Coast to Coast. A report from two digital video conferences.

California sun to New York hustle. Silicon Valley tech to Manhattan glitz. Sandy beaches to soaring skyscrapers. Over a two-week and two-conference span, we experienced two very different viewpoints on the robust world of digital video. With offerings as varied as our coasts, it was exciting to take a step back and see how much the digital video market has matured in only a few years. A market that will continue to evolve as more people try to leverage the power of video advertising with the strength of digital targeting and measurement.

The first conference, on the West Coast, was all about using the power of data and technology. Taking cues from display and search, the West demonstrated how digital video is becoming incredibly more nimble. Once considered a top-funnel only execution - only able to affect brand awareness - video is moving down the purchase path.

With more data and greater technology, we can better target the right consumer at the right time on the right screen. We can connect with consumers further down that sales funnel. To do this, exclusive 1st party data is becoming more and more important. While there are a limitless number of 3rd party data sets out there, it is really the 1st party data, and access to it in real-time, that will continue to help unlock the true power of digital video.

Jumping over to the East Coast, the second conference was all about the power of content. Not to say data and tech were not included, but star power was the big story here. After all, what good is all that data and tech if you don’t have content bringing in viewers? Powerful content creators such as Hulu, AOL, CNN, Yahoo, YouTube, Huffington Post and many others were on display at the Newfronts for a two-week event showcasing all of their new shows. 

Like the TV Upfronts, lavish parties and celebrities anchored the events. However, the real news was the push for original content. Strong original content has been the bedrock of a growing video marketplace. Today, it continues to appeal to brands with television and digital video marketing plans. Another key trend from the Newfronts was the desire to add more live content.  News, sports and concerts are leading the charge as the line between TV and digital video continues to blur. 

So, what’s the key to success in the ever-evolving world of digital video? Some will point to tech and data. Some will say, it's about the content. Being from Chicago, we see happiness right in the middle. No matter what your geographic location may be, the big winners in the space will be the platforms and advertisers that utilize both.