While many PLAY 2019 attendees enjoyed our first-ever, full day of hands-on workshops yesterday, the conference officially kicked off this morning with an opening keynote by Brightcove CEO, Jeff Ray.

The power of breakthrough video

Jeff discussed how video can break through the noise to establish human connections, and then welcomed two different customers to the stage to share their powerful stories.

First up was Sharifah Niles Lane, vice president of digital marketing and social media at Eastern Bank . “Video is really breaking a number of barriers for us,” she explained—providing attendees with details on how Eastern Bank activated their audience with emotionally fueled video content for their inspiring Join Us For Good campaign.

Next, Mike Thyken, chief technology officer at CaringBridge , joined Jeff to discuss how video empowers CaringBridge to bring personal, human connection to individual healthcare journeys. As Mike pointed out, “video is a natural and powerful medium that allows you to tell your story so much more richly.”

This morning’s opening keynote session then finished off with a presentation by best-selling author Andrew Davis , who discussed “curiosity gaps,” an audience’s need for closure, and how to make sure your video’s payoff is proportional to the tension you build. During his informative (and often hilarious) talk, Andrew hammered home the point that “our audience will make time to consume video that maintains their interest.”

Session highlights

The day continued with a series of morning sessions, including From Free Trial to Loyal Fan: The Life Cycle of a Subscriber. During this panel, industry experts from Xarxa Audiovisual Local , Wicket Labs , Hallmark Labs , OUTtv , Brightcove, and Cleeng discussed various strategies for maximizing the lifetime value of OTT subscribers—from initial acquisition to maintaining engagement. One of the many highlights of the session was when OUTtv’s Anthony Jiwa gave some insight into the channel’s paid campaign around their marquee content, RuPaul’s Drag Race—which converted an impressive 75% of free trials to paid subscriptions.

The afternoon kicked off with another series of eye-opening sessions, such as Making Video Accessible to Everyone. During this session, Örjan Wallén and Carl Håman of Wallen Media gave an overview of the European Accessibility Act and the different levels of accessibility:

  • Level A: Captions

  • Level AA: Audio descriptions

  • Level AAA: Sign language interpretation, media alternative, and extended audio description

The Wallen Media team went on to describe how the City of Malmo built a best-in-class model for the public and private sector to better communicate with its residents through video. From captioning considerations to different track types, Örjan and Carl shared a variety of proven insights into how to make videos accessible—a topic that’s increasingly timely, as it’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day tomorrow.

Next up for attendees this evening is the annual PLAY Party, where everyone will have a chance to discuss today’s sessions and connect on all things video. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a recap of Day 3!

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