SXSWi Nightcap: Day Five and Top Themes From the Week

By Casey Steinberg, Partner, Director, Strategic Planning, Mindshare

Austin has treated the Mindshare team very well at SXSWi – we’ve learned and shared heavily.  As the team looks back at the past few days, there’s a few constant themes that have emerged.  Below is a top line list from what I saw today and during the past week – stay tuned for a more comprehensive summary coming soon from our Mindshare@SXSW team.

Data, Data, Data:

This year, the conversation didn’t center on privacy as much as in previous years – those fears seemed to be dying down amongst speakers. Everyone was talking about using data beyond aggregation and moving into creative spaces where data leads content, preferences, personalization, suggestions, and even the ads that are shown specifically to one individual…making everything more efficient and more enjoyable.

Sensory Media

SXSWi had a number of companies focused on virtual reality and haptics (communication via touch, where people can feel and sense what is happening).  There are more senses that will be included in media and entertainment than ever before.  People are craving more heightened experiences, and it seems that companies are listening and delivering. 

Focus on Social Good

Among all the tech and digital surrounding SXSW, there was still a focus on humans and humanity.  The Internet of everything can save lives through predictive tech modeling (e.g. early detection of cancer), big data and A.I. can navigate patterns to help move humanity forward, and not to mention, all companies in the Accelerator Pitch series were judged on social good.  

Future of Media Companies/Publishers will include Commerce

The media industry powers commerce and vice versa.  And media companies of the future are headed towards a space where they will build their businesses on these transactions.  With the way audiences are viewing content, there is an opportunity for seamless integration between the two where you KNOW your consumers have an interest. By entering this space, media companies can build better relationships with consumers. 

SXSW Buzz Words of the Week:

  • Frictionless – everyone’s desire to have easy and automatic change between devices.
  • Big Data – data so large, it requires tech to make it usable/insightful
  • Contextualization – often referenced with big data, to ensure people are interested in what you are showing them
  • Sensory Media – see above
  • IoT – Internet of Things, roughly defined as communication between devices and connected everything
  • Meerkat – SXSW’s hottest app that live streams across social media. 

Thanks for following us as we posted and tweeted throughout SXSW!  We had fun, and hope you did too.  Keep an eye out for the final wrap-up post.