IBC 2018 tackles new tech in a legacy industry

IBC takes place Sept. 13-18 at the RAI in Amsterdam. (Ben Munson/FierceVideo)

The annual IBC Show in Amsterdam is entering its 51st year in September and in hopes of sustaining that longevity, it will need to tackle emerging tech like AI, blockchain and 5G.

But IBC CEO Michael Crimp said that the technology isn’t necessarily the intriguing part of the show; rather, it’s the applications that industry attendees find for the new tech.

“IBC puts these ideas in front of people who can imagine the possibilities and create the applications that transform our creativity and our business models,” Crimp said.

This year’s IBC Show is divided into six tracks:

  • New platforms: innovators and disruptors
  • Audiences: engage, influence and grow
  • Smart connectivity and multi-play devices
  • Advertising: the new attention economy
  • Cutting-edge tech innovators
  • Next-gen: interactive and immersive experiences

IBC set up a new conference steering group, chaired by Keith Underwood, chief operating officer of Channel 4 in the UK. Crimp said that Underwood brought in some of his own contacts and talked to others while helping shape this year’s show.

“Having access to high-level address books in this way brings us a huge amount of insight,” Crimp said.

Underwood will deliver the welcome keynote this year and lead into a multi-day schedule of keynotes. Speakers including Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios; Jean-Briac Perrette, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International; Max Amordeluso, EU lead evangelist Alexa for Amazon; Kim Jackson, co-founder and president of SingularDTV; Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube; David Abraham, CEO and founder of Wonderhood Studios; Kelly Day, president of Viacom Digital Studios; and Lily Cole, founder of Impossible.com.

Other speakers include Mohamed Abuagla, CTO of Al Jazeera, and Peter Salmon, chief creative officer of Endemol Shine.

Surrounding the keynotes will be IBC’s usual 15 exhibition halls with many of the same big players in the space as years past along with some new names, like Alibaba Group.

Crimp said all the speakers, panels and exhibitors will be looking to provide answers to big questions the industry is facing today. How will broadcasters, telcos and streaming companies co-exist? Will OTT providers be the new broadcasters or will producers sell direct to consumers? Will programmatic advertising planning and dynamic ad insertion transform the cost/revenue model? Will new monetization methods—maybe blockchain-managed micropayments from consumer to producer—transform the creative industry?

“These issues may not be solved at IBC2018, but they will be much talked about,” Crimp said.