Hundreds of C-Level Speakers & Attendees From Across the Digital Ecosystem Gathered at Headline-Generating Los Angeles Conference & Expo for Three Days of Deal-Making and More Than 100 Sessions Featuring 300 Top Executives & Thought Leaders
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 2015 – Hundreds of C-Level thought-leaders the digital and entertainment worlds attended the unique three-day Digital Entertainment World (DEW) conference in Los Angeles last week, engaging in networking, deal-making and headline-generating discussions.
DEW wrapped Thursday after 100-plus sessions featuring more than 300 notable speakers from across the digital ecosystem, all high-level executives from top media and entertainment companies encompassing the television, film, digital video, music, publishing and game industries.
Additionally, judges from leading VC firms tapped the Clinton Global Initiative- and IBM-backed Vendedy, described as “Etsy meets eBay for street vendors globally,” as the winner of DEW’s Manatt Digital Media (MDM)-sponsored Startup Pitchtest competition.
Vendedy Founder & CEO Christine Souffrant received a $75,000 prize package, which included a $25,000 investment in the company (in the form of a convertible note) and another $25,000 in business consulting and legal services from MDM. Souffrant also received an invitation to the San Francisco office of IDG Ventures for a two-hour consultation with senior partners of the firm, along with a full year of free hosting service on Rackspace ($24,000 value).
In announcing its decision, the panel of judges cited Vendedy for, among other things, encapsulating the power of “digital” with its global/borderless strategy; the impact of its compelling visuals/images; the power of micro-transactions in a new digital “share economy” world, where even those with little can connect due to deep mobile phone penetration; and, the concept of social impact, which is increasingly important to millennials and older age groups as well.
DEW 2015 Highlights
The headline-generating conversations throughout the week, many related to monetization challenges and opportunities, included:
- Steve Mosko, President of Sony Pictures Television, discussing original content for Crackle and Playstation, including the notion that, as people begin to unbundle and put together personal bundles, free is a good option to have.
- Ynon Kreiz, President, Maker Studios, on how Disney has embraced Maker and revealed it has increased YouTube views by 11.5 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times.
- Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Visa, conversing with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin about the value he and other major advertisers see in the online world.
- Eddy Moretti, CCO, VICE Worldwide, hinting at a Vice cable network, commenting on the Brian Williams situation and how traditional media’s sad state of affairs gives VICE more credibility.
- Thomas Gewecke, Chief Digital Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment, outlining how technology is leading an “incredible pace of innovation” that is changing all distribution models, and how companies need to experiment to bring content to all available channels.
Music also played a key role in the conference, with panelists describing how they see a bright future for digital, with more and more artists adapting to it.
Among the “View from the Top” participants taking part in a Music Leadership Roundtable discussion were Bruce Flohr, Chief Strategy Officer/EVP, Red Light Management, Partner, Greenlight Media and Partner, ATO Records; Ken Hertz, Senior Partner, Hertz Lichtenstein & Young LLP; Bill Silva, President, Bill Silva Entertainment;, Chris Stephenson, Chief Marketing Officer, SFX Entertainment; and moderator Ralph Simon, Chairman & CEO, Mobilium Global.
Interactive technologies also played a key role in the “View from the Top” roundtable featuring Oren Boiman, CEO & Co-Founder, Magisto; Chris DeWolfe, CEO, SGN; Will Keenan, President, Endemol BEYOND (USA); and moderatorOmar Shamout, Technology Reporter, Los Angeles Business Journal.
Pressing topics covered across the digital ecosystem at DEW included:
- The changing definition of short-form
- Charging for content vs. ad-supported models
- What Snapchat’s entry into the original content and content distribution space means for creators
- The delicate balancing act between content and commerce
- The future of console gaming in the wake of the mobile free-to-play gaming phenomenon
- Importance of distribution, content and collaboration in order to succeed in original video content
- Diversity in content and the importance of authenticity when partnering with brands
- Bundled content services vs. a la carte
Summarizing the media landscape in a discussion looking toward the future, Robert Tercek, Chairman, Creative Vision, said, “There are major differences between the old 20th century economy and new 21st century economy, and it is important for companies to know which universe they are living in – as these two alternate universes have completely different business models.”
