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Sound Bites from CES 2015

| January 9, 2015

TALKERS Consumer Electronics Show coverage by radio consultant Holland Cooke

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant


cookewriterLAS VEGAS — As the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show wraps-up today, 450 entrepreneurs have their fingers crossed, after pitching ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank” in an open casting call yesterday.

Wide-angle shot: The innovation mojo here is damn refreshing, especially for broadcasters, whose industry is mature, yet so well positioned for the future.

Close-up shot: Handiest accessory I saw for radio talkers and podcasters: Wear your gear like a gun slinger with Techslinger.  Pack your iPad, smartphone, microphone, and other go-kit gear in this double shoulder holster, designed by a defense contractor.  See photos and diagrams on the CES page at

I’ll spend today seeing as much as I can of the 2 million plus square feet of exhibit space here, after committing as much time as I have earlier this week to CES conference sessions.  Here are some notable sound bites from those I took-in…

Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D.,  CEA Chief Economist & Director of Research:

*  “Multiple distribution channels is imperative.”

*  “When something becomes digitized, the entire experience changes.”

*  Accordingly, “learn the channel.”  Radio implication: Know these tools and don’t simply produce digital the same way you produce for on-air.

From the session “Big Media and Viral Experiences: Creativity Challenges:”

*  “Young people are more collaborative and knowledge-seeking.  Their needs are not being met by traditional media platforms.”

*  And the way they share can produce more buzz than paid advertising.  Example: “Star Wars is huge right now,” with a new movie on the way, and tease trailers on YouTube, “although they’ve spent next-to-nothing on paid promotion.”

*  “For authenticity, the celebrity [doing an endorsement] needs to be artistic director of the project.”  They cited the Crest toothpaste “Wake Up With Me” campaign that “made the product ‘the co-star.’”

Because endorsement spots are so important to radio, I also attended the session “Leveraging Content and Celebrity for Cross-Platform Success:”

*  Trend: Via Facebook/Twitter/other direct contact, “celebrities and brands are taking their message straight to the public.”

*  “Artists and celebrities now know what their audiences want better than ever before.”

From “Multichannel Networks and the YouTube Phenomenon:”

*  “YouTube is the most effective aggregator of any social platform.”

*  “YouTube brings additional value to broadcasters.”  Note how Jimmy Fallon uses it.

*  “Brands that look at YouTube as a cheap way to make commercials are going to fail.”

*  You can effect good traffic to your YouTube content by using Facebook.

From “Broadcasting Without Borders: Players of The New Guard:”

*  “We’re moving away from fixed media, we’re moving toward interactive media.”

*  The smartphone is “a studio in your hand.”

*  “Millennials don’t mind a branded experience, as long as it’s authentic.”

*  “Millennials love TV, they just hate the model.”

*  “People will pay a reasonable price for quality content…on the screen they want.”

*  New models are buoying-up legacy platforms: “Breaking Bad” succeeded because people could catch-up on Netflix.

All five FCC Commissioners appeared at CES2015.

*  Issue One for Chairman Tom Wheeler is the widely-misunderstood, much-demagogued matter of Net Neutrality.  Wheeler hinted that, per President Obama’s preference, he would propose rules that regulate broadband providers as utilities.  Expect court challenges and opposition from  the Republican-controlled Congress.

*  A separate session featuring the other four commissioners – who did not take questions – was noteworthy for what WASN’T said: the word “radio.”  Which, in my mind, underlines the importance of radio people understanding and participating in the new media landscape.

Two more radio-related sound bites:

*  Several radio amigos: “THANK YOU for nagging-me-into coming to this.”  More broadcasters should attend CES.  The 2016 event will be January 6-9; and the 411 is at

*  “CONGRATULATIONS!” from Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro, to talk radio’s Dave Graveline, celebrating his “Into Tomorrow” show’s 20th year on-air, as inventors, executives, and celebrities lined-up for radio and video interviews in his broadcast booth in the middle of the CES Exhibit Hall.  Ditto, Dave!


Holland Cooke is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet; and he covers conventions for TALKERS.  Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke, and see/read/hear his CES2015 coverage at



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Category: Analysis