The streaming wars will only get more complicated this year and NBCUniversal used its stage time at CES 2020 to make the case that quality, not quantity will be the defining factor for its success as people consume content in increasingly diverse ways. We followed along via livestream, appropriately enough, to see what the company had to say.
The keynote kicked off with Today West Coast Anchor Natalie Morales interviewing a who’s who of NBCUniversal alums, including This Is Us star Mandy Moore, Terry Crews from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Kate del Castillo from La Reina del Sur, and Songland‘s Ester Dean.
One of the recurring themes during the talk was that choice continues to expand, not just in terms of types of content, but also in ways to consume that content. To that end, Chairman of Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships Linda Yaccarino, said it’s important to acknowledge how entertainment comes to consumers in many forms and lengths of time, such as catching up on just the monologue portion of last night’s Saturday Night Live.
“The future is all about personalization,” she said, adding that this also includes pairing relevant, useful ads with that content.
Moore, who made a name for herself first as a musician before continuing her success as an actress, pointed out that the barriers for creating content have “all but been erased.” Nowadays, she said, phones on cameras create high-quality photos and videos and you can create music with just a laptop.
Still, the group recognized that regardless of how the content is created and how people are watching that content, the keys to a good experience are still strong narratives, storytelling, and characters.
Morales also reiterated it’s also about quality, not quantity. Whether that’s a bit of shade toward Netflix’s aggressive content expansion is, of course, up for debate.
The company didn’t spend time with any new announcements about its upcoming Peacock service, but it’s pretty clear to see the company is making a case for a high-quality, if less-robust portfolio compared to streaming giants like Netflix. That portfolio will get a boost in 2021, when The Office joins Peacock, but it will be interesting to see how popular the service is at its April launch.
So while we came away from the keynote without further specifics on Peacock, it’s pretty clear NBCUniversal’s gameplan is to draw users in through high-quality offerings. Whether that’s enough for Peacock to soar, however, remains to be seen. It should be an interesting 2020.