The National Cable and Telecom show is all about the convergence of content, distribution and technology, and today I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at NCTA's annual show that addressed all those issues.
It was an eclectic group: Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit, Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead, Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff, and Writer/Director/Producer Ed Burns.
Mead kicked off the panel with an exciting announcement: Verizon Wireless is launching a new mobile video portal, "Viewendi," which will allow Verizon's subscribers to search, find, and watch video from any number of providers and Comcast's Xfinity 'TV Everywhere' service is one of its first partners.
Mead says this is one of Verizon's "most important announcements of the year," and the service will launch within a month, helping consumers access content on Hulu Plus, Netflix and mSpot, with Verizon FiOS expected to be added soon.
This new distribution tool epitomizes the trends we're seeing here at NCTA, giving consumers content everywhere, any time, on any device. The key is "authentication"—making sure people are paying for a video service. And perhaps most important in really making mobile video take off-- a search tool to allow people to easily access content.
Vevo's Caraeff says he plans to integrate Vevo's metadata, so the service can search its videos. Burns says this is another valuable tool to directly distribute content to consumers. Bottom line: this will help make content more ubiquitous, which Caraeff says is an inevitability of the web that content owners and distributors would be wise to embrace.
We talked about data caps, the exponential growth of streaming video consumption, and the role the demands of the consumer play in driving innovation. But perhaps most interesting was the universal enthusiasm to a question I posed about social media, and how it's changing their approach to business.
Burns says social media is a "game changer" for independent film. Caraeff says it's totally transformed the way people find and watch their video. It's all about sharing. And even Mead and Smit say it's impacted the way people navigate and share content.
The Facebook IPO may have disappointedout of the gate, but the impact of the social network is still huge.
Comcast is the corporate parent of CNBC.
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