Streaming Summit goes back to basics of online video at NAB 2019

NAB Show Las Vegas
The Streaming Summit takes place April 8-9 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. (Ben Munson/FierceVideo)

The Streaming Summit is heading into its second go-around at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas, and this year the conference within a conference is focusing on the basics of streaming video.

Dan Rayburn, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan and chairman of the Streaming Summit, said that while this is technically the second year of the Summit, it feels like the first. In 2018, the NAB announced the Streaming Summit in February, just two months before the big show, which left only six weeks to assemble a one-day show offsite in the Westgate Hotel.

“I really consider this to be my first true show in Vegas,” Rayburn said.

The Summit is getting a spot in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center this year on the first two days of the NAB Show. The event has a full schedule of sessions on both days covering topics including live sports, CMAF, hybrid monetization models, addressable advertising and esports. Several fireside chats highlight the agenda with representatives from Amazon, CBS Interactive, Comcast, Epix, Hulu and Roku.

Rayburn said that he’ll be applying lessons learned from last year’s show to help make this Summit more focused on what media companies really want to hear about.

“I had two things on blockchain last year. I’m not doing anything on blockchain this year because it’s not real. It’s not deployed. There are no applications. There are no use cases,” Rayburn said.

Media giants like Disney, Fox and WarnerMedia are struggling everyday with aspects of the video workflow including transcoding, monetization, server-side ad insertion, manifest files and delivery, according to Rayburn.

“That’s the stuff they’re asking about every day,” said Rayburn. “They’re not asking about AI. They’re not asking about VR. They’re not asking about machine learning. They don’t want to know about blockchain. They want to know the stuff that they can practically apply to their business immediately.”

Rayburn said the format, speaker lineup and topics for the Summit are selected based on feedback he’s received from attendees. He also said he’s made it a priority to ensure he’s having customers speaking and not vendors.

“If you want to do a sales pitch, you want to get up there and do marketing, you’re not going to make the cut. You’re not going to be on the stage,” Rayburn said.