the company has succeeded in monetizing some apps, including a pinball game linked to some of the label's artists and sold for $3. THE WEATHER CHANNEL VP of Digital Applications SCOTT JENSEN said that his company, the app from which is so popular that most of the audience raised its hands when asked by moderator TED COHEN whether they had it, has learned from tracking usage that its smartphone app seems to be used mostly for the data while the tablet app is used more for watching video. He also noted that the tablet app gets most of its use evenings and weekends, while the smartphone app is used more in mornings.
NPR Unveils Ford Sync App
NPR held a press conference late MONDAY afternoon to unveil the radio network's app for FORD SYNC in-car information, navigation, and entertainment systems. NPR Pres./CEO GARY KNELL and SVP KINSEY WILSON showed off the new capabilities in the presentation, which said that the NPR NEWS app is the first dedicated news app for SYNC's AppLink and allows voice control of the app to allow users to call up programs on demand. The app will also select and play an NPR member station if one is playing a program at the time the user asks for it, and a prerecorded stream if a live one is not available. The app also features the voice of former NPR news anchor and current "WAIT, WAIT... DON'T TELL ME" announcer/judge/scorekeeper CARL KASELL with tips on programming and using the app.
Justin Timberlake Unveils MySpace TV
Singer/actor JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE showed up at PANASONIC's press conference to launch MYSPACE TV, to be included on PANASONIC Viera Connect TVs in the first half of the year. The channel will allow viewers to interact with shows and each other; most of the initial programming will be music-oriented with other content to be added later. Apps for smartphones and tablets will also be available for the service.
Last Hurrah For Microsoft At CES Keynote
MICROSOFT CEO STEVE BALLMER gave what the company says will be its last CES keynote MONDAY night, showing off WINDOWS PHONE with guest interviewer RYAN SEACREST and hosting a demonstration by Chief Marketing Officer TAMI RELLER of WINDOWS 8 and the new WINDOWS STORE.