Breaking news at DEW included Digital Citizens Alliance’s new statistical report disclosing that piracy has shifted from file-sharing and downloading to now predominately being online video streaming. Tom Galvin, Executive Director, Digital Citizens Alliance, said at the group’s panel, “Good Money Gone Bad: Digital Thieves & The Hijacking of the Online Business,” that video streaming is the only platform generating more revenue than the year before. Galvin said the annual revenue was up more than 50 percent.
In addition, Kathleen Grace, CCO, New Form Digital announced Incubator Series 2 at the “Next Gen Content Producers: Paving the Way in the Digital Age” panel at DEW on Wednesday. The Incubator Series 2 will produce and distribute 10 short films that will be unique to the digital viewing audience.
DEW also featured several Fireside Chats and Featured Presentations throughout the conference, with each addressing a different segment of the digital entertainment ecosystem, including:
- Steve Comstock, SVP and CIO, CBS Interactive
- Simon Waters, SVP, Global Brand Licensing & Publishing, Hasbro
- Ahmed Abbas, COO, Qsoft Holding
- Beth Murphy, CMO, Deezer
- Meredith Valiando Rojas, Co-Founder & CEO, DigiTour Media LLC
- Jeanie Han, CEO, LINE Euro-Americas Corp.
- Jonanthan Azu, General Manager & Executive Vice President, Red Light
- Val Boreland, Executive Vice President, Head of Programming and Production, Revolt TV
- Gene Hoffman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vindicia
- Thomas Siegman, EVP Innovation, Strategy & Client Relations, RSG Media Systems
- Allison Stern, Co-Founder and Vice President, Enterprise, Tubular Labs
- Nicolas Beraudo, EVP Worldwide Sales, GM US, App Annie
- Patrick Eichmann, Senior Director of Sales, West, Fiksu
- Michael Cai, SVP, Games & Digital, Interpret, LLC
- Gary Greenstein, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
- Zane Vella, CEO and Founder, Watchwith
- Octvaio Flores, Country Manager, Paysafecard
- Paul Kontonis, Chief Marketing Officer, Collective Digital Studio Executive Director, GOVA
- Barry Whitley, Director of Solutions Architecture, Highwinds
Sponsors for 2015 DEW included: 3Pillar Global, App Annie Inc., Anvato, AT&T, Beachfront Media LLC, Brightcove, Digital Citizens Alliance, Ericsson, Fiksu, Flipps Media, Inc., GOVA (The Global Online Video Association), Highwinds, Interpret, LLC, hiVolume Media Company, Inc., Kwaai Oak CTO- easing start-up angst, Limelight Networks, Loeb & Loeb LLP, LyricFind, Magisto, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, MediaBrix, Miptv/ Mipdigital Fronts, New Century Capital Partners, Inc., Ooyala, Paysafecard, Piksel, PluraVida, Popsugar, Recurly, Inc., Rohde & Schwarz, RSG Media Systems, SeaChange, Senzari, SGN, SmartTones.tv, SoundExhchange, Supersonic, Stage Ten, Telescope, Total- Apps Inc., Tubular Labs, UI Centric, Venable LLP, Verizon, Vindicia, Inc., YUME, Watchwith, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and XiveTV.
For more information about DEW, including a complete list of speakers and the full agenda, visit www.DEWExpo.com.
About Digital Entertainment World
DEW is a joint venture between IDG World Expo, an award-winning producer of tradeshows and events, including Macworld/iWorld, the MacIT® Conference, the Electronic Entertainment Expo® (E3®), and The Game Marketing Summit, and Digital Media Wire, a media and marketing consultancy and event producer with leading events including DMW Week NYC, NY Games Conference, Future of Television, Digital Music Forum and LA Games Conference.