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SXSW Insights: The Future of Interactive Video Technology

SXSW Insights: The Future of Interactive Video Technology

At this year’s SXSW Conference, Tech startup company Hyku tells us how video content is changing the game — for the better.

Top image by Lolostock.

At the 2018 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event, startups from across the globe shared how interactive technologies are making the world better across all industries and sectors. 25 teams entertained SXSW judges and attendees with bold new visions for the future ranging from enterprise and smart data to augmented and virtual reality.

We chatted with one company, Hyku, about the state of interactive video technology and the major strides it’s set to take in the next few years. Here’s how Hyku Founder and CEO Alex Qi sees interactive video tech changing for content creators, content marketers, and content consumers.

2nd Screens Stepping Up

SXSW Insights: The Future of Interactive Video Technology — Second Screens
Image by palat.

“The second screen craze started with the notion that people want to do more when they watch television; they want to buy what the actors wear, they crave more information, and they want to interact/play-along with the shows — especially the game shows.”

In talking with Hyku, one thing becomes very clear: people are consuming content at an even more incredible rate than you could ever imagine. To demonstrate how second-screen content development might work, Qi imagines watching American Idol and using your 2nd screen for more than voting. What if viewers could also shop for everything from songs to the clothes the performers are wearing? All within a few seconds.

VOD Livestreaming Growing

SXSW Insights: The Future of Interactive Video Technology — Growth of Livestreaming
Image by ST22Studio.

“Today, viewers watch more and more streaming content: roughly 30%. We wanted to fit this growing trend. In 2017, we launched our interactive VOD and Live Streaming technology to fit consumer needs.”

Clearly, livestreaming is a big phenomenon for the major players like Facebook, Youtube, and Vimeo. But it’s not just the big conglomerates who can benefit; companies and startups like Hyku are quick to throw their hats in the ring while pushing for better technology as streaming content continues to increase.

Linear TV’s Future

SXSW Insights: The Future of Interactive Video Technology — Linear TV
Image by By BrunoRosa.

“Linear TV is changing, although slowly. People are still watching TV, but less and less every year — around 3-5% less annually. There is a gradual change as more and more content is consumed through streaming platforms such as Netflix, Youtube, and Hulu.”

Hyku’s admission to the SXSW Accelerator program is a great example of just how quickly the industry is changing. Qi’s startup is poised to help traditional TV stations who are eager to keep up with streaming platforms of their own.

TV Shows’ New Monetization Strategies

Image by William Potter.

“We have our own commerce technology built into Hyku, so we allow all the purchases to be made and tracked, directly on the streaming site, without having to jump to an external link. This will hopefully open up the door for many smaller vendors to sell their products.”

Qi stresses an emphasis on getting the industry to move from “cost-per-click” ideology to “cost-per-action” or “cost-per-sale.” That means that while they still offer cost-per-click options, vendors are also looking to adapt to something with more tangible results and a clearer ROI.

Data Tracking Expanded

SXSW Insights: The Future of Interactive Video Technology — Data Tracking
Image by Vintage Tone.

“The best part of interactive video is that it knows what you are clicking on, not only what you are watching. Traditional sites like YouTube only know what videos you watch, but the trick is to go one level deeper and find what people are interested in — and the items they click.”

In Hyku’s SXSW pitch presentation, they talked about how their AI system combines both big data and image recognition technology. Qi’s company, in his words, “can give users a curated and customized television content experience.” Which, as Qi puts it, “is the real future of video technology.”

For more coverage from this year’s SXSW Conference (and more insights into tech and industry trends), check out these articles.

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