J. Kelly Hoey

What’s Hot And What’s Trending — Depends On The Conference

What’s hot and trending — depends on who you ask and which conference you’re at.

Live video-streaming app Meerkat was on fire at SXSW (and post-SXSW with investors) but FireChat took home SXSW’s prestigious Innovation Award. No wonder: FireChat is the “first off-the-grid messaging app” and mobile service notoriously sucks at SXSW.

I confess however, that I skipped SXSW this year in favor of speaking at ArabNet in Beirut (where the internet connection was just fine in case you were wondering). I was on the conference’s opening “hot trends in web and mobile” panel along with ….Fadi Bishara, Founder & CEO, BlackBox VC; Hasan J. Zainal, Partner, Arzan Venture Capital; Monty Munford, Founder, Mob76; and moderated by Hala Fadel, Managing Partner, Leap Ventures — Chair, MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab.

So what’s hot in my mind?

News. Troy Carter’s Atom Factory has launched a news content site, Smashd. The site is tech, culture and hustle — something Troy knows a thing or two about. MSNBC and NowThis News have partnered to produce two daily video news shows that will be available for viewing (plus friending, sharing, commenting and fav’ing) on Facebook. Not interested in the 5 o’clock news whether delivered on TV or Facebook? Reuters is aiming to reinvent TV news for the mobile era. We love our news and so do Millennials, in turns out (according to a research study by the Media Insight Project). Millennials just consume news in strikingly different ways — much to the continued disruption and dismay of legacy media sites. Stay tuned.

Audio + Storytelling. Who would have guessed that a 12-episode non-fiction“radio murder mystery” podcast would be downloaded 75+ million times? Serial proves we love a good story and that ears may be as important as eyeballs when it comes to mobile. The storytelling trend together with the desire for IRL experiences comes together in location aware audio tour app, Detour. Think of Detour as “disconnecting” light — you’re not unplugging however, while your ears are focused on the phone your eyes are experiencing a walk about town in a new way. Tune it up.

Trend to watch: subscriptions. Reuters TV and Detour launched with subscriptions. Let’s see if consumers will really pay for content and whether revenue becomes a trend.

#mobile #ArabNet #ArabNetBeirut #Smashd


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