CABSAT – the specialist event for the broadcast, satellite and digital media entertainment industries for the Middle East and North Africa – opens its doors today, Tuesday March 12, in the midst of an entertainment revolution.
Running from March 12 to 14 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), CABSAT will be a global hub for knowledge-exchange and Entertainment and Media (E&M) industry innovation that will unite the discussions around the tech-driven phenomenon that industry analysts have dubbed Convergence 3.0. This new era in entertainment has seen companies that once offered only technology and distribution, move into content creation, and the distinctions between traditional and digital media now blur.
Viewer expectations are at an all-time high, and content is demanded on an anytime, anywhere basis. How content creators, distributors and buyers adapt to these changing distribution and revenue models will determine their survival in the industry. Now in its 25th edition, CABSAT kicks off with a new, refreshed agenda to address changes throughout entire E&M supply chain including content creation, production, post production satellite, OTT video, e-sports and digital media. More than 15,000 regional and international industry experts are expected to attend the event this year, gaining access to invaluable insights and cutting-edge innovations driving change in the E&M industry.
The entertainment media industry is predicted to reach US$2.4 trillion in revenues by 2021, driven by new revenue streams opened up by Convergence 3.0. Content creators, distributors and platforms alike are developing new business models that monetise next-gen consumers through bespoke content and engaging experiences.
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Events & Exhibitions Management, DWTC said: “This year, more than ever, CABSAT will be a key event for broadcasters, production companies, distributors, content creators and buyers from the region and throughout the world. The face of entertainment is changing more rapidly than we could have ever imagined, and CABSAT will bring the latest product innovations, technologies and business models that are shaping this new era.”
Returning this year are the Content Congress, CABSAT’s stage for content leaders throughout the industry, as well as the Digital Hub which will bring into focus all things OTT. Industry experts taking the stage across the Content Congress and Digital Hub include Kaswara Al-Khatib, Chairman and CEO, UTURN Entertainment; Raffaele Annecchino, President and Managing Director, MEA Viacom International Media Networks and; Dr Naser Refaat, Chief Technology Officer, Rotana TV.
Dinara Toktosunova, CEO, RUPTLY, added: “This next generation of audiences are looking for something more in their content and platform options, they are looking for connected experiences. They want to be able to be a part of the action, whether they are sitting in their living room watching on a smart television or streaming service, or on their daily commute watching on their device. We need to answer that demand with quality, engaging content which enables our media clients to connect and retain audiences across platforms.”
CABSAT’s Content Production pillar will keep content creators on the cutting edge of the technology fueling the shift in the E&M industry. As content becomes screen-agnostic, creators need to have the latest in cameras, lenses and lighting, as well as become immersed in emerging technologies such as AI, AR/VR and 5G that will become the backbone of content in the near future.
A new arrival at CABSAT 2019, Flix on 86, hosted in collaboration with MENA TV and UTURN Entertainment will bring a range of original Arabic and international content via live cinema screenings. Flix on 86 provides a unique opportunity for creators to screen fresh content to media buyers. Screenings will include serial dramas, documentaries, comedy, kid’s entertainment, animated series and more and will be followed by brief Q&A sessions with the creators.
The show will also host the region’s first e-sports conference at the event’s new E-sports Pavilion. This new phenomenon, led by multiplayer video gaming, is developing its own professional player celebrities and filling traditional sports arenas as fans show out to support their favourite gaming athletes. Sponsorship and advertising is set to drive this new market to generate USD$1.5 billion in annual revenues by 2020. CABSAT’s E -sports Pavilion will be home of all things e-sports, with 18 leading industry experts scheduled to discuss this new, fan-driven revenue generator.
The GVF Satellite Summit also returns with once-in-a-lifetime networking opportunities and industry discussions on the state and fate of the industry. Throughout the week, CABSAT’s Global Meetings Programme will provide a free-to-using networking service that connects visitors and exhibitors for unique networking opportunities.
Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City, said: “We are proud to participate and support CABSAT, which sheds light on ground breaking innovation and technology within the media, broadcasting and entertainment industries. As Dubai Studio City, our participation is aimed at showcasing our state-of-the-art sound stages and unique filming studios at platforms created supporting the ever-growing talent through our initiatives such as CineMENA. We anticipate a high participation at this year’s event, and we are looking forward to a successful outcome.”