2016 is the year of the audience. We swear

by Stephanie Gaines, vp, corporate marketing, YuMe

Every year, we hear it’s “The Year Of” — the year of mobile, the year of CTV, the year of tech. And every year, we hear the industry put the focus on the platform instead of the people. We here at YuMe see things a bit differently. This is the time for audiences.

When SXSW first ignited 30 years ago, an actor was our president, and email was our Snapchat.  Audiences were measured by age and gender instead of the passions and power that ignite them toward action. Today we see audiences more as tribes united by common interests and who seek out great content wherever it may be.

We are lucky to work in the most exciting, dynamic medium: video. If consumers don’t see what they want in eight seconds, they will turn away. But once captured, they’re engaged like no other. Sight, sound and motion moves not only the heart but incites action and the desire to search and explore.

Technology has changed how we tell our stories through video, reaching consumers on every platform. Now content channels can be created by consumers and brands alike to create a constant connection. Among the many who spoke at SXSW, perhaps J.J. Abrams said it best: “The beautiful thing is that everyone right now has a movie studio and distribution in their pocket.”

The audiences that converge at SXSW to celebrate music, video, art and politics are now multiplatform and agnostic. Our music is shared across devices, and our reality-TV stars morph seamlessly from one stage to another. Austin has always been the heart and soul of passionate audiences. So today, we celebrate all of you, where that spirit is simply bigger and better in Texas.