This is what the future of TV looks like, according to CES

Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg

Quibi wants to bring the premium TV experience to mobile phones. Samsung TVs are literally on the move. Eventually, live events can be easily livestreamed anywhere on any connected device.

CES has given the advertising community a glimpse at what the future of TV could look like, from new ad formats to vertical videos on the big screen. But the giant trade show can be overwhelming, and not everybody wants to spend a week in Las Vegas, so here’s a recap of what’s new in TV.

Quibi’s big splash

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman finally shared some long-awaited details for Quibi during Wednesday’s (8 January) keynote address. The short-form, mobile-only service will cost $4.99 for the ad-supported version and $7.99 for the ad-free version; it also has a “Turnstyle” feature to easily shift the viewing experience from landscape to portrait.

Quibi, which goes live in April, already has $150m in ad commitments lined up from the likes of P&G and General Mills, as Katzenberg tries to position the service as a brand-safe alternative to social media channels.

Quibi’s leaders were joined on stage by Mike Sievert, president and chief operating officer of T-Mobile. The two companies have a distribution deal that will make Quibi available free to T-Mobile’s 83 million customers.

Sievert said mobile video accounts for 57% of T-Mobile’s network consumption, and 80% of that is short-form. A significant portion of that is free social video, however, so Quibi has to hope that users eventually decide to pay up, especially since it will reportedly outspend what it’s raised over the next five years.

Xandr has pause ads too

AT&T’s advertising unit Xandr came to CES ready to sell. It unveiled pause ads, screensaver-like overlays that will run on paused content across AT&T TV Now and DirecTV.

Matt Van Houten, Xandr’s senior vice-president of product development, told The Drum that embracing non-traditional ad formats provides the company with a more “flexible” monetization model. In the future, that could even include surfacings ads while someone is fast-forwarding their shows.

Hulu is already selling pause ads. Xandr will package its version of the ad unit into larger buys for this year’s upfronts, according to Adweek.

Linear addressable is coming

While Xandr works to bring new ad formats to traditional linear TV, Project OAR has introduced a spec to bring dynamic ad insertion to the medium.

Project OAR, a consortium dedicated to standardizing addressable TV advertising, ran a live demo at CES of side-by-side smart TVs airing regular commercial breaks and commercial breaks where ads were swapped out in real time.

Zeev Neumeier, founder of Inscape, explained to AdExchanger that the spec allows a smart TV to read watermarked inventory and swap in a new creative when a buyer signals they want to insert an addressable ad.

Big screens on the move

Quibi isn’t the only company with rotating screens. Samsung introduced Sero, a 43-inch 4K TV that can switch between vertical and horizontal orientation.

There’s no word on how much Sero will cost yet, but now people can watch their Instagram and TikTok videos easily on their TVs.

LG has a rollable TV that costs a reported $60,000. While it doesn’t switch from landscape to portrait, it can retract. Plus it has Alexa integration.

NextGen TV is on the way

Samsung, LG and Sony introduced 20 new TVs at CES that support ATSC 3.0, or NextGen TV.

NextGen TV is an upgrade from ATSC 1.0, a federal standard on free, over-the-air broadcast transmissions. ATSC 2.0 never got off the ground, and while Vizio and TCL haven’t adopted the protocol, it is gaining traction.

Unlike its predecessor, implementing NextGen TV isn’t federally mandated. It’s an Internet Protocol-based system that includes the promise of reducing latency for live-streamed content on mobile devices.

Over 60 markets have access to NextGen TV. Sinclair has been touting the new system as a way to make streaming live sports easier, opening up new sports betting revenue opportunities.

Want to see more tech innovations? Click here to take a tour of the CES exhibition floor with The Drum's editor-in-chief Gordon Young.

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