What we learned about The Next Big Thing at IGNITION 2017

Andy Hinrichs, founder and CEO of AutoGravity, and Jeff Schumacher, founder and CEO of BCG Digital Ventures, with Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst at BI Intelligence.

caption
Andy Hinrichs, founder and CEO of AutoGravity, and Jeff Schumacher, founder and CEO of BCG Digital Ventures, with Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst at BI Intelligence.
source
Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

During The Next Big Thing programming block, IGNITION 2017 attendees heard from startup founders and CEOs who are creating new opportunities across the media and marketing landscape.

Here are some key takeaways.

  • Voice is everywhere. According to BI Intelligence research analyst Laurie Beaver, by 2022 half of the households in the US will have some sort of smart speaker. Will Mayo, CEO and founder of SpokenLayer, has been in the industry since before there was a voice industry to speak of. In his opinion, voice is a huge opportunity for brands and publishers to capture audience attention in a new way. He has worked with companies like Time Inc., Wired, and Bustle to deliver content and brand experiences through voice-activated devices.
  • Messaging will replace social media. Vivian Rosenthal, founder of Snaps, said that, in terms of monthly active users, messaging has eclipsed social media. Brands need to turn their mobile-engagement strategies away from clunky mobile apps to conversational chatbots that can reside inside applications, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. This switch enables them to inhabit a space where customers are already spending a lot of time chatting with friends. Brands can use chatbots to drive customers toward purchases, spread awareness, and engage them with creative ad content.
  • We’re seeing new forms of content optimized for mobile and social. Inspired by the youth of South Korea and Charles Dickens, Seung-yoon Lee, CEO and cofounder of Radish Media, has built a writers’ platform for short-form episodic storytelling optimized for a 10-minute smartphone read. Meanwhile, Jack Davis, founder and CEO of CryptTV, is creating a new generation of iconic monsters who star in media ranging from six-minute films to Facebook AR masks.
  • OTT video consumption is growing faster than anyone anticipated. According to Andre Swanston, CEO and cofounder of Tru Optik, a leading martech platform powering measurement, segmentation, targeting, attribution, and privacy across the burgeoning connected TV ecosystem, OTT will be more than 50% of all TV viewing time in the US and account for 25% of ad dollars in three years.
  • The world is effectively digitally illiterate today, in that only 20 million people are proficient in writing code, which is about 0.26% of the global population. In 10 years it’ll grow to just .28% of the population. Dmitry Shapiro, CEO and cofounder of GoMeta, is helping bridge that literacy gap with his Metaverse platform – which he likens to Legos – where even a kid can learn in five minutes how to build applications without writing a line code.
  • Empowerment + transparency = less friction. Andy Hinrichs, founder and CEO of AutoGravity, talked about how they have revolutionized car buying and financing by simplifying what has often been an opaque, frustrating, and even unfair process. Jeff Schumacher, founder and CEO of BCG Digital Ventures, talked about the unique role of BCG DV in identifying the market opportunity and how AutoGravity has taken advantage of that opp. On this incredibly fast-growing platform, AutoGravity users have requested over a billion dollars in financing in 2017, with very little marketing.
  • There won’t be one device that replaces the smartphone as the next big thing. Instead, the central media consumption point that is within smartphones right now will spread across devices like voice assistants, smartwatches, and connected cars. Consumers will demand a seamless experience between devices, and want to be able to get their content in different forms across all platforms.

IGNITION 2018 will be here before you know it! Stay tuned for announcements and updates.