DISCOP DUBAI was a success for both visitors and exhibitors, based not on direct interviews, but by eavesdropping on conversations while I sipped a cup of hot chocolate at the strategically located cafeteria in the venue. The Madinat Arena at the plush Madinat Jumeriah resort is where the exhibition and conference streams took place.
This is the inaugural event of DiscopDubai and if the first day’s impressions were anything to go by, it looks like it will be highly anticipated next year.
One noteworthy quote was by D. Girish, head of content for SPUUL: “I like the more focused atmosphere and interaction that’s taking place here, compared to even Mipcom,” he said.
Mr. Girish has travelled in from India, looking to acquire content for his OTT platform.
The conference streams were engaging and well moderated. A particularly lively panel discussion was on TV formats. Karim Sarkis (Sync Media) informed and entertained, never shying away from taking on controversial topics that others in this region tend to stay away from.
DISCOP 2017 also saw the recently launched MENA.TV participate at the venue. I was given a demo of by Sarah Sohail of AlAaanTV on how the Mena.tv platform will help them reach out and drive awareness to their catalog of content that want to syndicate.
From my initial browsing of the Mena.tv portal, it looks like a timely and much needed offering to accelerate the business of content syndication in the region.
Is the region ready for VR content?
My interest in visiting DISCOP Dubai was to see if there is awareness of the growing influence VR is having in the content and OTT marketplace. Netflix and Hulu already have VR versions of their apps, and Amazon Prime Video is rumored to be launching the VR version of their platform too.
From conversations, I had during the evening’s networking cocktail, I found many didn’t see the logic of Netflix and Hulu launching VR versions of their platforms when there was no content. I saw eyes brighten when I mentioned the simple reason why: “Would you rather watch Westworld on a 6inch display with earbuds, or would you prefer watching it on a 2-meter virtual screen?” That is what Netflix and Hulu had done in choosing to launch VR platforms while waiting for their 360 and VR content to grow.
There was one exhibitor showing some VR content I was told, by Mr. Thomas Antony of APSTAR Satellite, who whipped out a Mr.Robot branded Google cardboard viewer which was being given out at the NBC Universal stand.