Despite a power outage temporarily halting proceedings at CES, discussions about audience engagement and voice activation continued at the Las Vegas tech fest.

Variety’s Entertainment Summit kicked off with PWC hosting a panel on The Future of TV, featuring representatives from Fox, NBC, YouTube, Verizon, Neilson, and Awesomeness.

Amelia Kallman

Amelia Kallman

The definition of television has expanded, and ‘The Golden Age of Television’ is giving us more content quality and quantity than ever before, but 62% of subscribers still report struggling to find something to watch.

With so many choices, providers are starting to cater for niche viewer groups, though as a society there is an increasing need for content that unites.

The sports industry is a leading example of how entertainment can engage with audiences in more personal ways, across devices and touch-points, to meet consumer’s demand for instant, meaningful content.

Voice activation across all devices and things is coming, and when integrating AR and VR into our content plans we must consider the social impact and aim to bring people closer, rather than disconnect into solo realities.

Best in Brand Storytelling at CES 2018

Best in Brand Storytelling at CES 2018

In another panel on The Best of Brand Storytelling, the point was raised that the ability to generate ROI must shift from measuring efficiency to measuring effectiveness, and analysts are currently trying to work out ways to crack the problem of how to prove the value of things like authenticity and integrity.

Matt Derella of Twitter contributed a rousing speech about how to change the challenge of consumer indifference into consumer passion, siting the power of cross promotions, real-time context, and surprise as key elements towards success.

Meanwhile at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, STM Goods showcased how they can integrate AR into retail to give customers options for personalisation and product exploration to enhance brand engagement, provide in-store data, and drive sales.

With $50B in unproductive inventory and $30B of returns, Savitude is a retail business intelligence company that uses AI towards fixing this problem.

Instead of looking at women’s sizes, it focuses instead on shape, integrating into ecommerce sites to increase conversion +56% and reduce returns. Other interesting stands included Perch, bringing together the digital and physical, and VirtualAPT, showcasing how their entertaining AR shop window technology can also be a powerful data-gathering tool.

Otherwise the biggest news story of the day was probably the black out, though we’re happy to report, the lights did eventually come back on.